Sunday, February 18, 2018

Book Giving Day 2018

A few days before International Book Giving Day, a colleague and friend at work told me how her daughter loved one of my books, My Daddy, My One and Only (Gagatiga & Tejido, Lampara Books 2013). They had a wonderful time reading the book together and her daughter worked on all the activities that were included in the book. My colleague was bright eyed narrating how she received the Parent Award that her daughter filled out. Needless to say, parent and daughter were engaged.

Imagine my joy that day to hear feedback from my readers! So, on February 14, I gave them another book, Big Sister (Gagatigas & de Jesus, Lampara Books 2015) which was one of the Top Ten Kids’ Choice of 2016. I am hoping this would lead to more creative engagement between parent and child as I told my colleague and friend that she can start encouraging her daughter to draw, write and tell her own stories.

Sharing with you this IG exchange on the experience.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Book Review: Hero at the Fall

Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands, #3)Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Hero at the Fall, we (fans of the series) will come to the end of Amani and Jin's journey. They cross the desert with their skeleton crew and venture into places that are spoken only in myths and legends to save Ahmed and the rest of the Rebellion's key people. The world that Alwyn Hamilton built from the first book to the second and this last instalment ends with the message on the power of stories and storytelling; that there are limits in our knowledge and in the safe keeping of our memories; and that love, in whatever shape and form, is a force that can make or break humanity.

This is a closure. A period. A full stop to Amani's story arc. It is a well thought out narrative from her point of view. The backdrop and setting of the third book is so rich that the myths and legends introduced in Traitor to the Throne is the beginning. The first, Rebel of the Sands, is a prequel or an introduction for readers to fully enjoy and understand the land of Miraji and its inhabitants. Amani's turn as hero of the series truly began in the second book. I was so enthralled into her world until the culmination of the war where finally, all my questions from previous books were answered.

I did miss Jin a lot in books 2 and 3, but seeing how Amani's character grew from obscurity to bandit, to hero, Jin slipping in the background is reasonable. The series' film rights have been bought and I just hope that the Western-steampunk texturing, middle-Eastern-fantasy tones and the romantic themes of the series be kept intact. Demanding, I know. But this is such a wonderfully written series!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Book Love: Red Books, Found Poetry and Blind Date With A Book

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Call for Submissions: Papers, Panels, Talks, and Workshops for the 9th Philippine International Literary Festival (PILF) ​

Reposting this from the NBDB FB Page:

The National Book Development Board (NBDB), the government agency mandated to develop and support the Philippine book industry, is conducting the 9th Philippine International Literary Festival (PILF). The event is a landmark project of the NBDB that celebrates literature and promotes best practices through discourse on issues of authorship and readership shaping the book industry.

The Philippine International Literary Festival shall be held on April 19-20, 2018 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Pasay City, Philippines as part of the Buwan ng Panitikan (National Literature Month) celebration.

In line with this, we welcome submissions of proposals from individuals and organizations for breakout sessions that are of professional interest to our attendees (book lovers, writers, illustrators, book designers, librarians, publishers, etc.).

Session topics must hew to the theme “(AUTHOR)ITIES,” underscoring the power and voice that come with creation. Sessions may also revolve around innovative ideas or unique research on any of the following topics:

• Reading
• Libraries
• Storytelling
• Book talks
• Ethnography
• Community outreach
• Book programs for differently abled
• Literary adaptations (book to film, book to games/apps, etc.)
• Technology
• Gaming
• Social media
• Rights acquisition

Submission guidelines:

• Proposals for papers, panels, talks, or workshops must include an abstract (200-250 words) written in a style that is accessible to a variety of readers, including the general public. The session may be in Filipino or English. Abstracts must be submitted in English or be accompanied by an English translation.
• Proposals must indicate your chosen type of presentation (paper, panel, talk, or workshop) and its duration. We welcome 10-15-minute presentations for talks and papers and 30-60-minute presentations for panels. Workshops may be longer than 60 minutes. (Some talks and paper presentations may be merged by the NBDB in one session depending on the topic.)
• Proposals for panels must include a panel abstract and paper abstracts.
• Proposals for workshops must include a 3- to 4-sentence summary for the session.
• All proposals must be sent by filling out this form:

All presenters are responsible for handouts and other materials required for their session. Successful applicants will receive priority registration to the festival and complimentary luncheons. Each presenter is responsible for their travel and accommodations.

