Friday, July 31, 2009

The 1st PBBY Poetry Contest

It will still be known as the Salanga Prize. But next year, PBBY is opening up the contest for children's poetry to fly and soar. Bring out the poet in you! Contest rules are in the PBBY website.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blogs & Book Reviews

I found this blog on book reviews of children's literature and young adult fiction.

Tarie, is Filipina and she blogs and writes about children's and young adult literature. Mostly western. It's a good source for titles to buy and order for the school library collection. Her reviews are worth reading. It's the author and illustrator interviews that floored me though.

Click the link and peruse her blog. It's a very interesting read!

And speaking of reviews, Chasing Ray has an event coming up on August 12. One Shot, a day featuring authors, illustrators, reviews and related news in children's literature in Southeast Asia will be up on her website. I'm going to turn in some worthy news on the industry from our part of the world so if you have something to share, keep clicking the links and spread some Pinoy Pride in the blogosphere!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Buklat Bulilit 2009 Opening Ceremony

Buklat Bulilit opened in TriNoma Mall today with a simple program for kids invited from a local school. The four day long book fair drums up the importance of books and reading as it offers reading materials for children and young adults. The activities during the book fair are as follows -

July 29 - 10:30 am - Opening Ceremony

July 30 - 10:00 am - Storytelling Session

July31 - 2:00 pm - Storytelling
11:00 am & 3:30 pm - Oishi Mascot Dance

August 1 - 10:30 am - Hand Puppet Making
1:00 pm - Cooking Demo
3:30 pm - Lecture on the Novel for Young Adults

For details of the activities, contact the TriNoma Concierge or call 892-1801 loc. 21. This event is brought to the public by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People, Filipinas Heritage Library, TriNoma, the National Book Development Board, Jolibee and Oishi.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Yellow Ribbon for Cory Aquino

I was merely a sixth grader when Cory assumed the presidency in 1986. There are only two things I have memories of her as President of the Philippines -- coup d'etat and Kris Aquino.

Her spiritual adviser is a Jesuit though and it was only in later years when I fully appreciated her spirituality. Here's a yellow ribbon for Tita Cory. I'll say a prayer for her tonight that she, and her family, may be ready to fully surrender her life to God's will.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fil-Am Writer Writes About Pancit

This news is something to smile about.

Paper Tigers has a blog post on the book, Cora Cooks Pancit, by Filipino-American writer, Dorina Lazo-Gilmore. So the story goes that Cora assisted her mother in cooking pancit (noodles) one day. I love pancit and I just had bihon for merienda (snack) today!

I wish to get a copy of the book to see and taste its Filipino-ness. Besides, I first learned to cook pancit bihon and pancit bicol from my mother.

Shen's Books, the publisher of Lazo-Gilmore has this to say about her --

Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore grew up in a Filipino-Italian family in the kitchen with her mama, aunties and grandmas. She loves to create healthy recipes and share stories in the kitchen with her friends and daughters. Dorina has a B.A. in English and Journalism and is completing an M.F.A. degree in Children’s Literature at Hollins University. She is also the author of two other children’s books, Children of the San Joaquin Valley and Stone Soup: A Hmong Girl’s Journey to the United States. Dorina is originally from Chicago and lives with her husband and two daughters in Fresno, California.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The 2008 of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY)

Here is a copy of the PBBY Chairman's report. Posted with permission from Totet De Jesus.

The past year was characterized by ongoing activities by the different sectors and newer initiatives aimed at making children more interested in reading and making books a little more accessible and within reach.

2008 was a special year for PBBY with 25th Anniversary. Events, exhibitions, competitions, workshops, and writers' talks were the highlights of this celebration.

Storytelling - Salaysayan 2008
The Board strongly recognizes the vital role that storytelling plays in promoting the love for reading. With the Alitaptap Storytellers Group, the Board organized storytelling competitions for both amateur and professional storytellers. Last year, the Eliminations and Grand Finals of Salaysayan 2008 were held during the Manila International Book Fair at the SMX Convention Center last September. Storytelling has really been getting much attention lately with various institutions engaging in storytelling activities as part of their corporate social responsibility projects. Our National Finals was generously supported by the National Book Development Board, a government agency whose present officers have been very active in finding meaningful and productive ways to promote and support reading advocacies.

25 Author Visits
Throughout the Board's 25th Anniversary, 25 schools were visited by their favorite children's book authors. The visits were a joint project between PBBY and the members of Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting (Kuting), the organization of writers for children. The students had the opportunity to meet the writers, listen as they storytell and hear the stories behind their stories. Meeting the creator of a storybook was quite an experience for children and it gave an added thrill to the idea of reading.

