Monday, December 29, 2008

From Pasig City Library to Pasig City Discovery Centrum

This is the banner that hangs above the entrance gate of the Pasig City Discovery Centrum. It was awarded Most Outstanding City Library. By whom, I still have to know.

The banner has caught my eye since two months ago. It was only last December 23, 2008 when I had the time to take a photo of the banner. The library, at that time, was to close for the day thus, my next visit has to be scheduled. I wrote a post about the city library with photos and you can view them by clicking this link to the Pasig City Library post.

Now, I know New Year is just days away and I don't want to stir any intrigues but, according to a link in the Filipino Librarian, it's the Marikina City Library that was ajudged as the best there is in Metro Manila. Apparently, the link works but there's no write up about it.

The question is, who awarded the Pasig City Library as the most outstanding and the Marikina City Library as the best in the metro? I also wonder what criteria were used. If you have news about such things, please reply via "comment" or my email add ( Such news deserve a buzz in the blogosophere

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Ghosts of Christmas

Two of my favorite Christmas movies, Nightmare Before Christmas and The Muppets Christmas Carol, involve ghosts. That only goes to show that Christmas conquers all. In this season of hope, may the spirit of love and generosity rule the soul of the frightful and melt the heart of a hardened Scrooge.

Here is a video clip from Tim Burton's classic, Nightmare Before Christmas.

And here is my favorite song from Jim Henson's The Muppet's Christmas Carol. Scrooge is expertly portayed by Michael Cane by the way.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Christmas Tree Grows In The Library

It's Christmas season and the GS LRC rides with the atmosphere and the mood it brings. One of our GS Librarians, Jane Diaz, whipped up a project that inspires the spirit of Christmas among library users and gauges the boys' reading interests and as well.

Dubbed as "Wish Upon A Tree", students write on paper tree cut-outs their wish list of books for Christmas. I am surprised because many of them wanted the Twilight books. Media indeed has a strong influence on their reading choices. There are other popular titles of books they hope to have that are spawned by TV and the Internet. The Pokemon books are in demand. Anime, manga and graphic novels are some of the kinds and type of books they ask for.

But of course, we're a school library and not a commercial bookstore. It is good to know the "pulse" of the students' reading interest not to give in to what they want but to channel and shape them in making better reading choices. The next time we visit our collection development program, we know what to include for in the acquisition of Fiction and Non-Fiction collection.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Home for Christmas

Two Filipino Librarians who are currently based overseas will be home for Christmas. Peachy Limpin has sent word of her homecoming and Von Totanes is counting off the days till he's back for the Holidays.

I don't know about Von, but Peachy and I have scheduled a date. We have a lot of catching up to do. I doubt that four hours of dinner would be enough.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What Participants Say About Zarah Gagatiga's Storytelling Workshop

Participants of the workshop, Storytelling for Growth and Healing, gave these fantastic feedback!

The speaker was efficient and effective. She delivered the topics well and communicated not only on the cognitive level but (as well) on the affective domain of the audience.

A great help most especially to the mentors and would-be teachers

I am very much excited ; storytelling now is so amazing! .

For samples of storytelling techniques click on the following: Story Knifing Sampler and Storytelling Librarian.

Friday, December 5, 2008


This group was the accrediitng team for the Divine Word College Legaspi PAASCU accreditation. Standing L-R - Mr. Henry Davalos, Principal, San Felipe Neri Parochial School; Ms. Mafe, PAASCU Rep. Seated L-R, yours truly; Mrs. Dreena Del Mundo, Principal CSC, MIriam College; Ms. Jane Gonzales, Coordinator Aralin Panlipunan, School of the Holy Spirit; Ms. Dianne Sibug, Guidance Coordinator, St. Scholastica's College Marikina and Mr. Marc Hernandez, PAASCU Commissioner and Chairman of the Accrediting Team.

This photo was taken right after breakfast yesterday. Soon after, we left for the airport for our flight back to Manila. For the record, this PAASCU visit has been the most enjoyable, so far.

There are two sides to PAASCU work, you see. One is the tremendous job of thoroughly looking into the school's recommendations by reading the reports, seeing and viewing documents and conducting interviews. The other side is the honor and respect afforded to the accreditors. It works both ways when you think about it because the real purpose of accreditation visit is to help the school and in the process, for the accreditor, learn something new from the school visited.

I like going to PAASCU work for that reason. I see other teachers teaching. I meet other librarians and I get the opportunity to touch base with them in their own context and experiences. I realize that out there are teaching practices and programs if not better than "ours", quite unique and very effective.

PAASCU work is really a humbling experience.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Seeing Mt. Mayon

My heart is pure and my conscience, crystal clear. I saw Mt. Mayon right after our orientation meeting at 3.30 pm. I know the photo is foggy, that;s because the sky is gray and the fog is still very thick. But my eyes did not betray me. It was majestic and utterly mysterious. The other accreditors took a photo using the camera in their cell phones. For us Manilenos, it's not everyday that we get a view of Mt. Mayon.

Accreditation work is not easy, but it has its perks.

Back To Bicolandia

The flight from Manila to Legaspi was quick. It took us only 40 minutes on air to land safely very near Mt. Mayon. A thick fog hides it from our view which confirms what local legend tells visitors and natives alike - that only the pure of heart could see it's mysterious beauty.

We have two more days so I'm not giving my hopes up. From December 2-3, 2008, I will be with the team of PAASCU accreditors who will visit the Divine Word College here in Legaspi. And as it goes, my area will be the Instructinal Media Center.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Storytelling For Growth & Healing

The storytelling workshop I conducted today at the University of North Eastern Philippines (UNEP) was an enjoyable and fruitful one. I learned from the participants two folk tales in Bicol. My mission to collect local history and folk tales has begun. This is meaningful to me since Iriga City is my mother's place of birth.

I hope to visit and collect tales in Cagayan Valley being my father's hometown. And then, there are other provinces to consider like Laguna, Batangas, Mindoro, Sagada...oh, the list goes on!

The closing remarks of Mrs. Delicia Alfelor-Tibi, UNEP's VP for Finance really made my day when she said that my surname is so easy to remember. "Zarah Grace," she said, "GAGA ka T(i)laGA!" I laughed so hard there were tears in my eyes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Post PAASCU Blues

For most of my co-teachers and colleagues in the Grade School, PAASCU ended today at 4.15 pm. For members of the Executive Committee, the work is not yet over. There are documents to secure, exhibits to manage and put down by Friday, and, an evaluation of the whole self analysis and visit preparations.

Then, there's the waiting.

We wait for the rating and the reports made by the accrediting team that visited our school, Xavier School. In general, I think we all did quite well. We were well prepared. We knew what to expect. Our hearts were far from faint and our minds were not at all feeble. I feel a sense of accomplishment though my contribution was very little. This is my first time to be a member of the EXECOM and it has been a privilege working with my Principal, our Student Prefect and our Social Studies Coordinator who are all experienced and seasoned PAASCU accreditors themselves.

Right now, as I rest my feet and pour my thoughts out, I could feel exhaustion creep slowly in my bones. The adrenaline rush has ebbed. The nervous excitement has gone. I badly need a rest, but there are miles to go before I sleep.

Monday, November 24, 2008


And so the weeklong PAASCU preparations has come to pass. We now brace ourselves for the actual visit.

It was a week filled with stress and sleepless nights. But it was the kind of pressure I could live with and smile through the following day. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of last week, there was a festive and humorous mood.

There are only two responses to stress, so they say. Either one cries or laughs his heart out. My friend and co-teacher, Jay Perez hangs on for dear life at the wake of PAASCU accreditation. Don't we all need a laugh to tide us over in these trying times?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Licensed Filipino Librarians 2008

News on the Librarian Licensure Examination is circulating online and in e-groups. Here is a press release lifted from The Manila Bulletin and forwarded to the e-group, Filipino Librarians, by the very visible Roderick Ramos of PNU.

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) yesterday announced that 237 out of 1,003 examinees passed the Librarian Licensure Examination given by the Board for Librarians in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Cebu, Davao and Legazpi this November, 2008.

