Out of curiosity, while waiting to board my flight at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport the other day, I dropped by a book stall alongside the food and souvenir shops across the check-in counters. I was wondering about the selection of books sold in their shelves.
I remembered seeing the same usual magazines, bibles, how-to-guides, romance pocket books, and best sellers in the bookshops at the airport in Frankfurt back during my first trip abroad to Santiago, Chile in May 2010. I didn’t have time to find any bookshop in the airports in Singapore, Narita, and Sao Paulo while the one in Santiago sold texts in Spanish.
I thought I’d find more of the same in Mactan. Having a book always ready at hand in my bag, never bothered to check the bookshops in local airports before. But to my surprise, apart from the usual commercial fare there were in fact some relevant titles in the shelves of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
Books by progressive academicians like Rosario Cruz Lucero’s Ang Bayan sa Labas ng Maynila (The Nation Beyond Manila), Rolando Tolentino’s Sipat Kultura: Tungo sa Mapagpalayang Pagbabasa, Pag-aaral at Pagtuturo ng Panitikan, and E. San Juan Jr.’s Balik-Bayang Sinta: An E. San Juan Reader filled one section of the shelves.
There were also titles about Cebu like The Cebu we Know edited by Erma Cuizon and the collection of Cebuano short fictions, Sugilanong Sugbuanon, as edited by Erlinda Alburo, Vicente Bandillo, Simeon Dumdum & Resil Mojares.
What a pleasant surprise to find serious literary and critical scholarly works in the airport bookstall – the most unlikely place to find them!