Saturday, December 29, 2007

Cited @ Filipina Soul

Being cited in another blog or website is like a pat on the back, well, if the citation is followed by kind and generous words. SLIA is mentioned in Filipina Soul and it validates the very reason for this blog's being.

I should put back Jonas Diego's YAN ANG PINAY logo.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Filipino Child and Filipino Children's Literature

SCBWI Philasis presents --
Lara Saguisag on "The Filipino Child and Filipino Children's Literature"
When : 6 to 8 pm Monday 2008 January 7
Where : Fully Booked, Bonifacio HIgh Street, The Fort At The Forum on the 4th level, right on top of Starbucks
Host : Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators

Lara Saguisag will explore notions of childhood and "Filipino-ness" in Philippine literature for children, and will focus on locally published books. She will talk about different elements of the book, such as style, subject choice, book covers, and even cost of books, and see how texts and illustrations reveal our conception of children as subjects and readers.

Bio : Lara Saguisag's most recent book is Children of Two Seasons: Poems for Young People (Anvil). She
also co-edited Nine Supernatural Stories (UP Press) with April Yap. Her poems for children received the 2006 New School Writing Program Chapbook Series Award. She is a Presidential Fellow at Rutgers University, where she is completing her PhD in Childhood Studies. She is a founding member of KUTING (Kwentista ng Mga Tsikiting), a group of writers for children.

This event is open to SCBWI members and non-members, published or unpublished writers or illustrators for children or young adults, and those who have a keen interest in children's literature.

Fee : P100, for SCBWI members P80. Limited seats, first come first served. Come early, browse through the store and immerse yourself in books beforehand!

For details, contact :
Beaulah Taguiwalo or
Dominique Torres (Nikki) < nikkigtorres@>

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

KUTING Workshop: The Art of the Magic Weavers.

KUTING Workshop: The Art of the Magic Weavers

Resource persons are: Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, Prof. Heidi Abad and Ms. Lara Saguisag. This shall be held on January 12, 2008, at Room 204, College of Education, Benitez Hall at U.P. Diliman.

Workshop Fee: Php1,000. For details, pls. contact AGAY (09178116961) or ZARAH (09209602884) or email them at the ff. addresses:

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My December Daze

December is a month that would leave me confused and crazy. All work and deadlines seem to snowball at the last month of the year and on top of it all is the perfunctory celebration of Christmas. Every year, I find myself dutifully going through the motions of preparing for parties, parties and more parties. At last, on Christams day, I take a sigh of relief to finally have accomplished something far more important. That is, to celebrate Christmas simply and more meaningfully.

I did go Christmas shopping but my budget was so tight, it could rival Scrooge's. No, I did not go around work and home scolding people "Bah! Hambug!". Instead, I greeted them with smiles and cheers inspite of and despite of. So here are pictures from a very busy December. I thank God, why despite of my miseries and problems, I still could manage to be grateful. To read the captions, just lead your cursor to the picture.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Writers as Bloggers

Award winning fictionist and essayist, Ian Casoscot wrote a paper on Literary Blogging. It's a neat feat for Ian who was only given ten minutes to present it during the Philippine Center of International PEN's 50th Anniversary at the National Museum last Saturday, December 8, 2007.

The question now is, what is blogging to Filipino Librarians who blog?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Boy Who Touched Heaven

Book Review of The Boy Who Touched Heaven story by Iris Gem Li, illustrations by Serg Bumatay III. Published by CANVAS & Adarna House, Copyright 2007

When Heaven Is Close Enough To Touch
By Zarah Gagatiga

So the saying goes that a picture paints a thousand words.

Last year, CANVAS, a non-stock, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness in appreciation of Philippine art, culture and the environment, and Ang INK (Ilustrador ng Kabataan ), the first and only organization of Filipino illustrators for children in the country, selected artist and illustrator Sergio Bumatay III to render a painting that would serve as the inspiration for an original children’s story that would celebrate Philippine environment and culture.

Bumatay’s piece was then used to call on writers from all over the Philippines to enter CANVAS’ first Elias Dakila Chidren’s Storywriting Competion on Environment and Culture.

With a little help from the eighth Wonder of the World – the Banaue Rice Terraces Iris Gem Li, a young Business Adminstration student from the University of the Philippines, was adjudged the winner as she shaped a story about an Ifugao boy who dreams of touching heaven. Smitten by the heavenly bodies that adorn the sky during the day and at night, the Ifugao boy thought of ways to make his dream a reality. Li’s telling of the young Ifugao’s adventures and mishap is both funny and ridiculous. Child readers would find this appealing since their natural response to humor is still unblemished by life’s ironies and realities. The young Ifugao is the epitome of every child, curious, daring, irrepressible, unafraid, makulit.

Aptly titled as The Boy Who Touched Heaven, the story goes beyond the fulfillment of a young boy’s whim and fancy. It resonates to older readers as well, particularly to adults because; it carries a theme that bespeak one of life’s many tenets – that what we perceive as an unreachable heaven is right in our very own home. Indeed, finding one’s happiness and rediscovering the simple but lasting joys that family and home can offer is as close to touching heaven.

Apart from the theme, the humor and the plot that is easy to follow, and the storybook is truly a delightful read because of the cultural elements presented in the colorful and playful illustrations of Bumatay. Readers, young and old, need to know and see more of the country’s ethnic tribes, their children and their culture, for they are part of what makes this nation great. Bumatay‘s colors are as vivid as the brave Ifugaos’ woven cloths; as alive as the region’s dangerous, but beautiful landscape. The artwork’s authentic detail further enriches the cultural experience as he included little items that are unique to the Ifugao such as the necklace of beads, the nose flute and the ornament worn on the head by male Ifugaos.
Here’s looking forward to more culturally inspiring stories in the future.

CANVAS, now in its third year of advocating Philippine culture and the arts through books with stories written and illustrated by some of the country’s best young artists and writers, co-published The Boy Who Touched Heaven with Adarna House, the leading publisher of storybooks for children today, and Ang INK. The story may be read online at the CANVAS website (, and is available in bookstores nationwide.

Zarah Gagatiga is a school librarian. She is currently the coordinator of the Grade School Learning Resource Center of Xavier School. She is a board member of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) representing the sector for librarians. Visit her blog at

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tribute to Rene Villanueva

The children's literature industry in the Philippines gave a loving and memorable tribute to Mr. Rene O. Villanueva last night at Sanctuarium. Read Augie Rivera's eulogy here and get a sneak peak of highlights of the tribute here.

Goodbye, Rene! It is now up to us, those you've left behind, to continue your legacy.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Passing of a Magic Weaver

Rene O. Villanueva, writer and playwright passed away last December 5, 2007. His remains lie in state at the Sanctuarium on Araneta Avenue corner Quezon Avenue. Villanueva has won international awrads and critcal acclaim as Filipino writer of children's literature.

He has 20 Palanca Awards to his name; honorary member of KUTING; and a TOYM and TOYP awardee. He was 53 years old.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

SLIA's Blog Reading Level: Genius

Ahaha! I just want to humor myself today. Imagine that, a genius is required to read this blog!

cash advance

Cash Advance Loans

But seriously now, I would want this blog to be more, er, egalitarian.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Weavers of Magic (The Repeat!)

Pictures from the Weavers of Magic seminar-workshop at the Benitez Hall, UP Diliman last Saturday, November 24, 2007.

Ace Elgar was not able to join us for the fun, the laughs and the celebration of Teacher Portia Padilla's birthday. Dr. Luis Gatmaitan and Tote de Jesus had a three hour long book signing - the longest I've witnessed, so far! We had more activities and storytelling demos. Just exactly how Storytelling workshops should be. Until next!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Online Resources for Teachers

Found some very good online resources for the busy teacher. These website contain free printable worksheets in Math, Reading and the Language Arts. Surfs Up!

RHL School is a free learning reosurce website for ready to use worksheets in Math, Reading and Reserach Skills. A link for answer sheets is provided in the index page as well as a blog feature. The skills covered are the basic comprehension skills, word meaning, inferencing, getting the main idea, etc.

HomeSchool Math is a place for parents and guardians with homeschooling kids. It does help the busy teacher as well through its comprehensive line of online lessons and worksheets. It has other features like a monthly newsletter, a blog (don't they all have it!), reviews and Ebooks.

teAchnology is treasure trove of worksheets, educational games, lesson plans, rubric makers and webquests. While there are freebies in the site, it has also a membership feature that can lead teachers to better and high quality reosurces online.

Till the next batch of online resources!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Books for Every One @ Your Library

For my grade 3 library class this quarter, I've embeded this video as Prelection to a lesson on fiction, non-fiction books and the Dewey Decimal System.

Awarding a Community Library

A few months back, Ani Almario, PBBY Secretariat, asked the PBBY Board for concpet papers in relation to the 25th year celebration of National Children'sBook Day (NCBD) in July 2008. As board member representing the library sector, I whipped up something for brainstorming in one PBBY meeting. Below is the rationale for a proposed award in recognition of a community library with a strong and working library services and literacy programs for children and young adults.

