Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Echoes from Hong Kong

It's the last day of August. As a way of bidding adieu to my "favorite" month, I am posting an "echo" of my IASL Hong Kong experience. It is the same presentation I shared with my colleagues in Xavier School last August 15, 2005. Funny how every time I leave the country for a conference or convention, I see the many ills that ails the profession but it made me love and appreciate it all the more. I hold the same disposition towards my motherland. My well spring of hope must be very deep and overflowing.

Highlights and Insights

* The conference is very scholarly and academic in nature. The research papers and project papers presented in the conference were very impressive. It reflects the standard of academic research that school librarians and allied professionals put forth to improve the practice of the discipline.

* ItÂ’s an opportunity to establish networks and collaborations with other school librarians.

* The experience is a glimpse to how school libraries in the world are coping, surviving and succeeding in this age of IT with in thepervadingg culture of change.

* In particular to the Philippine setting, attending the conference is a chance for participants to gauge the status of school librarianship in the country.

* The conference is a bowl of ideas where school librarians can pick the ones that are applicable in their context and appropriate in their culture.

From the many sessions I attended, I picked two presentations that may appeal to us as school librarians and professionals working with children. I hope that these may further help us in establishing better pedagogical practices for our students and in improving our services to teachers, our natural allies.

Reading Strategies of Hong Kong Primary School Students by Dana Dukic

Here are some characteristics and findings of the study that struck me:

Electronic environment vs. Print environment – students must be taught how to understand both environments; ILS lessons must be intensified; school libraries must function well to help students become life long learners.

Strategies that students employ in choosing books to borrow and read: specific book feature – cover, design, physical appearance
information source- author; series; genres social interaction – choices are affected by peers; top 3 influential people -mothers, teachers and librarians

Catching Slippery Eels by Dianne McKenzie

Dianne McKenzie compared the dynamic characteristic of online resources to slippery eels that are difficult to catch. But school librarians are trained to manage diverse resources. She provided her participants with a variety of resources available online to manage them. Let's go to her website and see what she has for school librarians.

Next year, the IASL Conference will be in Portugal. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Passing It On

A blogger friend from Sydney sent me this via email. Pass it on to every Pinoy you know, please.

"Twelve (12) Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To
Help Our Country," by Alexander Ledesma Lacson, may be a "voice inthe
wilderness"; but as Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. puts it,
what Alex proposes are "very concrete, practical and doable"
actions for us ordinary Filipinos.

A simple enumeration of these "twelve little things"
will not do justice to the work of Alex. You've got to read the
whole text, but I shall try to compress a few lines for some of the
items mentioned.

1. Follow traffic rules -- Why is that the most
important? The answer is simple. Traffic rules are the simplest of our laws.
If we learn to follow them, it will be the lowest form of national
discipline that we can develop. Since it is totally
without monetary cost, it should be easy for us to comply with, and
therefore should provide a good start.

2. Whenever you buy or pay for anything, always ask
for an official receipt. -- If a seller does not issue an official
receipt when you buy a product, the seller may or may not remit the tax
to the government. Without an O.R., there is no record of the sale
transaction, and the tax that you paid may not be remitted to the Bureau of
Internal Revenue.

3. Do not buy smuggled goods. Buy local, buy
Filipino. -- It may not be good economics to buy 100 percent local products.
What I suggest is for us to take a "50-50" buying attitude. Thismeans
that we must develop the attitude of using 50 percent of our budget for
local products and the other 50 percent for imported choices.

4. When you talk to others, especially foreigners,
speak positively of our race and our country -- this is best addressed
to the rich and the middle class in our country, who have contact with
the outside world. It is they who talk to, dine or deal with foreigners
either here or abroad. It is what they say and do which creates impressions
about us among foreigners.

5. Respect your traffic officer, policeman, soldier
and other public servants -- There is nothing like the power of
respect. It makes a person proud. It makes one feel honorable. At the
same time, courtesy to others is good manners. It is class and elegance and
kindness. It is seeing the value and dignity in the other man. It
is, in fact, a mark of a most profound education.

6. Do not litter. Dispose your garbage properly.
Segregate. Recycle. Conserve. -- As Louis Armstrong says in his
song: "I see trees of green, red roses, too, I see them bloom for me
and you and I think to myself, what a wonderful world."

