Friday, June 10, 2016

Bumasa at Lumaya! Read and Take Flight!

The 2016 NCBD theme: Read and Take Flight
The 33rd National Children's Book Day (NCBD) is on July 19, 2016. This year's theme is Bumasa at Lumaya. In English, this translates to Read and Take Flight. The Philippine Board on Books for Young People is spearheading the celebration by awarding the Salanga Prize and Alacala Prize to the author and illustrator who won in the annual contests. On July 23, 2016, the NCBD Book Fair will be held at Xavier School San Juan.

In one Facebook convo, a friend asked why pick a theme that suggests the call of the times. So I asked her, what is the call of the times? She said, that with the current revisionist movement in Philippine history, especially on Martial Law, and the worrisome results of the national elections, how apt it is to drum up on freedom through books and reading. I told her that there really is no political or historical agenda to the theme.

First of all, Bumasa at Lumaya is a book published by Anvil Publishing House (1996). This book was edited by Mailin Paterno, Rayvi Sunico, Rene Villanueva (+) and Rio Alma. It is a source book and manual on Children's Literature in the Philippines. Writers, illustrators, teachers and advocates of children's books have benefited from Bumasa at Lumaya in their creative journeys. Friends in the industry have asked if there is going to be a new edition of Bumasa and Lumaya. Indeed, the changing times and trends that push new ideas and creative inventions into local children's books needed documentation. So, after twenty years, Bumasa at Lumaya volume 2 was born.

Early this year, Bumasa at Lumaya 2 (Anvil, 2016) was released in the market. My contribution to the collection in this new volume is a quick fix guide in setting up a library and reading center. I am honored to be part of this project and working with the editors was a learning experience.

Side by side now: Bumasa at Lumaya Volume 1 and 2

Now, to put things in perspective.

Reading will always have that power to free and liberate the mind, the heart and the spirit. What we read shapes the way we think. It expands our world views. It will never go out of style. Reading will always be the new sexy. In times of crises and desperation, reading can lead us to solutions, a sense of meaning, a way to make peace with ourselves. In some cases, reading can start up a revolution. The beautiful thing is this: when we read, we are also inspired to create. There is freedom in this act of creation. When the mind, the heart and the spirit is free, the ability to create becomes a manifestation of this freedom.

Read and Take Flight. Bumasa at Lumaya!

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