Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Manila International Storytelling Festival 2009

And so it came to pass.

The Manila International Storytelling Festival has folded up yesterday, August 29, 2009 in De La Salle Zobel, Ayala Alabang. As the visiting storytellers finished their performances early last night, I'm positive that they had been treated to Filipino hospitality to its fullest. Participants, on the other hand, witnessed one of the greatest performances on earth. It may sound like the circus, but it is more.

Let me begin with my attendance to the workshop session of Eth-Noh-Tec on body movements in storytelling. I was ten minutes late. Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo were winding down on their last routine of the telling. I could tell it was a splendid performance as they blended movement, music and language beautifully into one composition. They had to be the best tandem storytellers in this side of the world!

Their session was a full-bodied participation workshop, meaning, every part of your body - external parts and internal parts - were engaged. In three hours, they covered everything you need to know for an effective performance telling. I loved the group activity best because I gained new friends, I performed, I had fun! Best of all, I got to do the techniques they taught to make my movements when telling stories more energized, cohesive and controlled. I'm expecting a lot form myself after attending their session. My goal now is to eliminate the awkward movements and body language I use and convey when telling. This would mean investing on time for practice. Art is also DISCIPLINE. The skills necessary for storytelling must be honed and polished.

And this is what struck me during the matinee. Except for our local tellers, the visiting foreign tellers displayed a class and sophistication to their telling. They were POLISHED. Indeed, the Filipino's ways and techniques of storytelling still has a long way to go. By saying this would mean challenges for us, Filipino storytellers.

We need to cull out tales from our oral tradition. To tell these tales, one must be true to its cultural, historical and political context. Book based storytelling is great however, there are many elements in our culture which we could still explore to incorporate in our storytelling. Thus, the many techniques we could use -- local props, indigenous materials, songs and rhymes. Research into the history of our people and nation is necessary so that, our stories will be known by a unique Filipino voice. More storytelling sessions and festivals rather than contest! Use Filipino when telling. It helps achieve spontaneity. We're all English Second Language learners. We're bound to make mistakes! And of course, the different sectors concerned in storytelling must be one in the development and advocacy of storytelling in the Philippines.

Filipino storytellers, myself included, are skilled, creative and competent. But we still need to immerse ourselves in our own cultural heritage and history to enrich our telling. The techniques will follow. First, we need to put up content and substance in our stories so that we could tell them with justice.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Perks of Storytelling

Last Thursday, I was at Lantana, Cubao telling stories to preschool and primary grades students. My program included two book based Storytelling, draw-and-tell, participative telling and several stories from Dianne De Las Casas' Handmade Tales. For this session, I told Ang Alamat ng Lamok, Pandakotyong and Ang Mahiwagang Biyulin from the Lola Basyang Series of Anvil/

It was an enjoyable session! I was amazed at the kids' reactions when after each telling, a group of them would hug me or give me a kiss. There were several boys and girls in the grade one level who even asked for blessings (mano po). The perks! The school Immaculada Concepcion Cathedral School is a Catholic school. I was there the whole day. My voice was nearly lost at the end of the gig, but, after an hour or so of quiet time, it got back to its normal strength.

There I met the librarian, Ms. Divina Ramirez who attended my workshop on storytelling in 2004. I was so embarrassed for I no longer remember her. She was so proud to tell me that she follows the library activities I shared in the workshop like author visits and yes, regular storytelling.

A storyteller in the Philippines doesn't earn much. Then again, when I think about it, nothing will compensate the work that a storyteller does. I delight in meeting people and performing, losing myself to their smiles, their laughters and the emotions they give back. I am thankful to Anvil Publishing, and people who continuously give me the opportunity to do what I am passionate about.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mae Astrid Tobias (1979-2009)

The Philippine Children's Literature industry mourns the passing of one of its promising and prolific young writers. Mae Astrid Tobias succumbed to Lupus Sunday morning, 23 August 2009.

Her remains lie in state at the Paket Santiago Memorial Homes in San Roque, Marikina City. KUTING, the premiere organization of children's writers in the Philippines, will be in charge of the necrological services tonight. There will be a mass at 7 PM after which, the program remembering Ms. Tobias' life and works will commence. She was KUTING's President from 2004-2006.