7. Support your church. (or charitable/ civic
organizations -- :-)

8. During elections, do your solemn duty. --
Honesty, more than a masteral or doctorate degree, is what gives
credibility. And credibility is essential because it is a leader's link to the
people. It is what makes the people look to one direction, follow a
common vision, and perform a uniform act. In short, credibility is what
makes people follow the leader.

9. Pay your employees well. -- No exercise is better
for the human heart than to reach down and lift someone else up. This
truly defines a successful life. For success is the sum, not of our
earthly possessions, but of how many times we have shown love and
kindness to others.

10. Pay your taxes. -- In 2003, P83 billion was
collected from individual income taxes. But 91 percent of this
amount came from salaried workers from the government and private
sector, people who had no choice since their income taxes were withheld
mandatorily. Only P7 billion of the P83 billion came from businessmen and
professionals like doctors, lawyers, accountants and architects, among

11. Adopt a scholar or adopt a poor child. -- You
can make a difference in the future of our country by making a difference
in the world of children.

12. Be a good parent. Teach your kids to follow the
law and to love our country. -- Today's children will someday rule and
lead this world. But whether they will be bad rulers or good leaders will
depend largely on how we raise them today. Our future is in
the hearts and minds of our children.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Book launching of Ngalang Pinoy : A Primer on Filipino Word Play

Neni SR Cruz, writer, teacher, book reviewer and PBBY sectoral representative, will have a book launching today at Jaymi's Grill, The Fort, Makati City. The event will start at 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm.

Ngalang Pinoy is published by Tahanan Books, is another interesting book that celebrates the unique talent of Filipinos on word play. From the flier that she attached in the email, the book is an interesting showcase of the many puns and compound words that we make up to form new contexts and meaning that is very Pinoy. This implicates how well we use (and missuse?) the English and Filipino languages. Either that or the Pinoy is really a creative bilingual whose wit and humor sets him apart from the rest of his Asian kin.

Check out the book at the Book Fair this Wednesday. I'm getting a copy of my own.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

A note for my regular readers

Regular postings will resume next week. We're undergoing some crisis.

Thanks for the visit.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Rosang Taba : The Pinay in Pinoy Children's Literature

What is your idea of a Filipina hero? Most of us may resurrect a variety of image of the Pinay hero from history. Some may have a picture of a sword wielding Pinay on horseback. Perhaps others have this perception of an old woman curing the Katipunan's the sick and the wounded. Then there is this portrait of the docile Pinays (well to me they looked it) who just finished an embroidery on the national flag.

Aside from history, legends and stories of Pinay heroes abound. Mariang Makiling. Mariang Sinukuan. Ellang Uling. These Pinays are all illustrated with dark skinned but with strikingly beautiful Asian features. Some, like Mariang Makiling and Sinukuan are depicted having fair skin and long wavy hair. Except for Tandang Sora, they are often described as youthful or at the prime of their lives. Indeed, the Pinay heroes that our culture and history boast of are characterized with qualities that are worthy of emulating. Our young girls will never run out of female heroes to look up to. Now what if our images and perceptions of the heroic Pinay's charism are challenged? Well and good! Whoever said that heroism, pride and the love for one's culture and identity only rest in the young and the beautiful?

Dean Alfar's Rosang Taba is made from the same heroic mould but with a fiesty and "weighty" difference. Like Gabriela Silang, Rosang Taba is brave and unrelenting. Her loyalty and determination rivals that of Tandang Sora. Her inner strength and wit is reminiscent of Josefa Llanes Escoda. But Rosang Taba greatly amazed me because of her courage to openly speak of her beliefs to her father. Add to that is her guts to challenge a Spanish commander in the face of her señor and señora. True enough, heroes must first wrestle with their own demons and prove to those around them that there are battles in life worth fighting for.

Alfar's fiction is set in colonial Philippines. Rosang Taba, a servant to the guvernador-heneral challeneged the arrogant Ser Jaime Alonzo Pietrado ei Villareal to a foot race after the later insulted and intimidated the "katao". What happened next is a series of fortunate (and fun) events. Rosa, the fat servidora, who proved to the Ispaniola that given the same opportunities, the "katao" can rise and defeat it's colonial masters. With permission from Alfar, I have links to his story so you may enjoy it as much as I did.

