Monday, July 26, 2010

The 1st NCBA: Celebrating the Book & The Child Reader

I did not know the winners of the first National Children's Book Award until I signed the certificates ten minutes before the awards ceremony last Saturday, 24 July at The Mandarin Hotel. Bookblogger superstar Tarie Sabido, being one of the judges, blogged about the winners. It was a great event, a celebration of books and the child reader.

I'm still gathering up the photos so it won't be up until the next few days. For the meantime, I share with you my message during the ceremony.

National Artist Virgilio Alamrio; Professor Emeritus Amelia Lapena-Bonifacio; members of the board, NBDB and PBBY; members of the board of judges of the first National Children’s Book Awards;

Aren’t we all excited, if not anxious, to know who the winners of the 1st National Children’s Book Awards are? Please bear with us for a few more minutes as we follow the dictate of tradition. Dennis and I are required to give our staple message. This will be short, but sweet. Promise.

There’s a song used to spice up read aloud sessions with preschoolers. It goes like this –

The author writes the book
The author writes the book
Hi-ho! Library! Oh!
The author writes the book

The illustrator draws
The illustrator draws
Hi-ho! Library! Oh!
The illustrator draws

The publisher puts it together
The publisher puts it together
Hi-ho! Library! Oh!
The publisher puts it together**


Pretty cute, huh? Cuteness aside, the song has a serious message specially tailored for children who are beginning to discover the many wonders of words and the worlds that these words could open. Such is the power of books! Great is the influence and inspiration of those who create and keep them!

Today, we recognize them – authors, illustrators, publishers and the professionals who provide access to one of humanity’s greatest creations, the book. Today, we award the books that they painstakingly labored for. On top of the bookmaking troupe, however, is the child reader who, I believe is the reason for the NCBA’s inception.

The winners of the first National Children's Book Awards will definitely be delighted and honored. We share in your euphoria. As you receive your award today, you have etched your name in the annals of Philippine Children's Literature. No doubt that the award will make a good addition to your resume, a feather on the cap as the old idiom goes. Congratulations!

Then again, let us not forget, that the best award a book can get is the affirmation from its child reader and the enjoyment it gives its intended audience. Enjoy the ceremony! Thanks to all who made the first National Children's Book Day a reality!




** From Judy Freeman's Hi-ho! Library-oh!

2 comments:

Tarie said...

I love that song! Thank you so much for sharing it and the rest of your speech. :o)

Zarah Grace C. Gagatiga said...

i was in a daze last ncba!

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