The Philippines will be Guest of Honour of the 77th Frankfurter Buchmesse (15-19 October 2025). Today, the book fair’s Director, Juergen Boos, and the officials of the National Book Development Board signed the official Guest of Honour contract at a ceremony in Davao, Philippines. After Indonesia (2015), it will be the second time that the book fair welcomes a guest country from Southeast Asia to Frankfurt.
Juergen Boos, Director of Frankfurter Buchmesse, says: “I am very much looking forward to the Philippines’ Guest of Honour presentation. Our Guest of Honour programme does not only put the spotlight on the literature and culture of a specific region, but also aims to enhance the dialogue and network of the guest country within the international publishing world. Even though the Philippines is the world’s thirteenth largest nation with more than 110 million citizens, I believe for many of us in Europe, Philippine literature is currently still rather unknown territory. As the country steps into its role as Guest of Honour, we will learn a lot about the importance of storytelling and today’s cultural scene for Philippine civil society. With an incredible 183 different languages spoken on its 7,641 islands, the country’s diverse influences are one of the aspects I am looking forward to seeing in Frankfurt in 2025.”
Senator Loren Legarda from the Philippines says: “The road to being the Guest of Honour was years in the making. Indonesia was Guest of Honour in 2015 – a first for a Southeast Asian country. Ten years later, it’s high time that another one be given the limelight. It’s high time that the international community can read and appreciate our stories told in our own voices, recognise that Filipino stories are worth reading, and that they are complex and informed by the colonial and post-colonial imagination.”
Donte Francis Ang II, Chair of the Philippines’ National Book Development Board, says: “I’ve seen how my team has prepared long enough and is ready to mount such a historic event. If the trajectory of the Philippines’ presence at the fair is any indication, it’s indeed time that the stories of our archipelago of over 7,000 islands be put under the limelight in the international arena.”
Charisse Aquino-Tugade, Executive Director of the National Book Development Board, adds: “The Philippines’ book publishing industry recorded a steady growth in revenue in the past five years. Come 2025, when we take the stage as Guest of Honour, we will tell the story of the Filipinos: from our rich mythological history, the nationalistic novels of José Rizal, the empathetic post-ecological climate stories of our contemporary fiction, down to the colonial origins of capitalism and the humanity of our growing diasporic populations. We are excited for this new chapter of Philippine literature and culture.”
At this year’s Frankfurter Buchmesse the Philippines will be represented with a stand in hall 5.1 (B66).
About Frankfurter Buchmesse’s Guest of Honour programme
Since 1976, Frankfurter Buchmesse has hosted Guest of Honour presentations. Initially, they took place every two years and alternated with thematic focuses. Since 1988, a different country or region has presented itself in Frankfurt each year. For the Guest of Honour itself, the presentation is important on two levels: In addition to the great attention paid to its literature and culture, which are presented in exhibitions and a wide-ranging programme of events, its book industry presents itself to an international audience at the world’s largest book fair.
An important aim of the Guest of Honour programme is to increase the number of translations from the guest country into German. The great public interest shown in the Guest of Honour at the book fair each year is also an incentive for publishers worldwide to publish titles from the respective host country. In this way, Frankfurter Buchmesse’s Guest of Honour programme promotes the international trade in licenses and the transfer of literature.
The Guest of Honour at this year’s Frankfurter Buchmesse (18-22 October 2023) is Slovenia. The spectrum of previous guests ranges from regions and countries such as New Zealand, Flanders and the Netherlands, Norway, Lithuania, India and Indonesia. In 2022, Spain presented itself as Guest of Honour and Italy is expected in Frankfurt in 2024.