His writing is exquisite. His knowledge of history and legend added a bigger-than-life element to Rosang Taba. It maybe written in English, but it's very Pinoy in color and flavor.


Challenge and Wager

Rosang Taba

Rosang Taba and Her Father Converse

At Plaza Binondo

Street of Lost Hope

The Race

The Drinking Song


Recommendation: For readers age 13 and up; can be used or integrated in a lesson on Philippine History

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Storytelling Workshop

This is happening today. Should you have more questions about storytelling workshops by Alitaptap, by all means, email your querries to the email add bellow.

The National Library of the Philippines in partnership with Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines, the volunteer storytelling group of the country whose mission is to promote literacy through the art of storytelling will conduct the Acting and Reading Techniques (ART) of Book ・Based Storytelling Workshop on August 20-21, 2005, Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Executive Lounge, 6th Floor, The National Library of the Philippines, T. M. Kalaw Ave., Ermita, Manila, Philippines

Workshop Fee: Php. 500. 00 for confirmation and more details, please contact

Email us at

Visit our website: for other schedules

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Ang INK and Haribon Exhibit

If there is an association for Pinoy Writers of Kid's Lit, an organization of Pinoy Storytellers, there is a group of Pinoy artist who illustrates for Pinoy kids -Ang INK

They tied up with Haribon this year for an exhibit that packs in load of activities for kids and the young at heart. Read on!

How do wild animals feel about being pets? What do crocodiles have to say about the disappearing forests and wetlands? What do birds think about deforestation?

Haribon Foundation, a membership organization dedicated to nature conservation with the people--for the people, together with Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang I.n.K.), the country's first and only organization of illustrators for children, will try to answer these questions--from the animals' point of view.

Aptly titled "Animalaya", the Ang I.n.K.-Haribon exhibit presents the plight of the country's endemic and endangered animals and the message they have been longing to tell humans. A touring exhibit, it will be on view at the Riverbanks Mall, Marikina City from August 23 to 28, at the Manila International Book Fair, World Trade Center from August 31 to September 4, and selected schools nationwide.

Aside from a showcase of more than 40 artworks by Ang I.n.K. members, fun-filled and educational activities will also be held, such as Meet-the-book-illustrator, Story telling, Art workshops, On-the-spot art contest, and the Haribon HATCH Kids membership launch, all of which are geared towards making children and adults understand the reality the environmental situation and encouraging them on how to take action.

"Animalaya" is made possible with support from the Royal Netherlands Embassy through the A NEST Project for Biodiversity Conservation in the Philippines, and our friends from Riverbanks Center Mall, Oishi, Manila International Book Fair, Adarna House, Anvil Publishing, Star Paper, Mindgate Systems Inc., and Granny Goose.

Thanks to Astrid Tobias for forwarding this press release via email.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Plays, Seminars and Call for Papers

I was checking my calendar this morning and noticed that the remaining weeks of August offer interesting events for school librarians, teachers and literacy advocates. Let me share with you these "going ons". You might want to attend any of these.

Lola Basyang Play

PETA will be presenting Christine Bellen's Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang, a series of stories adapted from the original by Severino Reyes , on August 25, 26 and 27 2005 at the Cinema 5 of SM Centerpoint. Play starts at 10:00 a.m. with an afternoon matinee at 3:00 p.m. Call or send SMS 639163063878

Creative Use of Libraries for Preschool

Seminar-workshop for school librarians and teachers working with very young children.
August 27, 2005 Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Phoenix Educational Systems Inc. 5th floor Robinson's Galleria
Call or send SMS 639178405669

Call for Papers
Eugene Evasco has a current book project on a collection of essays on Children's Philippine Literature. If you have professional papers and research about the growth, development and critical analysis of the different genres in Philippine Children's Literature you may email

This is one of them quick posts so watch out for more details on Eugene Evasco's book project. I will be including details in my next post.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The 26th Manila International Book Fair

The 26th Manila International Book Fair
August 31 - September 4, 2005
World Trade Center Metro Manila
Financial Center Area,Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue
corner Roxas Blvd., Pasay City

Theme :'s hip to read!
... so cool to learn IT!