The successful examinees who garnered the 10 highest places are the following: (1) Elijah John Fernando Dar Juan, University of the Philippines-Diliman, 87.75; (2) Bernadette Dava Sueño, University of the Philippines-Diliman, 86.50; (3) Ruel Romarate Yu, University of San Jose-Recoletos, 86..45; (4) Kristine Yap Martinez, University of San Carlos, 85.70; (5) Nomer Albarando Alcazar, University of the Philippines-Diliman, 85.60; (6) Marion Jude Maristela Gorospe, Roosevelt College-Cainta, 84.55; (7) Jacquelyn Joy Latina Llave, Centro Escolar University - Manila, 84.30; (8) Lorraine Dawn Gamel Honrade, University of the Philippines — Diliman, 84.15 (9) Czarina Paola Pareja dela Llarte, University of the Philippines — Diliman, 84.00; and (10) Edward Hilado Puzon - University of Santo Tomas, 83.80.

On the Board for Librarians which gave the licensure examination are Corazon M. Nera, chairwoman and Elizabeth R. Peralejo and Elnora L. Conti, members.The results were released in three days after the last day of examination.

Registration for the issuance of Professional Identification Card (ID) and Certificate of Registration will start on Monday, Nov. 24 and end on Dec. 10.

The oathtaking ceremony of the successful examinees in the examination as well as the previous ones who have not yet taken their Oath of Professional will be held before the Board on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 1:30 in the afternoon at the Manila Pavilion Hotel, U.N. Avenue, Manila.

Registration for membership with the Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (PLAI) will start on Monday, Nov. 24.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Plight of PAASCU Preparations

The High School Unit just had theirs last week. And now, we in the Grade School could feel the fever creeping in our flesh and bones. There is an atmosphere of nervous excitement moving about, like a cold draft that smacks warm in the face. Next week, for two days, November 24-25, 2008, accreditors of the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) will visit Xavier School.

I do not know if I could blog for the next few days. Last week was a busy week already. May our mettle be strong enough to endure and survive.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Story Knifing Sampler

Here's a five minute video clip of the story knifing session I had last October 28, 2008 with seven sections of Nursery boys. The story, Anansi and His Seven Sons, was told while drawing images to form one whole image in the end. The story knifing technique originated from long ago, when tellers would draw or carve images on cave walls, sand, leaves and even barks of trees while telling stories to the tribe.

The 27th National Book Awards

The invitation came by mail last Tuesday, November 11, 2008. The awards night will be on Saturday, November 15, 2008 at the Yuchengco Musem, RCBC Plaza. It's a formal event, so that means, I must go there in a dress. Hmmm...

I consider this a perk and a privilege for having been part of the four man committee that recommended ten children's books for judging by the Critics in the National Book Awards this year.

My Saturday is pretty full already, but who am I to snub the literary Olympians of this little small country?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Giving Twilight

I saw these boxes of Twilight books all wrapped in silky ribbons of red and white in National Bookstore Cubao this afternoon. We were there for a book trip.

The fiscal year is drawing to a close but, we're rushing our acquisitions to catch up on it. Sadly, I am not too keen on adding Twilight and the rest of the books to our school library's collection. Though our HS Library has them.

I love Edward Cullen. But.

Oh, give me time to articulate.

Live Blogging: Lit Circles in Xu Guang Qi Day 2008

I'm now attending the second session of my choice: Lit Circles. As Toshi explained, Lit Circles is a teaching strategy where students could discuss stories and selections read by the class. Students are given choices on stories and selections they like to read. The teacher, a mere observer. But there are so many learning that can be derived from observing. Such observations can help the teacher improve instruction and content.

In simple words, Lit Circles is a typical book club. What makes it different from the ordinary book club is its structure. Students may be given their choice of reading material and their discussions may be free of teacher's comments but, the teacher has designed it so to make students "thinking" readers. Smart!

The Lit Circles work this way: once a selection or story is chosen, roles are assigned to members of the circle. Such roles are: Discussion Director, Character Captain, Fact Finder, Wacky Wordsmith, Literary Luminary, Cool Connector and Adventurous Artist. Each is given a worksheet to jot down ideas, insights and tasks assigned for each student. When students are ready for discussion, the Lit Circle commences.

Right now, we're simulating the whole process and it's a very engaging experience.

Live Blogging: Xu Guang Qi Day 2008

It's the first day back to work. It's an easy day for everyone. Thoughts of work and lists of things to do are pushed aside for the meantime to focus on Xu Guang Qi Day activities.

Paul Xu Guang Qi is a scientist, scholar, mathematician and Jesuit Lay partner. In his memory, Xavier School commemorates his contributions to the mission through an in-service training program. And if it's organized by the IGNITE, trust that activities in the program are fun and funky.

A wide array of sessions on technology and instruction, Singapore Math and Lit Circles are offered to teachers. All faculty members signed up for two sessions of their choice. I signed up for the Promethean Board and Lit Circles.

Right now, Ms. Lopez is giving us a variety of ways to use the Promethean Board. It is an interactive board that bumps off the traditional blackboard from its eternal throne as the primary instructional tool in the classroom. Its interactive screen is plugged into a computer/laptop and an application software runs the different programs for instruction.

It's fascinating, really! It's like one big touch screen you see in malls.

The Promethean Board can be used in teaching Science, Math, Communication Arts, and other content areas. Like all technology used for instruction, the benefits and limitations of the Promethean Board must be learned to harness its power and manage its constraints.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

'Tis the Season To Book Launching

And yet another book will be launched.

The Salanga 2008 winner, Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu! by Nanoy Rafael will be presented to the public on Friday, November 21, 2008. Illustrations were done by Serge Bumatay III who bagged this year's Alcala.

Book Launchings: Foldabots & The Filipino Family

The talented Mr. Jomike Tejido will be launching a new "interactive book". His Dinosaur Pop-Up book by the Adarna House was a hit among kids and kids at heart. Now, Jomike ventures into gadgets, animals and other watchamacallirs, the art of paper folding and cutting that entertains and teaches a skill or two at the same time. Below are details of his new book and its launching

WHERE: POWERBOOKS LIVE, Greenbelt 3, Makati

WHEN: Nov. 15, 2008, Saturday

TIME: 3pm- 5pm


FOLDABOTS are cut-out paper robots that can transform into animals or vehicles, and back!. The best thing about it is that kids can make it themselves!

FOLDABOTS is an on-going monthly publication in K-Zone Magazine since May 2006. Pinoy kids have been creating the characters that shout Pinoy pride: Buhawi, the Phil. Eagle, Kidlat the race car, Ukay the excavator truck, Bangis the guard dog and many others! It's a fusion of art, Filipino nationalism and toy-collecting where kids don't just buy toys, but learn to create them!

THE TOY BOOK also has 12 free AGIMAT POWER playing cards for hours and hours of fun! YOU JUST GOTTA BE THERE, And be part of Foldabots history! The event will be covered and uploaded in Youtube for the world to see! GAMES! DRAWING CONTEST! PRIZES! plus Special prizes for early birds who sign up!

On the side of more serious things, Quenna Lee-Chua and Dr. Honey Carandang will likewise have their own book launching. Their book, The Filipino Family: Surviving the World will be launched at Powerbooks, Megamall on November 8, 2008 at 10 AM. Knowing Queena Lee-Chua, I'm pretty sure the book is a product of scholarly research.

The start of November seems to be an exciting and productive one for the book and publishing industry. It's National Book Month and very soon, workshops and Book Week activities will abound. Watch out for more announcements!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

National Book Awards 2008 for Children's Literature

Got this bit of good news from Russel Molina's post in Multiply -

Finalist for the National Book Award 2008, CHILDREN'S LITERATURE Category: The Boy Who Touched Heaven/Ang Batang Humipo sa Langit, by Iris Gem Li, translated by Roberto Añonuevo; Dalawang Bayani ng Bansa, by Rene O. Villanueva; Sampu Pataas, Sampu Pababa, by Russell Molina; Tight Times, by Jeanette C. Patindol.

