She had book signing after her talk. Students and teachers bought her books, of course. She signed my copies of Tall Story and Shine too.
I gave Candy a tour of the school and, like a true blue, dakilang writer's fan, I had a picture taken with her. A week after her visit, we met again to open a school library in Tanauan, Batangas and to visit schools there.
A gleeful Candy Gourlay with students of Tanauan South Central School. The kids held the books like gifts received at Christmas day! The school library is a project of the Sambat Trust UK.
Once a journalist, always a journalist. Candy's camera is fabulous! She has an eye for stories. She snaps pictures of little things that do not seem to matter but in close scrutiny, such mundane things tell so much about life and culture.
The students prepared thank you cards for the UK authors and donors who sent books through Candy's outreach, Authors for the Philippines.
Nicoel Ramos, Candy's niece, a budding artist and TV personality came along. She sang A Whole New World to the delight of the kids present during the program. Nicole brought the house down with her rendition of Let It Go! The kids sang along. Even the adults were impressed.
See Candy taking a photo of Nicole. Isn't she the perfect stage aunt? She could be one of them Titas of Manila!
All together now! Here we are with teachers and DepEd Officials, Barangay Officers and Parents of Tanauan South Central Elementary School. They gave is certificates of appreciation.
The entrance to a whole new world of reading experiences begins at the library!
The Grade School Department of Miriam College donated 40 boxes of books. Thanks so much to Ms. Theres Pelias who made an effort in staging the book drive and the librarians of the Miriam Grade School Library for adding up more books to the collection.
Teachers on stand by. Waiting for Candy to cut the ribbon.
The crew: Estan Cabigas, photographer; Wijo Fernandez, fim maker; MJ Tumamac, writer and Ghe Gulles, field coordinator.
With the opening of a new library on one Tanauan City's most populated district, I hope that more kids can have better access to books and reading. Candy saw two more schools that day. The Ambulong Elementary School and the Janopol Elementary School. Ambulong ES is trying its best to keep the library alive but Janopol ES was struck by the recent typhoon. So, a recovery plan is on the way. Special thanks to all the donors; Anvil Publishing House for providing Candy's transportation; and to everyone who made Candy's visit to Tanauan a humbling and meaningful experience.
This 2015, which library will Candy Gourlay visit next?