Saturday, June 16, 2018

Rave Reviews for My Daddy! My One And Only

It is Fathet’s Day tomorrow, June 18, 2018 and My Daddy! My One and Only! (Gagatiga and Tejido, Lampara House 2013) has topped the list of favourite daddy books!

Reviewed and recommended by Alexine Parreno in Smart Parenting, this is what she said of our book.

“The text is simple and illustrations are adorable. This book has so much love to share, making it perfect for reading together as a family,”

Read the full review by following this link:


You will also find out the daddy books that made it to the top 7 list!

Over at Instagram, @pumplepiebooks recommends My Daddy! My One and Only as a good read to celebrate the wonderful ways fathers show their love. Check it out here:


Lastly, enjoy this Father’s Day banner by Jomike Tejido.




Friday, June 15, 2018

Teacher on Center Stage: Teacher Anna Bacudio and the Dagdag Dunong Reading Center (2 of 2)


Teacher Ana Bacudio shares with us the miracles and generosity of strangers she met who helped her feed and teach the children of Dagdag Dunong Reading Center.

Here are the top three amazing stories that I would like to share about Dagdag Dunong Center.

Amazing Story 1 - There was  a time that the Cultural Center of the Philippines invited us to watch the play " Sandosenang Sapatos " by Luis Gatmaitan, where I brought 50 street children. This was part of our educational field trip called "Matuto sa Lakwatsa". One of the children was a polio victim carried by another child on his back because he doesn't have a wheel chair. Another child has Down Syndrome and I asked his mother to accompany him. I asked all of the children and the carers to wear red shirt so that I can easily locate them as CCP is big. 

Some of my children do not wear shoes, most of them wear slippers only. As we are falling in line at the back of the door entrance (paying clients will enter the theatre first, we have complimentary tickets only) a man approached us and asked me if we are an orphanage. I told him that we are from the Dagdag Dunong Reading Center in Singalong and we are invited by CCP to watch the play for free. I even told him that I am shy because some of my children do not wear shoes as they are poor and their parents can't afford to buy new shoes for them. The others who wear shoes have worn out shoes just like the smallest girl in front of the line who kept fixing her shoes because its strap was broken. The man looked at the children intently and suddenly he told me to give him a list of the children with their corresponding shoe sizes and he will buy shoes for all of them. I told my carer- assistants about that and the children were so intelligent that they know exactly their shoe size. Within five minutes, the list was complete and I handed the list to the man together with my address and contact details.

We are still in the line when the man approached me again and asked where are we going after watching the show which will end by 12nn. I told him that we will go home and I will cook rice for them at home as we don't have budget for fast foods.

The man said that he has bought and reserved 60 chicken joy meals at the Jolibee food store just across CCP for all of us. The children were so happy upon learning that and they enjoyed the play as well as the Jolibee meals. We arrived at the reading center at 2 pm and we rested and by 4pm, a child came to me saying that the man has arrived with the 50 pairs of shoes. 

The children were so happy. Indeed God is kind and merciful.

Building the Dagdag Dunong Reading Center in Oriental Mindoro is building a community of readers too.

Amazing Story 2 - The Dagdag Dunong Reading Center in Manila became a site where miracles do happen, because of the children's prayers and their mere presence.

It was December and the Lectors Commentators Group of Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, the parish organization where I belong, planned an early Christmas party. They asked Php 250 from each member as contribution for the foods and prizes for the games. I said that I am very sorry that I cannot attend the said party as I will use the 250 to buy 4 kilos of rice and chicken tinola to feed the hungry children of Dagdag Dunong as the start of our 6 months feeding program started within the same week. We have used the 250 pesos as the seed money to start our feeding program for around 30 hungry street children of Manila. The children prayed grace and enjoyed the rice and tinola on that day. 

The next day, somebody  messaged me and said that his friend will help our reading center. We met his friend named Sir Gani at Greenbelt Makati and after having coffee with him, he introduced us to his friends who are also Singaporean Muslims like him. We brought him to the reading center and he asked me what do we need at the center. I answered him that we need rice, meat or chicken to feed the children. We need chairs and tables and bookshelves too. He said that we will go to the rice store after asking me how many kilos do we need to cook per day to feed all the hungry children I answered him that we need 5 kilos a day and he bought 20 sacks of rice which will last for 6-8 months of feeding program. 

