Friday, September 30, 2011

Author of the Month: Yeng Remulla

Yeng Remulla, Pinoy entrepreneur and book author of Productive Pinoy, is the blog's author of the month. Remulla writes with humor and wit. Extracting real life experiences as a young entrepreneur, he shares life lessons gained along the tough path of building and sustaining a business. What I like about his book is the way he tells these real life experiences in bits of stories, like vignettes that pinches the heart and punches the gut. In the end, Remulla puts family on top of the list and how important it is to take care of one's well being. Indeed, one can only share what he's got. At the end of the day, it's not work or career who would warp its arms around you.

Read on Remulla's back story in writing Productive Pinoy.

What inspired or motivated you to write Productive Pinoy?
It's a compilation of what I've learned throughout the years. I became a dad at 19. I didn't know how to raise a family. All I knew was the typical advice you'd usually get, 'Study hard and work hard'.

At that time, I also started a business. I experienced it first hand how difficult it was to run a business and at the same time raise a family. I wanted to do my work remarkably well, but I also wanted to go home to my family still smiling.

I learned it the hard way.

Now, the reason why I wrote this book, is that I believe, many Pinoys are in the same dilemma. They want to excel in what they do, but at the same time, they don't want 'WORK' to suck the life out of them!

Can you describe your creative process in writing the book
It's a combination of discipline and inspiration.

1. Inspiration

a. I asked myself the following questions:

"How can I help my Kababayans change for the better?"
"How can I inspire change without putting the reader down?"
"How can I help them find the work their gifted to do?"
"What are negative mindsets that needs to be flipped into positive ones"

b. I used my day-to-day experiences to trigger ideas.
– Waiting for someone late
– Financial behaviors of some people I know
– "Takaw Mata"
– "Freepuchino"

2. Discipline

a. I sat down and wrote at least one page a day – with or without inspiration. I basically wrote the book while in Starbucks or Seatle's Best.

b. I realized that writing is editing. I didn't stop rewriting until I got the exact words or phrases that will make the ideas clear.

c. I asked my friends to read my work before I published it, they gave me their 'honest' opinions, and revised from there.

d. I asked my editor to comment and point out areas of my writing that needs improvement. That took a lot of 'pride swallowing', but I trust my editor.

Where do you go from here -- after Productive Pinoy?
There's another book that I'm currently writing. It's the continuation – It's designed to help Pinoys start and finish the work their good at. But for today, my goal is to be able to spread out the ideas written on the book.

We are searching for ways and looking for partners who will help us give away the book to our fellow Pinoys in need of support.

Email Yeng Remulla at He blogs too at

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tales From the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories

This greeted me in my FB account this morning. Apparently, author copies were sent to Dianne de Las Casas, my co-author in New Orleans, Louisiana. I await to get mine anytime soon.

Cover design by Bernadette Wolf. Photography by Yumi Pitargue. Published by Libraries Unlimited, an imprint of ABC-CLIO.

The photo is courtesy of Dianne de Las Casas, storyteller diva and fantabulous writer!

19th Children's Month

I'll be doing the lecture on 3 October. My topic is Effective Storytelling. See yoou there! And if you're a reader of the blog, don't be shy. Say Hi!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Librarian as Calendar Model

Dear me... I just have to post this!

Von Totanes just landed on a calendar, Men of the Stacks along with eleven male librarians or guys who work in the LIS profession! Von is calendar boy for June 2012. Ikaw na, Von!

See the full gallery here.

Some Blogging Success

Just a note to share with my readers.

This September, the blog has been presented with opportunities for growth and networking. Neal-Schuman sent a press release of a new book on 21st Century Literacy which found its way in the blog. Artspace of New Haven Connecticut has invited me to contribute in an online exhibit on personal libraries and top shelf reads. More on that in the coming months. Yeng Remulla, writer of Productive Pinoy has sent me a copy of his book for review. I am reading it at the moment and, of course, will blog about it before the month ends.

Lastly, the blog got another paid link ad. Check the Network and Connection feature at the left and there you'll find the link!

Some indicators of blogging success. I'm one little happy blograrian these days!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Adarna House, the country's leading publisher of Filipino and bilingual picture books and storybooks for children introduced Wikahon to the public last 14 September 2011 during the five long Manila International Book Fair. Wikahon is a conjoined word in Filipino. Wika, meaning language and kahon, meaning box. As the name implies, the kit contains books and activity sheets arranged in reading levels in one box. The kit is a learning module designed for students in the grade school to learn language competencies in Filipino.