Events and Activities of Interest to Librarians

Aug. 31, 2005
Wednesday, 1 pm - 3 pm Function Room A
Symposium on the State of Filipiniana Indigenous Materials

Sept. 1, 2005
Thursday, 10 am - 12 noon Function Room B
Forum on Promoting Effective Reading Skills : A Challenge to Librarians,
Teachers & Students

1 pm - 3 pm, Function Room A
Innovations & Strategy: The Risk & Choice in Shaping User-Centered Libraries
Guest Speaker : Dir. Lou David, Rizal Library Ateneo de Manila Univeristy

Sept. 2, 2005
Friday, 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Introduction to Singapore's Early Education Curriculum & Textbook
Edcrisch International

* There are a number of Book Launchings by OMF, Word & Life, the CCP and C&E Pulications. Activities for kids also like storytelling, origami and arts & crafts also abound. Other interesting hobby and leisure activities will be presented to viistors and guests of the fair.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Potential Librarian Blogger

Here's what I got from my inbox tonight:

I want you also to know that I always visit your
blogspot. I’ve learned a lot and I enjoyed reading all
your posts. I am just wondering on how to access
that site and post things/happenings/activities about
the library like you and Von Totanes have been doing.
Would you mind sharing some info? I would really,
really appreciate it.

It came from Grace Albarida, school librarian from Esteban Abada Elementary School Calumpit St. Veterans Village Project 7 QC

I already replied to her via email, however, you may have more valuable pointers and tips to give her so just comment on this post. She often visits and I'm sure she'll get to read your suggestions. Come on, blograrians! Lend a hand!

And if you're a blogger too, you're welcome to chip in!

Monday, August 8, 2005

Shy Librarians

I've given a good number of seminars and workshops for school librarians and I often encounter shy, timid and meek as a mouse school librarians sittng in the audience. They emit a certain aura of subservience. They seem to lack the courage to assert their important role in the school. At times I catch myself imagining that while I'm delivering my presentation, bubble clouds would pop in their heads with these lines-

Librarian bubble cloud 1: How would I tell my principal that we need a bigger budget for books this year?

Librarian bubble cloud 2: The activities that she is presenting are really cool. It will surely improve our library programs and services. Our students will learn a lot from those activities, but, how will I start? Who will help me out? I'm a one-man librarian in my school.

Librarian bubble cloud 3: I'm only a librarian. My training is to organize the library's collection and circulate it. Do I really need to collaboarte with teachers and parents? Then there is the principal to contend with. I'm afraid she won't beleive me.

Librarians are not completely to blame for this paradigm of passivity. First of all, the Philippines' educational history is anchored in subjugation not empowerment. It is seen more as an economic tool rather than a pair of liberating wings that allows one to think freely and become his/her own person. Second, the state of Philippine School Librarianship needs a make-over. Reviewing the standards and guidleines governing the management of school libraries is long overdue. Last, there is the training of librarians to look into. How can colleges and universities offering LIS empower their students? It's a question I wish to help my colleagues answer in due time.

For now, I'm hopeful to see other librarains doing their share of advocating the profession. Read the Filipino Librraian's post for today.

Many Filipino librarians do not have the leadership and communication skills necessary to persuade their superiors and possible donors—even subordinates—that they can effectively implement the projects for which they ask assistance.

If you are one of the shy librarains I'm refering to, this post is not meant to degrade or look down upon your skills and abilities. My intent is to inspire and motivate you to be a proactive librarian because, our students need us. Our co-teachers in the school need partners like us. Our school parents would be happy parents to know that we are helping them raise independent learners who can compete in the global arena. Our school directors will trust us with the budget we ask for because we will put it into wise investments. School libraries are important. School librarians, even more.

Taking off from the Filipino Librarian's point, here is an article to start with. Build up your communication skills and get the support that you and your library truly deserve.

People at Work I am still unable to speak fluent English'
By Tita Datu Puangco

Friday, August 5, 2005

Meme : Books I Own and Love

(This is long. You will scroll, like, forever! My apologies. It's taking me time to learn how to collapse long posts. I'm not as tech savy as some of you may think, but I'll come around. I promise you - this is a meme worth reading!)

