Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Author Interview: Bayan ng Basura by Augie Rivera

Augie Rivera has a new book! In Bayan ng Basura, the versatile author and scriptwriter presents the cruel ways humans hurt marine animals and destroy their habitats with single-use plastics. In this interview, he puts emphasis on research when writing a concept book and advocates for an eco-friendly lifestyle.


1. How do you prepare for a commissioned book project? 

Before I accept a commissioned book project, of course, first, I have to make sure that I also support and believe in its advocacy.  And then I do a lot of research. For this book project on the harrowing effects of single-use plastics on the world’s oceans, I read a lot of articles on the topic and googled various images that hopefully can inspire me. In our long-running infotainment show, Ang Pinaka’, we do a lot of animals-in-the-news episodes, and it was there that I came across real-life cases of animal victims of environmental  abuse and neglect. One of the stories was  that of an Olive Ridley sea turtle caught off the coast of Costa Rica that had a plastic straw lodged in its nostril. That inspired me to use pawikan as my main character. 

Another inspiration was the news that went viral in 2019 about a dead Cuvier’s beaked whale found along the shores of Compostella Valley that had 40 kilos of plastic waste in its stomach. On the other hand, the story’s almost-post-apocalyptic world under the sea was based on a shocking footage of a British diver swimming in a Bali ocean teeming with all sort of plastic garbage. 

2. What is your personal stand on the use of plastic and waste management? 

Even before I took on this project, I’ve already become more conscious in following a‘eco-friendly’ lifestyle (i.e., I always bring an eco-bag, I bring reusable straws and utensils, I refuse the single-use plastics, when I have food delivery I always advise them not to include plastic utensils, I segregate my trash, etc.). Yes, it can be hard but every little effort counts when it comes to taking care of the environment.

The plastic waste problem in our oceans is now a huge problem. In fact, in a recent study, the Philippines has been listed as the third largest contributor of marine plastic waste in the world. (next only to China and Indonesia). The book hopes to inspire young readers to take action, and also do their share in trying to solve the problem. 


3. Apart from previous books you have written, is there a difficult or controversial issue/topic for kids you still dream of writing?

A lot more, but I’d rather talk about it when I’ve written it already. 

Bayan ng Basura is published by Adarna House through Green Peace. Jill Arteche illustrates.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

ANNOUNCEMENT: The PBBY Salanga Prize Winner for 2020

This year’s grand prize winner of the PBBY-Salanga Prize is Boon Kristoffer Lauw for his novel, Team Abangers at ang Estilong Trumpo. For the first time in the history of the prize, the contest was open to chapter books. Lauw’s winning piece is about an orphan who plans to join the televised Laro ng Lahi contest to help her locate her parents.
Aside from Lauw, two other writers won in this year’s prize, both garnering honourable mention: Raissa Rivera Falgui and Tamara Eriel Mosqueda.
Lauw, who hails from General Santos City, is a chemical engineer currently teaching ADTech2 at the Philippine Science High School. He took part in the 3rd Amelia LapeƱa Bonifacio Writers’ Workshop last 2018 and was also part of the UP Likhaan Institute of Creative Writing. This is his first PBBY-Salanga Prize.
Lauw will be awarded at the 37th National Children’s Book Day celebration on July 21, 2020.
For inquiries about the contest, contact the PBBY Secretariat through telephone 8352-6765 loc 204 or email

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Infographic on Blended Learning

The Lighthouse Diary #18: Volcanic Eruption and E-Learning

Where we live and work is 27-40 km from Taal, Batangas. The eruption of the volcano has left many of us afraid, insecure, nervous, unsure and “shookt”. Leadership and School Administration are up and about mitigating clean up of campus, checking on members of the community and setting up of an area to relocate students so that learning continues. Somewhere in the midst of the chaos, we are all striving to bring back a sense of permanence into our lives. 

One of the many decisions we made as a learning community last week was to use e-learning and distance education with face-to-face sessions among our junior and senior high school students. We are making use of several e-learning platforms and social media tools to facilitate teaching and learning. Life has to go on. 

As the Teacher Librarian, my role now as content curator and e-learning resource person comes into play more than ever. My staff and I began identifying library administrative work that can be converted into a virtual platform. Right now, I am in touch with school librarians in the south and in the Makati area seeking support and activating networks for learning. If there is one thing I learned from facing natural disasters, it is to look at it straight in the face, roll with the punches and fight back when it is not looking.

I cannot help but pause and think back on the many e-learning experiences I had in the past. How do I channel this experience as concrete actions to further help and support colleagues? Technology is evolving but, a common thread or pattern can be found in its matrix. It’s time to read and do some research and development. 

So here are links on e-learning and Blended Learning which I discovered and trawled online. Expect a part two of this post or a series. 

Let’s begin with e-learning and why it matters  The link is a chapter from an ebook that discuss e-learning basics, history, pedagogy and applications in business and in the corporate world. For the full e-book, follow this link Introduction to e-Learning. The ebook is available for download in PDF format. There is a chapter on Blended Learning with discussions on ways  to use it as an approach with tools for classroom instruction.

Scholastic has a blog article where in different models of Blended Learning are described. Education Elements has a video showing why it is necessary to rethink traditional teaching and where Blended Learning come into play as an instructional innovation. The role of the teacher changes too. From a sage on the stage to a guide on the side, a mentor who is a companion of the learner or an architect of learning environments, the teacher, at this juncture needs to collaborate with different departments in the learning community to reach a sense of fulfillment and succeed in some measure. This natural disaster leaves everyone with no other choice but to face these challenges and work together. 