The whole concept reminds me of the SRA of old. This time though, reading assessment is done through the aid of a software or, in today's tech lingo, apps. The result of the assessment would assist teachers in placing the students reading level in Filipino. From there, intervention is applied to better improve or reinforce skills. More than anything else, Wikahon is one answer to the many problems that has befallen Filipino language learning in the country.

For details and queries, contact Adarna House via these numbers: Office Address

Scout Torillo corner Scout Fernandez Streets, Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City 1103 Philippines

Trunkline: (632) 352-6765
Fax: (632) 352-6765 local 125

Email Address:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Picture! Picture!

L-R Jolad of DLSU-Taft, Peachy Limpin Balikbayan from Aussie, Igor Cabbab Dean of SLIS UP Diliman, and Zarah Gagatiga Blograrian

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tales from the 7,000 Isles

It's in ABC-CLIO's catalog along with a feature on Dianne de las Casas' marvelous work in storytelling and training librarians in the art and craft of tale telling.

Excited to get copies of the book!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

21st Century Literacy

Here's a new resource book for school librarians who plan and implement curricular programs in the library. Developing 21st Century Literacies: A K-12 School Library Curriculum Blueprint with Sample Lessons by Mary Jo Langhorne, Denise Rehmke and the Iowa City Community School District presents a blueprint of a library instructional program and the curriculum developed by the Iowa City Community School District. Follow the link of the book here and get a preview of its contents.

The book is published by Neal Schuman Publishers Inc. that has a concentration on Library and Information Science. Browsing the site, I found out more interesting titles on Information Literacy and Inquiry Learning.

Check out the links and visit the site!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sulataktakan Quotable Quotes

I promised to post about the recently concluded Sulataktakan: Conversations on Children's Literature forum of the PBBY at the MIBF 2011. Suffice it to say that the panelists, Maillin Paterno Locsin, Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, Rusell Molina, Jomike Tejido and Beth Parrocha Doctolero, were all fantastic that day. They were candid and smart; brutally honest but modest; witty and entertaining at the same time.

They shared their writing styles and thoughts about winning awards. It was Rusell Molina who said the most outrageous quote(see below).

Here are more quotable quotes from the forum:

"Kung sasali ka sa mga contest, siguraduhin mong may self-worth ka." (Your self-worth must be intact if you want to join writing contests.)
- Beth Parrocha Doctolero

"Push your ideas!"
- Rusell Molina

- Jomike Tejido

"Stories are everywhere."
- Mailin Paterno Locsin

"Exercise your writing muscles."
- Dr. Luis Gatmaitan

The questions asked of the panelists escapes me now since their answers were all in big ideas I need to cut in pieces. Perhaps when the transcriber has finished with the work, then PBBY can share what fully transpired in the forum. Having said this, I end with an insight I gained from the forum. Writing is not an easy task. It takes a lot of thinking; a lot of time; a lot of love. If writing is a passion, pursue it then. Life may just give you what you deserve.

Mabuhay ang Panitikang Pambata!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Call for Papers: Regional Conference on School Librarianship

What a pleasant news!

The Ateneo de Manila University-Rizal Library, Ateneo High School Educational Media Center, and the Private Secondary School Administrators Association of the Philippines (PRISSAAP), in collaboration with the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL), are seeking papers for the Regional Conference on School Librarianship with the theme: “Directions for the Future of School Libraries”. The conference will be held on April 26-27, 2012 at the Bacolod Pavillion Hotel, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines. It aims to bring together school librarians in the region to establish and strengthen relationships and support regional cooperation of school librarians.

Papers for this conference should belong to the following subthemes:
1. Information literacy/21st century skills
2. Reading and the school library
3. School library space and place planning
4. Innovative projects and services
5. Teacher-librarian partnerships
6. School libraries/librarians of the future

Interested individuals may submit abstracts (not exceeding 300 words, in word or pdf format) to / / Deadline for submission is on October 31, 2011.