Ms. Tobias' published works include the Palanca winning story, Bayong ng Kuting (A Basket of Kittens), Haribon's environmental stories for children and National Commission for Culture and the Arts' Hudhud Epic for children. Her latest book published by Adarna House, Bakawan (Mangrove) was launched last 21 July during the celebration of National Children's Book Day. Astrid, as her family and friends call her, left many unfinished book projects for Museo Pambata and Vibal Foundation.

She will be laid to rest on Wednesday, 26 August 2009. Prayers requested.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Beautiful Capul

The wifi connection in the island is wonky due to the weak signal I'm getting every night in my mobile phone. Pictures of this beautiful place will be posted, hopefully, by tomorrow night. It's going to be a long travel back to Manila so going online in transit is quite impossible.

This afternoon, the teachers brought us to the historic parola or lighthouse. The view took my breath away. I wished to stay for one more day and see other sites in the island, walk on the beach and comb the shore for shells, take pictures and buy some pasalabongs. But duties and obligation await me in Manila.

I will come back to Capul.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Second Day in Capul

The first day of the SAS Teacher Training Workshop here in Capul, Northern Samar folded up two hours ago. It had been a very fruitful day. The teachers of Capul are responsive and eager to learn. They're work ethic and self esteem are very high. What's more, they came wearing their yellow t-shirt that says: I'm Proud To Be A Teacher!

It's been a tiring day for me considering that I was restless last night. It was so warm. I made a mistake not to remind Cats to request for a generator. People in town depend on solar energy. Electrical power begins at 4PM and ends at 12 midnight. Now we all know better.

The venue for the training is in the newly constructed municipal hall which is just across the 16th century church built by the Jesuits. The name of the parish is St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish but is being run by the Catarman Diocese. I was amazed at the fortress like structure. According to Kagawad Marlon, the church was a "balwarte" and watch tower during the Spanish period. On September 14, the church will be instituted as a historic site by the National Historical Commission. Ambeth Ocampo will be present to grace the occasion. We hope to hear mass there tomorrow.

Another site we hope to visit before we leave for Manila is the lighthouse or parola. It was built by the Americans and was used during during World War II to help ships and the US Navy navigate its way into Leyte Gulf. There is more to Capul than meets the eye. Apart from these historic sites, its people are its real treasure. Their language is very unique to the region. An anthropological restoration is in the works. Tomorrow, I'll be conducting the session on Experience Stories. Talk about right timing!

Since yesterday, we had to contend ourselves wading in the pool tides. Not bad at all. It's very relaxing actually. Late this afternoon, Cats, Jojo and I did our debriefing by the shore. Once we're done, we hit the sea to wade in the low tide. The twilight view was magnificent.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Air, Land and Sea

The Sa Aklat Sisikat (SAS) Teacher Training Workshop (TTW) in Capul, Northern Samar has to be the most adventurous TTW yet.

The team for this TTW is composed of Cats Alcaraz, Reading Coordinator, Jojo Pagsibigan, Group Facilitator, and yours truly, Master Trainer. We started out early for a flight to Catarman, Northern Samar via Cebu Pacific. I am always awed at the beauty of blue. Sky and sea. Flecks of white clouds peppered the sky and the sun loved us back. When the plane touched ground, I nearly fell on my knees in homage.

This is my first time to reach Visayan soil. Though married to a full blooded Waray, I felt strange to be in an island far away from Luzon. Hearing the dialect of my in-laws did not help the feeling of alienation. Yet, the adventurer in me surfaced when Cats asked where to have lunch. I dropped the proposal of eating in the nearest Jollibee, the most popular fast food chain in the Philippines. Yes, Von Totanes, every nook and cranny of the Philippines is littered with Jollibee. Very soon, the President might just proclaim Jollibee as the national insect of this banana republic! Hey, if Carlo Caparas is National Artist, it's not impossible for Jollibee to join him in GMA's roster of the president's national choices.

