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Asian Festival of Children’s Content
23–26 May 2024

Dante “Klink” Ang II, Chair of the National Book Development Board (NBDB) reiterates the role of storytelling as a way to strengthen partnerships and define one’s cultural identity in an increasingly connected and borderless world. Ang emphasizes that while a reclaiming of one’s narrative may prove to be more difficult for countries such as the Philippines, which has always dealt with the precarity of identity and power, doing so through storytelling - and in the company of its allies in Southeast Asia - may be all the more fulfilling and meaningful.

Ang also reflects on the Philippines’ collaboration with Singapore through the AFCC, saying that it is all the more timely and proof that the bond between these nations has deepened, given that the Philippines and Singapore’s bilateral relations is at its 55th year.

book development cultural identity diversity identity literary festivals mother tongue regional languages southeast asia storytelling

Dante Francis M. Ang II

Dante Francis M. Ang II (Philippines)

Dante Francis M. Ang II heads The Manila Times, one of the most highly respected national daily newspapers in the Philippines. The Times is a multi-awarded newspaper and is the oldest in the country, having been founded in October 1898. Under Dante’s leadership, The Times has won numerous awards and citations,  including the “Newspaper of the Year” award for 2016, given by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) at a ceremony in Malacañang Palace featuring former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Besides journalism, Dante’s interests include education and managerial economics. He has a worldly outlook, having lived in three countries and traveled to more than a dozen others in North America, Europe and Asia. Lastly, he lives a well-rounded lifestyle, balancing hard work with hard play, corporate work and civic duties.

Charisse Aquino-Tugade

Moderator Charisse Aquino-Tugade (Philippines)

Charisse Aquino-Tugade is the Executive Director of the National Book Development Board (NBDB). She is a cultural worker, primary mover for CulturAid, founder of The Manila Collectible Co., and founding Director of Museo ng Muntinlupa. As the NBDB Executive Director, she is working on the National Book Database to standardize publishing industry metadata and bibliographic information of Filipino-authored publications. She also envisioned and spearheaded The Book Nook, which are storytelling and reading communities that provide Pinoy books for kids and kids-at-heart from Ifugao to Tawi-Tawi. Charisse has a B.A. in Anthropology and Marketing from San Francisco State University and is pursuing her graduate studies in Museum Studies at Harvard.

Programme dates and times are subject to change.