The National Book Award is given by the Manila Critics' Circle. Awards night is on November 15, 2008, 6PM at the Yuchengco Theatre. If I am not mistaken, the Yuchengco Theatre is the spankingly posh RCBC Building in Makati City.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Reading, Writing and Drawing @ The Library

The GS LRC, in coordination with the GS English Department whipped up an author-illustrator visit for the grade 7 students this morning. Fran Ong of Ilaw ng Tahanan Publishing worked it out with us to make the event possible.

Award winning author, teacher, journalist, book reviewer and reading advocate, Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz shared with the boys, her life as a writer, her books and the long and tedious road to publication. Her session was filled with rich stories of more than 40 years of her writing history and personal experiences.

At the same time, illustrator and digital artist Joel Chua, an alumnus of Xavier School (Batch 95), showed samples of his works, digital art works and published books. It was Joel's Home-School Communication Notebook (HSCN) that brought great interest to the boys since he used it as a sketch book/comic book cum school planner. Half of the pages contained school related information, schedules and list of "to do's" The other half were filled with his drawings - panels with drawings in different colors of ink.

If Neni mentioned her diary as starting point to an illustrious writing career, Joel has his HSCN as seed bed for his artistic inclinations. Every person with a dream had to start somewhere. Who knows, one of the students who listened to Neni and Joel this morning may just begin a story or a drawing that could start of something big.

Their sessions were enriched by writing and drawing activities done by the guest author and illustrator with the students.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

October is International School Library Month . Click the link and you'll read a valuable information about school libraries.

In the Philippines, most "international school" (IS Manila, Brent IS, Beacon IS) celebrate this event in their libraries and school communities. It is not exclusive though. I remember joining in one mailing list that highlights International School Library Month a few years back. I got some nifty ideas and gained some online friends.

The great thing is, reasons to celebrate school libraries abound. Do we, school librarians, have to wait for October or November(National Book Week)?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

If not a librarian

Then I could be

...a teacher in preschool. Or a primary grades teacher teaching Reading. It's funny when I think about it since I have a degree in Secondary Education. I should be teaching high school instead. Also, I have enough graduate school units to meet the requirement of a college instructor. But, that's life. It is filled with ironies.

...a writer of children's story and young adult literature. But that would mean having "deep pockets". At least, in the Philippine context and experience, one could not live by royalties alone. I have pockets. They are not deep though.

...a full time storyteller selling and doing "telling programs and performances" in varied schools. I could easily get a grant from UNESCO and travel the world. Yeah, right. educational consultant and trainor. I think I have enough workshop modules to train teachers and school librarians for their continuing professional education. But, this would mean legalizing and legitimizing the whole "gig".

...a full time housewife. Yup. But it would merely complicate things. And my life is already complicated enough.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

PLAI Lecture Series

The Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. in cooperation with the Philippine Group of Law Librarians and the PLAI National Capital Region Librarians Council will hold a lecture series on November 4, 11, 18, 25, and 28, 2008, 8:00 – 12:00 at the National Library of the Philippines Auditorium, T. M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila. The lecture series is offered to celebrate this year's Library and Information Services Month and the National Book Week.

Topics of the lectures and respective lecturers are:

November 4: Lecture on Property Accountability
Mr. Sofronio B. Ursal
Former Commissioner, Commission on Audit

November 11: Lecture on Wellness and Spiritual
Dr. Andre San Agustin
Holistic Development Program, Davao City

November 18: Lecture on Ethical Accountability
of Librarians
Ms. Corazon M. Nera
Chair, Board For Librarians

November 25: Lecture on Professional and Employment
Accountability of Librarians
Ms. Susima L. Gonzales
President, Philippine Librarians
Association, Inc.

November 28: Lecture on The Filipino Librarian: Today and
Dr. Alan De Guzman
University of Santos Tomas

A fee of Php 200 for each of the lectures will be charged to participants to cover snacks and certificate of attendance. Package
is Php 700..00 which will allow the participant to attend 4 lectures, specifically on November 4, 11, 18, and 25. The last lecture
(November 28) will be held during the National Book Week Fellowship Luncheon. This is free for those who are attending the fellowship

For further inquiries, please contact the following: Susima Gonzales, 5259401, Rodolfo Tarlit, 9818500 loc. 2859, email:
tarlytup@yahoo.; Lily Echiverri, lily.echiverri@, 9292180; 92055145 loc. 301; Jo Ladlad, ladladj@dlsu., 5244611-
21 loc. 602/265; Fe Abelardo, feabelardo@yahoo. com, 5250926; Belen Vibar, ph, 6370912 to 26 loc. 229; Emma Rey, 9315966,
email: emmamrey@yahoo. com; Nora Rey, 8189836, email: nora_rey@cvclaw. com; Julia Romano, 9207475, email: lolitromano@

Reflections on Educational Reforms

Got this from Dr. Dina Ocampo of The Reading Department, UP Diliman --

We are pleased to invite you to participate in the UP Centennial joint lecture on Philippine Education entitled WHEN REFORMS DON'T TRANSFORM: REFLECTIONS ON PHILIPPINE EDUCATION by Dr. Cynthia Rose Bautista, Dr. Allan B.I. Bernardo and Dr. Dina Ocampo. This will be held at the NISMED Auditorium in UP Diliman on 12 November 2008 at 2:00pm.

Call 9205367 for details.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Democratizing Reading Among Mindanaoan Children (DReAM)

Those who dare, dream. And those who dare to dream, make a difference.

Democratizing Reading Among Mindanaoan Children (DReAM Children) is a project borne out of the advocacy towards reader development. The project brings together local government units and agencies, academic, socio-civic and business organizations as well as professional organizations and individuals for a partnership that intends to make readers of the children of Tampakan, Kiblawan and Columbio.

The DReAM Children project was first launched in Tampakan, South Cotabato in September of 2006 with the following as partners:

The Municipal Local Government (LGU) of Tampakan
Department of Education – Tampakan and South Cotabato
Rotary Club of Koronadal (The Rock)
NDMU - Books and Information Technology Society (BITS); and
Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI)

The project has since then distributed about 5,000 volumes of books and reading materials to all of Tampakan’s elementary schools and barangay reading centers; and has facilitated reading-mentoring activities and library skills and management trainings.

DReAM Children is looking at continuing and strengthening its Tampakan partnership this year with the Community Development Information Council (CDIC) joining in as one of the major partners; as SMI continues to provide logistical support primarily in the aspects of books acquisition and distribution, and training activities.

Major undertakings under the various components of the DReAM Children project include:

The showcasing of the Municipal Libraries of Tampakan, Kiblawan, and Columbio as model community libraries in the KITACO region by collaborating closely with partners in the local government, the academe professional and local socio-civic organizations, in refurbishing the facilities of the library, and in helping build up its collections; and

The strengthening of community/barangay reading centers and public elementary school libraries/learning centers through the extension of support to their collection-building activities and capability-building activities.

The viability of the above undertakings is bolstered by the existence of book-donating local and foreign agencies that have been networked by SMI through its consultants in the CLA-LRGA Department. Among these donor-organizations are: The Makati Rotary Club Foundation, The Asia Foundation, Philippine Social Science Council, and the National Library Board of Singapore.

On July 23, 2008, DReAM Children-Tampakan distributed for the second time books and materials for the 17 public elementary schools in Tampakan South Cotabato, the 14 Barangay Development Information Centers (BDICs) and the Tampakan Municipal Library. The initial book distribution activity was in 2006.

On October 3, 2008, DReAM is again set to distribute an average of 5-6 boxes of books containing over a hundred volumes of pre-reviewed books and teachers’ resource materials on Science, Mathematics, Reading and Language, Filipininiana short story books, dictionaries and maps to the thirty (30) public elementary schools in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur. (The DReAM Children Project in Kiblawan has the following for its partners: DepEd - Division of Davao Del Sur, Boy Scouts of the Philippines – Davao del Sur Council, Girl Scouts of the Philippines – Davao del Sur Council and the University of Mindanao Librarians Association, Sagittarius Mines)

Other future undertakings within the next 2-3 years include:

Continuous sourcing and distribution of books and other reading materials;

The conduct of periodic storytelling and library-based reading sessions in the different barangays of Kiblawan, Tampakan and Columbio in partnership with their respective municipal libraries.

