One of the most anticipated events in Cebu returned from a two-year hiatus to showcase the creative minds of young and established artists on the island.
The Cebu Literary Festival opened in November this year, presenting art enthusiasts with the opportunity to create, critique, and appreciate Cebuano literature and art.
Lit Fest has been a fixture in the Cebu art industry since 2014, offering worthwhile talks with the industry’s brightest minds and giving young, up-and-coming artists a chance to shine.
The festival included an exhibit of independent artists selling their original stickers, paintings, posters, sculptures, and many more.
HISTORY OF CEBU LIT FEST
Lit Fest was started in 2014 by Manila-based Cebuano theater director Hendri Go and short story writer Hope Sabanpan Yu. It consisted of talks from Filipino-American writers Cecilia Brainard, Linda Faigao-Hall, and Lawrence Ypil.
The first festival was supposed to run for three weeks, but they shortened it to have all three talks within one day. They soon added more events like an open mic, which is still an essential part of the event today.
The festival was held at the Activity Center at Ayala Center Cebu, one of the city’s premier shopping malls. This was the perfect way to promote Cebuano art and literature to a bigger audience, especially for young artists who are interested in presenting their art to the public.
Now, the festival has become a venue for authors and artists to show off their work and interact with their fans.
THE CEBU LITERARY FESTIVAL 2022
Lit Fest 2022 ran from November 25-27, bringing a weekend of fun and excitement for art enthusiasts, otakus, and pop culture fans alike.
High-profile guests who graced the event included renowned Filipino artists and writers Kevin Eric Raymundo of Tarantadong Kalbo, Allan Jeffrey Bacar of Sskait Comics, and Resil Mojares.
Mojares is known for being a National Artist for Literature, writing numerous books on the history of Cebu. He held a Q&A session and book signings for the viewers.
Next up is the cartoonist behind Tarantadong Kalbo, Kevin Eric Raymundo. Tarantadong Kalbo (translated in English as foolish bald) comics is famous for featuring Filipino nostalgia and satirical approaches to Philippine politics.
Tumindig, one of his most famous pieces, was awarded the Good Design Award in Japan this year. The eye-opening artwork depicts activism in the Philippines, showing several “fist people,” with one standing up for himself, while all the others are bowing down.
Allan Jeffrey Bacar of Sskait Comics also sold stickers and plush toys inspired by his snarky, witty comic strips. One of his most popular products is the eggplant plushie, which is sought after by many of his fans.
Some artists at the festival have also become fixtures in other similar events like the most recent one, Cebu Art Book Fair. Many of these artists sell artworks inspired by pop culture.
They also sell artwork inspired by famous anime shows and video games like Jujutsu Kaisen, Genshin Impact, and Valorant. Some even sell sculptures of characters and items like the Thousand Sunny Ship from One Piece.
The event had an open mic where viewers showed off their poetry, music, and spoken word.
Cebu Lit Fest also had its first cosplay competition in partnership with Komiket. Enthusiasts from around Cebu brought their intricate costumes to Ayala to compete for a variety of amazing prizes.
Cebuanos welcomed Lit Fest back with open arms, and hundreds of fans came by to show their appreciation and support. A vast selection of artworks were featured and showcased to highlight the immense talent and creativity of local artists and their love for their favorite characters.
Not only is the art festival the perfect avenue for independent artists to showcase their works, but many also consider it a safe space to connect and befriend everyone who has a passion for art.