It happens all the time. When a teacher learns that his/her former student achieved something, be it big or small, he/she is bound to bask in the glory of the accomplishment. So I was not surprised when Mr. Paco Maramag (who taught English and is now Prefect of Discipline) came to the library one morning looking for a very “old” book.
The book he was looking for was a project made by his former grade 4 students way back in 1980. It was an anthology of Greek Myths written and compiled by Francisco Benitez, Mark Escaler, Joel Trinidad and Kenneth Yu. What prompted him to go to the library was the article written by Ruey de Vera in the Sunday Inquirer about a Man of Many Stories. It so happened that the man featured in De Vera's article was Mr. Maramag's student. He is none other than Kenneth Yu (otherwise known in the LitCritters Open as KYu), publisher/editor of the Philippine Genre Stories.
What's more amazing is that, Kenneth Yu is remembered fondly by one of our GS Librarians. Mrs. Rosario "Baby" Alfonso, back then she was Ms. Cahanding to Kenneth and his friends, could attest to KYU's addiction to books and reading. Such boys with an appetite for reading are never forgotten. At that time, Xavier School was still following the Individualized Instruction Approach and Methodology. Students could chart their own learning through the facilitation of the teacher. Mr. Maramag had given KYu's group the liberty to come up with the anthology of Greek Myths.
The book is still in our Filipiniana Collection. It stands proud among the classics written and produced by Filipino writers. Anyone of course can come up with such a project. But teachers and librarians consider this as a milestone in a student's literacy development.
I meet Kyu once in a while during Open Sessions of LitCritters. The last time we met, I mentioned to him his little project in grade school. He was embarassed to bits when I told him about Mr. Maramag's quest. Then again, the Man of Many Stories had to start somewhere. And like his former English teacher and GS librarian, I'm proud that his early beginnings at writing, editing and publishing began in school and nourished in the library.