South Cotabato writer opens bookshop to support local writers, readers

 

South Cotabato writer opens bookshop to support local writers, readers

South Cotabato writer Jennie Arado made the decision to launch the Alitaptap Bookshop. Her passion for writing and reading served as inspiration, but so did her desire to uplift Filipino authors and readers. She aims to provide access to books and foster a reading culture in her hometown, Koronadal City.

“When I left home to work somewhere else, I discovered a lot of good books and where to find them. I found out there are good books written by Filipinos for Filipinos. But they're not available in my city. So I wanted to help increase the interest for reading and of books through Alitaptap Bookshop,” said Arado.

Arado, a creative writing graduate from the University of the Philippines Mindanao, always dreamed of owning a bookshop. Born and raised in Barangay Concepcion, her love for literature was nurtured from an early age, leading her to become a literary writer for her high school paper.

After college, she explored various jobs before embarking on a five-year journalism career with SunStar Davao, starting as a business reporter and later becoming a lifestyle editor.

Her passion for writing persisted throughout her career, culminating in a significant achievement in 2018 when she won the grand prize at the South Cotabato Children’s Story Writing Workshop.

Her winning entry, a Hiligaynon children's storybook titled “Dako nga Yahong sang Batchoy” (Big Bowl of Batchoy), tells the story of Leon, a young boy who learns about "batchoy magic" to overcome his appetite problem. The book was published in 2021 by GenSan-based independent publishing house Aklat Alamid as part of her prize.

The Alitaptap Bookshop celebrated its opening on May 1, 2024, in Koronadal City. The event was graced by the presence of local writers, artists, friends, family members, and supporters.

As of now, Alitaptap Bookshop boasts a collection of children’s books published by local Filipino publishers such as Kahel Press, Tahanan Books, and Adarna House. Shortly, the bookshop will also feature titles from Aklat Alamid.

In addition to children’s literature, the bookshop offers a selection for adults, featuring works from Golden Artisan Publishing, Milflores, and Southern Voices Publishing.


South Cotabato writer opens bookshop to support local writers, readers


The bookshop is also proud to carry zines of local writers from Region 12 through Tridax Zines and the Sarangani Writers League. Individual writers who have developed their zines are welcome to display their works in the bookshop.

“Alitaptap Bookshop is more than just a bookshop. We want it to be a place of collaboration for local writers, artists, and advocates,” she said.

Alitaptap Bookshop embraces the spirit of collaboration. For instance, Arado teamed up with Pet Avenue, a local volunteer group that rescues cats and dogs. The bookshop accepts donations of pre-loved books, which are then resold within the shop. A portion of the proceeds from these sales is directed towards Pet Avenue, thereby generating funds for the organization through the generosity of book donors.


South Cotabato writer opens bookshop to support local writers, readers


She also collaborated with AOC Coffee, which sources local coffee beans from the region. Arado also engaged with Sunsbaked, a local home-based pastry business. These collaborations reflect Arado’s vision for Alitaptap as a cozy, simple, and intimate bookshop. As she looks to the future, Arado anticipates forging more such partnerships.

The establishment of a local bookshop is a much-needed addition to the region, fostering the growth of a vibrant literary community. It becomes a beacon for book lovers and aspiring writers alike.

“We’re offering the shop as a space for our local writers and artists. Later on, we can do book launching here, poetry reading, and other literary events,” she said.


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đź“ŤAlitaptap Bookshop is located at Romil Bldg., Zulueta St., Koronadal City (fronting St. Anthony Furniture Shop and just a few meters from Koronadal Central Elementary School 1).

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