This picture was taken right after the Filipino Division of the Salaysayan Contest at the National Library last July 1, 2006. There were 31 contestants! A marathon! Ms. Dolly Soriano and I were judges and though it was a big contingent, the experience of seeing, hearing and engaging with 31 storytellers, all hoping to be in the Top 8 final list, was spectacular.
Storytelling, the book based way (take note, not "read aloud"), has come along way since my own telling days. It wasn't that long so don't think I'm very old. Almost ten yeras, but really, what is time and space in the vast universe?
Suffice it to say that book based storytelling has evolved into a perfroming art. Credits go to Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines and its "Lolo" Nolo Silayan for making a stand and defining a storytelling style that combined book reading and storytelling. Now you may wonder how it's done? I invite you to watch the final round at the DepEd Bulwagan on July 8, 2006 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Writers, illustrators, publishers, teachers, librarians and reading advocates, all kindred spirits for the development of Philippine Children's Literature will be there.