Thursday, August 15, 2019

Recommended Reads: Must Have Children's Books at the MIBF 2019 (1 of 4)

The Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) is just around the corner!

Here's hoping you have saved enough to buy books for your toddlers, your children and your teenagers. Whether you are a teacher, a parent, a grandparent, an adult working for kids' welfare and well-being or a children's literature advocate and enthusiast, may you find this list of recommended books helpful when choosing and buying books for young readers.

For this first batch, I have identified ten titles plus one!

Adarna House
1. Tingnan Mo, O! Isinulat ni Noelle Pabiton at Iginuhit ni  Gica Tam
2. Sirena Ba 'Yan? Is That A Mermaid? By Candy Gourlay Illustrated by Francesca Chessa Billungual Edition
3. Ang Taon ng Pusa Isinulat ni Jaume Copons at Iginuhit ni  Agustín Comotto

Anvil Publishing
1. 1..2...3.. by Aaron Randy
2. Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay

The Bookmark Inc.
Common Courtesies Series by Didith T. Rodrigo

Hiyas / OMF Lit

Porcupine Pirate Plans the Perfect Day by Robert Magnuson

Lampara Books

Green / Luntian by Becky Bravo Illustrated by Beth Parrocha

Tahanan Books for Young Readers
1. Pitong Tsinelas Kuwento ni Divine Gil Reyes Guhit ni Benjor Catindig
2. Folk Songs Series: Kaisa-Isa Niyan (Alvarez and Prudente); Pakitong-Kitong (Monzon and Prudente); Ed-Edoy (Albano and Prudente)

Plus one - Karapatdapat: Bata alamin ang iyong karapatan (CANVAS and Ang INK)

Do come back and check the blog for three more batches of children's books to buy and acquire for your home library and school reading centers.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Children's Book Summit: Prospects and Directions in Philippine Children's Literature (4 of 4)

After knowing the Top Ten Awesome and Amazing Events in Philippine Children's Literature and the children's book industry, it can be concluded that prospects for its growth and development is an on-going process that is already beyond the borders of Metro Manila. We are discovering publishing houses, book shops and organizations of book creators in the regions. Government agencies like the DepEd and the National Library of the Philippines are supportive of book development efforts and book projects by teachers and NGOs. The continuous building and the development of public libraries in the provinces is another venue of distribution. Though, the acquisition process of books is another story to discuss all together. The traditional means and ways of book production remain but new models are being made and this infuse excitement and vigor to the book and reading communities.

We have heard writers, authors and artists talk about the state and situation of the industry. I am grateful, as a librarian, to be given this chance to speak about book development from our perspective. Content creation as process and product is already a stable system, though it needs to be constantly open to possibilities and the great "what if".  Economics is always an issue, but I believe that creativity knows no boundaries nor walls. Since libraries operate and conduct services and programs for young people, the process of creation extends outside the confines of the classrooms.

We also need to listen more to our readers and welcome new voices. What do they offer? What can we learn from them? How is media playing a role in the exchange of information? There is research to do and to make use of apart from the surveys and interviews we regularly conduct. Instead of asking what attracts readers to books, ask why are readers reading and how do they read.

Lastly, we need to recognize that reading is a personal experience. And yet, it is a social one too. Enough of the statement that Filipinos do not read. The Filipino reads. Even this statement begs to be pared and dissected from a social and anthropological view.  The Igorot child is reading a different story from that of Lumad in the fields of Mindanao. The teenager from Binan, Laguna who goes to an high end senior high school has so many reading materials at her disposal compared to the young adult living in Baseco, Tondo who only reads required textbooks and his exposure to social media and afternoon variety shows happens every day.

We are a country with diverse peoples and diverse needs. Do our systems of thinking, learning and content creation celebrate and support this diversity?

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Grace and Wonder with Magis Deo Kids

As far back as I can remember, my family and I had facilitated sessions with the kids and the youth of Magis Deo. Domeng and I led the singing in talks designed for them on several occasions. Afterwich, we assisted in activities of the assigned facilitators. A year ago, our eldest, Nico, joined me in the clay workshop for Magis Deo Kids. Last month, it was couple power time again as Domeng and I led a pop-up card making activity for the children.

