Saturday, December 31, 2005

100th Blog in Pinoy Top Blogs

Filipino Librarian asked his readers how can life be measured. I say, in cups of coffee. And of course, (measure your life) in love.

Well, as far as blogging is concerned, Pinoy Top Blogs measures my blogging life. My blog is ranked as the 100th blog for today (or month), December 31, 2005. I must be doing something right.

Happy New Year to all!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

2006 is Year of the Fire Dog

Lilian Too will be launching her Feng Shui book on January 15, 2006. Know what the year of the Fire Dog has to offer each year of the Chinese Zodiac. Now I got this info from my mail today. It is sort of a personal mail, but if you're interested, why not contact Anvil Publishing. You may also check their webiste.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Best of SLIA 2005 : SERIES

2005 is about to close and I can't help but remember the year I begun blogging about school librarianship. I am very sentimental so I'm going to do a recap of "best posts" for the year 2005 for the next few days. It is dual in purpose, of course. The posts I've culled together are the ones that have relevance to school librraianship. These are the kind of posts that I would want to keep for future references. And boy, I have been productive!

Let me start with the 'series' post. These are post in three - parts that I wrote from May until September of 2005, except for Yan Ang Pinay Series which I plan to do it on a regular basis. Read on and do not refuse the invittaion ot go down memory lane. When we remember events and people in our lives, somehow, we see a better picture or a new perspective to life. Enjoy!

Series Posts

Promotions & Marketing STrategies for School Librraies
Bridging Gaps
Buidling Bridges
Bridge Under Construction

IASL Conference
Blogging in HKU
IASL Conference 2005
IASL Conference 2005 A Continuation
Echoes From Hong Kongm

Useless Issue
Useless Librarians
Useless Again
Schools of Thought

IMAGE of Librarians
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Book & Library Month
Parents' Role Part 1
Reading Culture Part 2
Genuine Love for Books & Reading Part 3

YAP Series
Filipina in Children's Literature
Buhok ni Lola
Uuwi na ang Nanay kong si Darna
Rosang Taba

Monday, December 26, 2005

Book Review Blog for the Reading Filipino

There are plenty of interesting and worthwhile discoveries I make every so often in the Internet and the blogosphere. I came across this impressive blog for the reading Filipino. This blog is a book review blog aptly named as Pinoy Book Reviews Para sa Pinoy na Ma-book . Then again, it is more than a blog. It is a "local-based electronic magazine dedicated to Filipino book lovers. The site provides reviews, commentaries and feature articles about local and foreign books, magazines and graphic novels".

It has very noble objectives focused on "building a connection between local authors and readers; encouraging readers to voice out their opinions on the books they've read; and establishing a stable online community for Filipino book lovers and readers".

Pinoy Book Reviews also offers plenty of links for the reading Pinoy. I was glad to find KUTING's old website there and websites of Adarna Books and Anvil Publishing. There is also a space for bookstores with websites. NBS, Goodwill, Fully Booked are just a few of the Philippine based bookstores linked in the site.

What is the relevance of this blog/e-zine to Filipino Librarians then? For one, librarians can check the site for current news on book launchings and books available in the market. It is another
source of information for book acquisition that presents Filipiniana materials as well. Second, the book reviews featured every issue undergo editing so librarians can actually disseminate and share this with their clients and users. Third, as librarians are involved in the "book business", they might as well contribute to the blog or e-zine by sending a list of books with reviews or anotations. For this purpose, I encourage you to check its FAQ and contribution guidelines.

I can say that the people behind Pinoy Book Reviews are friendly to librarians. Aside from yours truly Filipino Librarian is also linked in the site.

With the Internet and blogging technology, people from different disciplines can collaborate and work together.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Peace to all! Goodwill to humanity!


Friday, December 23, 2005

Back Up Your Blog!

Once again, Sassy Lawyer has taught us (bloggers) another important lesson. Back up your blog entries.

While Sassy has the resources and the people to help her with, I am begining to think of precautionary measures to save important posts myself. I could not clearly afford a database for my blogs for now, but there must be a way to save the ones worthy of keeping for posterity or perfunction. The volume of my entries is still small. I can only think of copying them in a CD.

Maybe you have a better idea? Do share. Please.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Reading List

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'd know that I've started a monthly reading list of Filipiniana for kids. This month, since it is December, I'm shelving my recommendations of Filipiniana books for kids until next month (January 2006) to make way for some Christmas books instead. Look out for these titles as they can be enjoyed by the young and the young at heart this season.