We were surprised but were so happy for his generosity.

Our next stop was the furniture store where he bought 30 pcs. of monoblock chairs and 5 kiddie tables. He said that he wants to see the children and told me to bring 100 children to Jolibee on Sunday. On that Sunday, 100 children enjoyed their Jolibee meals together with their three Kuya’s who have shared their blessings with the least fortunate.

God has multiplied the four kilos of rice and one half chicken just like what He did when He multiplied the five loaves of bread and two fishes to feed the 5000 men in the bible. 

Anna and husband Virgilio smile with members of the community in Baco, Oriental Mindoro
building the Dagdag Dunong Reading Center.

Amazing Story 3
- As a Pinoy Reading Buddies volunteer, trainor and facilitator, my husband and I travel to far flung areas where we are needed to conduct the free workshop on how to engage young readers among public school teachers and librarians. We do not choose the places where we will go. We just obey where God sent us to teach and be a witness of God’s love to Dagdag Dunong.

It is the month of November, in 2016, when my second daughter was scheduled to take the Bar Examination. The children of Dagdag Dunong were praying for her to pass too. We were in Manila on the first Sunday of the Bar exam and we accompanied my daughter to UST at 6 am and fetch her at 6 pm after the examination. But on the second Sunday, we were scheduled to conduct the reading workshop at Central Mindanao University in Bukidnon and on the 3rd Sunday in West Visayas State University in Iloilo. I requested my sister to attend to the needs of my daughter like cooking her meals and baon as well as accompanying her to UST for the 

We went to Mindanao and Iloilo to conduct the reading workshops,  heeding the tasks entrusted to us by God. This was against the will of my daughter, but we told her that we are doing that as our work of mercy and prayer, begging God to bestow on her the knowledge needed to answer her bar examinations well.

When we returned to Manila we again accompanied her on the last Sunday of  the bar examination and attended to all her needs, food, comfort and prayers too. And she passed the bar examination indeed in May of 2017. 

An INKie Bags the 2018 Alcala Prize


Congratulations to the winner of the 2018 Alcala Prize!

The Philippine Board on Books for Young People awards the 2018 PBBY-Alcala Prize to Arade Louise P. Villena, a graduate from the University of the Philippines and a member of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK), an organization of children’s book illustrators in the Philippines. 
This year’s PBBY-Alcala Prize called for entries based on the 2018 PBBY-Salanga Prize-winning story, May Alaga Akong Bakulaw by Becky Bravo. May Alaga is a story about how a little girl helps her neighbor battle depression. 
The contest is co-sponsored by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and The National Library of the Philippines. The PBBY also recognized two Honorable Mention winners: Harold Monzon of Pasig City and Angelica Shelley Tam of Marikina City. Villena shall receive P 25,000.00, a gold medal, as well as the opportunity to be published. This is her first PBBY-Alcala Grand Prize. 
For inquiries about the contest, contact the PBBY Secretariat at telephone number 352-6765 loc. 203 or e-mail pbby@adarna.com.ph.
Source: https://pbby.org.ph/


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Teacher on Center Stage: Ana Maria Acevedo Bacudio (Part 1 of 2)

In my trip to Mindoro Oriental last month for a teacher training workshop there, I had the pleasure of meeting many interesting people in the teaching profession and in the advocacy for books and reading. One of them is Mrs. Ana Maria Acevedo Bacudio. She is a medical technologist, teacher, researcher, storyteller, poet, translator, proclaimer of God’s word, mother, wife and Project Leader-Storyteller of Dagdag Dunong Reading Center in Poblacion, Baco, Oriental Mindoro.

This is her story.

What led you to the teaching profession and the advocacy for books and reading?


I am A Medical Technologist by profession, having worked at the Manila Health Department Public Health Laboratory for 27 years, I have reached the peak of my career. I rose from the rank and was awarded as Model Medical Technologist in 1995, I have done various researches on Tuberculosis and have presented them in different countries like Japan, Singapore, Berlin, Paris, Italy and USA. The turning point in my life is when God called  me to teach the street children of our community in Singalong Manila.

