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.
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