Going back to Catarman, we ate at a local restaurant named Ron-Ron. Move over Lavander Brown! We Filipinos know our nicknames to heart but we know better when to change consonants to call those we hold dear. The lunch was superb! Simple but superb! We ordered big shrimps. Hilabos swimming in buttery sauce with pepper and ginger. The fish tinola was delicious, but a film of oil layered on top of the swordfish in the soup. It stuck in the lips and around the mouth that eating it was like applying grease in the face. The swordfish was meaty and that salvaged the dish. And of course, the kinilaw na tanigue was the star of our lunch date at Ron-Ron! Ang SARAP! I suddenly missed my mother-in-law who could make the best kinilaw na tanigue in our part of the metro. Lesson learned -- when in a new town, eat the local food to experience the flavor of its culture and way of life. Ginger, pepper, onions and garlic. The Warays know how to mix these falvors well with a dose of sweetness using coconut milk or sugary butter. It shows in their disposition and life style!

The hearty meal was immediately digested an hour and half when we reached Allen, Northern Samar. The jeepney ride was long and hot that riding the boat to Capul excited the three of us. It was a relaxing experience to be out there in the open sea. The surface of the water was coated with cellophane. Mt. Mayon seem to stand like a guardian in the south. San Antonio, an island north of Capul, was a mysterious mass of land. It looked dark green from a distance. Pirate ships and galleons patrolled these waters for centuries. And here we are now, visiting Capul like missionaries of long ago.

Finally, we hit dry land in Capul. I tell you, reaching the island was not the end of the journey. The scooter ride beat out the plane, the jeepney and the boat! I was squeezed between manong driver, my luggages and Jojo Pagsibigan on the scooter going to our rented beach house. It was like riding the caterpillar at your local carnival. My last motorbike ride was with my father twenty-eight years ago. No point of comparison. Let's just say that I trust my father when it comes to driving a motorbike.

At the end of the day, we waded in the beach till twilight, enjoying the warm water and white sand at low tide. It was my first to see and touch see grass. The three of us had other interesting discoveries. I'll save them for tomorrow's post! Promise!

It's pretty late. I need to sleep or else have the electrically powered lights run out on me. There are small lamps powered by solar energy around the house, but a city slicker like myself worships the power of MERALCO. I miss the hubby. I miss the kids. Tomorrow is another day.

Live Blogging: At Terminal 3 Leaving for Catarman

No wifi connection at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Terminal 3 so I'm doing this via 3G technology. The flight to Catarman will take one hour and a half plus, a jeepney ride and a boat ride to Capul. Cats Alcaraz of Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation tells me how rustic the place is. I'll take as many photos as I can.

We will be training twelve teachers and as far as my SAS experience go, this has to be the least number of teachers I will be working with. We hope to finish early on Sunday. From the photos of Capul seen in the web, it looks like there are great places to see and visit.

Will keep you posted!

This Is Quick

I will be leaving for Capul, Samar six hours from now.

There are so many wonderful things that happened to me lately that I really would like to share and write about. But, my head is full of this week's events that to break it down piece by piece would be a chore. I'm hoping that later, at the domestic airport, I could work on them for posting in this blog.

For the meantime, here's a clue as to what I'm so cognitively pregnant about.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Fiipinas Heritage Library

I was in a historic place yesterday.

The Nielsen Tower, Manila's first international airport during the pre-war years, still stands at the corner of Makati Ave., and Ayala Ave. What is now a cosmopolitan center was, in the past, an airstrip. The tower now houses the Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL). Home to rare books, vinyl records, selected Filipiniana, photos and resources on museology, the FHL (my acronym) is a haven for researchers, artists, scholars, students and the curious on Philippine arts, culture and history. Ms. Maritoni Ortigas of the FHL was a gracious and amiable lady who gave the tour.

It has many function rooms and events venue for rent on special occasions such as book launchings and workshops. The bookshop houses souvenirs, mostly Filipiniana, of course. What caught my attention though was the location of the library. It's in the basement. In school librarianship, libraries must be central to the physical location of the school for accessibility. At FHL, the collection is secured below.

This is not to say that the library is a bunker. It is well lighted and airconditioned. There is a room for readers and researchers and the Filipiniana collection is growing! The good thing about this basement location is the security and privacy afforded for users and its resources. The upper rooms can be noisy places when workshops and events occur.

There's a membership fee for those who wish to frequent the library and attend its events on a regular basis. This cat seems like an interested patron. Cat can't wait to curl upon a good book.