That was in 2006, when I was still working as Medical Technologist from Monday to Friday and my Saturdays and Sundays were intended for the street children. We started our Read along and storytelling activities in Oct 2006 at the garage of our house in Singalong Manila. When I saw the children’s faces yearning for stories, I realised that I must teach them how to read and that was the start of the Dagdag Dunong Project. We have only a few books, preloved by my daughter and I bought some storybooks. I did not only teach the children how to read but also how to pray. I feel like children too when I am with the street children. I laugh like they did, play, pray  and read with them too. When I retired from government service in 2014, I shifted to teaching as my secondary profession. I handle and teach all major board based subjects of BS Medical Technology at Centro Escolar University in Mendiola, College of the Holy Spirit Manila and Family Clinic Inc.

Ana Bacudio with Mangyan chidlren in Baco, Oriental Mindoro
In teaching college students, I have shared the knowledge, skills and experiences that I have gained as Medical Technologist and  it is rewarding and joyful experience when I see them pass the board examination and practice their profession. I am paid for teaching them.


Whenever I  teach  the street children who are all smelly and lice infested, I feel so happy and fulfilled  when I see them smile and hug me after reading them stories, much more when I teach them  the rosary, grace before meals and prayer to their guardian angel. Everything that the children asked in prayers, the Lord provides. Teaching the street children how to read, pray and become God fearing earned me several awards like Outstanding Women Leader in Manila in 2008, Talk and Text Tipid Sulit Idol in Education 2010, Humanitarian and Apostolic Service, Outstanding Alumni of the College of the Holy Spirit Manila 2013. But even without these awards I will still continue to teach because it is  my calling and my way of worshipping God.

How did you start building the Dagdag Dunong Reading Center in San Andres, Manila?

Together with my husband, we founded and established the Dagdag Dunong Reading Center a non-profit, non-government purely voluntary organization with  permanent address at 1191 Arellano Street, Singalong, Malate, Manila 

Our Vision: A community with children who are knowledgeable,  loves to read, with excellent reading comprehension, verbal  and listening skills and who have access to a Reading Center equipped with good quality reading materials.

Our Mission: To promote literacy through reading advocacy and other relevant educational activities and to establish a Reading Center which will cater to poor children of Manila.

Teacher Ana Bacudio, reading aloud to children


Here are the milestones of our humble beginnings:

  • October 2006 - a poet friend conducted the first storytelling in our garage
  • More children have come so conduct storytelling every Saturday afternoons in the garage of our house 
  • November 2006 - my daughter Aina joined the Alitaptap Storytelling competition at the National Library
  • Applied the Read First and Say Techniques in all our storytelling sessions 
  • February 2007 - our 1st Matuto sa Lakwatsa (Educational Field Trip) was conducted at Marikina City and continued annually up to the present 
  • June 2007 - 30 children attended the PDI Read Along with Michaela Fudolig as the Storyteller  and continued up to 2011
  • January 21, 2012 - Dagdag Dunong was featured on ABS-CBN 2, Ako ang Simula, Happy Libro
  • January 2012 - formal opening of the Reading Center at Arellano St Singalong Manila 
  • May 2012 - 1st  Reading Camp was conducted at Hangin Garden,Tagaytay 
  • May  2012 - launched PROJECT RAM  Read Along with the Mangyans of Sitio Paraiso, Dulangan 2, Baco Oriental Mindoro
  • May 2015 - started as volunteer trainor facilitator of Pinoy Reading Buddies Workshop on how to engage young readers, have conducted workshops to around 1500 teachers in NCR, Palawan, Iloilo, Bukidnon, Negros Occidental, Sorsogon, Batangas, Puerto Galera,Baco, San Teodoro and Mansalay all in Oriental Mindoro
  • December 2015 - typhoon Nona damaged the books and flooded the  Dagdag Dunong Reading Center 
  • May 2016 - Rolling of the Mobile Library Jeepney of Hope to reach remote barangays of Mindoro where the Mangyan children live
  • At present we have started the construction of the flood proof and typhoon proof Dagdag Dunong Reading Center in Baco, Oriental Mindoro 
In part two of the blog interview, Ana Bacudio shares with us her dreams for the future of the children in Baco, Oriental Mindoro and the current Dagdag Dunong Center being built in the area.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Sa Aklat May Laya!