1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
2. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess
3. A Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton
4. Bertday ni Jesus Bukas by Alberta Angeles
5. 12 Kwentong Pamasko by Rene Villanueva

And my special pick for the season is Barbara Robinson's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. The book is suitable for readers age 9 - 12 in aspects of content and readability. Judith Gwyn Brown renders a playful illustration in black and white.

It is only seven chapters long, but the humor and the hilarity of celebrating Christmas with a pageant led by misfits and orphaned kids is enough to make this book a delightful read. A perceptive reader will easily understand why, despite the imperfections of the Herdman siblings who play Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men and the Christmas Angel, this Nativity play is the most unforgetable yet.

The book was published in 1972 by Tyndale House Publishers.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas is for Children

Cheers to kids this holiday season! Below is the press release of the Alitaptap Storytelling Contest for Kids.

It was an enjoyable and exciting Sunday last December 11 during the search for this year’s best kid storytellers at The National Library Auditorium. Parents, teachers and children were treated to a whole afternoon of storytelling at the 11th Annual Alitaptap Children’s Storytelling Competition 2005.

Iñigo Paulo Hernandez Untalan, grade 6 at PAREF Northfield School for Boys, is this year’s champion for Senior Category (grades 4-6) for his interpretation of Nemo: Ang Batang Papel. Veronica Cynthia Ko Millado, a grade 1 student at School of St. Anthony bagged first place in Level 1 (Grades 1-3) for telling Si Nonoy Banoy.

The second and third place winners in the senior category were both from Colegio San Agustin. Second placer Alyssa Sarapuddin Ismael, grade 5 told Ang Binibining Tumalo Sa Hari, and Third placer Maria Selina Peralta Dagdat, grade 6 told Ang Prinsipeng Mahabo ang Ilong.

For the junior category, another student from Colegio San Austin, Isabel Bianca Fule, grade 1 won second place for her rendition of Nemo: Ang Batang Papel. Grade 2 student at Claret School of QC, Noel Christoffer Lorenzo Ochoa Lazaro got third place for telling Ang Bisikleta Ni Momon.

Organized by Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines and The National Library, this year’s competition was participated in by a total of 40 students from different elementary schools in Metro Manila, Pampanga, Laguna, and Batangas.

Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines’ aims to propagate book-based performance storytelling in schools, libraries, and other public performance venues to convey to as many kids the joy of reading stories and pride of knowing stories authored by Filipino writers.

(Please ask for better photo quality of pics below if you wish to print them. Resolution has been reduced for easy downloading in your pc - 45 seconds)

Ali 2005 Sr

Winners Inigo Paulo, Alyssa, and Maria Selina (center)
with the other nine finalistsin the senior category.

Ali 2005 Jr

Junior finalists with winners Isabel Bianca, Christoffer,
and Veronica (fourth, fifth, sixth from left respectively)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Going Graphic : Graphic Novels in the Library

This is an article I wrote for the school web site. Much of the information was taken from past entries. I just want to preserve it in an online format.

Early this school year, the GS LRC thought of acquiring comic books. You read it right. Comic books.

This is a bold step for a school library considering the very traditional perception people hold on libraries in general. But, the GS LRC is not made from the conventional mould. Put aside its issues on library automation, the GS LRC boasts of a rich, up dated and well balanced print collection. It provides books and print materials that cater to its readers’ varied reading interests and different reading levels. Aside from supporting the curricular offering of the school through its collection, it also strives to encourage students to read for fun and recreation. Reading is, after all, not entirely a perfunctory endeavor.

Comic books or graphic novels are in trend these days because current research shows that it is an effective tool to motivate children to read. In a highly graphic world, comic books help young learners understand visual representations in a highly graphic environment. It presents these advantages for the child who is still learning to be (Lavin, 2000).

Assist Poor Readers. Comics and graphic novels are excellent tools for use with children and young adults with poor reading skills.

Connect with Visual Learners. As educators become increasingly aware of the importance of different learning styles, it is clear that comic books can be a powerful tool for reaching visual learners.

Develop Strong Language Arts Skills. Several studies have shown that students who read comic books regularly have better vocabularies and are more likely to read above grade-level.

Encourage Unmotivated and "Dormant" Readers. Teachers often use non-book materials to encourage reading. Comic books are an ideal medium to spark interest, equate reading with enjoyment, and develop the reading habit.

When building a Graphic Novels collection, there are policies to consider in selecting the ones that are appropriate to the needs and nature of growing children. It is vital that librarians collaborate with subject area coordinators and reading teachers in determining the graphic novels to acquire. Teachers and librarians must work together to create learning experiences that will merit the children’s reading of such materials.

