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

Our stories deserve the world, just as the world deserves our stories: this is the motto by which Executive Director Charisse Aquino-Tugade led the National Book Development Board (NBDB) to champion the growth of the Philippine book publishing industry.

In this session, Aquino-Tugade tells the tale of her work to reclaim and decolonise narratives, community and processes. Her campaign re-centred the nation’s perspective to prioritise mother-tongue languages and to use books as tools for deep engagement—from creating reading centres in indigenous areas to mobilising policy makers, to prioritising Filipino stories.

narratives writing book development identity spaces diversity regional languages cultural identity mother tongue storytelling education southeast asia cultural representation publishing literary landscape

Charisse Aquino-Tugade

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.

Luis P. Gatmaitan

Luis P. Gatmaitan (Philippines)

Luis Gatmaitan is a medical doctor and an author of more than 40 children's books, some of which have been translated into Nihongo, Thai, and Bahasa Indonesia. He is a member of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) and now sits as Chair of the National Council for Children's Television (NCCT) as a child development specialist.

Known as Tito Dok to his readers and listeners, he hosts a weekly radio storytelling program, Wan Dey Isang Araw at 702 DZAS of the Far Eastern Broadcasting Company. In 2003, he was one of the recipients of The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM).

Carlo Ebeo

Moderator Carlo Ebeo (Philippines)

Carlo Ebeo is a cultural worker with a growing resumé of domestic and international engagements in research, production, education, and festival organising.  An advocate in public cultural policy in local and national government, he has devoted his life to advance issues and ideologies in the arts, culture, tourism and governance, working intensively on cultural education through peace-building initiatives, poverty reduction, social artistry and other related social infrastructures with various international organisations.

Programme dates and times are subject to change.