The grace in taking part in these activities is plentiful. As a family, we get the opportunity to work together outside the comforts and confines of our home. To be called upon by friends and companions in the community to serve and to share our talent is another. We grow as persons when we share and serve the community. This is an experience I personally value. The love and devotion we learn and apply in the family should spread out to the bigger society and to the world in general. Often, parents need the help of others in teaching their children. I am thankful that Magis Deo, in its own way, has helped us raise our children well.

Lastly, it is also a wonderful experience knowing the young children of Magis Deo members and companions. They are diversely talented, confident and respectful kids. Being with the Magis Deo children fills me with hope. Imagine the programs we can design for them. Think about continuity and formation as a developmental program. The fish and bread is multiplying before our eyes and we only need to discern more to know what to do with these graces and wonderment. 

Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Lighthouse Diary Entry #17: Welcome New Griffins!

This week we officially opened the academic year to new and returning students. As it has been the practice for years, the library conducted orientations for grades 9-12. Each cohort brought to the table a unique characteristic and behavior towards the library. Once again, I realized that a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching and learning will not do.

What was remarkable to me in this year's library orientation was the response of the grade 9 students to the activity I planned and prepared. I kept the same activities for the returning students, but decided on the last minute to change the activities for the new Griffins. Besides the orientation, I carried on another session for them later in the day. This was part of the Foundation Days Program that the MYP Team put together.

The Harkness Table where thoughtful discourse and mutual respect are observed. 

The activities that the grade 9s worked on were anchored on two concepts namely, research as an inquiry process and  research as communication. The class was divided in two groups. Group 1 was tasked to make a plan in repairing an old bike. Group 2 was tasked to analyze Hitler's proclamation as Time's Man of the Year. Both tasks involved process as an important factor in completing tasks.

The output that each group brought to the table was impressive. Not only did they answered the questions and completed the tasks, they also described their process at arriving at an answer or a conclusion. There was evidence of critical thinking as one group reasoned out practical means to repair the old bike versus, going the long route of understanding how a bike works and what needs to be repaired if it is broken. I was impressed on the group who worked on the Hitler activity. They consulted books, online resources and went back to previous assignments about World War II. The discussion was rich with in the groups and the presentation was a team effort. Promising!

Onward to the next phase of research skills building. This is going to be an exciting academic year!


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Lesson Plan for Library Orientation for Grades 9-12

The Beacon Academy Library Orientation Plan


Session objectives:
  1. To welcome grade 9s to the library;
  2. To present ways on how the library supports grade 10 students in the Personal Project;
  3. To assess students’ knowledge of the library, citation and skills in locating and accessing information;
  4. To discuss possible ways the library can be an avenue for CAS projects and Community Service.


Grade 9 Learning Experience:


  1. The Library is…
  • Write what you know or your idea of the library in a post-it.
  • Post it on the whiteboard.
  • TL will read the post-its.
     
      B. The Beacon Academy Library
  • Distribute brochure to all students.
  • Read the brochure and take note of important words or ideas that struck you.
  • Turn to a partner and share your notes and ideas.
  • Go back to your notes and your brochure. Think of one word or a phrase to describe the library. Stand up and write them on the cartolina.


      C. BA Library Themes: Empathy, Inclusion and Diversity
  • Bulletin Board: Libraries are for everyone! Ang Aklatan ay para sa lahat!
  • Reading Guidance Program: READING Without Walls Challenge
    • 1. Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you.
    • 2. Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about.
    • 3. Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun. This might be a chapter book, a graphic novel, a book in verse, a picture book, or a hybrid book.
      D. In the library you can…


  1. Read and borrow books for academic and leisure reading.
  2. Study by yourself or with a group.
  3. Learn about Academic Honesty and apply research skills taught in the classroom by your teachers.
  4. Develop, build and make stuff for academic work, Personal Projects, IAs, Extended Essays and TOK essays, and CAS Projects.
  5. Help grow its collection of books, ebooks, online resources and the like.


      E. Distribute library bookmarks and show online subscriptions, OPAC and BA Library Website.
Grade 10 Learning Experience


  1. TL asks the question: How was the library of help or of assistance to you when you were in grade 9? Write your answers on post-its.
  2. Students are to discuss their answers in pairs. After 3-5 mins, post-its are put on the whiteboard.
  3. TL reads students post-its.