Expanding Horizons

The recent author visit program held last Friday, December 2, 2005 at 2.30 p.m. in the GS LRC Storytelling Area is one example of this collaboration and learning experience. The GS LRC invited Dean Alfar and his better half, Nikki Alfar, for a session on graphic novels. Selected clubs from grade 5, 6 and 7 were the audience that afternoon. It was an interesting session, as well as enlightening.

Dean Alfar is a fictionist, playwright, businessman and comic book creator. He has eight Palanca Awards to his name, one of which is a recent award given for his novel, Salamanca. Nikki, on the other hand won the third prize for children’s fiction for her story, Menggay’s Magical Chicken this year

The guest writers presented a brief but comprehensive history of graphic novels; the different kinds and variety available in the market; the relevance of comic books in Philippine culture and the arts; and the hard work that writers and artists put into the process of creating a graphic novel. At the end of the session, the boys understood that the whole process is one that requires a lot of creativity, patience and perseverance. Dean and Nikki emphasized that above all the technical and production value, what matters is a good and well written story.

A graphic novel is a means to tell a story. The writer and the artist work closely together to achieve wholeness to the concept. It takes two to tango, so they say. In creating graphic novels, the writer and the artist must dance to the same beat with the guidance and the supervision of an effective editor who clearly sees the big picture.

Role Models

Winning literary awards left and right is just icing on their cake. They are real people, like you and me who lead normal lives. But two things set them apart from their contemporaries. They are willing to share their skills on writing to children and their genuine love for books and reading. Dean has these tips for the aspiring writer, artist and comic book creator.

1. Read
2. Read more and TAKE NOTES (my caps)
3. Know your grammar, master the words
4. Know the rules before you break them
5. Be prolific - produce consistently
6. Do not fall in love (with your work)
7. Expand your horizons
8. Be inventive
9. Join competitions, seminars and workshops
10. Keep a workbook, a journal or a blog

Aside from this, the Alfars are advocates in creating quality *grafiction that will eventually lead to raising the bar of comic books production in the Philippines. And they have been successful so far. Their grafiction, Siglo : Freedom won the critics approval. It was awarded by the Manila Critics’ Circle as Best Comic Book of 2004. Last Decemeber 10, 2005, Siglo : Passion, along with an anthology (Philippine Speculative Fiction vol. 1) and a comic book for younger readers (Project Hero) was launched in Fully Booked Greenhills. All are available in local bookstores in Metro Manila.

I was glad to have attended the launching last week. I did get good discounts, but the highlight of the evening for me was meeting three Xaverians, Andrew Drilon, Sean Uy and Joel Chua who contributed their story and art to Siglo:Passion, Philippine Speculative Fiction and Project Hero.

Come Januaray, the GS LRC, in coordination and collaboration with the Reading & Language Arts Dept. will launch its graphic novel collection. We may have our own preconceived knowledge on comic books. Some are good. Some may be otherwise. But as long as there are teachers, librarians, writers and artists, people who care enough to provide children with the literature that they will enjoy and learn from, half the battle for the campaign for a reading culture is already won.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Winners of the 2006 Salanga Prize

Congratulations to the winners!

For the 2006 PBBY-Salanga Prize, The Philippine Board on Books for Young People awards honorable mention to three authors: Ian Casocot(Rosario and Her Stories), J. Dennis Teodosio (Tonyong Turo), and Marielle Nadal (Can you see?). No grand prize was awarded this year.

The three winners shall be awarded cash and certificates from the National Library and the Cultural Center of the Philippines at the National Children's Book Day (NCBD) celebration in July 2006 to be held at the CCP.

Aside from being multi-awarded and well-published, Casocot maintains a website on Filipino writings and literary criticism. Like Casocot, Teodosio has also bagged many awards for his writing, including those for Best Screenplay at the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. Marielle Nadal, on the other hand, is a graphic ar

Monday, December 12, 2005

Zara's Zoo : A Picture Book

Working in a school library offers a lot of perks. One of these would be the privilege to read books for acquisition first hand. I'm very good friends with our acquisition librarian and our cataloger too, so my frequent trips to our technical section often lead me to "book talks" with them. And eventually, since I do the PR work, I get to read the books that the library will be releasing for circulation.

The relationship is symbiotic. My involvement with the PBBY and KUTING works to an advantage. Our school library gets to know the current crop of Philippine Literature for children available in the market. Since NCBD is a long seven months away, I recommend foreign titles instead. I've echoed the availability of Funke's Ink Spell and the 12th book in the Series of Unfortunate Events to my colleagues. It will only take a few weeks before we buy it.