Community libraries offer a variety of services and programs to different age groups in the community. By looking into the needs of children and teens in the community, its library can plan and implement services and programs geared towards the development of life long learning skills as well as, an appreciation of literature, culture and the arts. Indeed, the community library of today is no longer a place to store and keep books. It is a laboratory for interactive learning and a venue for the enjoyment of the finer things in life.

In reality, many community libraries in the country lack the support needed to function as an effective agent of literacy. There are, however, resourceful librarians and groups of people who further the cause of library development for children and young adults. These unnamed individuals battle the odds and face challenges that come their way. They continue to provide library services for children despite the limitations in funding and the political support. They seek ways and means to make literacy programs in their community library possible.

Such effort deserves recognition and appreciation. More than that, it is worthy to see, examine and highlight the library services and literacy programs that have an impact for the children and teens that they serve. By doing so, more librarians, NGOs, LGUs, foundations and civic organizations can be motivated to develop community libraries.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Here's hoping that libraries can be recognized as agents of literacy development.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

IPP & The Teaching of Information Literacy Skills

Below is a recommended Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm (IPP) lesson plan for the teaching of Information Literacy Skills. The topics are reference resources and the Big 6 Model in Research. The skills covered are research and work-study skills. Take note that the content and skills are integrated in the Reading Program. The context for this IPP lesson plan are grade 6 students.

o Prelection – Quote by Henry Miller ☺

• Since the words encyclopedia and dictionary were given by the students already, teacher-librarian can move to discussion.

o Learning Experience – Present the words: REFERENCE and DICTIONARY
• Questions to ask:
 What kinds of books are these?
 Where can we find these books in the GS LRC?
 How do we call these books?
 What makes these books different from non-fiction books?
 How are information arranged in an encyclopedia/dictionary?
 Are these two reference books the same?
 What info does the reference/dictionary provide you?
 When do you use an encyclopedia/dictionary?
 Can you think of other references?
 How can reference sources help you in your studies/academic work?

• Research – Big 6 Model
 Present the Big 6 Model – a graphic organizer can help. Use
 In the website, there are three ways to introduce and teach the Big 6. Use the second one, for gr. 3-6.
 After presenting the six steps, provide the students an oral drill that shows how the Big 6 can be used.
 For example – Your Reading Teacher asked you to research on the parts of a newspaper.
• Step 1 – What should you do?
• Step 2 – What resources can you use to find info on parts of the newspaper?
• Step 3 – Where can you find these resources?
• Step 4 – What information can you use from the resources you identified?
• Step 5 – What can you make to finish the job?
• Step 6 – How will I know that I did my job

 The oral drill will help scaffold the skills and concepts on research following the Big 6 Model. It will likewise, provide the boys a working schema on how to do research on their own. In essence, they are actually planning and envisioning what they need to do to finish a simple homework or assignment. This is a strategy in study skills and metacognition. Study skills and metacognition are two important skills taught in the Reading subject. Such skills also aid them in understanding and studying other content areas. Therefore, the Big 6 can be used in other subjects like Science, Social Studies, CLE, even Math.
 Since it is a Reading class, a written drill must be given to students.
 Written Exercise – Big 6 Worksheet. This can be done through group work.
 Group students and distribute the worksheet. Example of Worksheet-

Task – Your Reading Teacher assigned your group to report on the notable accomplishments of Albert Einstein. How do you plan to complete this following the Big 6 Model?

Step 1 – Task Definition
Step 2 – Info Seeking Strategies
Step 3 – Location & Access
Step 4 – Use of Information
Step 5 - Synthesis
Step 6 - Evaluation

After filling up worksheet, do the steps and get ready for a report next meeting. Do not forget to give the references that you used.

Day 2 – Review of the Big 6 Model – Use website again for this exercise
o Ask which group is ready for reporting. Limit the reporting to 3-5 mins.

o Reflection – The Bright Bird Story -

• How did the Bright Bird used the Big 6 Model?
• Why is it important to follow steps in research and solving a problem?
• What is the advantage of following steps in research and solving problems?
• What difficulty can you encounter when following steps in research?
• How can you find ways to make the difficulty easier to bear?

The answers can be written down in their Reading notebooks

o Action – Application of Big 6 in Reading subject and other content areas. At this point, it is important to articulate the whole plan/methodology to the Reading teacher so that, the instruction of the ILSP becomes a collaborative endeavor indeed.

o Evaluation – Quizzes, included in the QT or Long Test

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

101 Filipino Icons

Got this via email from Adarna House. The book is an interesting reference guide for today's Filipino kid. Just when our children are bombarded with too much of the western world's influences, along comes a homegrown set of icons that may stir the sense of nationalism and pride.

Then again, how are Filipinos affected by the changes brought about by globalization? What makes a Filipino icon? How does one become an icon?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mobile Library and Library People

Nina Lim Yuson, Director of Museo Pambata and PBBY Board Member provided the PBBY with this information on their Mobile Library via email -

Curtis Lim is our Mobile Library coordinator and has been going to Mindanao for Synergeia doing storytelling workshops for teachers. At this time he and an Alitaptap member are in Camp Abubakar, then on to Upi and another town. You should hear his stories and how the kids love the sessions. One of them was seen copying a storybook word for word! Would any of you like to go with Curt to observe these sessions and write about it? I can ask Nene Guevarra. We need to tell the public what its like there.

We are looking for storytellers/ volunteers to join the mobile library on week ends..areas are around Manila.

I am posting it here in my blog to point out that while book donations are indeed good projects, and providing access to books among children is a great initiative, people who are behind it are just as important. Imagine what the Museo Pambata Mobile LIbrary would be like without Curtis Lim, Alitatap Storytellers and voulunteers?

Take note that Mr. Lim is the library coordinator of the Mobile Library. Whether or not he has a library science degree is beside the point. It would be ideal if he has though. But what matters is the presence of a person to develop and run the programs and the services of the Mobile Library.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Books, Women and Lunch @ Abbondanza

My lucnheon with a group of Opus Dei mothers, single women and professionals, and students went well yesterday. I gave a brief talk on what Reading is from the perspective of a teacher-librarian. It also included a great deal of book talking, children's literature and starting off with a book club. I even mentioned Read Or Die as an example of a very active, if not aggressive organization of book lovers.

They will be starting off with Mitch Albom's "For One More Day" on December 1, 2007, where in I am invited to join and moderate. Hopefully, the group can move on to more book discussions in the future. Such endeavor contributes to a growing reading cuture. With the young adults in the group who will be future mothers and aunts of children, the seeds of the reading habit is being sowed.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

“A Day with Weavers of Magic” (The Repeat!)

“A Day with Weavers of Magic”(The Repeat!)
(Writing, Illustrating, and Telling Stories for Children)
November 24, 2007(Saturday)
Benitez Theater
College of Education
UP Diliman

Goal: To develop love for reading among the young
Objective: To appreciate children’s literature by being familiar with the
• process behind the creation of children’s storybooks
• different ways of storytelling that may be used in the classroom

Weavers of Magic:
“Tito Dok” Luis Gatmaitan
Palanca Hall-of-Fame Awardee for Short Story for Children
Member, Kwentista ng mga Tsikiting (KUTING)

Ruben “Totet” De Jesus
Award-winning illustrator of children’s books
President, Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY)
Founding Member, Ilustrador ng Kabataan (INK)
Faculty, College of Fine Arts (UP Diliman)

Ace Elgar
Vice President, Kwentista ng mga Tsikiting (KUTING)
Member, ALITAPTAP Storytellers
Teacher, Ateneo Grade School

Zarah Gagatiga
President, Kwentista ng mga Tsikiting (KUTING)
Member, ALITAPTAP Storytellers
Head Librarian, Xavier Grade School

The registration fee for this activity is P500, which includes morning and afternoon snacks, lunch, a seminar kit, and a certificate of attendance/participation. Only a limited number of participants can be accommodated, through a first come, first served basis. A non-refundable, deductible pre-registration fee of P100 is required to reserve a slot.

For more information, text or call 0917-8581124 / 981-8500 loc 2815, email or visit the Reading Education department in Room 200, UP College of Education (Benitez Hall), Diliman, Quezon City.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wild & Crazy Librarians

Among the many things that struck me from the 3rd Rizal Library Conference, From Classroom to Career: Roadmaps to a Library's Success, it was Anne Riedling's 5 Little Rules With Big Impact that I consider as the most inspiring. She gave these simple rules to live by-

1.Lighten up! ☺
2. Say Thank you ☺
3. Take Care of yourself ☺
4. Do something wild and crazy ☺
5. Make an active choice ☺

Librarians have so much work to finish; so many issues to settle; so many concerns to contend with that often, stereotypes arise from such seriousness. But really, librarians are a lot of fun! Unless a more positive attitude is adapted, people who are outside the circle will always perceive librarians as lifeless, useless and boring. To quote another speaker from the same conference, librarians who do not break the mould run the risk of being categorized as a "non performing asset". Not a good perception of librarians at all.