For more information, you may contact the following: Mrs. Lourdes T. David Director Rizal Library Ateneo de Manila University +(632) 4266001 ext. 5550

Mr. Fernan R. Dizon Head, Reference and Information Services Section Rizal Library Ateneo de Manila University +(632) 4266001 ext. 5559

Ms. Karryl Kim A. Sagun Assistant to the Director for Special Programs and Events Rizal Library Ateneo de Manila University +(632) 4266001 ext. 5581

Venue Information: Bacolod Pavillon Resort Hotel Address: Burgos Street Ext., Reclamation Area Bacolod City, Negros Occidental 6100 Philippines URL: Phone: (63-34) 434-6391 to 93 / 433-9620 / 433-9562 Fax: (63-34) 433-9598 E-mail: About Bacolod City: For more information on Bacolod City, please visit this link:

Freinds @ the Fair

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Second Day @ the MIBF 2011

Day 2 at the MIBF started with a brief guest appearance on air. Thanks to Dr. Luis Gatmaitan who pulled some strings at the 702 DZAS on-site radio booth, I was able to promote the PBBY forum scheduled that afternoon. Tita Carmen was a gracious host. It was not my first time on radio but she made the five minute chat enjoyable. From there on, Luis and I were companions until 2PM for the PBBY forum on Children's Literature.

At lunch, I met Blooey Singson of Something Blue. She gave me a big bag of books! It was her donation for my call on book donations last August. I still have yet to go over the donations and sort them out. Definitely, who ever receives them are lucky readers. The books are all in good condition. Thanks so much, Blooey!

An hour before 2PM, Luis and I headed to SMX Meeting Room 3 for the PBBY forum, Sulataktakan: Conversations on Children's Literature. Esteemed panelists that afternoon included Mailin Paterno Locsin, Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, Russell Molina, Jomike Tejido and Beth Parocha-Doctolero. Attendance was good. The panelists' input was excellent. KUTINGs and Ang INKies were present as well as friends and literacy advocates in the industry. For details of the forum, I will have to wait a few more days to flesh it out. I moderated the forum and I am still, star struck. Here are some photos from the even forum.


The PBBY Board: Totet de Jesus, Rayvi Sunico, Zarah Gagatiga, Ani Almario, Luis Gatmaitan and Neni SR Cruz

KUTINGs L-R Becky Bravo, MJ Tumamac, Augie Rivera, May Tobias-Papa, Heidi Abad, Zarah Gagatiga, Luis Gatmaitan, Lalaine Aquino and Jerson Capuyan

My First Day @ the MIBF 20 11

I went to the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) last Friday (16 September) and Saturday (17 September). My first visit was job related. I dropped by the Anvil showroom to select exam copies of Filipiniana and foreign titles which they carry via Megatext. Then I was off to the Scholastic and Adarna booths.

At the Scholastic booth, I met John Kwong from the Book fairs department. He was so proud to invite me over at the Scholastic Warehouse in Pasig to visit their library showroom. Turns out that Scholastic Book Fairs is focusing on helping school libraries develop a reader friendly collection that offers fiction and non-fiction titles. This is something I would be interested to look at.

With Clifford at the Scholastic booth
I had my chance of meeting Clifford, the big red dog. Here in the photo, I was whisked back to my storytelling days for National Book Store. At the time, Scholastic did not operate on book fairs and educational trade. They were sole distributors of books to books stores in Manila. One promotional activity they had then was to celebrate book parties with Clifford, the Berenstain Bears, Arthur the aardvark and many more events that drummed up reading books as well. To this day, Clifford remains a favorite among preschool and primary grades readers.

Before leaving the Scholastic booth, I had a conversation with Joyce Bautista who was, at the time, organizing a web chat with Rachel Ward, author of the book, Numbers. The web chat is scheduled today at 4PM.

Finally, I had my picture taken with one of the staff dressed in space alien costume. I love her headband! I might come dressed in one some time in the future for spirit week in school Who knows?

When I came to the Adarna House to check their new titles, I was happily surprised to see Dr. Luis Gatmaitan making chit-chats with the staff. Familiar faces all! It's like meeting friends I've not seen in a long while.

This year, Adarna House has one new title and four reprints launched at the fair. Glenda Oris' Whuush!, Gatmaitan's Ang Ambisyosong Istetoskop, Almario's Si Hinlalaki and Rosa Albina and Desausido's Dalawang Dagang Bulag. Good titles indeed. But what piqued my interest is Adarna House's Wikahon. It's a reading inventory and skills development module for learners of the Filipino language. It's pretty impressive so I will devote one blog post about it next week. For the meantime, it is enough that a glimpse of this product is given to readers of the blog.

My day at the fair was also a day of meeting friends in the industry - Ed Marananan, Jay Menes, Portia Padilla, Nhyl Elada, Sam Cudiamat, Teacher Anding of Kumon, friends from World Book and Phoenix Educational Systems and some celebrities too like Dulce, the power house singer who has recently been active in the Christian renewal movement. It had been an exciting day at the fair!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Unsanitary Reads

A student borrowed a magazine from the library.

Boy: Miss, I'll read this magazine in the bathroom (silly grin).