I'm preparing a list to recommend for next school year's acquisition and I will include Augie Rivera's gift.


For obvious reasons you may think, but as the old saying goes, do not judge the book by its title, er, cover. Written and illustrated by Irene Sibley, Zara's Zoo is a picture book for readers age 3 to 93. The strength of the book is anchored on the concept of an abcedaria of fantastic animals thriving in Zara's zoo. The zoo is in a place so wonderful that even the reader can easily visit. That is, if you're imagination is that of a child. If realism has not pinned you to the ground yet, you'll be able to suspend your disbelief and wonder as Zara wanders at the make believe animals she takes care of.

The illustration provides legs to this simple but delightful book. To the child reader, it is a book meant to be enjoyed. To the adult reader like you and me, the book is an invitation to relive that child-like sensibility we've lost somehow while growing up.


Sibley, Irena. Zara's Zoo. Melbourne : Lothian Books, 2001

Friday, December 9, 2005

Book Reviews by Libraries and Librarians

Ivan Chew sent word about book blog partners. To know more about what this partnership entail, visit High Browse Online

I already posted a comment in Ivan's blog. If you have a blog where you post book reviews or library blog that has book reviews to share, check the links and know more about this bit of interesting news.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Linked and Blogged

Oh please. Allow me to brag a little. After all, I am a senior teacher in my school and a seasoned librarian (according to the standards of some).

Check these sites!

The Information Literacy Land of Confusion


Getting linked and blogged is a motivation to do better. It is also a good pat on the back. The timing couldn't have been better.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Book and Library Month (3 of 3) : A Genuine Love for Books & Reading

This three part post has deviated from my original intent of writing about reading campaign initiatives that begin at home, followed up in school through reading and library programs and spread into local and national policies. Turns out that I need to do more research. No matter. I will end this post with a topic that still hammers on this year's Book Month theme.

I have written a lot about Author Visits in this blog. I have encouraged many a school librarian to invite writers and illustrators in their schools and libraries to interact with children. The experience is beneficial for both visitor, writer or illustrator, and child.

For the writer or illustrator, it is PR and knowing the audience he is writing for. For the child audience, it is a learning experience that models literacy skills and a genuine love for books and reading. Since we're big on developing a reading culture, we have to work hard to acculturate our children into the reading habit. The school library is just one venue. The school librarian is one able agent to promote the reading culture. The Author Visit, only one of the many techniques to achieve this goal of fostering a reading culture.

However, such programs must be evaluated in all its aspects. Its impact to a student centered philosophy of learning must be identified. Its relevance to curricular offerings should be defined. It is important that tools for assessment on library programs and activities are present. How else can management and the school administration take school libraries seriously if evaluation of its policies and programs is not done and communicated? Evaluation allows us to improve and learn in the process. Librarians must realize though, that such programs and activities are similar to planting trees. The investment in time and effort will be reaped years after the seeds are planted.

I still have to hear an alumnus talk about the unforgettable activities he had in his school library and the learning he gained from his school librarian.

Let me wrap this up with the recent visit of the awesome Alfars, Dean and Nikki, to Xavier School Grade School Library. We invited them to talk about graphic novels and the process involved in its creation. As writers and creators of grafiction, this husband and wife team was at their element. It was Dean's first foray to talk among elementary boys and he was excellent. His presentation is complete and simple enough for 11 - 13 year old boys to appreciate.


Dean started off with a history of comics in the Philippines. Comics peaked in the Philippines with the American occupation, but in time, the Filipino's creativity and culture were reflected on the issues produced by its creators and publishers. The long and short of it, comics is a medium where we can express our unique art and rich cultural heritage. It is an avenue to showcase the Filipino talent, ingenuity and imagination. Dean and Nikki, along with their friends in the business, do just that but they raise the bar a notch higher. Come to the launching of Siglo Passion and see for yourself. Project Hero, a graphic novel for younger readers will share the limelight with Passion, as well as Dean's anthology of Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 1. The event will be on December 10, 2005 at Fully Booked Greenhills.

Many writers of today were influenced by comics. There are movies and TV shows inspired by comics. This is possible, not only because stories in comics and graphic novels are pop culture fodder. It happens because of the process by which comics are made. Dean and Nikki revealed (in an interview) that in the early stages of a comic book's conceptualization, a script is written. Think Panday and Carlo J. Caparas. Spiderman and Stan Lee. There was the comic book. There was the movie. There stands the writer.