25 Best-Loved Philippine Children's Book Characters
After surveying hundreds of Filipino children, an exhibition of rubber foam sculptures of the 25 Best-Loved Children's Book Characters was staged at the Cultural Center of the Philippines during last year's celebration of National Children's Book Day. After almost one month of being viewed at the CCP, the exhibit was moved to the National Library, The Manila International Bookfair, and the University of the Philippines in Diliman. The sculptures were created by members of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK), the organization of illustrators for children.

There was very positive response to this exhibit from children, families, organizations and institutions. The exhibition turned out to be a good promotional tool for children's books. Aside from the endless picture taking beside the life-(or larger-than-life) size characters, the interest in the books was heightened because it is the first-ever attempt to have these characters in 3D form and have the actual book beside these characters for the viewers to read. For children who have read the books and recognize the characters, seeing (and touching) them was a memorable experience. For those who haven't read the books, seeing the characters and the books on display actually led the parents to check out the books during the Bookfair. I received information that some parents looked for all the titles of the 25 books at the Manila International Book Fair but were disappointed when they found out that some of them were not available anymore.

This year, we approached the City of Marikina and asked them if they are willing to celebrate National Children’s Book day with us. Since literacy is one of the thrusts of Marikina, we were welcomed for this year’s celebration. We are also happy because Marikina is preparing a permanent venue for the 25 Best-Loved Children’s Book Characters where children can view them.

Workshops at the Manila International Book Fair
The PBBY offered workshops at the SMX Convention Center during the Manila International Book Fair. Among the workshops given were:

A Thumbnail History of Children's Literature in the Philippines by Dr. Lina Diaz de Rivera, 25 Ways to Entice Children with Stories by Manolo Silayan, Creating Effective Visuals for Children's Books by Ruben de Jesus, and Reading, Responding and Reviewing by Neni Sta. Romana Cruz. One thing we learned from these workshops is that aside from making the workshops really interesting and substantial, a big effort should be placed in marketing these events to ensure more participation among those groups who will benefit from these activities.

Museo Pambata
Museo Pambata, one of the institutional members of the Board, has continuous programs such as the Mobile Library and the Book Feature where a writer and illustrator is featured every month and are attended by children from welfare centers, nearby communities and museum visitors. A new Career Option or Paglaki Ko Theme Room on the Writer and Illustrator of Children’s Books will open on December 2009. Just recently, South African storyteller Gcina Mhlophe Becker gave a storytelling workshop hosted by the Embassy of South Africa and Museo Pambata.

Booksellers Sector
It is heartening to note the opening of more bookstores within the Metro Manila area. Book fairs during Linggo ng Wika, school fairs, United Nations Week and other occasions continue to bring reading materials closer to children. It has been observed that less young people go to the bookstores and so these book fairs play their role in making these books available in the school environment. Co-branding promotions in bookstores have been started by publishers as premium for books. Reading of quotable quotes from famous people, or excerpts from books will be heard over the in-store radio systems of the leading bookstore chain. Students now get an automatic !0% discount on their textbooks upon presentation of their school ID.

Storywriters Sector
Several writers have been invited to deliver papers and conduct workshops for local and international groups and institutions. Theater adaptations of children’s stories have been staged by schools, community theater groups, Ballet Manila and the Cultural Center of the Philippines during its Virgin Labfest.

Wan Dey Isang Araw
PBBY’s radio program won the Special Citation for the Best Entertainment Radio Program at the 2008 Catholic Mass Media Awards. Last year, the program won the award for the same category. Wan Dey Isang Araw is a joint production with the Cultural Center of the Philippines and DZAS. Wan Dey Isang Araw was also a finalist in the Best Children’s Radio Program in the 2008 Golden Dove Awards given by the KBP.

Book Reviewers Sector
The most significant development is the space given the PBBY and the Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation as a regular contributor in the Saturday Commentary column of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. There remains only occasional interest in book reviews in the lifestyle pages - much to be desired in this area. We see the efforts of the Manila Bulletin’s children supplement editor in having children write book reviews.

Reading Programs
The Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation has begun the implementation of reading programs from Luzon to Mindanao with the sponsorship of corporate foundations. The effectiveness of these programs are being studied by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Poverty Action Lab.