Me: Ok. Be sure it's clean when you return it. No missing pages.

Boy chuckles.

Boy: Yes miss!

Girl 1: Miss, you allowed him to do that?

Girl 2: That is so gross!

Another boy rushes in the library.

Boy 2: Miss, I saw Boy in the boy's comfort room with a magazine in hand. May I borrow an issue of NatGeo? And can you hurry a bit, Miss? Thanks!

Girls: Yuck! Miss, why do you allow that?

Me: Reading is a right. Information access for all.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Book Review: Numbers

This book review contains some spoilers. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Rachel Ward's first novel for young adult, Numbers, is a quick and accessible read. It begins with an apathetic and detached main character, Jem who could see the death dates of people. The book, for me at least, begins a bit slow but builds up pace in the middle. In the end, it packs an emotional wallop that made me speculate on life, love and loss. Indeed, this generation's YA novels have come a long way since Richard Peck, Judy Blume and SE Hinton.

Back then, a dysfunctional family is an issue dealt with sensitivity and nuanced writing (e.g The Unfinished Portrait of Jessica by Richard Peck). Now, it's a reality that teenagers have come to painfully accept. It finds its way in novels like Numbers and I am not complaining. There was a time when sex (e.g. Forever by Judy Blume) and violence (e.g. The Outsiders by SE Hinton) were described with so much care, its treatment is direct but cushioned. In this day and age, sex and violence exist side by side that to sugar coat its existence would be a disservice to teens and young adult readers. For these points, I am giving Ward's debut novel four book marks over five book marks!

What worked
I like it that Numbers has a good balance of adult characters who care and who do not care at all. Karen and Val, Anne, the vicar's wife and Simon are my champions. Karen and Val stood by Jem. They helped see her through the confusion and loss. Simon fought for her sanctuary at the abbey reminding the vicar of God's magnanimity. Anne, though brief in appearance and did not affect Jem the way Karen and Val did, was a window of faith. I sort of predicted the book's end. I was comforted.

I have to press the like button for Rachel Ward for throwing in solid and compassionate adult characters to look after the teenage character. This is what our teen readers need to see. Out there are people who care for them despite their resistance and stubborn nature.

I also like the way Ward described and maneuvered the sex scenes between Jem and Spider. It was sweet and tender, and yes, it was all about love. Not just pent up libido. It is essential to the trilogy. No wonder, Ward gave Jem, and me as its reader, fond memories of Spider's spawn. Now I will be rooting for Adam in the next book!

What did not work
I just wish Spider didn't die the way he died. It was pretty stupid. I was reminded of Romeo and Juliet. Then again, like Shakespeare, Ward is British. Tragic end, yes, but it leaves me wondering on life's moments and how these little events matter more than the big accomplishments we so dream of achieving.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Filipino Children’s Book Writer Lives beyond Her Demise

Last 2009, children’s book writer Mae Astrid Tobias succumbed to lupus just months after celebrating her 30th birthday. Her early death came as a shock to her family and friends, but her well-lived life, however brief, became a source of inspiration.

In her writing career, Astrid has written television scripts, feature articles, and children’s books acclaimed by the Palanca Awards for Literature and the National Book Award. An active member and past president of KUTING (Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting), the premier organization of Filipino writers for children, Astrid spearheaded several projects enriching the local literary scene.

Today, her family continues her legacy by sponsoring the 1st Mae Astrid Tobias Writing Workshop for Children, a three-day seminar mentoring ten young fellows from the UP Integrated School, or UPIS, of which Astrid is an alumnus. With the help of KUTING members, also seasoned writers, students are given the basics of writing for children, as well as individual, constant consultations with their mentors.

At the end of the seminar, students are expected to submit their polished short stories or poems, which will be submitted to Astrid’s family, who reserves the right to publish their works.

With the workshop, Astrid’s passionate advocacy for children’s literature lives on, carried on by the country’s future breed of writers.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reading Advocacy for School Librarians

My last session for Scholastic Philippines' school librarians training on reading advocacy ended today with thirty participants from private schools in Bulacan, Batangas and the greater Metro Manila area. They shared books they've read; worked in groups to identify existing activities and strategies leading to literacy and reading advocacy; and listened to my input on school library standards and the changing roles of school librarians. One jarring reality -- standards are worlds apart between schools who have and schools who have a few.

Over all, it was a good workshop. I was flattered to know that most participants were former attendees of previous workshops I conducted. Thus, there were familiar faces and good friends from the field present at the workshop. Consultants form Scholastic Philippines told me how, some of them were eager and excited to attend my workshop once again. I guess I have a few good fans out there.