Education and upgrading of reader development competencies of barangay reading centers-in-charge and school learning centers-in-charge through growth sessions, trainings and workshops; and

Promotion a “READ KITACO” campaign by way of contests -- poster-making, essay-writing, book cover design; Annual Summer Reading Festivals and by participating actively in the annual National Book Week activities.

By 2009, it is hoped that the collaborative undertakings under the DReAM Children partnerships will result in the establishment of functional learning centers in most elementary schools and barangays in the Kiblawan-Tampakan-Columbio area, with the established barangay reading centers having their own evolving reader development programs.

Visit daxiweida for more information on the DReAM initiative.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Portrait Of A Librarian By A Grade One Boy

A happy surprise from my last class in 1st grade last week --

I loved the hoop earrings. I think it's the pair I always wear to school. Look at the big wide smile and the purple blouse I wore that day. I'm so brown, and yes, my eyes widen when I teach (think Mona Dy - that's why we're friends!). Not to frighten, huh!

The boy did me justice. More happiness.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Poem Will Visit A US 1st Grade Classroom

Sue Ferguson, a school librarian from the US made my day today when she sent me this email--

I am emailing to find out if I could have your permission to use the poem you made up about parts of a book in a lesson I am going to give my first grade classes next month. I think my classes would really enjoy it.

I said yes, of course. Happiness!

And then there is this email from Mario Feir, a rare book collector of Filipiniana inviting me (and Kenneth Yu) to view and see his library in Bonifacio, Global City. Now I wonder if Kenneth, after my infamous blog posts about his student days in Xavier School, would be glad to join me one weekend?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Disturbed by Anonymous

If you're observant enough, you would notice that I have changed the comments feature of my blog posts. It's hidden now and for very good reason.

An hour ago I checked my email and found a comment by "Anonymous" on how I could easily win first place in the Filipino Blog of the Week Awards. Some sneaky suggestions. But what surprised me was "Anonymous'" revelation-- the gall of some bloggers to actually sneak a way into first place using the tip (as instructed by "Anonymous"). To protect the integrity of all concerned, I immediately changed the comments feature of my blog posts.

I'm finishing off what is left of my lunch break so my comprehensive post on the matter will have to wait.

To "Anonymous", thanks, but I have to choose what I think is RIGHT. I could not go around teaching my students about honesty and responsible use of online resources and IT only to break them in the end. Yes, "Anonymous", I try to play fair in a world that no longer believes in the good old values of long ago.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Kenneth Yu: Reading Idol

Mr. Kenneth "Kyu" Yu, publisher and editor of Philippine Genre Stories, dropped by the GS Learning Resource Center last Tuesday, September 30, 2008. He was in the Xavier School campus as a visiting author to Fr. Johnny Go's grade 7 GEMS English class.

As a student in Xavier School, Kenneth Yu's favorite hang-out place was the library. Inspired by a book of myths, he and some friends adapted and wrote their own collection of Greek myths. The library, fortunately, still has a copy of their book project. Go here for the historical profile of Kenneth Yu's first foray in writing, editing and publishing. It's a story every teacher and school librarian will love!

Now here's an excerpt of an interview that Kyu lent us via email.

What book would you like to see in electronic format available online and why?

Hmm...I'm not sure. Being a publisher, I guess I'd like to see all books in electronic format, but in a legal way. I'm afraid of piracy affecting writers and publishers and taking away what is due them. But in any case, I would love to see all works whose copyright has legally lapsed to be made available in electronic format. So, Shakespeare, Dante, Poe, Hugo, Stevenson, and other classics should be made available. In fact, I think they are, via :) Hooray! There's no excuse now to not read these classics, as long as you've got a computer and an internet connection.

Amidst the busyness of daily library work and routine, we hope to whip up a write up on Kyu as our reading idol for the month of October.

2nd Best @ The Filipino Blog of the Week Award

School Librarian In Action placed second in the Filipino Blog of the Week (128) Awards.

Thank you for those who voted for my blog. It's up in the running for week 129, so if you have the time to vote again, I'd truly appreciate it.

In the meantime, I'll try my best to provide you, my dear readers, with content that is not only entertaining but substantial as well.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Information Literacy Skills Lesson: Parts of a Book

Two weeks ago, I conducted classes on Information Literacy Skills for grade 2 on Parts and Care for Books. The lesson was focused on information that can be found on the different parts of a book and locating skills like the use of a table of contents and an index. By using the analogy of body parts to parts of a book, the care and responsibility for the printed medium was taken up as well.

This week, I'm teaching grade 1 students on the same content and skill. Although the content and skill are the same, the treatment and approach are different. For one, students actually examine the books and are asked to identify each part through oral drills. Only five basic parts (cover, spine, table of contents, title page and main body or text) are introduced but the same emphasis to the information found in the title page is discussed. If the grade 2 boys worked on a written activity to enumerate ways to care for books they borrow from the library, the grade one boys had a book making activity.

I purposely alloted enough time for this activity. I even requested a double period encounter from the Reading teacher so the boys could finish their books on time. Library classes are held in the library and are facilitated by the librarian.

The grade one boys could easily tell ways how to care for books, but, making one deepens their understanding and appreciation of book making itself. Besides, the process is close enough to publishing. Once back in the classroom, enrichment and follow up on the necessity of caring for books will be done by the Reading teacher.

I showed an example, first of all. Then, I presented the instructions on how to make the book.

It's really very simple.

The boys were given four pieces of bond paper cut in quarters. They had to write and draw their favorite food, toy and person on each page. The first page serves as the title page where they must write the title of their book (My Book Of Favorites) and the "by line" (their name as author of the book). Once the drawings and writings are finished, they color and make designs. The last step was to staple the pages together and bind it with masking tape. The boys were pleased with themselves upon reading their own work.

In the classroom, the teachers will display their finished work and allot a sharing time so they could talk about the books they wrote. Imagine if book making could be done in the middle grades as well. What stories and facts could the boys create and communicate? Oh, the many ways to make library classes fun and engaging!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ani Ng Sining Grant


For the year 2009, the Philippine International Arts Festival (PAIF) has created the theme "Ani ng Sining". It will feature the talents and performances of the many artists and arts groups in the seven arts on whose trainings, competitions, and creative expressions it has invested the past year or so. The Festival will be a celebration of the fruits of the creative efforts for the past year and a looking forward to a richer, more fertile ground in the coming years for the evolution of artistic modes of expression available to the Filipino creative imagination.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts encourages culture and arts organizations nationwide to take part in this celebration by making the PAIF a part of their annual program of activities. Thus, everyone is encouraged to implement their own PAIF Program in their own communities. The NCCA also invites organizations nationwide to submit project proposals which may be considered for possible funding assistance. This funding assistance is competitive. Noteworthy projects shall be selected by the PAIF Ad-Hoc Committee from among all proposals received by the NCCA based on the following criteria:

A. Proposals for new works will be evaluated according to the following:

1. Originality of Concept

2. Innovative Artistic Treatment

3. Interaction of Various Art Forms

4. Reflection of Philippine Culture

Slots open for application: 6 slots (2 slots per island region)

Budget per project: P 200,000

B. Proposals for productions based on works by National Artists will be evaluated according to the following:

1. Originality of Concept

2. Innovative Artistic Treatment

3. Creative Integration of National Artists' Works and Styles

4. Reflection of Philippine Culture

Slots open for application: 3 slots (1 slot per island region)

Budget per project: P 200,000

C. Proposals for previously-staged productions will be evaluated according to the following:

1. Artistic Achievement

2. Audience Impact

3. Critically Acclaimed

4. Reflection of Philippine Culture

Slots open for application: 6 slots (2 slots per island region)

Budget per project: P 200,000


The grant is given to individuals or groups whose proposals or current works meet the following qualifications:

1. A production that has been staged and has received critical acclaim or regional or national recognition may apply for restaging the particular work.

2. A new work with a significant theme and innovative production style and featuring the interaction of two or more art forms (architecture, visual, literary, music, dance, theater and cinema)

3. A new production that aims to deepen the public's appreciation for the artistic achievements of two or more National Artists by featuring and incorporating in a creative way the themes and styles of the selected National Artists

4. The artistic form of all of the above entries may be foreign but the content should be Filipino. However, translations or adaptations of foreign productions (e.g., Broadway) do not qualify. All entries must be original Filipino work and not necessarily funded by the NCCA.