Days before attending the Rizal Library conference, I've "bullied" my librarians to a chamber theatre style of storytelling for our preschool students in the Early Education Department (EED). At that time, the teachers in the EED were planing Book Week and Pet Week celebrations. They wanted to treat the preschoolers to a week long literacy activities and an awareness for the care of animals. How did the librarians take the "bulying"? There were apprehensions and anxieties, of course, since not all are comfortable telling stories. It does take a lot of guts to tell, besides. But chamber theatre is one technique where everyone has a part to play. Big or small, the task contributes to the overall result. It is a team effort. And yes, it can be fun too!

So, after adapting the script (thanks to Dianne delas Casas)of a well loved and familiar fable, The Ant and The Grasshopper, all four of us sat down and discussed. A new and a more detailed script included the background, music and a video clip. We had no time to practice since I was out for two days. I was assured that even in my absence, the rest of the team delivered. And they did, true enough. They may have had worries and felt the nervousness all over, but I know I can always depend on them. On the day of the performance, everything fell into place. There were little slips in the first session, but in a live perfromance, it is expected. I'm proud at how we all contributed to the work. The boys had fun and I suppose, the teachers had their share of laughs and amusement too.

What wild and crazy things can we do next?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh yes, Old Dumby is gay!

I promised that I will look around for more information on the Internet regarding Dumblodore's gay-ness. And Google led me to clues and news. So what now?

I can sleep happy. I was shocked at first, but thinking about it, he's one of the best gay characters I've read so far in the area of Young Adult Literature. Maybe now, young readers can look at a gay person beyond stereotypes. Being gay does not make one a lesser person. Rowling is really something.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sights @ the 3rd Rizal Library International Conference

Here are photos from the 3rd Rizal Library International Conference, from Classroom to Career: Roadmaps to A Library's Success. Enjoy the pictures. The inisghts I gathered from the two day conference will be posted soon.

Ateneo High School Educational Media Center

I just came from a two day conference, From Classrooms to Careers : Roadmaps to a Library's Success, at the Rizal Library, Ateneo De Manila Univeristy. The conference featured professional papers and projects of librarians, researchers and scholars from the academe here and abroad. The highlight of today's conference was seeing the the Ateneno High School Educational Media Center for the first time. See the photos I took using my MacBook.

I was impressed at the reader friendly atmosphere of the Ateneo HS EMC. Most of their staff are male and that is very telling of their thrust in educating and forming "men for others". Truly, the growing male teenager has to be surrounded by positive male role models to be. At the counter, boys were assited by a male staff. The librarian who entertained us was Ronald Jess Cabunagan, a UP alum (2001) who happens to be a reader of this blog. Their AV Librarian is male too. I failed to ask Mrs. Beth Peralejo if she has female librarians and staff. From the looks of it, she's the only one and she happens to be the "big boss" too.

They have graphic novels there! Yahoo! They also have computers for their OPAC terminals and CDROM/Internet access. They are celebrating Teen Read Week since October 17, 2007 and as a way to amplify the event, they featured books and reading materials on humor and leisurely reading. To further atract the attention of their students to reading and using the library, they put up a blog and trivia contest.

Attending the conference was like getting a refresher course. It is good to be reminded of these important things in this time and age of integration and IT, but what I really need is to fortify my management skills. I have to muster enough stamina - physical, emotional, mental, psychological and spiritual to last.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

So, Dumbledore is gay...

I just got the news via text from a friend who works for Scholastic that JK Rowling announced it so. I will still do a thorough search. HP fans, hold on to your emotions!

Friday, October 19, 2007

INFOLIB Orientation & Demo

It has been a busy day. This morning, I facilitated a workshop on storytelling for parent volunteers. In the afternoon, Chit Olivares and I presented the GS LRC's library information system software, INFOLIB, to the GS MLAs (middle level administrators).

There are five modules in the software, but only two are running so far. Mr. Gerry Laroza of the Rizal Library, Ateneo De Manila, software developer, is our consultant. Our GS principal, Mrs. Jane Natividad gave her support by issuing a memo to all MLAs that they must attend the presentation. Academic and Formation middle level coordinators came in full force.

The presentation of INFOLIB is one way to communicate the efforst of the library in its pursuance to automate its services. It is also a user education technique that will lead librarians in assessing and evaluating the project so far. Feedback from the end users will help in the improvement of the project. Next month, the GS LRC will schedule meetings with the different departments to inform tearchers of this project.

Storytelling for Parent Volunteers

Several weeks before Book Week celebration, the Early Education Department invites the GS LRC to give a Storytelling workshop-orientation for parent volunteers. Today, I facilitated the workshop to more or less 30 parents. These parents will tell stories to their son's class for thirty minutes in a given day during Book Week. Most of the parents are eager beavers who are gungho at it. There are also parents who are anxious at the mere thought of facing a room full of five year old boys.

The workshop is very simple, really, since most parent volunteers will be doing this for the first time. I give them the basic, sort of a Storytelling 101. The read aloud technique is very popular and the most easy so I provide them with other ways of telling stories. See the picture of a beagle at the right side? It's the product of a story kniffing technique. One can tell stories while drawing lines, shapes and squiggles. It's fun! Even the parents are at awe. In years past parents would turn out in their best form. I'm excited at how these batch of parents will stand and deliver.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Intellectual Property Philippines and Ang INK will launch KULAY at SALAYSAY, an art exhibit, tomorrow, October 19, 2007, 6 PM at the Alab Art Space IPO bldg. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati. There will be a storytelling session for kids age 9-12 on Saturday, October 20, 2007. Call Trina Samaniego for details at 7525450, loc. 610.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

From Classrooms to Carreers

I am attending the 3rd Rizal Library International Conference on October 22 and 23, 2007. Detiails of the conference can be viewed in the Rizal Library website.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A School Librarian's Pride (and Prejudice)

I have a sliver of memory from my undergraduate years that haunts me to this day.

Me: Good Morning, Prof. B! We’re students of Prof. O and she has assigned us to meet with you and your students on the topic and skill that we will be teaching in the grade 2 class.

Prof. B looked at us with a raised eyebrow. Arms akimbo, she spat these words—

Prof. B: Oh, I see! And what will you teach? Parts of the book? Any teacher in the elementary grades can teach that! We don’t need librarians to teach it!

This happened during my practicum year. I was a fourth year student then completing a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with Library Science as major. The degree meant completing 42 units of Education, plus another 37 units more for Library Science. A heavy course, really. It is only now that I wonder how I survived with extra-curricular activities and a very active social life on the side.

At that time, fulfilling all requirements before graduation entailed two kinds of practicum – the In-Service training and the On-Site training. I do not know how it is called these days, but students need to undergo observations, teaching demos, mentoring and actual practice in the laboratory school of the university and an affiliated elementary school. So it goes that upon receipt of diploma, all must take the board examination for teachers. My university made sure of that. For Library Science majors, there was another board exam to hurdle -- the licensure examination for librarians.

Looking back, it was not the task of teaching and providing library service that made things difficult. My teachers and mentors prepared me well. I had friends to share the pains and burdens of academic work. I had a mentor who guided me in the transition process of theory and practice. I have a mother who is a librarian so the support system was strong (plus, a boyfriend, now my husband, who worked on all my visual aids). What made the practicum experience harrowing was the prejudice on librarians and library science majors imposed by other professionals, classmates from other fields of discipline, and even the teachers and professors who were supposed to be allies. Early on I realized two things - that I must not stick with the traditional work and tasks; and that changing paradigms must be accommodated, adapted and adopted.

Upon my first foray into library work, I knew I would be exposed to the same bias and discrimination. And it is still happening, in fact, I have come to accept this sad reality. Embracing the truth, however, motivated me to assert my role in the community. It was not easy because I appeared very different from my colleagues in the profession. To them, they seem to take it as my natural personality - being proactive, collaborating with teachers, understanding the context of both the users and their environment, experimenting with technology, discovering potentials in spoken and written means of communication, promoting books and reading for the development of literacy among the young, telling stories, raising standards and going beyond theory and practice of the profession.

All these are advocacies I have promised to campaign for and live for right after taking the professional oath. My being a librarian is not merely a job. It is who I am.

Galing Foundation

Now here comes another foundation in support of the promotion of literacy.

Galing Foundation, US based and run by Filipinos and Fil-Ams in Georgia, is a provider of cultural and artistic experiences that is everything Filipino. Its mission is to fight illiteracy by providing access to books in rural areas in the Philippines, thus, it has donated 51 balikbayan boxes to provinces in the islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Its founder, Maritoni Daya-Luetgers, has succesfully touched based with other companies, NGOs, institutions and organizations to realize its objectives.

Like the Library Hub project of Mike Luz and the Read Or Die book donation campaign, I am for this initiative of providing books to indigent children. Reading is a right. Literacy begins with the availability of reading materials and resources besides. However, I will say this again, that book provision is only the beginning of literacy development.