I wish to thank Roselle Masirag and her team of consultants in Scholastic Philippines for making the training a success, indeed. I hope to hear feedback, news that is good and otherwise, and any suggestion from them. I wish them good luck in all their work and reading advocacy.

Ans super thanks for the books! I'm reading Rachel Ward's Numbers at the moment. It's pretty good.

The 1st Filipino ReaderCon: Filipino Readers Make it Social

Friday, September 9, 2011

Filipino Friday: On to ReaderCon!

September 9 - What do you hope will happen in the Filipino ReaderCon? What are you expecting from the event?

First of all, as reader, literacy advocate and President of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People, I wish the organizers of the Filipino ReaderCon a successful convention. As a reader I am happy to find readers who, like me, are still in love with the written word. As literacy advocate and PBBY President, I hope that the efforts and ideals of the organizers won't go to waste; that this ReaderCon won't turn into a one hit wonder. In my years in the industry and in the advocacy of literacy, I have seen many literacy campaigns and initiatives fizzle out. Some crashed and burned and a few died a natural death.

I have great expectations on the ReaderCon but not on the event itself. I would like to see the aftermath. I expect to see greater influence of readers affecting and effecting others who need conversion. If not this, then greater effort on the readers part to turn their love, their passion, into a mission. Celebrating reading is wonderful. Making a non-reader read or providing reading materials to those in need of it the most is another. But yes. The advocacy begins with a recognition that reading must be highlighted and celebrated among those who've discovered it's magic and power so that they could, hopefully, share this discovery to others.

May the ReaderCon be an event that would narrow the great divide between those who have books and those who have no books at all. May it be a celebration of reading, not so much as a privilege but as a right for all. May it continue to have sponsors who, acting collectively with the organizers of the ReaderCon, set up another convention next year for readers of all ages.

Bumasa at lumaya!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Books Are Phenomenal

Last night, I was a guest resource person in Teacher Portia's class. The class, composed of twenty, more or less, graduate students studying Children's Literature are on the topic of book and literature evaluation. Much talked about were the award giving bodies locally and abroad. Together with Totet de Jesus (illustrator), Dr. Luis Gatmaitan (writer) and Michelle Agas (storyteller) we shared our ideas, insights and experiences in evaluating children's and young adult literature and books for them.

The indefatigable Totet de Jesus showed off his dummies and sketches, book samples and illustrator's portfolio. As always, it enthralled the listening audience. Luis shared the cross-overs that his works have covered so far. Meaning, from books, his stories has been translated into movies, plays and translated into Japanese and Thai. Duglit, Ang Dugong Makulit is now a Department of Health and DepEd material for health and hygiene lessons. Sandosenang Sapatos, his Palanca winning story, has been a staged in Valenzuela City for a play intended for families and children. The same storybook was translated into Thai and distributed in Singapore.

Since three of us from PBBY were present, talks of the NCBA, Salanga and Alcala Prizes were a plenty. Their questions focused on criteria for judging and basis for selecting and evaluating winners of such awards.

Of course, the Palanca Awards was just around the corner. There were suggestions from the class to come up with a set criteria for the Palancas similar to what the Newberry has done. First of, the Newberry is an award given by the American Library Association. In the spirit of transparency and equal access to information, librarians will and should make information public and accessible. Such is not the case for the literati who treats the judging of a manuscript as a work of art. Art is subjective. It's boundaries and limitations vary from one expert to another.

Before the night closed, Michelle Agas regalled everyone with her winning rendition of The Lazy Bug by Lina Diaz de Rivera. I hope that this happens again as I enjoy talking about literature for children and young adult to kindred spirits. My parting shot for the night, libraries are part of the book phenomenon among its writer, illustrator, publisher and reader. A librarian's role as a reading promoter must evolved into a reading advocacy, offering to readers a diverse and balanced book selection.

Happy International Literacy Day!

International Literacy Day

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dear Librarian Reply: The Pilar Perez Medallion

Alai Agadulin, Junior Writer/Researcher of Adarna House, Inc., replied to me and Darell Marco on his query about the Pilar Perez Medallion Award --

Good day, Mr. Marco!

The Pilar Perez Medallion for Young Adult Literature was created with the collaboration of the following: The Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL), Powerbooks, Adarna House, Inc., Candy Magazine, and National Book Store (NBS). The goal of the organizers was to launch a YA literature contest to boost the industry of the YA literature.