5. The applicant's proposal must contain a detailed written account of the work's concept, its artistic treatment, and other pertinent production requirements.

6. The proposal must also be endorsed by a representative of the NCCA regional committee.


1. Organizations must be duly-accredited proponents to the NCCA. Otherwise, proponents may apply for accreditation by submitting all required documents (for more information please visit our website at ph)

2. Proponents must complete the liquidation of an unliquidated project and secure a Certificate of Project Completion from the NCCA Project Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PMED) to be eligible to apply for the Ani ng Sining Grant.

3. Proponents with projects to be implemented until February 2009 shall not be eligible to apply for the Ani ng Sining Grant.

4. Only one proposal may be accepted from each organization/ individual.

The deadline for submission of project proposals, accreditation requirements, detailed line-item budget and other requirements is on or before the midnight of October 13, 2008. Proposals received after the deadline and/or with incomplete requirements shall not be processed and will be returned by the NCCA to the proponent

All project proposals may be addressed and submitted to:

Plan/ Policy Formulation and Programming Division
National Commission for Culture and the Arts
5th Flr., NCCA Building, 633 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila
Telephone Nos. (02) 527-2209, (02) 527-2192 loc. 509
Cell Phone Nos: 0918-9427972
Fax No. (02) 527-2198 or (02) 527-2084
E-mail: ph or ph

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Give me love!

Here is one shameless plugging. I don't normally do this, but what's there to lose?

This blog has just been nominated for the Filipino Blog of the week at If you go there, you'll see a poll for the featured Filipino Blog of the week. Just tick on the square that says lovealibrarian and the work is done.

Be a friend and give me some love! Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Good Finds at The Manila International Book Fair 2008

Yes, books were aplenty at the MIBF last September 12-16, 2008 but I bought only the titles that fit my budget. Though I only had three titles in my book bag, my best finds at the book fair were friends, old and new.

Here's Andy Arcilla-DeGuzman, an old friend from college. She now has two kids and works as librarian at the Philippine Christian University in Dasmarinas, Cavite. Her kids are Victor (8) and Nicole (7). Andy and I go along way back. It's pretty strange how we would only meet once a year at the book fair. With email and texting technology, I'm challenged to keep in touch with her more frequently. We have a lot of catching up to do.

(L-R)Frauline Oclarit, Ariel Oclarit, Me and Dr. Luis "Tito Dok" Gatmaitan.

The Oclarits were at the MIBF to touch base with friends and professionals in the library industry. Frauline and I met during the 2005 IASL Conference in Hong Kong. Imagine that! She's from Mindanao and I, from Manila but we met in bustling Hong Kong, a Chinese territory. She presented a professional paper at the time while I was the eager participant. This time around, she's helping out hubby Ariel in setting up DREAM Children Project (Democratizing Reading Among Mindanaoan Children) in barangays in South Cotabato. From their stories, four reading centers have been set up already but books are wanting as well as people who could help run sustainable programs for literacy development. I am awaiting email from either of the Oclarits since I am interested to help out in whatever way I can. The thought of going to South Cotabato is dangerously exciting!

I'm with Melody Remorca and daughter Marky. Luis Gatmaitan poses with us and takes a bite of Pilandok's mango. In 1997, Melody and I began telling stories for Museo Pambata and National Bookstore. At the time, NBS still had their famed Kiddie Book Club. Part of their activity was storytelling sessions in several branches. I did storytelling gigs for NBS on weekends and partnered with Melody several times in many a storytelling sessions. A decade after, we're still very much active in the industry that shaped who are.

In spite of these happy encounters, I could not help but think what destiny is trying to tell me. For the past three months now, I've been bumping into old friends and acquaintances; people I knew from my past. I'm tickled by the idea of a bigger plan forming in the cosmos for me to know and discover what is. I know I'n being "speculative" about this, but good finds are hard to find. It's the kind that does not happen every day.

Call for Entries: PBBY-Salanga Prize 2009

The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) is now accepting entries for the 2009 PBBY-Salanga Prize. The contest is co-sponsored by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and The National Library.

The grand prize winner shall win a cash prize of P25,000.00, a gold medal, and an opportunity to be published. Prizes will be awarded in an appropriate ceremony to be held during the celebration of National Children's Book Day in July 2009.


· The contest is open to all Filipino citizens except those who are related to any PBBY member up to the third degree of consanguinity.

· Stories should be intended for children aged 6 to 12 years old. The plot and the sequence must be capable of sustaining an illustrated book of 28 to 32 pages.

· Entries may be in Filipino or English.

· Entries must be in hard copy, double-spaced, on short bond paper. Maximum length is five (5) pages.

· A contestant may send in more than one (1) entry.

· Each entry must be signed by a pen name only. Five (5) copies of each entry should be placed in an envelope, on the face of which only the pen name of the contestant should appear.

· Together with each entry, contestants must submit a second envelope, on the face of which the pen name shall appear. This must contain the contestant's full name, address, contact numbers, a short literary background, and a notarized certification from the author, vouching for the originality of the entry and for the freedom of the organizers from any liability arising from the infringement of copyright in case of publication, and affirming that the entry or any variant thereof has (a) never been published nor (b) won any other contest i.e. that it has never won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, honorable mention in any other contest or otherwise been awarded a medal, a citation, or included in a publicized list of meritorious entries to a literary contest.

· All entries must be sent through snail mail to the PBBY Secretariat, c/o Adarna House, Inc. 2/F FSS Bldg. 20 Scout Tuason cor. Scout Castor Sts.,Brgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City 1103.

· All entries must be received by the PBBY Secretariat no later than 5:00 p.m., November 14, 2008.

· Winners will be announced no later than December 12, 2008. Non-winning entries may be claimed at the PBBY Secretariat until January 6, 2009.

The winning story will be the basis for the 2009 PBBY-Alcala Prize. For more details, interested parties may contact the Philippine Board on Books for Young People, at 2/F FSS Bldg. 20 Scout Tuason cor. Scout Castor Sts., Brgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City 1103, Telefax 372-3548 or email pbby@adarna.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another Book to Movie Adaptation

Yup. I've given up my Twilight fixation but I'm still an Edward Cullen fan! There are just some things you can't shake off easily and a "hawt vampire" is one of them. So expect me to watch the Twilight movie in November. After that, there's Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. And then, Inkheart.

Brendan Fraser plays Mo (yummy!). Paul Bettany is Dustfinger (yummy too!) and Andrew Serkis is Capricorn (great actor!) I just hope New Line didn't sanitize Inkheart the way they did The Golden Compass. It's good to be grim. Even in children's literature.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Salaysayan 2008 Finals

The advantage of judging in both the elimination and final rounds of the Salaysayan Contest was that, I saw how much the contestants improved and grown into the competition.

Two days are not really enough to raise one's game, but all of the contestants (6 in the English Division and 8 in the Filipino) gave their best. In the end, it was "Kuya Lance" (Filipino) and "Teacher Michelle" (English) who brought home the cash, the medal and the prestige. Madame Sonia Rocco and Kuya Tony Yanza bagged the 2nd prize, while Kuya Claude and Ate Dyali were the 3rd prize winners.

It was difficult judging the Filipino Division, more so in the English Division. Every one was at their best! Michelle Agas, however, stood out among the rest with her tempered and restrained rendition of Lina Diaz De Rivera's Lazy Bug: A Love Fable. She had the right moves and animations to the characters' actions and dialogues. Hers was neither awkward nor misplaced. Her voice dynamics for each character was apt and pleasing. Though she has the tendency to spread her voice thinly to annoyance, her control was remarkable last night. For one, I learned she sang with the UP Concert Chorus. Her musical training and experience was her saving grace all through out the five-minute performance. Just imagine the effort and the energy that a storyteller puts forth when doing a complete program!

Storytellers use their voices a lot. Exhaustion would come in easy when air is taken from somewhere else. The diaphragm is still the best source for air; the stomach, a source for strength and stamina.