Teachers are needed to facilitate reading instruction. Teachers need a variety of books to be able to develop literacy among young learners. Librarians come into the scene by making sure that donated books are well taken cared for. Books are alive and they must be protected from the heat and the cold; mended when broken; repaired for longevity; stored for posterity. Librarians can enrich the reading experience by setting an environment that is conducive for pleasurable and recreatory reading. School librraies and public libraries create programs and services that make reading a meaningful experience.

Back in 2003, Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation, collaborated with our school library to train school librarians who were in charge of the book donations made by SAS and HSBC. They had basic training and orientation on library routines and services provided for young children. SAS found out that no matter how many the donated books were or how beautiful and spacious the donated library building was, if there are no personnel in charge, efforts and resources will all go to waste. As of present, SAS continues to train public school teachers and librarians towards better literacy instruction via the annual Gurong Kaakbay conference.

I hope that the donations of Galing Foundation are in good hands. I hope that there are teachers who can use the books to teach children how to read them. I hope that recepients of these precious donations land in the hands of a librarian who has the passion for literacy and the political will to battle the odds at setting up reading and resource centers in the provinces. If my hopes fall short of hopefulness, I pray that there are people on the recieveing end who will know what to do with the books given to the children.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Books & Idols

The GS LRC has been busy the past few months with its regular programs and services. With PAASCU accreditation hovering a good distance and time away, work is already pouring in buckets. Nevertheless, it takes time to advocate and campaign for the utility of books and the genuine love for reading.

Boys Don’t Cry, But They Read

Is reading a passive activity? Is reading only for girls? Think again.

Reading may involve minimal physical movement, but it activates and shapes the mind to think creatively and critically beyond the written text. As opposed to conventional wisdom, reading is enjoyed not only by girls but by boys as well.

For the past three months since the conception of the Reading Idol, a reading campaign for books and reading, the GS LRC has featured male faculty members as avid readers. GS Asst. Principal for Unit 3, Dr. Jojo Ng and CLE teacher, Mr. Edwin Pangantijon proved that boys do read. Hopefully, their modeling of the reading habit is one practice that grade school boys can carry on until their high school and college years.

Mr. Pangantijon was the Reading Idol for the month of August. He shares with the boys his stance on reading – that no matter how busy a person can be, one has to find the time read in order to live a full life. The following month, it was Dr. Jojo Ng who graced the “hall of idols” in the Reading Area of the GS LRC. He extends the reading habit to his seven-year old son, Sage. They read together and enjoy the visual metaphors of graphic novels. As an advocate of marine life, scuba diving and care for the environment, Dr. Ng’s bible is the book, Philippine Coral Reefs by Scott D. Tuason.

Who could be the next reading idol? Now that is something to watch out for!

Abuzz about Books

Oh yes, to talk about books is such a pleasurable activity!

Last October 9, 2007, the GS LRC offered a book talk session for our Grade School Middle Level Administrators (MLA). GS Librarians picked books from the Teachers' Collection that were deemed appropriate for the busy MLA. These books are new titles purchased last year and early this school year. It was Mr. Oyet Concepcion, GS Librarian who did a fine job at presenting the18 titles of new books. These fall under three topics - Classroom Management, Assessment & Evaluation, Educational Management & Leadership.

The Book Talk session is one way to encourage teachers and staff to borrow from the GS LRC. It is also a strategy to showcase the professional expertise of librarians – that, apart form the routine tasks that they do, they have the product knowledge necessary in recommending resources for instruction and professional enrichment. The GS LRC is open for invitations from department coordinators to conduct book talk sessions. Aside from books, librarians can share new resources in AV and online formats.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

When Books Talk!

This PowerPoint presentation was used by one of our GS librarians in a book talk for Middle Level Administrators.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

An Open Letter to Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao

As of writing, news of Manny Pacquiao's win against Marco Antonio Barrera has crawled the Internet and the Pinoy Blogosphere. This is something I expected, so I'm not surprised. I wonder now what Pacman will do next. And I'm not pertaining to his boxing career, but to his extra-curricular activities. Aside from movies, music, a host of endorsements under his belt would he be thinking of an advocacy to pursue in the future?

The late great Gabriel "Flash" Elorde put up a training center for aspiring young boxers though news of its success or failure has not caught the attention of media. Would Pacquiao venture into something like this? Or would he seriously think of trying his luck in politics (again). Heaven forbid.

So, I'm writing the "Pambansang Kamao" an open letter. I'm not really expecting anything from this but, who knows? Hope springs eternal.

Dear Manny,

Congratulations sayo, aking kababayan!

Your win against Barrerra sealed your future as the boxing great of this generation. Your ascent to boxing supremacy is a product of hard work and perseverance from many trials. Truly, you have earned it - the belt, the rewards, the fame and the fans. At the height of your boxing career, I will not be surprised if you move up and continue sweeping crowns and coins (lots of it!). What's good about all these fortune coming your way is your desire to give back, to help others.

Your political bid as representative for the city of Genaral Santos is proof of your willingness to make a much bigger and deeper impact in the lives of your countrymen. Of course, others have thought differently, but to me, I take it as your way of making a difference. You have proven that in the boxing arena. You just can't wait to try your hands at public service.

But you see, you can help your "kababayans" as you are.

I don't really know what help you're thinking of right now so you can give back to your fellow Filipinos, but I am hoping it is something that will empower and inspire them to better their lives. Perhaps a boxing gym for boxing aspirants. Maybe a scholarship for those who want to finish their education. Or maybe put up a business for the unemployed. And because I'm a librarian, I suggest that you support a community library that will help in the literacy develoment of people in General Santos.

It is really all up to you, Manny. I only hope that whatever charity or advocacy you intend to pursue in the future, it would be for the benefit of the masses - for them to discover their own power and potentials; for them to realize their dreams no matter how simple.

All the best for you, Manny!


Zarah C. Gagatiga
School Librarian & Literacy Advocate

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Does Manny Pacquiao Read?

Manny Pacquiao and his family will never go hungry in the next ten, twenty, thirty years. Either he win or lose in his fight tomorrow, his cofers of savings will not run dry. His sons and daughter will surely go to college, if not, secure a better way of establishing their economic standing from the investments he has made as a boxer and, businessman.

Manny Pacquiao has the business smarts and he's made a fortune out of all the endorsements and product promotions. In the midst of all these, I wonder if the "pambansang kamao" has plans of writing his own life story. Thinking about it, does he read in the first place? He does support several charities, even runs some of his own in his native province. But, will he ever endorse reading, books, education and life long learning?

I'm skeptical. But how I wish he would.

The again, I doubt it since no news of his educational background ever came out in the news.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

On the Blog Trail of (the) Filipino Librarian

Whew! I finally get to squeeze this in or else, be stuck in September. I have several blog posts in line for this week, but Von's recent posts are just too delicious to follow. He hasa post on the Carnival of Infosciences, to which I have a topic brewing for submission. And then, there is the C.S. Canonigo hulaballoo that has become a blog-novella of a sort in the sense that, people who know her are obviously up for her defense. She has apologized and that tells a lot about her intention and integrity.

Moving on to more juicy stuff is his How To Build A Library post. Charles Tan, who is slowly becoming an honorary Pinoy Blograrian, has several responses. There are two, actually, and both are interesting reads. He speculates on the role of librarians as well as the future of libraries in the light of changes that technology wages on librarians and the evolving paradigms of library users on librraies that is affecting the profession in general. Readers of Von's blog has replied via comments and reading them myself prompted me to write this down.

Book donations are grand initiatives. School librraies need them. College libraries need them. Community libraries need them, Yes, even in this age of IT, people need to read books. They must read books and they will continue to read books. Books address a learning style and a way of understanding that differs from electronic formats. Much as online formats are exciting, books offer a more intimate and personal experience.

The idea to increase the literacy rate through access to books is indeed a great strategy. How can children learn to read and appreciate books if they are not given the environment to do so? How can learning be a life long endeavor if adults do not read books continuously? Books are still the basic format to learn how to read. Computers and the Internet are tools to bring the skill of reading several notches up the critical thinking ladder. Thus, we see a rise in foundations and NGOs taking the path towards book donations and library development.

What must be noted is this, that no matter how much and how many books are given and provided to libraries, a librarian must be there to plan and implement programs and services so that users can effectively and meaningfully derive learning and knowledge from acquired and donated books. Will librarians still be needed in virtual environments like digital libraries? Definitely. The role of a librarian becomes even more important because the librarian can render the professional expertise needed to create and communicate information, knowledge and values associated with the application of technology. Sure, IT people are available to manage information and its delivery, but they do it differently from librarians. They are coming in from another context, another paradigm.

Libraries are growing organisms, to quote Dr. Ranganathan. In the changing landscape of IT, we all are witnesses to the growth and the morphing of libraries. To nurture and nourish this development, librarians must be present to do it.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

How is the School Librarian Perceived

I met with a good writer friend yesterday and, as friends always do, we had great conversations. Here's a slice of the many things we talked about that made me wonder and struck me as really something relevant.

Writer Friend; Hey, your TLA (top level admnistrator) gave me a call asking me for a resource on ******** for a particular grade level.