In the scheme of things, artists and illustrators merge and collaborate to create it. Unlike story books for children where illustrations follow after story writing, writer and artist work as a team to shape the novel. This is necessary since word and visuals must be married to achieve a wholeness to the concept. And it is a lot of hardwork for the editor. For Dean, whose advocacy is the creation and readership of grafiction, the time and the effort is all worth it.

For fans of graphic novels who also dream of one day creating one, Dean recommends the following:

1. Read
2. Read more and TAKE NOTES (my caps)
3. Know your grammar, master the words
4. Know the rules before you break them
5. Be prolific - produce consistently
6. Do not fall in love (with your work)
7. Expand your horizons
8. Be inventive
9. Join competitions, seminars and workshops
10. Keep a workbook, a journal or a blog

Take it from the Alfars whose genuine love for books and reading make them life long learners worthy of emulating.

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Elias Dakila Storywriting Competition

Elias Dakila Competition for Children's Storywriting on Environment
and Culture Contest Rules

1. The Elias Dakila Competition for Children's Storywriting on Environment and Culture is open to all Filipinos.

2. Entries must not have been previously published, and all entrants must warrant the
originality of their submitted entries.

3. Writers may submit only one entry, in English or Filipino, which shall be of 800 words or less. Entries that exceed this limit shall automatically be disqualified.

4. The objective of this contest is to come out with interesting, original and uplifting stories celebrating the environment and/or culture of the Philippines. Each entry must be based on, or inspired by the contest piece below, an illustration specially rendered for the contest by INK member Sergio Bumatay III.

5. The story must be suitable for a 32- to 36- page read-aloud book.

6. Entries shall be evaluated based on the following criteria:
• Relevance to Environmental/Cultural Theme (30%)
• Character Development (30%)
• Quality of Writing & Suitability for 6 to 8 year old children (30%)
• X-Factor (Judges' discretion) (10%)

7. CANVAS shall shortlist the five to ten best stories from which a panel of judges shall collectively choose the final winner. If the judges cannot come to a
consensus on the winner, they shall take a vote and the entry that gains the most
number of votes shall be declared the winner. Judges shall not see the entrant's name until winner is chosen.

8. Entries must be submitted by email, as a Microsoft Word
attachment, to with the subject heading ELIAS DAKILA STORY COMPETITION. Entrants must include a cover sheet with their name, mailing and email
address, and telephone number. Only the story title should appear on all pages of the

9. The deadline for submission of entries is 5:00 p.m. (Manila time), 31 January 2006. Entries received after the deadline, even if sent earlier, will no longer be considered for the competition.

10. CANVAS and INK shall not be responsible for entries which are not received, or which are received after the deadline, due to technical failure or for any other reason whatsoever.

11. By submitting an entry, all entrants thereby agree to authorize CANVAS and INK to post such entries on its website, as they deem fit, and free from any payments, royalties or fees whatsoever.

12. There shall be only one winner, who shall receive a cash prize of PhP 25,000.00 for his/her entry. The winner shall be responsible for all applicable taxes.

13. There is no guaranty of publication, but the winning writer shall also be entitled to five (5) free copies in the event of publication.

14. The winner shall grant and transfer to CANVAS all intellectual property and publication rights to the story, including any translations, adaptations or modifications thereto. It is therefore understood that the cash prize to be awarded to the winner shall include consideration of such intellectual property and publication rights to the story, and the writer shall not be entitled to any other royalties or fees from earnings, if any, that may result from future publication of, licensing of, or other transactions on the same.

15. CANVAS shall not retain any rights to entries that are not selected as the winner, but may enter into separate agreements with other writers for the
publishing rights to their entries.

16. CANVAS shall exercise full and exclusive editorial and artistic
control over the publication of the book.

17. While, it is the full intention of CANVAS to publish the winning entry as a full-color children's book, CANVAS reserves the right not to publish the same for any reason whatsoever.

18. The winner of the CANVAS storywriting competition will be
announced in February 2006 on the CANVAS website ( The winner will also be notified via email on the same announcement date.

19. CANVAS reserves the right not to award the top competition prize in the event that the judges decide that no entry was received that is deserving of the top prize. In such event, however, CANVAS shall have no right whatsoever over all entries that were received; and shall not publish any entry, in its website or in any other venue, without the prior written consent or agreement of the author.

20. The decision of the competition judges shall be final, and no correspondence or inquiries into the same – including requests for comments/feedback on entries – shall be entertained.

21. Employees and members of CANVAS and INK, and members of their immediate family, are disqualified from participating in the competition.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...