After days of pondering, I finally arrived at a decision on what to include in this book meme that the Filipino Librarian passed on to me to do. In a previous post, I expressed how hard it will be for me to choose just 5 titles among the hundreds of books I have at home. Thinking about it, well, I can always post books I own and love either here in SLIA or in The Coffee Goddess. So here goes !

Total Number of Books Owned - More or less 700. They are mostly picture books and Young Adult novels, Newbery awards and ALA Honor Books, Salanga and Alcala prize winners that I've collected since high school. I remember saving up my allowance for a Newbery paper back every month. The cost was only 50 Php back then and every purchase brought me to reading bliss!

Last Book I Bought
middle_earth Meditations on Middle Earth
A collection of essays by fantasy and sci-fi writers. Inspired by JRR Tolkien, a hardy bunch of creatives pooled together their reflections, ruminations and thoughts on Tolkien's impact in their lives as writers. Inlcudes essays of Teri Pratchet and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Last Book I Read
zorro Zorro by Isabel Allende

If you followed "the useless controversy" of last month, this is the book that Cristobal cited. I brought this to HK with me last July to keep me company in the trip. When I got my HP 6 last July 18, I rushed reading Zorro so I can start with the Half Blood Prince. Feeling guilty, I went back to the last chapter and reread it.

It tells about the origins of Zorro, before he became the legendary hero we know today. Allende masterfully bridges legend and history that I could always cross the bridge from one end to the other without difficulty of suspending my disbelief. There are parts in the book when a historical backdrop is essential to establish Zorro's legend. Spicing it up with political and social events of the era added to the novel's romantic flavor. Before Zorro claimed his role of hero, a masked Robin Hood in Black, he must travel away from home, meet different people, face challenges far greater than he could have imagined and come back in Alta Vista California a grown up man of twenty prepared to fulfill his destiny.

It is my second Allende book. The first one was the hauntingly beautiful The House of Spirits. I read that when I was in college. Reading Allende again was like catching up with a long lost friend.

Five books that mean a lot to me

Juan and the Asuangs by Jose Aruego
I could not find a picture of "Juan and the Asuangs" in Google nor in Yahoo so I just posted Jose Aruego's picture. He is Filipino, isn't it obvious? A writer and illustrator based in New York, Jose Aruego has illustrated and written more than 50 books for children. Aruego's Juan and the Asuangs was proclaimed The Most Outstanding Picture Book of the Year (1970) by The New York Times. I wonder why he hasn't won a Caldecot since his illustrations are excellent! Oh well...

Now his popularity and awards are not the reasons why "Juan" means a lot to me. I owe the book a good finish since I stopped reading the book halfway. I was only eight years old when I saw it on top of a table in the Children's Media Center of the International School Manila. Someone must have left it there. So while my mom, who was then working at ISM, met and talked with a colleague, I started reading it.

I remember being attracted to its title. How come a book with a Pinoy word in its title end up in an American school library? Asuangs. Drat! I was so intrigued! I loved the pastel water colors of the illustrations and the free flowing style of Aruego's strokes. I was even surprised at myself that I can easily read the sentences. Oh, it was an adventure. By the time I got to the part where tianaks and kapres are being introduced, I was glued. Here is a book I can completely relate to. Those supernatural beings I only knew from my grandmother's stories are alive and well in this book. When Juan was beginning his attempts to go into the forest, I was as afraid as he appeared to be. To my fright, I closed the book and gathered my courage to go on. Hey, give me a break...I was only eight then! Too bad that when I was about to continue, we had to leave.

I've been looking for Juan. Turns out, it is out of print. I remain hopeful that one of these days, I get to own it.

Judy Blume's Tiger Eyes
Among my Judy Blumes, Tiger Eyes is my favorite! I was 13 when I knew of Davey and her friend Wolf. Like Davey, I hated change. I questioned rules (well, I still do to this day) and authority. The difficult adjustment and changes she had to accept and undertake in her life was compounded by her father's death. It took her time to understand that there are forces in life that can never be controlled, like death and growing up.

At 13, I can only empathize with Davey the pains of growing up. But it sure made my life,as a teenager then, a little easier.