Me: Oh.

WF: I wasn't able to recommend one. I was in the middle of something besides. But I will send an email.

Me: Uhum...

WF: Well, shouldn't all elementary schools begin with storytelling and move on to complex oral langauge skills as students move up the grades?

Me: Yes, of course. When did you got the call?

WF: Last week, anyway, you're the librarian. You know what to do. Then again, I need to give my reply anytime soon.

I will not stop my friend from giving her list of resources, definitely I know it will help the person in need. But, as a librarian who knows what to do (thanks to you, my dear writer friend for the confidence), I will also provide a plethora of resources on the topic in question. Again, this is one of those opportunities where in a librarian can showcase both skill and competence on the delivery of information and the knowledge of content. Now, even if the person in need of the resource and the information is a mere teacher or a simple grade school student, I will do the same to assist and lead them.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Parts of a Book

Sometimes, Calliope is just around the corner. Here is a poem I wrote for my grade 2 class this coming week. I will be using the poem for our lesson on the basic parts of a book.

I am a book

I am a book
And I have many parts
A cover to keep me clean
A spine so I can stand

I have a body
With several good pages
Of facts and stories
You can read from start to finish

Open me now
And you will know
The author who wrote
The illustrator who drew

Don’t forget the title
That’s what I ‘m all about
Who put me all together?
Oh, it is the publisher

Source of Image:
Diane Greenseid Clip Art
861 x 1583 - 109k - jpg

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Library for Preschool Teachers & Kids

In 1995, I began work as school librarian for the Preschool library of Xavier School. With an existing program, all I had to do was implement it. Twelve years after, the Early Education Learning Resource Center (EED LRC) has grown in more ways than one.

In terms of collection, the EED LRC now houses 5,000 print and AV resources. The library period for Nursery is slowly being resurrected after a couple of years of restructuring schedule and curriculum. Prep students are regularly being given library encounters and they have begun borrowing books. Special programs like puppet shows and film viewing are provided for students in the preschool unit.

The EED LRC, aside from functioning as reading and literacy center for students, is also a resource center for preschool teachers. Through the varied instructional materials available in the center, teachers have laid their trust on the EED LRC to deliver services and programs that agree and meet their teaching needs.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

For Toe, who is wondering where the books and shows for Filipino children are

So I took my medicines at midnight, today (technically, speaking) and found myself hard of getting sleep back. I did the next best thing - blog and blog hop. After my usual round of blogs, I wandered to The Philippines According to Blogs. I have not logged in for a while and it has been ages since my last blog update. It's been so long that, at that time, the site was still maintained by Abe Olandres. Goodness.

Anyhoo, what caught my attention was this entry by Toe in her blog, Kurokuroatbp. I can not log in to post a comment because, her blog is password protected.

So, Toe, allow me to inform you that children's literature in the country is very young. When you and I were growing up in the seventies and the eighties, we read foreign books and watched foreign shows. It did not help that my mother was a librarian who worked at an American school. She brought me books! Lots! She did this until I was in my junior year in college. No regrets. I became a reader for life and truly, I have a genuine love for books and reading. This is something I want to pass on to my children, but, like you, I also searched for books that bespeak of my culture and identity. This, I want my children to experience too - read books about their heritage and culture, not merely of history, but the way things are in the Philippines, being a Filipino and becoming to be one. My children are luckier,Toe. I am able to provide them with books by foreign writers as well as books by Filipino authors.

So you see, Philippine Children's Literature is about our age. It is only in its 30's. There were books for children, of course, during the 50's, 60's and early 70's, but it did not really address the needs of Filipino children until the mid-70's, when people in the industry realized how important it is to provide books for kids that reflect their culture and the likes that would meet their developmental needs. There are several courses in college on the history of children's literature and for one, a big chunk of it is alloted for Philippine Children's Literature. There are also conferences and seminars on Philippine Children's Literature that feature a lot of our writers and illustrators. As of present, there is the PBBY who advocates reading and the promotion of books. In its website, you will find reviews of books written by Filipino authors. There are around 4-5 active book publishing companies devoted to producing books for Pinoy kids and sadly, they have to compete with foreign publishers who are mightier and bolder in terms of marketing arsenal.

Every year, National Children's Book Day (NCBD) is celebrated on the 3rd Tuesday of July. Present during the event are organizations concerned with the creation and promotion of children's books like KUTING, Ang INK and Alitaptap, along with a host of children's literature advocates, teachers and librarians, foundations and organizations. It is during the NCBD when the best written and illustrated story for kids is awarded the Salanga and Alcala prizes.

Last NCBD, I was assigned to present 27 titles of new books for children published by Pinoy publishers, written and illustrated by Pinoys, for the Pinoy growing child. It seem to increase in numbers, every year. We only had around 12 or 15 titles presented last year. These books are all available in bookstores nationwide. During the Manila International Book Fair last August, some pblishers launched the new titles. In terms of content, we've come a long way. Now you can read stories about a boy with an OFW mother; a girl whose cousin is stricken with luekemia; about Teo who shares bayabas, rambutan, pakwan, etc. to his father instead of apples, grapes and kiwis. Our writers are delving into sensitive issues on family and growing up. There are stories on adoption, separation, death, senility, being different, peer pressure, bullying, first love, first kiss, even on homosexuality (one Palanca award winner) though it still has to find a brave publisher to see it in print. Online stories for kids by Pinoy writers are also avaialble. Try to google Literaturang Tsikiting and it will lead you to ten stories and a few poems by KUTNG writers.

I hope this helps you a bit in your search. I was not able to recommend TV shows for kids, because, that is another story. It has its own issues and a history in itself that deserves another posting.

Rest assured that there is a continuous growth of books for our children in the country despite challenges in the economics of producing them and the changing reading habits and interest of children today. As long as there are people who carry on with the writing, illustrating, publication and promotion of books for Pinoy kids, there will be readers who someday will either write, or illustrate or publish or promote books for their generation and the ones to come.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pinoy Bibliobloggers' Mafia on the Move

Bibliothecarii bloggers. Hmm... I like the sound of that. Though my online dictionary did not turn out any result for the meaning of the first word. Anyhoo, here's a round up of of posts from the guys.

Von raised some questions and pondered as to why I was the only female blograrian present in the EB. Juned coined the term I used to start this post, while Charles promised to do a weekly post on library related stuff every Monday. Igor and Arnold summarized the meeting and the topics discussed last Saturday, 15 September, 2007.

A good start, I suppose. I wonder if other female blograrians will join the group sooner or latter. It is in times like this that I miss Peachy Limpin the most.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Filipino Blograrians: Blogging Mafia on the Rise (?)

Trust Von to stir things up in the mundanely quiet world of librarianship in the Philippines. And don't be surprised if four more Filipino librarians and an ardent reader-writer who have blogs join Von in brewing up a new concoction in the already muddled and intrigue ladden universe known as the blogosphere. The idea is for all of us to keep writing about the profession and related fields. With talk of putting up an aggregator or syndication, the blograrians present at last Saturday's EB, September 15, 2007 at A Different Bookstore in Serendra were all up for the challenge.

Igor is beginning to refocus his smorgasboard with a bent on LIS related topics. Arnold has declared the meeting as historic because, librarians who write and blog are finally taking a more active role in making the profession visible in the blogosphere. I'm sure Igor has a lot to write about now that he is back teaching in college. His observation on the polarity of tech skills of his LIS students would make for an interesting post. Arnold's tech news are worth reading for librarians to be updated in this area. More and more, we're being eaten by the "computer people". What they can do, we can do better actually. Unless, politics come into play at the work place. Now, that's a topic I can write with sass and class this time around.

Juned's book reviews and socio-polital commentaries are insightful. Charles' variety of posts on books, literature and media make for a good source for librarians taking stock of the collection. As for Von, he is the Filipino Librarian. What more can I say, but AMEN!

So, we'll see where we'll end up. Hopefully not in a quandary of controversies that seem to rock Filipino bloggers of late. Librarians are quiet little people, really. Besides, there is enough conflict in this world and there is so much love to go around. If I were you, I say you choose the later and love your librarian back!

Hub a Library

PBBY board member, Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz wrote an update on the Library Hub's progress in the country. It's published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last Sept. 14, 2007. What delighted me of the news is the imminent training of librarians who will be in charge of the hub.

"Beverly Gonda, Library Hub Project Officer says in her latest update that a teacher training for the 35 Hubs has been completed and work has begun on the next set of Hubs. They are now preparing for the training of the librarians who will actually manage the daily operations of the Hubs all over the country."

Finally, training for librarians for the hubs. DepEd can learn a lot from the experiences of Riko Vinluan who has been quite successful in the Library Hub of the Naga City Public Library.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Live Blogging : Pinoy Biblioblogosphere

Male Librarians and Friend. Clockwise: Von; Juned; Arnold; Igor; and Charles Tan.

Finally. The boys are here. I am the only rose among the thorns and it's my job to live blog. Hmmm... is it because I'm a girl? I feel so like Hermione Granger at the moment. But this does not happen everyday, so it's OK.