Thursday, May 24, 2018

Pilgrim's Progress: Only God

I was cleaning my laptop a few weeks ago. Weeding out old files. Keeping the ones that hold sentimental value and the documents that prove our family’s reason for being to a safer storage. Oh boy, do I have a lot of memories stored in my laptop. One of these is a .mov file I made in April 2009 about the Family Encounter Weekend (FEW) we attended as family auxiliary. Of the numerous files I was organizing, this one made me stop from my inventory. I watched it and I was hurled back to the past.

I remember the Prietos, Tito Eli and Tita Edith, leading us through the three day retreat for families. We were joined by our MEW batchmates then, the Macalalads and the Antonios as assisting auxiliary. Fr. Ruben Tanseco was the spiritual director of that weekend and the family sharers were the Concepcions and the Escosias. How time has changed and so many things have happened since then. Some of the people in that FEW are still active in Magis Deo. Many have left us for a variety of reasons. A few faces I recall and I wonder where they are right now.

At the end of the video, I could only utter a prayer of thanks. We have grown and matured through Magis Deo’s formation programs and it enriched many areas and facets of our lives. We are grateful to belong to a community that nurtures couples as well as their children.

Nine years ago, both of our kids, Nico and Zoe, were young grade school students. Now, Nico is a junior in college in UP Diliman and Zoe is in 10th grade at the school where I currently work. I was, at the time, unemployed. I have just retired from Xavier School after fourteen solid years of service with and among Jesuits and lay partners. I was neither young nor old to sit in a rocking chair. I wanted to try something new. Something entirely different. For the next two years, I worked freelance. Domeng, on the other hand, was fully employed. To this day, he remains consistent, stable and steadfast.

That’s when another realization hit me. Domeng is my constant.

Right now, he is the reliable presence in my life. As I have learned in Magis Deo, one’s relationship with God reflects his or her relationship with his or her spouse.God is my home and it is in His strong and steadfast love where I rest. This fills me with contentment and joy. However, the mere idea of death and being rent apart from Domeng assaults me with sadness and deep anxiety. I often wonder how the widows and widower in the community manage life on their own.

I turn to prayer. I lift all these thoughts to God. For who else could fill the empty spaces and the vacancies in life? Only God.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Teacher on Center Stage: Annie Lee Masongsong of DepEd Oriental Mindoro

Teacher Annie shares her takeaways from the workshop.
The blog's Teacher in Center Stage is Ms. Annie Lee Masongsong who teaches Mangyan children in Labo Elementary School, Oriental Mindoro. She narrates how she learned the Mangyan language and the long travel she takes regularly to teach them.

I met her during the K-3 teacher training in Mindoro early this month. Her story as teacher to Mangyan children in Labo, Bacud Oriental Mindoro is inspirational. She writes stories for her students in Mangyan language so that she can further teach them how to read and write in level 2 language.

Read on and get to know her more!

If not a teacher today, what would you be?

If I am not a teacher surely I am a social worker or a founder of a foundation that supports and takes care of the children, like orphans.
What do you teach the Mangyans and describe your experience being with them in their community?

To become a teacher of the Mangyans is not easy.

It was a culture shock for me actually. Before one reaches the place where they live, one would need to walk for four to five hours on mountains and cross sixteen raging rivers. No cellphone signal. Going home before the sunset is not really possible because of the distance. The language used by my pupils is really alien to me. It is difficult to stand in front of them when I talk a lot in teaching lessons and in giving them activities that none of them would get the correct answer because of the language barrier. One thing more, most of them attended the class with an empty stomach.

There are times when I cannot eat well because I am thinking of them. Giving up to this kind of work came to my mind. I cried every night because I felt useless. Then one afternoon when I was about to give up, my pupils came around me and said they want to play with me. They held my hands and said, "Madam eglaro tam isna sa baskebolan ". It means I have to play with them in the playground. From then on, I realized that I have a mission in Labo and in the life of each child in the community.

Teacher Annie reaches her destination at mid-morning after crossing rivers and climbing mountains.