Apart from Michelle's voice dynamics and well choreographed animated moves, she used a nice little tune to emphasize the bug's identity. Don't we all have a song or mantra to live by? This is what I was talking about from my last post on the Salaysayan Contest. Others show off their talents in acting and performance but fail to present the more important thing - the story and its message. We all are bedazzled with changes in voicing and lively actions. Then again, there's more to it than merely showing off one's chops.

By singing that little ditty, "I'm an insect, not a bird!", Michelle has offered her audience a significant human experience. She must have studied the story several times to truly understand and communicate its relevance. When she personified the beating heart of an old tree, to the surprise of the young bug upon these words, "You've found my heart", she had the grand prize in the bag. That lone dialogue meant so much. The way she said it was like finally discovering one's passion; one's reason for being. When she said those words, with a twinkle in her eye and a contented smile, it was as if she was challenging her listeners; asking them if they have found their heart's desire or if their hearts have been found and claimed. She has revealed an insight to Lina Diaz De Rivera's story.

I have not read De Rivera's story, but having heard Michelle tell it halfway made me want to borrow a copy from the library to read and see it for myself. If this is not storytelling magic, tell me what is!

The long and short of it, Michelle knows herself; her strengths and weakness; her gifts and her flaws. She knew how to balance them and was disciplined enough to climb a notch higher into the finals. She played and studied her piece. She gave a new perspective to the story. She was well prepared. She wanted to win. And she did win for all the right reasons - that, in storytelling, it is the story who is the star!

Having said all these, I dream of a day when I could tandem with Teacher Michelle. Should the time come, the honor would be truly mine.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Make Your (Alma) Mater Proud

I lifted this out from Roderick Ramos' email. Roderick is currently the Vice President of the Philippine Normal University Library & Information Science Alumni Association (PNULISAA). It's been visible these days in the circle of library science events and happenings. Thanks to the untiring efforts of Roderick Ramos!

If you're a PNU LS or LIS alumnus, give back some love! Doesn't have to be enormous. A little goes a long way!

Ann is 3rd year 17 year-old LIS student this year. She said that she’s thankful that she can study and truly grateful for this scholarship. “With your help, I will finish college and in turn, help my family too. I promised myself that I will do my best. ”

“I believe in the Association’s noble objectives in realizing my dream to elevate the status and image of the profession by recruiting the best potential librarians imbued with good work values and high ethical standards.” From: PRC BFL Corazon Nera


Cayaban, Celedonia R. (DLSU,CSB)
Estigoy, Consuelo (ELJMC)
Ladlad, Jocelyn (DLSU)
Limpin, Placida Socorro (Australia)
Montejo, Estela (ADMU)
Nera, Corazon (PRC)

Pay Your Membership Now!

TOGETHER WE WILL ACHIEVE MORE! PNU-LISAA, Inc, a caring alumni group, calls on your support to help achieve goals, of providing each and everyone wonderful experiences of professional growth, lifelong learning, camaraderie and fellowship.


Renew your membership now: fill up an application form, pay only P150.00 to any of our officers and ask for an official receipt, or, send your fees through
Banco de Oro with Savings Account Number 470378972 under the Account Name: Philippine Normal University Library and Information Science Alumni Assn. (PNU-LISAA), Inc. and keep a copy of the deposit slip for the release of the OR.

If you want to share a gift, you can speak and discuss this with our advisers:
Mrs. Evelyn P. Nabus, , and Prof. Ruben P. Marasigan at
302-7717. Thank you for your support.

Forthcoming activity of the Association is a forum with a general assembly in December. For inquiries including membership, e-mail, text @ 09187318010 or leave a message @ 302-7717.

Monday, September 15, 2008


And so it goes that stories come alive in the hands of an experienced teller.

Sonia Rocco has proven that in the recently concluded Salaysayan Storytelling Contest of the PBBY. She may not be the professional storyteller in league with Kuya Bodjie and Melody Remorca, but Madame Sonia dug deep into her life experiences, rich enough to flavor her 5 minute storytelling gig with sincerity and confidence. Fluency of the language also helped her earn a spot in the finals on Tuesday, September 16, 2008.

Storytelling is a performance art that requires the teller to be honest, spontaneous and natural. More than its entertainment value, it is a means to communicate an idea, a perspective, a world-view, an insight, a significant human experience. How could one truly communicate if there are masks and “put-ons”?

I’m withholding other opinions and thoughts on my experience as judge in this season’s elimination rounds of Salaysayan (except for the ones mentioned above) till the finals on Tuesday. Let me end this post with these words in the hope that those who made it to the finals could raise their game --

One has to know one’s self to be able to effectively tell a story.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Some kind of sad

Here's an article that touched me so.

It brought back memories of book characters I've loved, outgrown and let go of. The Cat In The Hat and Winnie The Pooh. The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. Encyclopedia Brown and Ramona. James and the insects that dwell in his giant peach. I only hope my kids would know them and love them as much as I did when I was young and unfolding.

Like everything else in this world, in fiction or in reality, I grew up and changed.

But I'm holding on to Hogwarts. I don't think I'm ready yet to let go of Harry though I'm smitten and bitten by Edward Cullen. Harry is Harry. It will be a while till I keep my HPs in a closet to be forgotten. No, I won't even sell them because I hope that my kids would discover its magic that only JK Rowling could wield and harness.

She pulled me back to believe in fantasy once more. When I wrote to her in 2000, she answered back (at least, via Scholastic) and sent my students letters and photos for us all. She unlocked a door in my mind and unleashed again that untamed sense of wonder. She pushed me to discover Tolkien and CS Lewis; Funke and Zusak; Gaiman and Pratchett. And my reading days and nights were never the same again.

How could I relegate her and Harry in a dark closet all too soon?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Storytelling Librarian

Here's one storytelling gig I did in school during the Lingo Ng Wika celebration. I used Dianne de las Casas' Peanut Butter & Jelly Jam chant-song to perk up the boys. What followed was a set of actions and movements for the story, Ang Matandang Mananahi.

I don't normally do this, posting video clips of my storytelling gigs in school or elsewhere, but having lost a few good pounds gave me the confidence!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

MIBF 2008: Words Without Borders

The Manila International Book Fair will open on September 12, 2008 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. Head on to the MIBF website for a comprehensive look of the varied activities in store for everyone. And I mean everyone-from the serious to the curious.

Do click on Special Events for an overview of the seminars, workshops, exhibits, book launchings, etc. schedule during the four day book fair. Again, I invite you to join me in two of my seminar-workshops - the PBBY and the Vibal Publishing sponsored events respectively.

Apart from these two, I'm just as excited to judge for the Salaysayan Storytelling Contest of the PBBY and Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines on Sunday, September 14 and 16, 2008. What magical doors could storytellers open this time as they do the book based storytelling technique? Would listeners dare step into that magical land? How strong could storytellers, competing for prize and reputation, convince us that the magical world is just as real?

See you there!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Keeping The School Library Alive

Right after my PBBY seminar-workshop, I'll be running to Vibal Publishing House's booth in the Manila International Book Fair. See you there on September 13, 2008 at 10.45 pm!

The Living Library: Promotions and Marketing Strategies to Keep the School Library Alive

The seminar presents a slew of fun and exciting activities, projects and ideas that will keep students and teachers in utilizing the school library. Participants will be exposed to making a PR Plan and Readers’ Services Program that will lead to a visible library deemed by the school administration as a very important academic department.

Library Magic

The PBBY has a line up of workshops during the Manila International Book Fair on Sept 12-16, 2008. Visit the PBBY website for more information. If you're a teacher, parent, writer, poet, illustrator, storyteller or literacy advocate, you'll find a workshop/seminar of interest.

For librarians, three seminar/workshops are on schedule for September 13, 2008 at SMX, Pasay City.

Library Magic:
25 Steps to Building a Mobile Library
Nina Lim-Yuson, Director of Museo Pambata (10.30-12.00)

25 Ways to Survive and Thrive: Managing Change in Libraries
Zarah Gagatiga, Sectoral Representative for Librarians, PBBY (9.00-10.30)

Setting Up Children’s
PLAI (Philippine Librarians Association Inc.)