The same organizers stood as the judges of the contest which was launched in 2001 and re-launched in 2002. However, the criteria for judging were not made known to the public.

In 2001, the organizers decided to name three (3) winners of the 2001 Pilar Perez Medallion for Young Adult Literature to jump-start the industry. These are:

v Jacobo’s Ghost by Annette Flores Garcia
v Mga Ako by Amalia Salamat
v ‘Sup by Maria L.M. Fres-Felix

On the other hand, in 2002, only one was chosen the best among the other entries. It was:
v Anina ng mga Alon by Eugene Evasco

All these books were published by Adarna House, Inc. and the Filipinas Heritage Library.

The YA literature contest was halted after its two-year stint because the organizers, publishers, and distributors had a hard time selling the published novellas despite the efforts to boost the YA literature.

May this information suffice to the needs of your research about the Pilar Perez Award.

Maraming salamat po!

Thank you to Adarna House for lending answers to Darell's questions. I have another question though. Will the Pilar Perez Medallion see the glory of resurection?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Filipino Librarian: Salvacion Dimzon

Salvacion "Salve" Dimzon, school librarian from Taguig, agreed to this interview for the blog. She has been very active in advocating library use and services through their organization, APSA-TAPAT (ASSOCIATION OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS ADMINISTRATORS OF TAGUIG CITY AND PATEROS). Good work and good luck to Salve on the work they do in their side of the metro!

a. When and where did you graduate LIS?

May 4, 2011- Post Baccalaureate Degree in Library and Information Science (PBLIS) at Polytechnic University of the Philippines- Open University, Anonas St., Sta. Mesa, Manila.

December 14, 2011 – Master in Library and Information Science (MLIS) with a concentration in an Academic Library at Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Graduate School, M. H. del Pilar, Sta. Mesa, Manila

b. Why did you take up LIS?

Since my college years as a working student for four (4) assigned in different libraries in an academic institution (University of Negros Occidental Recoletos Library now Fray Luis de Deleon Library) aspire me to study and love this career. Also when my employer, Sto. Niño Catholic School hired me in 1996 as a school librarian, I have no choice but to really enroll in the field. Thanks to PUP-OU, I am given an opportunity to took up the librarian’s board exam after completing my PBLIS with them. Further, Mrs. Arabella M. Ananoria, Directress of UNO-R Libraries, one of my great mentors who really influenced my love for library works. That’s why despite that I am lone librarian here in the school of around 1200 preschoolers, grade-schoolers and high schools, the fire within me to serve them as efficiently as I could continue to flourish every day of my life.

c. What is your current LIS job?

My current LIS job is a school librarian at the same time a coordinator of Instructional Media Center of Sto. Niño Catholic School, Sampaloc St., Zone 1, Signal Village, Taguig City. I am here for more than 14 years now.

d. Identify the challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?

There are a lot of challenges I encountered since SNCS employed me. First, the founder of this school, our school director then in 2006 put in my 201 file that I am going to make this library (our school library) THE BEST IN TAGUIG. It is really a big challenge to me. At first, I hesitated to accept the challenge given to me but in the long run I accepted it because it is a great opportunity given to me, that time I was just 22 years and I am very idealistic that I could achieve it if I am going to work hard. Then just last year, our school applied for a FAPE accreditation. When the accreditors interviewed me I impressed them with my professional affiliation, educational attainment and scholastic records. But I failed in the area of my library set-up. It was really an “eye sore” to accreditor. I make a narrative report of that interview and relay it to our admin. I thanked them a lot because just this May 2011 our library had a total renovation. It is not yet fully accomplished but I could say it is almost near for us to reach the vision of our founder. He is not connected here anymore, but I know he is happy knowing that I am still here and doing his projection 14 years ago. Only last Friday that I am done re-shelving and putting guides on my shelves for easy access. I overcome these challenges through the help of my colleagues in librarianship, our administrators, friends and family. Then the importance of attending a seminar-workshop, training, forum, and formal education helped a lot. Also Online Reading and research especially the PAARL Wiki, where the talks and presentations of previous seminar were posted for free for its members.

e. What has been the most satisfying experience of your LIS job so far?
The most satisfying experience of my LIS profession so far was when I am chosen by APSA-TAPAT to become their resource speaker in a TWO DAY ACADEMY WORKSHOP IN LIBRARY SKILLS FOR NON LIBRARIANS last May 27-28, 2011. It is my first time so I seek the help of experts like you to help me outline my presentation also professor Dante O. Perez and Prof. Rosa M. Vallejo. Thanks a lot I made it. It is very tedious, but upon knowing that I impart something to my participants made me more eager to reach out to them through the Facebook account I created. But after the seminar despite of so many messages I posted on our FB account up to this time no one of them contacted me for help (both in the skills I taught them and the Platonixz Libro System of Mr. Romy Sebastian). Maybe they absorbed everything I taught them and they are so busy right now applying what they have learned in that workshop or the other side- they do not do acquire something.

f. Tell us more about APSA-TAPAT - especially future projects.