For the coming years, the Philippine Board on Books for Young People plans to revitalize the annual PBBY Salanga Prize and the PBBY Alcala Prize. Next year‘s Salanga prize will be awarded for the first time to a collection of poetry for children. More schools will be approached and encouraged to participate in the illustrators competition. Hopefully, more local and international linkages can be tapped to support continuing literacy advocacies. Storytelling will still be vigorously promoted as an important tool to encourage the love for reading and a return to our oral tradition. More creative promotions will be studied to encourage more involvement in reading activities. We also hope to strengthen the research component with the involvement of our new sectoral representative for research. We also would like to invite everyone to Buklat Bulilit, a children’s book festival at the Trinoma from July 25 to August 1 co-organized by PBBY.

Let me just end my report by sharing the sentiments of the board on taxing of imported books which violates the Florence Agreement, an international treaty the Philippines signed in 1952, and the Republic Act 8047 or the Book Publishing Industry Development Act.

Books open minds to creativity, critical thinking and possibilities of what one can be. To add a tax to this valuable medium of learning is like killing ideas and a brighter future of our people. Children specially should have access to libraries and books. We just need to look at other countries in Asia that have good public libraries and see how progressive they are. Reading books from all over the world is our own writers’ lifeline. The only way for our young to take part in or benefit from the very important emergence of global ideas is through books.

This, coming from writers, illustrators, educators, storytellers, librarians, publishers, booksellers, book reviewers, media practitioners, reading advocates and our respected institutional members.

Readers make good leaders. To have a nation of good leaders, a continuous access to enriching reading materials must be available for each and every child.

Thank you.

Ruben "Totet" De Jesus
PBBY Chairman 2006-2008

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Buklat Bulilit 2009

Should you miss the week long book fair in Marikina City's Convention Center, you can catch it up at the TriNoma on July 29 - August 1.

The National Book Development Board (NBDB), Filipinas Heritage Library, and the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) invite kids and kids-at-heart to take part in Buklat Bulilit, a children’s book festival showcasing the best of Philippine children’s literature at the TriNoma Mall from July 29 to August 1.

Buklat Bulilit features a series of events that promote the love of reading and books among the young. Storytelling, cooking demos, book fairs, and mascot appearance await kids of all ages at the Cinema Lobby, 4th Level of the TriNoma in celebration of Children’s Book Month.

Buklat Bulilit is presented by Filipinas Heritage Library, Philippine Board on Books for Young People, National Book Development Board, and TriNoma, in partnership with Anvil Publishing, Adarna House, Jollibee, and Oishi.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Photos of the 26th NCBD

Thanks to Rayvi Sunico, PBBY Teasrurer, for sharing these NCBD photos he took with his very handsome camera. Where shall the 27th National Children's Book Day (NCBD) be?

And while guesses are ripe in the PBBY e-group as to where the next NCBD venue will be, in behalf of the PBBY officers and board members, I thank all the wonderful people of Marikina for joining hands with PBBY in launching and celebrating this year's NCBD. Next year, the Salanga Prize will be awarded to the best poetry, in English and in Filipino, written for the child reader.

Sulat na! Start writing!

The Iriga City Public Library

I found out about the Iriga City Public Library via this link. Good news indeed! A well applauded initiative. This means, people in Iriga have access to books and reading materials.

The photo of the library looks impressive. In the article, support form the LGU is evident. While the physical facilities and materials were described as important elements of the library, there was no mention of the librarian in charge of the library. Here's hoping that the Iriga City Publc Library has a competent and licensed librarian.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NCBD @ The Podium

Storytellers Melody Remorca and JK Anicoche regale kids at The Podium with the story, Si Bolet Bulate. This activity is inline with the NCBD celebration.

Today is National Children's Book Day!

The launching of NCBD activities at the Marikina Convention Center went well this morning. As usual, writers. illustrators, storytellers, teachers, librarians, publishers and people from the children's book industry in the country came and gave their support to PBBY. Pictures of the event will follow.

While a host of activities will be conducted in the city of Marikina for one whole week (July 21-25, 2009), there are celebrations of NCBD in different schools, libraries and communities in the metro. This is good. The home, however, is another place where NCBD can also be celebrated. Every third Tuesday of July, read a book to your child. If you are not a parent, then find one who you can read to.

Friday, July 17, 2009

6PM at the Novitiate

Chirping crickets.
Croaking Toads.
Ribiting frogs.