Deadline for submissions is February 18, 2018. Notice of acceptance of proposals will be emailed by February 28, 2018.

For further information, please contact Ms. Debbie Nieto at (cc: or at (632) 929 3887 loc. 804.

More information about previous festivals may be found on the NBDB website at

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Huffs and Puffs Into Town!

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Opens at World Trade Center on February 16
24-hour book sale with 2 million books at 60% - 80% off

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale, dubbed as the world’s biggest, is coming to Manila
for the first time this February 2018. Offering two million books across various
genres, the sale features brand new English books at discounts ranging from 60% to 80%
for customers to enjoy. The book sale will be open 24 hours a day and run for 231 hours non-stop,
beginning from February 16 until February 25 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila
in Pasay City.  Admission is free.

“Children’s literature, fiction, non-fiction, and novels will be available at affordable prices,”
Miguel Mercado, Big Bad Wolf Marketing Head, said. “Physical books are here to stay
as they stimulate deep reading and engage the readers more,” Mercado added.  

“Big Bad Wolf Books wants to do its part in improving literacy by making it
accessible and affordable for people to buy books,” Mercado said. Mark your calendars
and get ready for the book hunt of a lifetime this month at the
Big Bad Wolf Book Sale:

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale

Known as the world’s biggest book sale, the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale specializes in providing the widest
selection of books possible at the lowest possible prices. It features brand new books at up to 80% off in
24-hour non-stop events. The primary aim of the book sale is to encourage people of all ages
to discover the joys of affordable, accessible reading.

The book sale features a wide range of books across all genres, including fiction and non-fiction
bestsellers, young adult fiction, as well as an extensive collection of children’s books.

The Sale, the brainchild of BookXcess founders Andrew Yap and Jacqueline Ng,
has been a trademark event in Malaysia since 2009. It has also started extending
its footprint across cities in Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka, and is arriving in the Philippines
for the first time in 2018.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

International Book Giving Day 2018

It’s #bookgivingday on February 14!

International Book Giving Day is a 100% volunteer initiative aimed at increasing children’s access to, and enthusiasm for, books.

Now in its sixth year, International Book Giving Day continues to grow from strength to strength, reaching places such as Nepal, India, Canada, South Africa, UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Nigeria, Fiji, Czech Republic, USA, Cambodia, Hungary, Philippines, and Romania.

On February 14, participants are encouraged to give books to children. This can take many forms, the only limit is the imagination! Books have been sent to child refugees in Calais, France; a new library was created in Cape Town, South Africa; in Uganda the Mpambara-Cox Foundation gifted books to children, for many it was the first time they had been given a book of their own. In 2014, Scholastic Australia went to the Melbourne Children’s Hospital and gifted a book to every child. People continue to be creative in so many different ways, all keen to share the love of books.

International Book Giving Day’s focus is on encouraging people worldwide to give a book to a child on February 14. We invite individuals to . . .

1) gift a book to a friend or family member,
2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read,
3) or donate a gently used book to a local library, hospital, shelter, or organization that distributes used books to children in need.

In addition, we encourage people to support the work of nonprofit organizations that work year round to give books to children.

Lifted from Tarie Sabido’s FB Timeline.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Too Many Public Libraries But Licensed Librarians Are So Few

Read this link.  QC eyes more libraries Congratulations to the Quezon City Public Library on the new building, online services and book launching! 

Here is news to be happy about but it ends with a sad note. Quezon City LGU is aiming to have more public libraries and barangay reading centers but Mayor Herbert Bautista has a problem. 

“The mayor acknowledged that the lack of vacant spaces and number of licensed librarians in the barangays pose problems.”

This is my issue on RA 9246. 

We can always assert its worth and value, of course. For us lucky ones who passed the board exam for librarians, we only need to comply with CPD points and renew our license regularly. We go back to work and be the best licensed librarian our learning community can be proud of. But, reality tells us that there are only 1000 plus licensed librarians and the numbers are not enough to fill in positions. How many LIS schools are there? How many LIS graduates do these schools generate? Do LIS graduates take the board exam and pass? After getting their license, are they practicing licensed librarians? How many licensed librarians are not practicing the profession? 

We are not even talking about the plight of public school libraries yet. Oh boy... don’t get me started.

Complain and take action if need be. But, setting things to rights does not end there. 