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
I use to scoff at the fantasy genre. Rowling changed all that. After reading HP 1, I devoured the books in the series. HP 3 is at the top of my list with HP 6 coming in second.

I will be forever grateful to Rowling for writing HP 1. Had I not read her book, I would not have discovered the epic fantasy of Tolkien; the magic realism of Dahl; the hyperbolic humor of Lemony Snicket. Now I look at fantasy in a new light.

Love Story By Erich Segal
Great novels need not be complicated, Erich Segal made sure of that! I finished his 150 and so paged novel in one day when I was a senior in high school. And once in a while, I reread the book. Just because.

Love conquers all, you see. And it comes with never having to say you're sorry.

The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
I fear of dying, specially the kind that happens suddenly. This springs from not knowing what and who I will encounter in the afterlife. I am Catholic and its doctrines taught me to have faith in God and His promised heaven. Still, death is a reality that my faith could not overcome. Life can give me failures and disappointments that I can confidently deal with, but death, either mine or someone I love, will shatter me into a million pieces. I could not imagine how I will take the loss of a loved one. I grapple with the thought of leaving behind family and friends.

But once in a while a book like Albom's The Five People You Meet In Heaven comes along. Having read the book lessens that fear of death. Somehow. His novel is actually a celebration of a life well lived, and that death is but the next step in the journey, one that all of us must eventually take. As for living, it is a continuous cycle where in a life story weaves perfectly into another's.

It makes me wonder, should I die sooner or later, who would be the five people I would be meeting in heaven? And what kind would my heaven be? there such a thing as a blog heaven?

Sigh. Sigh.

Finally, I've done my meme. It's time to pass it on. Here are the five people I've chosen to do the book meme.

Teacher Sol
Peachy Limpin
Jonas Diego
Tito Rolly

I hope you'll enjoy doing the meme as I have!

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Teens and Technology

There is a study done by the PEW Internet & American Life Project on teenagers' changing behavior on the use of ICT's. For the press release on the study, get it here.

Since I got this news from LM_NET, a listserv that I subscribe to, allow me to share some relevant findings that Dr. Anthony Bernier of the School of Library and Information Science in San Jose University pointed out. These are of interest to school librarians, teachers, parents and adults working with teenagers.

* In 2000, PEW found out that of all young adult log-ons 36% were made in libraries with Internet access. Five years after, it has increased to 54%.

* Instant Messaging has become their digital communications backbone.

* As they use these gadgets, they exhibit sophisticated and strategic skills in incorporating new communication tools in their daily routines.

* Parents have placed computers in family areas where teenagers can be with the other members of the family. No filtering software can outperform social sanctions set by adults.

* While IMs are at the top of their new tools list, they still prefer to talk with their friends over a landline phone.

Dr. Bernier ends his summary of the PEW Study with an advice that librarians must not cease to provide "developmentally appropriate spaces of their own" in their school libraries because social interaction are as important to them as using these ubiquitous new tools.

Now I wonder how Pinoy teenagers' choices, behaviors and social dynamics are affected with these gizmos and gadgets. Of course, we can always observe and draw out conclusions from our interaction with them, but how can we tell if it is scientific? This makes for an interesting research. If you know of any study that profiles teenagers' use of technology today, tag me or leave a comment. School librarians can take a lot of stuff from such studies to improve the readers' services of their libraries.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Dream Weavers & Magic Seekers

I have identified four categories to classify my posts from this blog's archives. It's part of organizing and managing the content of this blog which may prove necessary and relevant to my readers (dear me, i hope that school librarians get to read library blogs!), as well as myself. One of the four categories is entitled DREAM WEAVERS & MAGIC SEEKERS. Under this "fantasy" inspired titles are two names - Carla Pacis and Augie Rivera. Carla and Augie are Pinoy Children's Literature Writers. I have featured them in my blog from previous posts so if you want to know more about them, just click their names in my side bar.

Carla, Augie and all writers for children are weavers of dreams and seekers of magic. I am not the first to proclaim this. Lina Diaz de Rivera was. She is a writer herself, by the way and has a Palanca to her name. It takes one to know one, indeed!Last NCBD, she launched two titles of books for children. I mean to write more of her books but that would be for future posts. Last I heard of her is that she has retired from teaching at the University of the Philippines. But a co-teacher just informed me last Monday that she is still handling graduate classes at the College of Education for its REGALE program, otherwise known as Reading Education.