The next time I ascended, I brought food for the Mangyan kids and we cooked them simple food for lunch. We do this now every day. I started to solicit food from my friends, school supplies and used clothes for them. I studied their language and used them in my everyday teaching with the kids. I was happy with the result because I am in the stage of winning the battle. I am really happy to be with my students.
How did you learn the language of the Mangyans?

I learned their language by interviewing the adults of the community. I have a notebook of words and its translation in their native language and of course I used their mother tongue in school. It really works!
Now, I am writing stories just for them. It is written in their mother tongue with Filipino subtitle. I am communicating to one of my possible donors for a library. Honestly I just want to have published story books so that it would be my legacy to them when the time calls me to leave that place.

Teacher Annie (far right) with cultural workers in the Mangyan village at Labo, Bacud Oriental Mindoro
Do you wish to help Teacher Annie in providing books and reading materials for her students in Labo Elementary School? Post a comment or get in touch with me via email: zarahg815@gmail.com. I am organizing a book drive for the Mangyans in Mindoro!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Filipino Librarian of the Month: Arvin Delen of the DepED Oriental Mindoro

Arvin Delen holding a copy of A Tale of Two Dreams
The blog's Filipino Librarian of the month is Mr. Arvin Delen.

Mr. Delen is 27 years old from Leuteboro II, Socorro, Oriental Mindoro. He finished elementary education at Leuteboro Elementary School in 2003 and secondary school at Leuteboro National High School in 2007. He graduated from the Philippine Normal University (PNU) Manila as scholar (Trinidad M. Albarracin Scholarship) with the degree of Bachelor of Library and Information Science (BLIS) last March 21, 2012. He took Librarian Licensure Examination last November 3-4, 2012 and Licensure Examination for Teacher last September 25, 2016. His first job was in Don Bosco Technical College as High School Librarian for almost a year.

He met a vehicular accident in  2013 thus, he stayed at home for almost 2 years. Once fully recuperated, he applied to the DepEd Division of Oriental Mindoro as Librarian II, where he is serving as Division Librarian up to the present.

1. As a Division Librarian in the DepEd, enlighten us on the nature of your work and community involvement in Oriental Mindoro. 

As Division Librarian, one of my tasks is to manage, maintain and monitor uploaded catalogue of materials in the LRMDS Portal. The LRMDS Portal is a web based catalogue and repository of learning, teaching and professional development resources. It functions as a clearinghouse. That is, it provides information about the location of resources (hardcopy and soft copy) and allows users of the system to access directly digitized versions of resources that are published and stored within the LR Portal repository. But, this portal is still in the process of upgrading the system and as Librarian, I only provide technical assistance and identify the needs of the division Library Hubs and Learning Resource Centers.

2. What has been the most challenging experience you had, so far? How did you overcome the challenge? 

The most challenging experience I had was my accident last June 6, 2013. I overcome the challenge by praying and believing that everything happens for a reason and (that) I can survive.

When it comes to my job right now, the most challenging part was the acceptance of the culture shock I experienced during my first year in working here in DepEd. I overcome this by simply being me and to get along with everyone. And also, being happy and loving my work. I pray always.

With Arvin Delen (L) and Karol Manalaysay (R), Alice Panares and Bernadette Solina-Wolf
Standing are public teachers of Oriental Mindoro 

3. As a Division Librarian, how are you helping the Indigenous Peoples (IP) in Mindoro? 


As a division Librarian, I am helping our IPs here in Mindoro by visiting and knowing their needs when it comes to reading materials. It is very challenging for me because sometimes there is no allotted budget for them for their reading materials. I have to be very versatile and ask for help from other stakeholders and other institutions which can give support for them.

4. Why Library and Information Science (LIS)? 

Library and Information Science for me is a God’s will. It is His profession for me. This profession helped me to flourish as an individual. It is very important because libraries provide scientific services and fullfil social needs. It is essential in our society because human skills can be developed without any formalized training for some. Moreover, LIS is vitally important for development. Therefore, librarians, libraries, and library associations, as well as information systems, all play a role in fostering creativity, innovation, and dealing with people's needs and expectations.

Thank you and God bless!!! ☺
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