I found it standing by the door of the library. The library staff does not seem to mind the cat. Mrs. Ortigas didn't even shoo it away when she led me and the rest of her visitors to the door at the end of the visit. Now that's one kind of library service that speaks for itself. Everyone is welcome in the library be it beast or man!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fresh Produce! Philippine Children's Literature 2009

Last July 21, 2009, new titles of children's books were announced and launched to the public. Here are the titles from Adarna House, Anvil Publishing and Bookmark. Do you have them in your library yet? The 30th Manila International Book Fair is fast approaching so you still have time to acquire copies. Or better still, contact the publisher now!

Tominaman Sa Rogong Becomes a Painter
Retold by: Felice Prudentia Sta. Maria
Illustrated by: Brian Vallesteros

Wigan Becomes a Sculptor
Retold by: Felice Prudentia Sta. Maria
Illustrated by: Robbie Bautista

Story by: Catherine Untalan, Reena Rae de Leon Sarmiento, Mae Astrid Tobias
Illustrated by: Zeus Bascon

Ako si Kaliwa, Ako si Kanan
Written by: Russell Molina
Illustrated by: Ibarra Crisostomo

Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu!
Written by: Nanoy Rafael (2008 PBBY Salanga Prize Winner)
Illustrated by: Sergio Bumatay III (2008 PBBY Alcala Prize Winner)

Just Add Dirt
Written by: Becky Bravo
Illustrated by: Jason Moss

Grand Parade
Written by: Carla Pacis and Nanoy Rafael
Illustrated by: Marcus Nada

Non-Fiction; Science Reference:

Can We Live on Mars
Text by: Gidget Roceles – Jimenez
Illustrations by: Bru

YA Novel:

Author: Aneka Rodriguez
Illustrator: Mitzi Villavecer


Heaven’s Butterfly
Written by: Cathy and Pia B. Guballa
Illustrated by: Frances Alcaraz

Some Women
Written by: Bunny Ty
Book design by: Beaulah Pedragosa Taguiwalo

A Time for Dragons (An Anthology of Draconic Fiction)
Edited by: Vincent Michael Simbulan
Illustrations by: Andrew Drilon


Category: Modern Heroes for the Filipino Youth

Musician for the Filipino Church
Written by: Lin Acacio Flores
Illustrated by: Jomike Tejido

The Reluctant Hero
Written by: Lin Acacio Flores
Illustrated by: Jerome Jacinto

A Life with the Poor
Written by: Didith Tan Rodrigo
Illustrated by: Mheri-Ann Andes

Category: Great Men and Women of Asia – Children’s Series

The Public’s Servant
Written by: Didith Tan Rodrigo
Illustrated by: Kaecee Salvador

Lub - Dub, Lub - Dub
Written by: Russell Molina
Illustrated by: Jomike Tejido

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One Shot: Children's & YA Literature in Southeast Aisa

Chasing Ray looks into the scene of Children's Literature and Young Adult Literature in Southeast Asia.

Local books like KUTING's Bagets, Pacis' OFW and Owl Friends received relatively good reviews while my post about Dr. Gatmaitan was linked as well. The more interesting news is the host of books written for kids and teens in the region. Through blogs and blogging, stories cross cultures and cuts barriers. Advocates in the discipline should do a lot of projects such as this.

Call for Papers: RAP Demofest 2009

The Reading Association of the Philippines (RAP) is pleased to announce its Midyear Demofest 2009 to be held in Dagupan City, Pangasinan on November 12 (Thursday), 13 (Friday), and 14 (Saturday), 2009. This demonstration festival of RAP members and literacy educators, professors, and specialists is on the theme: Reading Comprehension Across the Curriculum.

To enrich the experience of participants in this demofest, the RAP enjoins enthusiasts, researchers, academics, practitioners, and teachers of literacy education (in the mother tongue, Filipino, and/or English) to submit proposals for demonstration lessons. Through this, the RAP aims to bring together professionals and advocates from various parts of the country to share their best practices on literacy education in relation to the following strands:

1. Comprehension in the Language and Literacy Curriculum
2. Comprehension in the Disciplines
3. Comprehension among Struggling Readers and Special Learners

Please take note of the following guidelines:

1. Outline of Proposal
I. Strand:

II. Title of Lesson:

III. Target Audience: (Early Grades/Primary, Intermediate, High School, or Tertiary)

IV. Proponent/s (maximum of 2) and Contact Information

A. Name/s:
B. Institutional Affiliation/s:
C. Mailing and/or Email Address/es:
D. Telephone/Fax/Mobile Number/s:

V. Lesson Plan
A. Objectives
B. Subject Matter and Reference/s
C. Materials
D. Procedure
E. Assessment/Evaluation
2. Length of Proposal: maximum of 3 pages (8.5” x 11”), single-spaced, Arial 12, with 1” margins all over
3. Duration of Lesson: 1 hour

The deadline for the submission of proposals is on September 15, 2009. Proposals may be submitted to the RAP Midyear Demofest 2009 Conference Director, Prof. Portia P. Padilla, through or the Reading Department of the UP College of Education (Diliman, Quezon City). Notice of acceptance will be given by September 30, 2009.

Proponents of accepted proposals have to submit a final semi-detailed lesson plan (maximum of 5 pages: 8.5” x 11”, single-spaced, Arial 12, with 1” margins all over), together with an explanation of its theoretical underpinnings (maximum of 2 pages: 8.5” x 11”, single-spaced, Arial 12, with 1” margins all over), not later than October 15, 2009. These theoretical underpinnings will be explained to the participants before the start of the actual teaching demonstration.

Presenters will not pay any registration fee. However, they are responsible for their transportation and accommodation.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Writer Doctor Wins (Another) Award

Dr. Luis Gatmaitan MD, writer and doctor will be conferred the "Gawad Dangal Ng Wikang Filipino" by the Komisyon Ng Wikang Pambansa (Commission On The Philippine Language) for his contributions in children's literature, print and broadcast media on 28 August at the Century Park Hotel in Manila. Gawad Dangal Ng Wikang Filipno is an honor award given to a Filipino who has dedicated their life's work and craft to the promotion and growth of the national language.

Dr. Gatmaitan has been writing in Filipino since his early years as an essayist in local magazines. In 1994 his first story for children, Si Duglit, Ang Dugong Makulit(Duglit, the Pesky Blood Cell) won the prestigious Palanca Award. There's no looking back for Dr. Gatmaitan as he won Palancas one after another. Five Palanca Awards later, he joined the titans of the Palanca Hall of Fame.

Known in the local children's industry as Tito Dok (Uncle Doctor), he has fortified himself as the leading writer for children on health and hygiene issues. His Tito Dok Series is on its fifteenth book now. From asthma to sore eyes, colds and dengue fever, Tito Dok has educated, entertained and healed countless Filipino children from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It is no wonder that in 2003, he was proclaimed as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the nation. On top of these awards, Tito Dok is the representative for writers in the Philippine Board On Books for Young People and former Vice President of KUTING, the nation's premiere organization of Filipino children's book writers.

Having read his body of works, it is his family stories that I enjoy all the more. He has written about a young girl afflicted with leukemia; a grandfather whose senility has corroded his relationship with his grandson; and a father whose love for his handicapped daughter transcended death. Head on to OMF Literature and Adarna House for annotations of his children's books. Copies are on sale and can be ordered online.

Congratulatons once again to Dr. Gatmaitan! Mabuhay ang Filipinong manunulat! (Long live the Filipino writer!)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dr. Dina Joana Ocamo, Outstanding Teacher and Filipina

A pleasant news from the education sector! The Metrobank Outsanding Teachers (MOT) of 2009 were announced last 8 August 2009. Among the ten teacher awardees, nine came from the public school system.

From the tertiary level, it was Dr. Dina Ocampo of the Reading Department of UP Diliman who was given this prestigious award. Teacher Dina, as she is fondly called in the UP Reading community was conferred another award last 2007. She was one of the Ten Outstanding Women of the Nation for Service awardee for her groundbreaking work and research on dyslexia. Teacher Dina's research on multilingual teaching won her the MOT this year.

Teacher Dina is founder of Wordlab, a school for dyslexic and special learners. She is also the Vice President of the Philippine Board On Books for Young People (PBBY).

Source of photo -

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Carlo J. Caparas on ANC's Media In Focus

I've posted this episode of Media In Focus where Carlo J. Caparas defends himself. Mr. Caparas is a talented man, but, compared to Lino Brocka and Ismael Bernal, he isn't "there" yet. Not quite. And it did not help that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo used her "prerogative" to proclaim him as National Artist.