LDR was my Children's Literature professor and she is very popular among graduate students as "the" Children's Literature advocate. Not many are aware that LDR has units in Library Science. I'm not sure if she practiced the profession, though.

I often imagine her as a school librarian, actually. She would make an excellent school librarian because she seem to be more tolerant with children than with adults. Nevertheless, I can say that she had been a successful teacher (to me) because she always encouraged her students to read and promote children's literature. It was in her class that I cooked up all those Author Visit programs and illustrator exhibits for our school library that even to this day, we never tire of doing.

School libraries are perfect venues where weavers can find their looms and magic seekers, their wands. And the children, they are always there to imagine and dream with them. As school librarians, it's our job to bring them together!

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

GILAS: Gearing Up for Internet Access for Students

Peachy Limpin told me to check yesterday's issue of The Manila Bulletin because there is a press release about a project founded by Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II. This project, another brainchild of the Ayala Foundation, is known as GILAS - Gearing up for Internet Access for Students. Here is an excerpt from the article written by Jerry Liao on GILAS:

GILAS aims to provide Internet access for students and basic Internet literacy programs in all 5,443 public secondary schools in the next 5 years. For schools with working computer laboratories, GILAS will provide Internet connectivity and Internet literacy to teachers. For schools that do not have working Internet laboratories, GILAS will provide at least 10 PC's, Internet connectivity and basic Internet training.

I am so intrigued with this project that I will follow it's journey for the next five years, just like the way I did with it's relative -Sa Aklat Sisikat. SAS has helped a lot of public elementary schools improve their reading programs and organize libraries and reading centers. In fact, our library in Xavier School helped in training two teacher-librarians on the basics of school library management two years ago. It is not enough to provide the funding, logistics and resources. Human resources training goes hand in hand with it.

I see the same pattern in GILAS and I wish them well. I could not help but smile at the thought of these two projects complementing each other. I do not know if the Zobels are aware (well, perhaps they are for after all they are one family) at the congruence of SAS with GILAS. If SAS promotes reading and helps in the literacy development of elementary school children, GILAS on the other hand climbs up the literacy development ladder several steps higher to facilitate Internet Literacy for secondary students.

There is a continuity in this scheme of things. The reading skills taught in the elementary grades are crucial skills to help them cope with complicated reading materials in secondary school. The Internet is one. There is way of reading and deriving understanding from internet sites. Students must learn how to use this electronic resource responsibly and intelligently. If this is the case, teachers of today must be the first to understand the intricate nature of the Internet. They are also in the position to identify ways on how it can enrich instruction.

Knowing about its technical aspect and surfing is one thing, but utilizing and mining information from the Internet for teaching and instruction is another.

Monday, August 1, 2005


I was tagged by the Filipino Librarian to do a meme. A meme, according to the Fiipino Librarian's post, is a "unit of cultural information... that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another." He actually got that definition form the American heritage Dictionary, by the way.

I have read about it in Clair's blog several months ago, but I've been too busy to look it up. Thanks to the wonders of blogging and friends in the blogosphere, I finally got to do one. It is in doing that we learn a lot. I'm a firm believer of cognitive learning theories and Piaget's schema theory. I discover those theories alive and well in the e-communities that I belong to. And blogging is fast becoming a real life example at how I am contstructing my understanding of the world and the knowledge that make it. Now you know why I'm so blog crazy!

I'm not posting about books that define me. Not yet. I have to choose from the stacks and the shelves, the racks and the piles of books in the corners that clutter our small abode. There are books everywhere at home, even in the bathroom. Plus, I have to go back a good 25 years to recall the books that my mom read to me as a child. I have to identify five - only five (?) books that meant a lot to me. Drat! I have read a lot of books that meant to me! These books do not only mean so much, these books defined me. I am what I read. Limiting the list to five is a toughie.

So I plead that you, my readers ( and I don't have a lot. Where have all the school librarians gone? Do you guys ever read blogs?), to give me time. I promise, before the week ends, I'll have something to meme.
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