And Jesuit brothers
singing their vespers.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

NCBD Activities

Taken from the PBBY website --

Storytelling Workshop
With South African Storyteller Gcina Mhlophe
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Museo Pambata

Children's Book Fair
Featuring various locally published books
July 20-24, 2009
Marikina Convention Center

25 Best-Loved Children's Book Characters' Exhibit
July 21-24, 2009
Marikina Convention Center

Chamber Storytelling Session
By Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines
July 21, 2009, 2:00 PM
Marikina Convention Center

If you can't attend in any of the activities, you can celebrate books, reading and Philippine Children's Literature in your own home, school and community. Send me photos or news of your own NCBD celebration and I'll feature it in this blog!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Manila International Storytelling Festival

Storytellers from abroad are invading Manila! This month, Gcina Mhlope-Becker enthralled Manila with her warmth and energetic telling. Next month, a host of globe trotting storytellers will regale the local community with stories and telling techniques. A good omen for storytelling in the country.

Legends and myths of pirates and princesses, tales and chronicles of fairies and fantasy will come alive at the Manila International Storytelling Festival (MISF) 2009 on August 28-29, 2009.

Ignite The Imagination With Worlds Woven Into Existence Through Words! The Festival will see an exciting cast of globe-trotting storytellers showcasing their art through live storytelling performances and seminars.

The festival offers a wide array of seminars for educators, parents, librarians, social workers and other professionals. Focusing on the craft of storytelling, these seminars use words as a medium to motivate, challenge and excite participants.

Memories Spun Into Tales That Make You Laugh And Cry. Take Away With You An Exciting Experience In The Art Of Story Telling! Sign up now for one of SIX SEMINARS or one of the TWO DAILY PERFORMANCES. More details about the seminars, performances and the tellers at Manila International Storytelling Festival.

Click the link for more information and details to the storytelling festival.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

PBBY Luncheon for South African Storyteller

The raging rain did not stop me from attending the gala night performance of visiting South African storyteller, Gcina Mhlope-Becker last night at the Little Theatre in the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Gcina, pronounced by clicking the tip of the tongue towards the two front teeth and sliding the last two syllables out, was amazing! She is an actress, writer, performer-storyteller, radio and TV show host in her native South Africa. She has been in the industry of performance storytelling for twenty six years. Her expertise in storytelling, well crafted and honed through years of experience, is very evident in her choice of stories, emotional emphasis, phrasing, body movements and stage blocking. Not only is she a skilled teller, she is warm and spontaneous too. Thus, endearing herself to the Filipino audience present in her session last night.

She told of tales from her country, oral tales and folklore, of Mazanendaba, the woman who discovered stories from the bowels of the ocean. Then there was Lungile, the most beautiful woman in all of South Africa who married a man delivered by birds with beautiful feathers. Simple stories, yes, but they dazzled through her rendition. What touched me were her personal stories on apartheid. Gcina keeps these images alive, preserving them for people to remember. She is being true to her name.

Today, after her successful workshop at the Museo Pambata, the PBBY hosted a lunch for her and Ambasador Vermuelen at Cafe Remedios in Malate. Together with the South African counsel, Mr. Hugo and her daughter, Kweizie, they were treated to Filipino food and warm hospitality. There were plenty of exchanges going around - books, life stories, food, words, more stories and culture. Illustrator Ruben "Totet" De Jesus and writer Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, gave Gcina their best selling books. I told her the story of Monkey and the Turtle. Nina Lim-Yuson of Museo Pambata was the perfect hostess. The lunch was even made more special because of Gcina's daughter, Kweizie, turned thirteen years old today.

It was her wish to visit a country she has not been to on her thirteenth birthday. She got her wish and more! Now, she and her mother found new friends from the Philippines.

Breaking the Silence: Extension Request In Vain

I have been terribly busy the past two weeks and to break this bit of news after a blogging hiatus in this blog is not very good at all. But news, good or bad, must be known to all. We are, still, in a democracy.

From my inbox via the Google group, Filipino Librarian --

For the information of those librarians who are graduates of BSE, BSEE, AB, and other degrees with major or specialization in Library Science, who would like to take the Licensure Exam for the last time (scheduled this Nov 2009), please be informed that the request made by the Board for Librarians for a resolution "extending the period within which to allow graduates of the above mentioned degrees to take the examination" has been denied. Justification for the denial is based on the provision of the law (RA 9246) which allowed the above mentioned graduates to take the licensure exam within the time frame of five (5) years from the effectivity of the law. Since the time period specified by the law has expired, any extension can only be done thru an amendment of the law, and any amendment "can only be made by the same
body that created the law."

You can also access the legal opinion dated 17 March 2009 addressed to Mrs. Corazon M. Nera, as Chairman of the Board for Librarians, at the PAARL Yahoo Groups

It does not bode well for many Filipino Librarians who finished an education degree, major in LIS. Pointing fingers will not help anyone at this point.
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