I love it that Butch Dalisay spoke in Tagalog. Alex Tioseco, obviously a greenhorn but a promising film critic, is so privileged to be on the show.

I pity Mr. Caparas for being in the midst of this scam. It is sad to see how corruption has taken Philippine arts and culture by the neck. Our Filipino artists have gone to the streets. It is a season to be strong and steadfast.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Qualifying The Unqualified

This blog's traffic stats are in an all time high. Thanks to Cory and Carlo. It is the Carlo J. Caparas post that got the most comments though and I don't remember getting strong reactions to my posts until the National Artist hullabaloo came along.

While I found some replies very uncouth and lacking of finesse, I left the comments for democracy. I believe in freedom of expression. Besides, I've learned from a previous life that control will only make a beast out of a man. I dare not make the same mistake again.

So, in the spirit of freedom and democracy I stand by my belief that Carlo J. Caparas is undeserving of the National Artist award. Due process was not observed on his selection. Caparas has earned merits for his work and his contributions to Philippine pop culture is recognized by his peers in the industry. Yet, Caparas did not go through a screening process that was fair and square.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Storytelling At Sta. Catalina's College

I was in the Grade School department of Sta. Catalina College this morning for a storytelling session. I performed a book based storytelling of Christine Bellen's Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang to a group of very excited Kinder, Grade 1, 2 and 3 students. In between stories, I did participative oral telling styles that delighted my young audience and the teachers who were present during the one-hour session.

Ms. Jo, the librarian in charge confessed that it was their first time to have storytelling sessions in the grade school. They should thank Anvil Publishing for putting up the gig. Ms. Jo is keen for another storytelling session sometime soon.

In the second session, I had a warmer crowd amongst Grade 4, 5 and 6 students. One high school class joined in the fun and they were just as attentive. For this session, I performed Ang Alamat ng Lamok and Anting-anting from the Lola Basyang series of Christine Bellen.

I thought it would be difficult telling the books from the Lola Basyang series. The stories could be long for younger readers. But the narratives seem to spring from a radio script so the effect was ideal for read aloud. There are so many verbs to play on and animate. The dialogues between characters are short but engaging. For the record, it is still Dr. Luis Gatmatian's books that has given me the greatest challenge to story tell.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Prayer for Cory*

(Inspired by Ninoy Aquino's poem and Joe Mari Chan's song)

Heavenly Father,

We have fallen in love
with the same woman three times:

We loved her first in 1983,
when she flew back home,
a grieving widow in black.
Her brood under her wings,
she wrapped her grief with faith,
and with all her heart,
she embraced our frightened, fragmented nation.

We fell in love with her a second time,
as she marched the streets,
a reluctant Moses defying our Pharoah
who demanded to “let her people go.”
She called down confetti rain,
and through her infectious courage
we crossed the yellow sea.

Today we find ourselves falling
for the same woman a third time:
Surrendering herself to You,
she gathered her pain and ours—
a wounded, bewildered, downhearted people.
Not once did she give up on us.
And in her death, suddenly,
we regain hope in ourselves.

Lord, we thank You for our love for Cory
for each time we fell in love with Cory,
we fell in love with country,
And we fell in love with You.


*Courtesy of Fr. Johnny Go SJ. The same prayer was used as invocation during the necrological services last night at the Manila Cathedral.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Carlo J. Caparas, National Artist

If you believe otherwise, there is an online petition for Carlo J. Caparas as an unqualified National Artist.

If you are ready to make a stand, go to Petition Online.

I'm signatory no. 628.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Literary Best

Some thoughts to ponder on reading, writing, literary merit and literary awards --

I think good novels are written by writers who want with all their heart to write this novel, which is like no other. And which is therefore, as things stand, rather unlikely to win a prize. -- Ursula K. Le Guin

The full paper can be read in Book View Cafe.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Goodbye, Tita Cory

Corazon Aquino, the heart and soul of the original People Power died today at 3AM after more than a year's battle with colon cancer.

Tributes are pouring in for Tita Cory. During the months and weeks that she spent at the hospital, local columnist and journalists have written about her. This one by Condrado De Quiros is my favorite.

To the reluctant hero who believed that the Filipino is worth living for, please continue praying for us in heaven!
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