I do not hope to amaze and dazzle. But, I will be inviting participants to identify the variety of changes that occur in today's libraries - from manpower and staffing; structures and systems; analog to digital resources; attitudes and paradigms; roles and expectations. After this, they will be given opportunities to look at themselves and their response to changes through the Emotional Quotient Approach.

Honestly, this is a new module that I've designed in the summer. My motivation sprang from the trials, struggles and challenges I've experienced so far as a school library coordinator. They were far from pleasant, but not at all bad. Something has to rise from the ashes and I invite you to join me in setting the phoenix aflame.

See you there!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Twilight (Spoliers Ahead!)

After re-reading Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hollows last month, I took a break and browsed through some professional books. The call of fiction is stronger so I borrowed a friend's copy of Twilight. I have heard friends gushing about the book. Some colleagues asked if our library has a copy. Just last night, I've finished reading it and I'm contemplating whether recommending the book as part of the library's growing Fiction collection would benefit our Young Adult readers (mostly boys).

The conceit (or theme) is seductively intriguing.

Carlisle Cullen and his coven of vampires has, for decades, mingled and lived among humans with a good amount of success. What with the Volvo, Mercedes and Four Wheeler Jeep that his "children" drive to school, Carlisle Cullen did not spend three centuries sleeping in a coffin by day and sucking human blood by night. He is cultured, educated and a practicing medical doctor in the rainy and sleepy town of Forks, Washington. His family includes Esme, who is the known and recognized wife of Carlisle, Rosalie, Alice, Emmet, Jasper and Edward, the "adopted" kids of the Cullens.

For a while, the Cullens lived as normal as any humans in Forks, but with an observed distance from the rest of the community. Their wealth, beauty and mysterious aura were reasons enough for the common folks to shy away from them. One day, Bella Swan arrived from Phoenix, Arizona and muddled the secured routine of the Cullens as well as their life style. Edward, the youngest of the Cullens, was the most affected. The two fell in love and the rest, as they say, lived happily until the last chapter of the novel.

The author, Stephenie Meyer, has written two sequels of Edward's vampiric saga, New Moon and Breaking Dawn (there are two more actually, but the titles escape me as of writing). Words from the grapevine on the sequel render mixed reviews. I'm not surprised. Twilight is juicy and chewy, but that's all there is to it. It did not nourish nor fill me up. Clearly, at least to me, it is no comfort food.

The romance between Edward, a vampire, and Bella, a human, is scintillating but I doubt if this would be enough to keep readers loyal to the story. Though written from the point of view of Bella, the female protagonist, readers are introduced to vampire lore and legend through her experiences and interactions with them. Meyer used these vampire stories from folk lore and myth to establish a context and suspend disbelief. There lies the strength of Meyer's Twilight.

Put away the garland of garlic cloves, crucifix and coffins. Meyer's vampires struggle to fight their demons to achieve a degree of humanity and sanity too.

Sadly, very little of this internal and external conflict emerged in the lives of the characters. Too much romance was invested on Bella and Edward. Though, their pairing proves to be spunky and fun as their dialogues are peppered with humor and dramatic irony. Still, Meyer’s dialogues and conversations of the two heroes were far from Rowling's wit or Zusak's poetic prose.

Withholding these layers of emotional and psychological unfolding of the characters must be intentional so that, readers would have a lot to look forward to in the next two novels. If only for this, then I’m in it for the ride. Carlisle is enigmatic and Alice is a character to be reckoned with. I’m also expecting to know and understand Edward’s motivation for turning down Bella’s challenge to make her one of them. She gets a chance at immortality but her vampire lover denies her of it. I want to see her grow or transform in the succeeding sequels.

So it seems that Twilight is not the main meal. It is but an appetizer. But questions in my mind remain. How did she take care of her characters? What human depth and profundity could Meyer offer her excited readers?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yan Ang Pinay: Lucrecia Kasilag, National Artist

Yumao na si Lucrecia "Tita King" Kasilag, Pambansang Alagad ng Sining sa Musika, noong Sabado, Agosto 16, 2008. Naihatid ni Tita King ang PBBY sa ika-25 taon nito bago siya tuluyang mamaalam. Maraming maraming salamat, Tita King, sa iyong mga dakilang pamana.

Narito ang alay na tula ni Frank Rivera.


Tinambul-tambol na bao
Hinimas-himas ng palad
Pinitik-pitik ng kuko
Musika ang inilahad.

Luma't kaibang musiko
Agad niyang pinag-alab
Tunog-Bagong Pilipino
Likhang Lucresia Kasilag.


Kawaya'y di lalawiswis
Kung plawta'y walang iihip
Dahil sa iyong pag-alis
May harayang maiidlip.

Lamig-init ma'y magkiskis
Walang siklab na sisilip
At ang langit sa pagtangis
Kidlat-kulog, mauumid.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What do I get from blogging?

Certainly, not cash.

This blog has had good reviews in the past and once in a while, it gets linked to online directories. SLIA has been featured in a few blogs as well and I have had my share of plagiarism issues. But this email from Michael McWade is the most surprising yet that I get from blogging.

Dear Ms. Gagatiga ,

I am writing to you from the city of Nanaimo , on Vancouver Island
in the province of British Columbia in Canada .

From your web sites I see that you might be the person that can help
me get some very important information re: education for a child in Pasig City .

Mr. McWade is from Vancouver, Canada and he found me out online. I did reply as ethics would dictate. I'm still smiling at the thought of this unusual and amusing online phenomenon.

Aside from the Canadian query, I also got an invitation to join a social bookmarking site from Mabeline Lee of SocialMatic.

I've come across your site through
your profile at MyBlogLog. I felt that your site
provide interesting and useful contents to online users. Hence, I would
like to invite you to join the Socialmatic network, and hope you can
share all your favorite bookmarks online through SocialMatic.

In an online environment, people who are worlds apart meet to flavor and enrich the global community.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Licensed Librarians In Philippine Public School Libraries

There is this bit of good news from PBBY board member, Neni SR Cruz, in her article on 70 more Library Hubs to grow in Cebu, Makati and Muntinlupa. DepEd has apparently approved the posting of a licensed librarian in public schools --

Muntinlupa schools division superintendent Fe L. Faz also formally announced the long-awaited happy news: after two years of discussions, the licensed librarian post was finally approved by the Department of Education.

This move by the DepEd cast a ray of light for the development of Philippine public school libraries and in effect, the possible growth of libraries as reading and learning centers . If it is a sign that DepEd has finally recognized the law (RA 9246) and the role that librarians play in the improvement of the Library Hubs, then hope springs eternal indeed. In the middle of all this, I could not help but look for any involvement by professional library organizations or schools offering Library & Information Science. It seems that, if they have any contribution to this happy news (that took years to fulfill), then librarians and teachers of Library & Information Science are a humble and quiet lot.

Or, it only goes to show that there are plenty of people and organizations who are bent on building libraries so children could be given access to books and reading materials. It does not matter anymore if they come from the library profession. It takes a community to raise a library.

PAASCU Assembly: Revision of GS Survey Form

Last July 25, 2008 at Club Filipino, an assembly of selected (Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities) PAASCU accreditors convened to revise the survey form used for accreditation in the Grade School.

I was invited to join the team of librarians who revised the survey form. Along with Mrs. Del Hernandez (Ateneo Grade School), Mrs. Gloria Melemdrez (San Beda Taytay, Rizal), Mrs. Sonia Reyes (Assumption Antipolo) and Mrs. Normita Moneda (Malate Catholic School), we thoroughly went over each area and item of the survey form for school libraries. The proposed changes in the survey form will undergo another reading by the commission before approval. Hopefully, an improved survey form will be used next year by the accreditors.

You might be wondering where the need for revision came from. As everything else in this world, change must be recognized to adapt with the times. The room for improvement is the biggest one in the house, besides. The improvement of the survey form could lead to better results of the accrediting process and thereby, further help school libraries reach standards and possibly surpass them.

On a personal level, taking part in the revision process was both an honor and a privilege. The assembly was composed of seasoned and experienced accreditors from PAASCU accredited schools. I met, once more, my first chairperson, Dr. Cynthia Arcadio (Assumption Antipolo) and friends from accreditation work. Most of them have seen and witnessed highlights and low-lights in their years of service to basic education. But they have endured. They have aged in wisdom and in grace.