APSA-TAPAT stands for ASSOCIATION OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS ADMINISTRATORS OF TAGUIG CITY AND PATEROS DIVISION. It is composed of 50 – 100 MEMBER SCHOOLS. It is organizing different kinds of seminars to its member schools like SpEd, Librarians seminars just like we did last May 27-28, 2011. It is used as an arm of the division to unite the small and big schools in the area and to help these small schools. They value the importance of benchmarking and in sports it has APSA-TAPAT Athletic Meet. Then presently with the chairmanship of Dr. Helen S. Losbañes, the association acquired the support of Hon. Mayor Laarni Cayetano in supporting the Education sector. In our school we have 135 freshmen TLC (Taguig Learner’s Certificate) Scholars.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dear Librarian: The Pilar Perez Medallion

Darell Marco, school librarian and blogger, sent me this inquiry -

I'm writing to you with regards to our report in her class. WOuld you know anything about the Pilar Perez Awards? e.g. criteria for judging, who were the judges, what were the "contending" books, why did it die? etc? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Darell is pursuing his MA degree at the UP Diliman and is currently taking up Reading Cognates at the department of Reading Education. His professor, Prof. Portia Padilla, has assigned the Pilar Perez Medallion to Darell. Answers to his questions will be posted next week.

What is an interesting, if not, intriguing about the award was, it that suddenly died out as soon as it began.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Reading Advocacy

I just ended a whole day seminar-workshop on Reading Advocacy Through Effective School Library Services. The event was sponsored by Scholastic Philippines for school librarians who are subscribers to their Assessment in Education Program (AEP). It's a sustained reading inventory cum reading skills development program and librarians are part and parcel of its implementation. There were fourteen participants from school libraries in Manila and Batangas. In the first part of workshop, we looked at the changing roles of school librarians. For this, I turned to the ever reliable IFLA-UNESCO School Library Manifesto, Koechley (1997), Danielson (2007) and Kuhlthau (1997).

IFLA - UNESCO School Library Manifesto Staff The school librarian is the professionally qualified staff member responsible for planning and managing the school library, supported by as adequate staffing as possible, working together with all members of the school community, and liaising with the public library and others. The role of school librarians will vary according to the budget and the curriculum and teaching methodology of the schools, within the national legal and financial framework. Within specific contexts, there are general areas of knowledge that are vital if school librarians are to develop and operate effective school library services: resource, library, and information management and teaching. In an increasingly networked environment, school librarians must be competent in planning and teaching different information-handling skills to both teachers and students. Therefore they must continue their professional training and development Source:

Roles of librarians (Danielson, 2007):
* Create an inviting physical and emotional environment;
* Promote a culture for the quest of knowledge;
* Coordinate with teachers of the school and serve as resource persons;
* Maintain and extend the library's collection;


School librarians are (Koechley, 1997):
* Instructional Consultants - collaborators who assist teachers in instructional design
* Life Long Readers - models of the reading culture and acquisition of knowledge
* Information Gatekeepers - managers, creators and communicators of information and technology Kuhlthau identified the roles a librarian play when conducting information literacy sessions and providing readers services.
* Organizer - arranges and manages resources; creates a user-friendly, self-service environment that leads to independent study.
* Lecturer - provides tours and orientation sessions focusing on the location and access of resources.
* Instructor - provides one or a series of cooperatively planned lessons on information sources and references arising from classroom activities tailored to students' needs.
* Tutor - provides one-on-one session with a student or a group of student on specialized information needs.
* Counselor - confers with the students in the provision of cognitive and behavioral support (Reading Guidance / Bibliotherapy / Research Mentor ) focusing on the process and seeing the product as part of the construction of knowledge and positive well-being.

In the afternoon, we discussed reading, technology and reading advocacy activities. There will be another session next week and, learning form today's session, I will sure make some changes since there will be more participants next week. So, if your school subscribes to Scholastic Philippines' AEP, do attend. See you there!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Filipino Friday: Filipiniana

September 2 - Do you read Filipino literature? If yes, what are some books by Filipino authors that you can recommend to fellow readers?