I am ending this post with an infographic on Blended Learning. There is going to be a part two of this post. Definitely. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

My Passion Project: Bibliotherapy (V18-19)

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Taal, Tagaytay, Talisay and Tanauan

In light of the phreatic eruption of Taal Volcano, I look back at the many times I have been to Tagaytay and Tanauan, Batangas with family and friends. These links are compiled as I remember them. Arranged in no particular order but with fond memories of a beautiful and historic place. This does not include the amazing stretch of beaches and resorts that litter Batangas, the retreat houses and churches and the growing enclaves for artists in Tagaytay. If the alerts reach a level 5, then the terrain will change and so will the lives of those who depend on the land.

Tagaytay is a good place to take on writing retreats. It was there where the Bulilit Books Writing Workshop took place in 2016. A year after, nine picture books were published through the supervision of the Nutrition Council of the Philipipnes.

In February 2019, my friends and I, along with our teenagers visited Sentro BotanikoIlog ni MariaThe Cat and Dog Cafe for a day trip. Back in 2012, I had another day trip but it was in Taal. I wonder now of the basilica and ancestral houses in Talisay and Taal. The Taal Heritage Tour: Taal Basilica and Our Lady of CaysasaySpanish Ancestral Houses, these places hold so much value and precious memory.

It was in Tagaytay when the 1st International Conference on Children's Library Services, was conducted by the National Library of the Philippines. I was one of the speakers and here are the links to the paper I wrote and presented: Paper Presented 2 of 4Paper Presented 3 of 4Paper Presented 4 of 4. Lastly, from 2010 until 2013, I helped a UK Charity set up school libraries in Tanauan, Batangas. Know about it by following these links: Who is Sambat Trust? and Sambat Trust School Library Project: My Story Our World.

While evacuation centers have been set up for residents and families who fled, helping them in the rehabilitation process will take time.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

PASLI's Call for Papers: School Library Collection Development for Generation Z

Philippine Association of School Librarians, Inc. (PASLI)
Call for Papers 2020
42nd National Conference
Newtown Plaza Hotel, Baguio City
April 22-24, 2020
“IntenZfied” School Libraries: Optimizing Diverse Collection Development Practices for the Generation Z
Topics of Interest
·         Collection Development
·         Collection Management
·         Selection issues and challenges
·         Collection analysis
·         Consortial collection development
·         Patron-driven acquisitions
·         Electronic resources
·         Outreach, Liaison activities, and Marketing
·         Policy, Planning, and Fiscal Management
·         Trends and future of collection development
·         The collection, collection development, and the community
·         Selection tools and selection criteria
·         Collection assessment
·         Preservation and conservation of library resources
·         Censorship
·         Legal Issues in collection development
·         Engaging students to read
Important dates:
December 18, 2019- Announcement of Call for Papers
January 31, 2020- Deadline of abstract submission
February 21, 2020- Acceptance notification
April 13, 2020- Submission of Full Paper and Presentation
April 22-24- PASLI Conference
 Instructions for submissions:
1.        Abstract for paper presentation should be submitted using this format:
a.        Title of Paper (in capital letters, Arial Narrow font size 14)
b.        Name of author/s (including official designation. Use * for the presenting author)
c.         Institution/Company Affiliation
d.        Contact details (email address and contact number)
e.         3-5 keywords
f.         Abstract (300 to 500 words only, Arial Narrow font size 12)
Abstract must include the following sections:
o   Research purpose
o   Research methods
o   Research findings
o   Research impact
g.        References (Please use APA format)
2.        Abstract must be attached (in pdf format) and submitted to or
3.        Use PASLI Call for Papers 2020 in the subject line.
4.        Deadline of submission of abstracts is on January 31, 2020.
5.        Notifications of accepted abstracts is on February 21, 2020. If you are not selected, you will also be notified as well.
6.        The authors of accepted abstracts will be asked to submit the full paper and presentation on or before April 13, 2020.
7.        The author/s of accepted papers will be asked to present it on PASLI’s 42nd National Conference at Newtown Plaza Hotel, Baguio City on April 22-24, 2020.
8.        Each presenter will be given 20 minutes to present their paper and 10 minutes for question and answer during the plenary session.
9.        Please note that accepted paper presenters still need to pre-register and pay the necessary registration fee. The association will only provide the food and corresponding CPD points for each paper presenter.
10.  If you have any questions, please contact or

Friday, January 17, 2020

Dear SLIA: LIS, Getting Lost and Bibliotherapy

A few years ago, I received this question from a young LIS professional, "I really want to pursue Children’s/YA lit and Bibliotherapy and the like. So given a career wise choice, is it okay to move to MA psych?"

The question was coursed through Messenger, so I replied back, "What is holding you back?"

The reply was immediate. "Actually wala naman po. I just feel lost right now since I didn’t make it for MA Comp Lit."

This was my reply.

We all get lost sometime, somewhere. It’s a scary place to be. But, not knowing where to go may be an opportunity to pause and examine the path you have taken, so far; to retrace the steps that led you to where you are right now, before moving forward. 
I have read Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Road and it is all about loss and being lost. What the main character did was to go back to his roots. To that place where he first realized his sense of being, his own self. The journey was both difficult and delightful. But for the main character, it was a way of relinquishing the self he lost. It’s alright to feel lost. Maybe I can say this because I have lost, been lost and felt at a loss. It’s a vulnerable place to be, but it’s where real courage and faith surface. Now, I welcome being lost as I may discover a new part of myself I did not know exists.  
If you have a strong LIS background, Psychology will help you better understand your readers and your learners from all walks of life and of all ages. It’s a good theoretical anchor for the practice of bibliotherapy. 
Find your core. What makes you happy? What pushes you to do good? What is that one thing that has given you the greatest challenge and yet, you feel determined to continue?  
Good luck! I will pray for you!

I share this in full confidence and permission was given by that young LIS professional who I believe is in a happier state of being.

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