Kidding aside, I'm the one with a laptop. I'm the only practicing librarian in the bunch, the only female librarian so, there. We all have blogs and it's blogging that has brought us together this afternoon. There are interesting topics of conversation moving around. Such unbloggable "tsismis" I do not intend to mention. There is enough trouble in this world and all I want is peace. Ahaha! Miss Congeniality, present!

Igor is currently teaching at the UP SLIS with a full load, mind. He does some consulting job as web developer in the corporate arena. Arnold is in records management at the Asian Development Bank. Juned is in indexing and abstracting. He's had success in problogging and is continuously growing in that area. Geez, it's the "raket" I want to have! Charles is not a librarian by academic preparation and occupation, but he is among "us" because he is a friend of the library.

When Von posted the announcement for this EB, he wanted to know how big the Pinoy Big Biblioblogosphere is. Well, people present this afternoon gives Von a good picture on the size of this PBB (Pinoy Big Biblioblogosphere).

Live Blogging: Pinoy Big Biblioblogosphere

So here we are at Serendra, A Different Bookstore waiting for more people to join us - Von, Charles and I. It's 4.30 PM already and we remain a threesome.

Will post later when the others have arrived.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Teachers and Mentors

Ace Elgar and I will be doing a seminar-workshop on Storytelling on September 22, 2007 at the UP College of Education. The event will be sponsored by the UP REGALE (Reading Education Department) in celebration of International Literacy Month.

The workshop is a meaningful one for me and Ace because, students from the UP College of Education will be side by side with us in facilitating the workshop. Jerson Capuyan and Michelle Agas were participants during the Storytelling workshop I conducted for them last year. Miko Manalo on the other hand, attended Ace's Storytelling workshop session two years back. This was made possible by Prof. Portia Padilla whose never ending campaign for literacy and reading has made her a champion for the cause.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

One Day In Naga

My workshop at the Naga City Public Library last August 27, 2007 was attended by 50 participants from the district. Most of them are teachers in the content area who were given library duties to man the school library. They were expected to multitask and accomplish dual roles, that of a teacher and a school librarian.

The seminar-workshop began with basic school library services. Call it School Library Management 101 for those who were plucked out of their teaching positions to become vanguards of the school library. Useful and practical topics like resource sharing, networking, fund raising, gaining support from administration, parents and the community were also discussed. Issues on manpower, lack of support and high expectations inevitably surfaced, so I tried my best to be encouraging enough. After all, the concerns they enumerated are things I experience too. Money for books and library up keeping will always be problems, but it can be solved through an empowered and well supported library staff.

I met Riko Vinluan, finally, in the flesh. I've met him online and last Monday of that August was our actual "Eye Ball". He is a resourceful and dynamic librarian. He organized the Naga School Librarians Association right after the session. They were able to identify workable action plans for their school libraries. Reading campaigns, networking and articulation of needs to supervisors are some of the few strategies they've identified so far.

Through PBBY and the local government of Naga City, I was witness to the famous Library Hub of the district. Riko has actually taken responsibility on the circulation of books to different hubs. Using the Naga City Library Book Mobile, books for the schools are placed in bins. These bins are given to the school for a time and are returned to the hub for replenishment and book repair. It's a structure that works for them.

I have said it once and I will say it again, if there is no librarian or library personnel for the hubs who can do the monitoring and supervision on the route of books and schools, all resources and efforts may go to waste. Plus, there are reading and library programs that need to be done for the hubs to truly come alive. Entrust such programs and activities to teachers? Their first duty is to teach. The presence of people from the library sector is crucial.

In this case, it appears that provision and access for books are the main agenda. It is a good start, but the recipients of the hub's services have a  huge challenge to face - how to continue this working structure or system so that it has an impact on the children's lives.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Filipina Librarians: Chona De Jesus & Ellen Floro

I met Chona De Jesus today. Chona is the librarian for the Magsaysay Training Center. It is a company specilaizing on the training of maritime personnel and Chona has the task of serving their information and training needs. She invited me to do a storytelling sesion for children of the company's employees. The activity was in line with their READiscovery Program which is aimed at developing the reading habits of children and adults.

According to her, it was a kick off activity to further promote the library and the culture of reading in the company. I also met her boss, Ms. Grace Cabilatazan, who is a self confessed reader and book lover. She is putting importance on the company's library as hub and source of skills, competence and knowledge. Such support for the librarina will go a long way.

Chona's sister, Ellen Floro is like her, a librarian. Both are graduates of the Philippine Normal Univeristy. Chona finished her degree in 1990, while Ellen graduated in the year 1995.

In our brief "chikahan", I learned how many librarians are leaving the Philippines for better working opportunities and economic conditions abroad. It really is a decision. In this globally competitive world, lines, boarders and divisions are little things that matter. One's identity, level of competence and skill make all the big difference.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Messy Table

This is one side of my table. The right side. There you can see my mobile phone sitting on a red cat mobile phone holder. There's the calendar, my fortune plant, a mug of pens, markers and shears. I have a bottle of water, always beside me since I'm a heavy water drinker now. My brown coffee mug only gets the taste of caffeine once a day. Since June, I've lessend my coffee drinking to help ease my work out regiment. Coffee stiffens the fat mass. I have so much to loose. It meant double the hard work if I continue my three cups of coffee a day.

You can also see the brown paper bag beside the pink water bottle. It has puto and kutsinta bought along the road in Wack-Wack. I munch every now and then. Little bites to tide over the hunger pangs. I did not finish it all as my son, who goes to school in the same school I work in, would look for merienda after a loaded day of academic studying.

And here is the left side of my table. Messy. Messy, Messy.

It's PAASCU Pre-Survey year and reporst are needed here and there. There are questions from the Principal to answer, administrative reports to accomplish and statistics to study. I have made a list of "to dos" for the coming months. I shudder at the length of the things to be done. From the looks of things, I'm afraid I will not be able to finish my Special Problem in grad school. Something's got to give.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Live Blogging : PAASCU Visit

I am in Lipa, Batangas right now, accreditng a private Catholic high school. It is the second day and the accrediting team is down pat wrapping up. I can't post details as everything in the PAASCU experience is shrouded with confidentiality. Let it be known, though, that the beauty of accreditation rests on professional networking, growth in the field of education and service students and to colleagues in the profession.

Here we are at the breakfast table this morning. Aren't we a happy bunch?

This PAASCU Accrediitng Team is led by Mrs. Rita Atienza of the Graduate School of the Ateneo De Manila. I have another post in The Coffee Goddess. Click here for the PAASCU post.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

With The Filipino Librarian

There were a good number of Filipino Librarians in my panel discussion last August 30, 2007, Thursday at the Manila International Book Fair. We had our pictures taken and I'm hoping one of them nice people would send me a copy. I did not bring a digicam, sadly. But, I have a Macbook with built in camera via Photo Booth.

So here is a picture of me and Von, Filipino Librarian after a very ligt mereinda at

My stint and visit at the Manila Internation Book Fair this year was very brief. Unlike in previous years when I would be there for days and would spend time, money and effort selecting books for my own perusal and enjoyment, I am low key this year due to work responsibilities and professional endeavors. The short trip to the fair was enough to touch base with friends in the industry though. I was able to make new connections nonetheless. Networking is very important for the job and I think, I've done fairly well on this area.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Live Blogging : Where have all the male (Filipino) librarians gone?

Male librarians are few. At least, in the Philippines. If I am wrong, then tell me so and I will not mind.

Today, I met Mahrlo Pua at the Manila International Book Fair. He is Filipino. He is a librarian, and a school librarian at that. And yes, he is male.

Mahrlo worked as head librarian of the Children's Library, Robinson's Galleria Branch for three years. He then moved on to be information specialist in the Council for the Welfare of Children. Right now, he is still among children providing library services and programs at the De La Salle Zobel, Ayala Alabang.

The picture above was taken using Photobooth. With Bluetooth, I sent his photo to his cellular phone. How hi-tech can librarians be?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Librarian In Action : Riko Vinluan

This is Riko Vinluan, yes, he is male and the librarian of the Naga City Library. He is in charge of the Naga City Libray Hub as well as the Raul Roco Collection (and future museum). On top o f this, He is involved in helping public school libraries become visible and functionally real in Naga City via the support of its local government and the DepEd division there. Given these assignments and responsibilities, he feels so old at 29 years old.

I pray that Riko's well spring of enthusiasm and energy never runs dry because, I witnessed (in my short stint there as workshop-seminar facilitator) Riko's leadership to mobilize people for a more progressive library services in the community. After my two day session with teacher-librarians and students of library science from the Ateneo De Naga and the Univeristy of Nueva Caceres, Riko went on to organize the Naga School Librarians Association. This early, they have projects and activities lined up.

Here's hoping that they get the support they truly deserve from all sectors of government and non-government organizations. My presence there yesterday was made possible through collaboration with the PBBY.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Plagiarized? Again.

Von Totanes has proved once again that he has reached celebrity blogger status. Kidding aside, what happened to him recently is really serious stuff.