There is a good way to growing old.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Librarian as PR Manager

Last Monday, July 21, 2008, I entertained some visitors from St. Paul, Bulacan. Headed by Sis. Marissa Tumbali, they wanted to see the physical facilities that modern school libraries of today have. Their visit was in preparation for PAASCU accreditation. But to me, I revel in the moment because it's PR work. It's something I enjoy doing.

Aside from the tour I gave them (three libraries all - Early Education Library; GS LRC and a brief trip to the HS LRC), I presented basic library programs and services we provide students and teachers. For them, what made an impression was the centralization process that the library is currently undertaking in areas like structures and manpower. I think, centralization is one relevant issue facing librarians today that needs to be discussed and articulated. It has advantages and limitations, but clearing the air and foreseeing its benefits and possible pitfalls may help the librarian adjust.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Librarian Seminars & Workshops Galore!

Who ever said that nothing happens in Philippine librarianship should read this. There abound in the industry a plethora of seminars, workshops, fora and lectures. If only participants could identify and publish concrete results from their attendance to such professional growth activities then, indeed, librarianship in the Philippines is far from dormant.

October 25; 27-30, 2008
Seminar-workshop on "Updates on Library Operations"
Sponsor: Philippine Normal University Department of Library & Information Science

September 10-11, 2008
Sponsor: PNU-LISAA, Inc., A Caring Alumni Group
OBJECTIVES; To share and enrich the knowledge of fellow professionals and library personnel on information literacy with customers' competencies in mind through authentic learning by: (1) introducing information literacy as a power tool in the discovery for best practices enriching customers' library experience; (2) apply professional assessment procedures in upgrading customers' information literacy; and, (3) create relevant library information literacy plans and packages.

August 29, 2008
Forum on "Libraries and Librarians: their roles as tools for research"
Sponsor: The Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. Central Luzon Region Librarians Council
Holy Angel University

August 21-22, 2008
1st LibraryLink Conference: Be Connected to Go Forward!
Sponsor: LibraryLink

August 13-15, 2008
Sponsor: Davao Colleges and Universities Network (DACUN) through its Library Committee
Mindanao Alliance of Educators in Library arid Information Science (MAELIS)

July 25-27, 2008
Seminar-workshop on "Information and Library Centers Value added Service: e-library and Content Management"
Sponsor: Philippine Society of Librarians and Information Specialists
Integrated Society of Information Professionals of the Philippines (ISIPP)

July 24-25, 2008
Sponsor: International Federation of Library Association (IFLA) – ALP and Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) CEAP-NCR Tertiary Commission Library Committee

July 23-25, 2008
Sponsor: The Philippine Librarians Association, Inc.
National Capital Region Librarians Council (PLAI-NCR)
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions – Committee on Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (IFLA-FAIFE)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Inventors, Inventions & INFOLIB

Some good news!

The library information systems we use in our GS library, INFOLIB, has a website. The best part is the availability of free downloads to patrons and users. Congratulations to Gerry Laroza! May the spirit of open source continue to flourish.

Speaking of new born websites, I am experimenting on for new blogs. Here's what I've conjured at The SMIT Files. I'm still trying to figure out my way in but with great ease. It helped that I used a MacBook for the job.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Another Launch

From my Inbox --

You are cordially invited to the book launch and one-man art exhibition of CANVAS' latest children's book, Si Lupito at ang Baryo Sirkero (Lupito and Circus Village). Written by Rowald Almazar, with original artworks by Jose Santos III, the story is the winner of CANVAS' 3rd Annual Romeo Forbes Children's Storywriting Competition.

The book launch and art exhibition opens with cocktails on Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 6pm at the Ayala Museum's ArtistSpace. The show runs until July 21, 2008.

After the very "privy" book launch of The Night Monkeys last night at Mary Grace, Serendra by Tahanan Books, CANVAS maintains the momentum. Such events keep the industry abuzz. With the 25th NCBD coming in this July 15, 2008, what new titles of books would arouse the child reader's reading interest?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Let's Play!

The characters to be included in the 25 Best Loved Book Characters exhibit on July 15 are as follows:

1. Chenelyn
2. Ampalaya
3. Pilo
4. Filemon
5. Juan Tamad
6. Raquel
7. Rosamistica
8. Barumbadong Bus
9. Emang Engkantada
10. Mahiyaing Manok
11. Pandakotyong
12. Mariang Alimango
13. Ibong Adarna
14. Carancal
15. Butsiki
16. Duwende
17. Mateo
18. Pilandok
19. Pagong at Matsing
20. Peles
21. Langgam at Tipaklong
22. Mariang Sinukuan
23. Og Uhog
24. Lola (Pambihirang Buhok)
25. Tiktaktok at Pikpakbum

Now here's the challenge: Can you identify the authors who created them? How many can authors can you identify with their respective book characters? Post a comment or a reply! Coffee is on me for the first person to get the most correct answers!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Silver Lining On Philippine Children's Literature

The PBBY is celebrating its silver anniversary with a host of activities for children’s literature enthusiasts:

National Children’s Book Day Ceremonies/
Awarding of the 2008 PBBY-Salanga & 2008 PBBY-Alcala Prizes
July 15, Cultural Center of the Philippines

The annual ceremonies celebrating National Children’s Book Day, in commemoration of the publication of Jose Rizal’s Monkey and the Turtle in Trubner’s Oriental, shall once again happen at the CCP. The ceremonies include the announcement of new books coming out in 2008, courtesy of the country’s leading children’s book publishers; the awarding of this year’s Salanga and Alcala; and, the induction of new PBBY members.

25 Best-Loved Children’s Book Characters Exhibit
July 15-22, Atrium, CCP
September 12-16, SMX

After surveying hundreds of Filipino children, here is an exhibit of life-size sculptures of the 25 best-loved children’s book characters. The sculptures are done by members of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang InK).

PBBY-NBDB Salaysayan 2008
Eliminations:1-5 pm, September 14, MIBF Stage Area, SMX
Grand Finals: 1-3 pm, September 16, MIBF Stage Area, SMX

Open to both professional and amateur storytellers, Salaysayan is a storytelling contest which aims to promote a love for reading and a return to our oral tradition. Salaysayan is a joint undertaking between PBBY, National Book Development Board (NBDB) and Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines.

25 Author Visits

Throughout the year, 25 schools will be visited by their favorite children’s book authors. The visits are a joint project between PBBY and the members of Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting (Kuting).

Museo Pambata Activities
July, Museo Pambata

To celebrate our silver year, Museo Pambata has lined up the following activities: Pop Stories Exhibit; an opinion corner for child visitors; a book donation corner; and a cosplay day where people can dress up as their favorite children’s book characters!

Workshops at the Manila International Book Fair
September 13-15, SMX Function Rooms
The PBBY offers the following workshops at SMX during the Manila International Book Fair:

A Thumbnail History of Children’s Literature in the Philippines
A lecture to be delivered by Prof. Lina Diaz de Rivera
9-12 noon, September 13, Meeting Room 8, SMX

25 Ways to Entice Children with Stories
A workshop on storytelling; Facilitator: Manolo Silayan
1-4 pm, September 13, Meeting Room 8, SMX

Library Magic
-25 Steps to Building a Mobile Library
-25 Ways to Survive and Thrive: Managing Change in Libraries
-Setting Up Children’s Libraries
Facilitators: Nina-Lim Yuson, Zarah Gagatiga, PLAI
9-5 pm, September 13, Meeting Room 9, SMX

Tong Tong Tong: Tinig, Tunog, at Talino ng Tulang Pambata
Facilitator: c/o Linangan ng Imahen, Retorika at Anyo (LIRA)
9-12 noon,September 14, Meeting Room 9, SMX

Creating Effective Visuals for Children’s Books
Facilitator: Totet de Jesus
1-4 pm, September 14, Meeting Room 9, SMX

Reading, Responding and Reviewing
A workshop on reviewing children’s literature; Facilitator: Neni Sta.Romana-Cruz
1-4 pm, September 15, Meeting Room 9, SMX
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