This Friday's meme made me look back at the Filipiniana reviews I have posted in this blog. To answer the questions, I went back to the blog archives and exhumed quite a number of book reviews. I'm a school librarian thus, my orientation leans heavily on Philippine Children's and Young Adult Literature. Some noteworthy links from the recommended reads I made in the PBBY website is also included in the link list.

I hope that, you, the reader, would patiently click the links and see for yourself the wonderful Filipianan materials we have out there for kids and teens. Here goes --

Ang Pambihirang Buhok ni Lola by Rene Villanueva

Elias and His Trees by Augie Rivera

Rosang Taba by Dean Alfar

Bruhaha! Bruhihi! by Ompong Remigio

The Boy Who Touched Heavenby Iris Gem Li

PBBY: Recommended Reads

Back in 2005, I even attempted to create a bibliography of Filipiniana for Children.

Books about the Handicapped and Special Children

Subject Index for Filipiniana for Children Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography: A Work in Progress

Having done this meme, I realized how few my reviews of Filipiniana for Children and Young Adult have been over the six years of blogging. I should do more of this.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

KISS Book Review

I have been reading. And I feel I owe readers of the blog some reviews. I am Keeping It Short and Sweet (well, not on all the books I've read). If it isn't sweet at all, I'll try to be as Substantial as possible.

Title: The Cry of the Icemark
Author: Stuart Hill
What it's about: Thirrin Lindensheild, heir to the throne of the Icemark, is set to battle the ruthless general of the Polypontian Empire. She gathers allies, men and monsters, to rally a victory for her people. Alongside Thirrin is Oskan, son of the Whitewitch who wields magic in the battle field and Maggiore Totus who lends logic to decisions in tactics of war.

It's an exciting and engaging read. Hill tends to romanticize war and does not allow the lead protagonist to suffer much. When Thirrin's father King died, she was given everything she needs to win the war against a brutal enemy. It's Cinderella all over again and she gets what she wants. Good thing though that this Cinderella kicks butt!

Title: Beastly
Author: Alex Flinn
A modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast with the lead male protagonist, Kyle Kingsbury narrating. Kyle is a young, rich kid whose absentee father sends him away when he turned beastly and was looked after a blind tutor and housemaid who happens to know more about house cleaning. Linda, the beauty, enters Kyle's life to break the spell freeing him from it.

The strength of the novel lies in the plot. The way events were sequenced make up for poor characterization. Kyle is one dimensional. His transformation from person to beast and back again did little to really change him. He is still a brat who got what he wanted. Linda, though described as smart and sensitive, is pretty boring. It bothers me that Kyle's father neglected his teenage son. Thanks to Will, the blind tutor and Magda, the housemaid for filling the gap left out by Kyle's father.

Title: The Cellist of Sarajevo
Author: Steven Galloway
One day, in May (1992) in Sarajevo,  a bomb fell in the city killing 22 people who were buying bread. A cellist played for those who died as his memorial and eulogy. This is the backdrop that Galloway used to tell the story of four people who struggled to survive during that dark decade known in modern history as the Siege of Sarajevo.

I love the book. It's tempered and written with restraint making it a powerful narrative. Four lives -- a baker, a sniper, a father and the cellist -- intertwine to depict the hard realities of war among civilians who are always the victim. Many books on struggle and conflict romanticize war but in this novel, nothing is romantic about it. Among the four, it is the cellist and the father who touched me on many levels. I fear for my family if war ever happens in this country. I laud the cellist for his courage in turning his art and music into tools of subversion. The human spirit endures in times of war and conflict but the cost is high.

Title: Wolves of Mercy Falls
Author: Maggie Stiefvater

It's Twilight all over again except that, there is no rich vampire clan but werewolves. A pack of them. It's a trilogy that begins with seventeen year old Grace being bitten by a wolf and she, being saved by Sam in his wolf form. More biting and wolf-human-wolf-human transformations occur in the next books.

Shiver and Linger made me give up reading paranormal romance books. The saving grace is Stiefvater's lyrical use of language. But even that won't make me finish Linger or start on Forever.

Title: Odd and the Frost Giants
Author: Neil Gaiman

Odd, small and crippled, saved the day for many Vikings who had to endure a very long winter. Thanks to the help of Loki, Odin and Thor, he defeated the Frost Giants by sheer cunning and a bit of luck.

Classic Gaiman. He pulled out another old folktale, broke it apart and created something new yet, warmly familiar story. Not his best work but it is endearing and sincere at the same time.

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