In his current post , he sends an open letter to the person who lifted his works from his blog into a collection of speeches. The publisher and the editor of the book better start doing something. Von's blog is well read and has great reach. If another blogger celebrity gets wind of this news, they can only regret the irresponsibility and carelessness that went with producing the material.

Blogs have power. And responsible bloggers know damn well how to weild it. Just think Malu Fernandez.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sawikaan 2007 & Buwan ng Wika

Celebration of the Buwan ng Wika was to open last August 15, 2007 in our school. Typhoon Egay and a series of "no classes" days moved the remembrance of its historical and cultural relevance in the community on August 31, 2007. The GS LRC has of course, prepared activities for the unit with storytelling sessions, film viewing and trivia contests.

It is during this time of the school year when Filipiniana books are disturbed from their silence in the shelves. Filipino and Tagalog become, all of a sudden, langauge stars to students who'd rather speak English or Taglish, a combination of both Tagalog and English language. While many traditional educators raise eyebrows to this mixture of langauge, it can not be denied that the assimilation of English words into hard core Filipino is ever present, and, inevitable. Our language is very much alive, and so is English. The result has actually prompted columnist Mike Tan to coin a new term for this mix - Finglish.

His article today is an interesting observation at how our langauge has morphed over time. Economics, changing contexts, cultural revolutions, etc., motivates and usher such changes. All this he reflects upon the announcement of the winners in the Word of the Year in the Sawikaan 2007. Miskol was granted the first place, followed by runner ups, roro and Friendster.

For more information on Sawikaan 2007, go here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The 33d National Writers Congress

The Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) would like to invite writers and lovers of literature in its 33rd National Writers Congress to be held at the Pulungang Recto, College of Arts and Letters Faculty Center , University of the Philippines , Diliman, Quezon City on August 25 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. With the theme “Literature and Writers’ Welfare,” Senator Francis Pangilinan will speak about his legislative vision for literature. Other agenda are recent developments in intellectual property rights, and the model for a collective management group responsible for collecting royalties. Four noted writers will also receive the prestigious Gawad Pambansang Alagad.
A general election of the new set of UMPIL Board of Directors will be held afterwards. For inquiries, please call Vim or Joey at nos. 922-1830.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Appointments & Engagements

August 27, 2007
Naga Public and School Library System & the Philippine Board on Books for Young People
Seminar-Workshop on Developing a Library for the Young
Naga City, Philippines
Contact Person ; Riko Vinluan

August 30, 2007
3.30 pm - 4.30 pm
Read Or Die & Powerbooks
Panel Discussion on Children, Teens & Reading in the Time of IT
Manila International Book Fair
World Trade Center, Pasay City
Contact Person : Tin Mandigma (+639283555365)

September 1, 2007
9.00 am - 11.00 am
Storytelling and Read Aloud Session
Magsaysay Training
UN Avenue, Manila

September 2, 2007
8.30 am - 12.00 noon
Review Classes on School Library Management
UP SLIS, Diliman Quezon City
Contact : UP SLIS (98.18.500 loc. 2870 / 2869)

September 3-4, 2007
PAASCU Accreditation
Lipa City, Batangas

September 22, 2007
10.00 am - 4.00 pm
Storytelling Workshop with Ace Elgar
UP REGALE, UP College of Education
Diliman Quezon City
Contact Person : Teacher Portia Padilla (+639178581124)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ibang Klase : Ang INK 16th Exhibit

On its sixteenth year Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK) grows older
and turns over a new leaf with "Ibang Klase!" , the theme for this year's
annual exhibit. It is Ang I.N.K. members' way of paying tribute to the
personalities who peopled and memories that colored their individual high
school lives.

The Crush ng Bayan, the Nerd, the Bully, the resident school ghost,
ghost-hunting in the school grounds, soirees, first love, first date,
first kiss, first dance, graduation, grad ball, prom king and queen,
choral fest, intrams, newspaper drive, drama fest, declamation contests,
debates, yearbook, diary (or blog), school ring, high school fair (jail
booth, kissing booth, marriage booth, concerts, crush, rollercoaster ride
with crush), cutting class, school paper, high school orgs, sleepovers,
zits, first deodorant, first make-up kit, first shave, algebra, biology,
trigonometry, geometry, physics, P.E., gym practice, immersions,
retreats, merit and demerit slips, quarterly exams, high school summers,
summer camps, excursions, field trips, first smoke, high school fashion,
Seventeen magazine, Sweet Valley High, Judy Blume, Bob Ong, celebrity
crush, school uniform, cutesy accessories, first makeup, etc. Funny or
sad, sane or crazy, memorable or forgettable, these are our memories of
high school.

Opening cocktails:
14 August 2007, Tuesday, 6:00 PM
at the Archaeology Wing, Powerplant Mall

Weekend Activities:
Saturday, 18 August 2007
1 p.m. - Face Painting
2 p.m. - Illustration Clinic with Don Arado, Liza Flores, Jordan Santos and Wilson Tortosa
Sunday, 19 August 2007
12 nn. - Face Painting
1 p.m. - Storytelling session
2 p.m. - Art Workshop with Jomike Tejido

Exhibit runs from August 14 to 23, 2007 at the Archaeology Wing, Powerplant Mall, Makati.

Visit our website:

Saturday, August 11, 2007

JK Rowling Reviewed by Stephen King

Here is a fantastc review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by Stephen King. It could not get better than this - a writer reviewing another. King is obviosly, a fan of the Potter series. We get to see a writer responding as a reader of fantasy.

It is just so, wow.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

National Book Awards 2006

Here are the finalists for the National Book Awards for books published in the Philippines in 2006:

The Manila We Knew, edited by Erlinda Enriquez Panlilio. Anvil.
Philippine Speculative Fiction, Volume 2, edited by Dean Francis Alfar. Kestrel IMC.

Ani: The Life and Art of Hermogena Borja Lungay, Boholano Painter, by Marjorie Evasco. UST Publishing House.
Brushstrokes from the Heart: ArtPetron, The First Five Years, by Alice G. Guillermo. Petron Corporation.
Fabian de la Rosa and His Times, by Luciano P.R. Santiago, Ana P. Labrador, Macario Ofilada Mina, and Santiago Albano Pilar, edited by Ana P. Labrador. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana. net.

Abe: A Frank Sketch of E. Aguilar Cruz, by Nick Joaquin. Holy Angel University.
Ballerina of the People, by Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Angela Blardony Ureta, and Susan A. De Guzman. Ballet Manila Foundation.
Beyond the Great Wall: A Family Journal, by Mario I. Miclat. Anvil.
Joaquin, Nick. Ed Angara: Seer of Sea & Sierra. University of the Philippines Press.
Kapitan: Geny Lopez and the Making of ABS-CBN, by Raul Rodrigo. ABS-CBN Publishing.
Masay: The Untold Story of a Japanese Woman’s Heroic Compassion towards her Fellowmen circa World War II, Philippine Arena, by Celia Hernando Tobia-Bulan. University of Santo Tomas Publishing House.
Myself, Elsewhere, by Carmen Guerrero Nakpil. Nakpil Publishing.
Trailblazing: The Quest for Energy Self-Reliance, by Geronimo Z. Velasco. Anvil.

Coconut: The Philippines’ Money Tree, by Renato M. Labadan. RM Labadan and Associates and University Research and Resource Development.
The Path to the Success of Cooperatives, by Eugenio V. Mendoza and Eulogio T. Castillo. University of the Philippines Press.

Bad Kings, by Gilda Cordero Fernando. Anvil.
The Cat Painter, by Becky Bravo. Adarna House.
Hale, Hale, Hoy!: Mga Laro, Kanta, Tugma, at Bugtong ng Batang Filipino! Adarna House.
Halikpon: A Retelling of an Ancient Ifugao Chant and Pumbakhayon: An Origin Myth of the Ifugao Hudhud by Mae Astrid Tobias. National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
Inang Bayan’s New Clothes / Mga Bag-ong Sinina ni Inahang Nasod, by Tony Perez and Agnes S. Caballa. Anvil.

The Governor-General’s Kitchen: Philippine Culinary Vignettes and Period Recipes, 1521-1935, by Felice Prudente Sta. Maria. Anvil.
Potluck, Hidalgo Bonding: A Family Heritage Cookbook, edited by Jaime C. Laya and Adelaida Lim. Anvil.

Halik sa Kampilan; Dulang Kambayoka, by Frank G. Rivera. University of Santo Tomas Publishing House.
Mga Premyadong Dula, by Lito Casaje. De La Salle University Press.

Anticipating Filipinas: Reading Bienvenido Lumbera as Critic, edited by Charlie S. Veric. University of Santo Tomas Publishing House.
Great Scott!: The New Day William Henry Scott Reader, edited by Bezalie Bautista Uc-Kung. New Day.

Daughters True: 100 Years of Scholastican Education, 1906-2006, edited by Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz, Paulynn Paredes Sicam, Karina Africa Bolasco, and Ma. Ceres P. Doyo. St. Scholastica’s College.