If you have reached this far reading this long post (which I rarely do) and you are a licensed librarian or a nonlibrarian assigned, appointed and employed in a public library most especially, I suggest it’s about time to sit and think through these things with peers and colleagues in the profession: 

Have you visited communities, especially in the provinces with very little human and financial resources to run and man libraries? Have you listened to colleagues in the private and public sectors about their real life  stories in their libraries? You might find more significant info there compared to reports and statistics posted on websites.

What about revisiting the LIS Curriculum through our colleagues in PATLS? What current research will inform us that RA 9246 needs review and revision? How can we advocate LIS as a profession? How can we support those who cannot afford to attend seminars for CPD points?

Not all nonlibrarians we find in our midst are political appointees or assigned in the library by a president we dislike. Some of them are manning libraries because there is a shortage of licensed librarians. While waiting for one who is qualified, these nonlibrarians do us good and they make their learning communities proud. A few I know are way better in work efficiency and output compared to licensed librarians. There are even nonlibrarians who were so inspired by licensed librarians, they pursued further studies, passed the board exam, became
licensed librarians and are now leaders in professional library  organizations, if not, directors of esteemed academic and university libraries. 

In light of the current controversy that has befallen Philipine librarians, let us take a step back and broaden our perspective.

Life, in general, is not a spray of blacks and whites. There are many different colors in between. Gray areas we don’t wish to look nor dwell in because what we might find there will make us uncomfortable. There are rainbows too, which fascinates and lent mirth. Let us be open and be kind especially to people who are so unlike us. 

This is not easy, I know, but the feeling of isolation shall slowly dissipate when you do. This can be the beginning of knowing how to truly love. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Meeting Real Life Earth Benders

It was Alternative Class Days (ACD) in school last week and I was the teacher proponent of two workshops: Paper Engineering and Clay/Pottery Workshop. With co-teachers helping conduct and supervise the former, I and two colleagues worked together to facilitate the later. 

Our plan was to visit the Pottery studio of Tessy and Jon Pettyjohn in Calamba, Laguna and assist potter and ceramic artist, Maui Melencio in conducting the workshop back in the Academy. It was an ACD that had all the elements working together: earth, water, air and fire. It was an Avatar moment and we became earth benders! 

Day 1 - Master Earth Benders

Tessy and Jon Pettyjohn have been bending earth for more than four decades. Their works have been displayed and exhibited in different parts of the country and the world. Tessy’s works are practical, showing symmetry and reason. Jon’s pottery go beyond functionality and utilitarianism. His works are fun to look at, suggestive of play and wonder with deviations from the expected norm. In their store, I saw a balck tea cup with a dent near the base. How beautifully made! Indeed, one’s impetfection can be a blessing to others!

Considered as the parents of Philippine Contemporary Ceramic Art, Tessy and Jon welcome visitors, especially those eager to learn about their art and their trade, to their home studio and workshop. Advance booking is needed so they schedule the visit in their calendar.

They do not disappoint. They are generous and warm, passionate artists who have been blessed by the earth’s bounties. That morning, we held clay in our hands. Cool and pliant. I noticed our students enjoying the feel of mud on their hands! I did too as the clay sticks to my palm like second skin. Yeilding, waiting to be formed. A story that must be to told.

Jon spoke about clay like it was alive. Listen to your clay, he said. Ask what it wants you to do, he added. In five minutes, I had a bowl made of clay.

When the clay is bone dry, it will be glazed and fired twice. The process takes a month so, potters create more in between days.

Day 2-3 - Becoming an Earth Bender

With Maui Melencio, we got to know clay and she brought out our inner earth bender hiding within. How it comes out naturally! How unique each earth bender is! No two artist are alike and this is seen in the pots and clay art we made. 

As the workshop was hands on, Maui worked closely with each of us. I was the teacher proponent of the workshop but I was learning so much from my students and from the experience as well. I put too much water on my clay. My base can be uneven and weak. I spray too close for my clay’s comfort. I lose patience. I do not talk and listen to my clay.  At some point I find myself feeling more like a fire bender! 

At the end of the workshop, I was able to make seven clay projects. It is the turtle, my kadua, that I love so much. It is a good start as Maui said. But I can still do better.

What’s next?

The clay projects are now bone dry. I will bring them to Maui for glazing and firing which, I hope, we could do with her. Well, except the firing process as it takes tweleve hours to fire them. 

For now, I will bend earth. And make paper art. And sew felt and cross stitch. Do a bit of gardening. Read books. Drink coffee. Look at the sky. Dream. Be good. Be kind. Love!

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