  1. How can the BA Library help you in the Personal Project?


    1. Search for sources and resources in your research. (OPAC, Online Databases)
    2. Learn more about referencing, citations and the annotated bibliography. (Academic Honesty)
    3. Apply research skills taught in the classroom by your teachers.
    4. Schedule consultation or skills sessions with Mrs. Gagatiga. (per class, group or individual study time)
    5. Access and read PP reports and samples. (for room use only)


  1. TL introduces theme for the year: Libraries are for everyone! Ang Aklatan ay para sa lahat! Themes for this year is EMPATHY; INCLUSION and DIVERSITY.
  2. TL introduces year long Reading Guidance Activity: READING Without Walls Challenge.
  3. Show and access online subscriptions, OPAC and BA Library Website.


Grade 11 Learning Experience


  1. Students play the BA LIBRARY BINGO.
  2. Process the game and answers of students.
  3. How can the BA Library help you in your IAs?


    1. Search for sources and resources in your research. (OPAC, Online Databases)
    2. Learn more about referencing, citations and the annotated bibliography. (Academic Honesty)
    3. Apply research skills taught in the classroom by your teachers.
    4. Schedule consultation or skills sessions with Mrs. Gagatiga. (per class, group or individual study time)
    5. Access and read EE reports and samples. (for room use only)


  1. TL introduces theme for the year: Libraries are for everyone! Ang Aklatan ay para sa lahat! Themes for this year is EMPATHY; INCLUSION and DIVERSITY.
  2. TL introduces year long Reading Guidance Activity: READING Without Walls Challenge.
  3. Show and access online subscriptions, OPAC and BA Library Website.


Grade 12 Learning Experiences


  1. Present possible projects and activities for CAS and Community Service.
Context: Reading advocacy and book campaigns 


  1. Set-up a pop-up library or library on wheels.
  2. Help organize a classroom library for Loma Elementary School.
  3. Create and illustrate stories under the Early Readers Project of the Beacon Academy.
  4. Schedule a workshop or consultation session with Mrs. Gagatiga on reading aloud and storytelling.
  5. Contribute to BA Library Spotlight, Drake Velasco’s website by writing reviews on books, apps, games and arts and culture events. 


        2. TL introduces theme for the year: Libraries are for everyone! Ang Aklatan ay para sa lahat! Themes for this year is EMPATHY; INCLUSION and DIVERSITY.

        3. TL introduces year long Reading Guidance Activity: READING Without Walls Challenge.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Pilgrim’s Pit Stop: Rock Bottom

I have been hearing the term rock bottom too many times recently. Late in July, NBA player Jeremy Lin openly admitted that he has hit rock bottom in his athletic career. A friend who has been struggling financially described to me, his current situation as hitting rock bottom. The commencement speaker in our graduation ceremonies last June shared her rock bottom experience in the past to the audience of graduating seniors, parents and the entire faculty and staff of the school. In social media, there are more depressing news and posts about the state of the country and the world. I couldn’t help but think that humanity and the world have hit rock bottom.

In personal, local and global contexts, the doom and gloom of hitting rock bottom is inescapable especially in this day and age. Like everyone else, I do have moments of doubt, worry, fear and anxiety. Events in my life of late made me feel I have hit rock bottom. I sometimes ask, is this part of the transition to midlife? My husband who seems to have a stronger resolve in the changing cycles of life simply called it as growing up and growing old. What I find funny in the midst of all these is my acceptance of this inevitable pull of gravity towards a place called rock bottom. 

One cannot always stay at the zenith. What goes up will eventually go down. It is the law of nature. Sunrise and sunset. Night and Day. Consolation and desolation. I have acknowledged this duality and continue to seek the graces to be had when journeying through peaks and valleys. It is an adventure where God often surprises and lend humor to my often serious take on life. He wants me to smile and laugh. What a wonderful way of loving. 

Pope Francis continues to preach about smiling through tough times. Easy for him to say? Look, the man has only one good lung. Go to the Pontiff’s Twitter page and his message of hope and faith is like a Patronus charm casting away Dementors. I turn to my Ignatian Prayer app, the 3 Minute Retreat, and there I find assurance when reading the Scripture and reflections of the day. In prayer meetings and deep conversations with friends, I discovered that everyone has fallen into that pit of loneliness and desperation. Yet, I see them regularly continuing on, keeping the faith, sharing their spiritual travels in the darkness and in the light. At some point, I realized that our purpose, really, is to become guardians to the isolation that others feel. Companions in the journey, indeed. 

So what of rock bottom and the forces that pulls us down towards it? We have all been there and so is Jesus Christ, God’s only son. 

*For the August 2019 issue of the Magis Deo Newsletter 

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