(Im)Personal: Gabay sa Panulat at Pagmamanunulat, by Rene O. Villanueva. Anvil.
The King of Nothing to Do: Essays on Nothing and Everything, by Luis Joaquin M. Katigbak. Milflores.
The Knowing is in the Writing: Notes on the Practice of Fiction, by Jose Y. Dalisay Jr. University of the Philippines Press.
Science Solitaire: Essays on Science, Nature, and Becoming Human, by Maria Isabel Garcia. Ateneo de Manila University Press.
They Have Jesus: The Stories of the Children of Hapag, by Joey A. Velasco. Kenosis.

(H)istoryador( a), by Victor Emmanuel Carmelo D. Nadera Jr. University of the Philippines Press.
Ang Sandali ng mga Mata, by Alvin B. Yapan. Ateneo de Manila University Press.

Banyaga: A Song of War, by Charlson Ong. Anvil.
The Jupiter Effect, by Katrina Tuvera. Anvil.
Salamanca, by Dean Francis Alfar. Ateneo de Manila University Press.
Samboangan: The Cult of War, by A. R. Enriquez. University of the Philippines Press.
Women in the House, by Erma M. Cuizon. University of Santo Tomas Publishing House.

Maligayang Pagdating sa Sitio Catacutan: Mga Kuwentong Kasisindakan, Aklat 1 / Malagim ang Gabi sa Sitio Catacutan: Mga Kuwentong Kasisindakan, Aklat 2, by Tony Perez. Anvil.
Pagluwas, by Zosimo Quibilan Jr. University of the Philippines Press.
Taguan-Pung, Koleksyon ng Dagling Kathang Di Pambata at Manwal ng mga Napapagal: Kopi Teybol Dedbol Buk, by Eros S. Atalia. University of Santo Tomas Publishing House.
Ten: Coming Home and Nine More Short Stories, by Albina Peczon Fernandez. Holy Angel University.

Mythopoeic Poe: Understanding the Masa as Audience through the Films of Fernando Poe Jr., by Alfonso B. Deza. Great Books Publishing.
Postmodern Filming of Literature: Sources, Contexts and Adaptations, by Joyce L. Arriola. University of Santo Tomas Publishing House.

Hiligaynon Mythological Stories and Folktales: Analysis and Translation, by Amorita C. Rabuco. University of San Agustin Publishing House.
Interactive Vernacular [and] National Literature: Magdalena G. Jalandoni’s Juanita Cruz as Constituent of Filipino National Literature, by Lucila V. Hosillos. University of the Philippines Press.
Kasaysayan at Pag-unlad ng Dulaang Pambata sa Pilipinas, by Arthur P. Casanova. UST Publishing House.
Mula sa mga Pakpak ng Entablado: Poetika ng Dulaang Kababaihan, by Joi Barrios. University of the Philippines Press.
Treading Through: 45 Years of Philippine Dance, by Basilio Esteban S. Villaruz. University of the Philippines Press and Philippine Folklife Museum Foundation.
Writing Literary History: Mode of Economic Production and Twentieth Century Waray Poetry, by Jose Duke S. Bagulaya. University of the Philippines Press.

Apokripos, by Jerry B. Gracio. University of the Philippines Press.
Gagamba sa Uhay: Kalipunan ng mga Haiku, by Rogelio G. Mangahas. C&E Publishing.
Kung ang Tula ay Pwedeng Pambili ng Lalaki: Mga Tula, by John Iremil E. Teodoro. Igbaong Imprints.
Pag-aabang sa Kundiman: Isang Talambuhay, by Edgar Calabia Samar. Ateneo de Manila University.

Contribution to Philippine Agricultural Modernization: Selected Papers of Fulbright-Philippin e Agriculture Scholars, Volume 1, edited by Liborio S. Cabanilla, Mario G. Andrada, and Liberty O. Inciong. Fulbright-Philippin e Agriculture Alumni Association.
A Guide to Families of Common Flowering Plants in the Philippines, by Irma Remo Castro. University of the Philippines Press.
Introduction to Complementary and Alternative Medicine (C.A.M.), by Victoriano Y. Lim. University of Santo Tomas Publishing House.
Philippine Agriculture, Food Security, and APEC, edited by Liborio S. Cabanilla. Philippine APEC Study Center Network and Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

Adios, Patria Adorada: The Filipino as Ilustrado, the Ilustrado as Filipino, by Alfredo Roces. De La Salle University Press.
Archaeology and Culture in Southeast Asia: Unraveling the Nusantao, by Wilhelm G. Solheim II. University of the Philippines Press.
The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines, by Paul A. Kramer. Ateneo de Manila University Press.
A Dictionary of Cebuano Arts, edited by Erlinda K. Alburo. University of San Carlos Cebuano Studies Center and Toyota Foundation.
Engaging Society: The Sociologist in a War Zone, by John J. Carroll, S.J. Ateneo de Manila University Press.
How to Win an Election: Lessons from the Experts, edited by Chay Florentino Hofileña. Ateneo School of Government-Center for Social Policy.
The I-Stories: The Philippine Revolution and the Filipino-American War as Told by Its Eyewitnesses and Participants, edited by Augusto V. De Viana. University of Santo Tomas Publishing House.
In the Name of Civil Society: From Free Election Movements to People Power in the Philippines, by Eva-Lotta E. Hedman. Ateneo de Manila University Press.
Kuwentong Bayan: Noong Panahon ng Hapon, Everyday Life in a Time of War, by Thelma B. Kintanar, Clemen C. Aquino, Patricia B. Arinto, and Ma. Luisa T. Camagay. University of the Philippines Press.
Pestilence in the Philippines: A Social History of the Filipino People, 1571-1800, by Luis Camara Dery. New Day.
Romblomanon Dictionary, edited by Leonard E. Newell. Linguistic Society of the Philippines.
Stringing the Past: An Archaeological Understanding of Early Southeast Asian Glass Bead Trade, by Jun G. Cayron. University of the Philippines Press.
Unknown Aspects of the Philippine Revolution, by Jose S. Arcilla S.J. St Pauls Philippines.

Advanced Badminton Techniques: Whether You’re a Beginner or the Best, Your Bible to Better Badminton, by Valentin Oreta and Vip Malixi. University of Santo Tomas Publishing House.
Pacific Storm: Dispatches on Pacquiao of the Philippines, by Recah Trinidad. Anvil / Inquirer.

God Talk: Renewing Language about God in the Roman Catholic Tradition, by Andrew Gonzalez FSC. De La Salle University Press.
God Was Not in the Wind: An Evolutionary Understanding of Popular Religion in the Philippines, by Jimmy A. Belita, C.M. Adamson University Press.

The Colonial Odyssey of Leyte, 1521-1914, by Manuel Artigas y Cuerva, translated by Rolando O. Borrinaga and Cantius J. Kobak. New Day.
Fort, by and translated by B. S. Medina Jr. FEU Publications.
Gagamba sa Uhay: Kalipunan ng mga Haiku, by Rogelio G. Mangahas, translated by Marne L. Kilates. C&E Publishing.
Juanita Cruz: A Novel, by Magdalena Gonzaga Jalandoni, translated by Ofelia Ledesma Jalandoni. University of the Philippines Press.
Monografias de los Pueblos de la Isla de Pan-ay: Monographs of the Towns in Panay, by Juan Fernandez, O.S.A., translated by Jose G. Espinosa Jr. University of San Agustin Publishing House.

Ani: The Life and Art of Hermogena Borja Lungay, Boholano Painter, by Marjorie Evasco, designed by Leo Abaya. UST Publishing House.
Brushstrokes from the Heart: ArtPetron, The First Five Years, by Alice G. Guillermo. Petron Corporation.
The Governor-General’s Kitchen: Philippine Culinary Vignettes and Period Recipes, 1521-1935, by Felice Prudente Sta. Maria, designed by Guillermo Ramos. Anvil.
Halikpon: A Retelling of an Ancient Ifugao Chant and Pumbakhayon: An Origin Myth of the Ifugao Hudhud, by Mae Astrid Tobias, designed by Rex Flores. National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Sawikaan series:
Sawikaan 2006: Mga Salita ng Taon, edited by Galileo S. Zafra and Roberto T. Añonuevo. University of the Philippines Press, 2007.
Sawikaan 2005: Mga Salita ng Taon, edited by Galileo S. Zafra and Michael M. Coroza. University of the Philippines Press, 2006.
Sawikaan 2004: Mga Salita ng Taon, edited by Galileo S. Zafra and Romulo P. Baquiran Jr. University of the Philippines Press, 2005. [NBA winner, 2005]

Ayala Foundation – for children’s books on paintings:
Juan Luna: Patriot and Painter, by Carla C. Pacis
The Boy Who Lost a Father and Found the Sun: The Life of Maestro Fernando Amorsolo, by Rene Villanueva
Fernando Zobel: The Man Who Painted Ideas, by Maria Elena Paterno

Sy Yinchow, for a lifetime of translating Philippine literature into Chinese
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