Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The FALAKASTALAS Forum 2017 at the Philippine Normal Univeristy

My professor in college, Prof. Ruth Alido, is now the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Letters at the Philippine Normal University (PNU). When I received her invitation to be a panelist in the annual Panayam (dubbed as FALAKASTALAS), I said yes. How can I say no to my Alma Mater and to Prof. ALido who introduced me to Nick Joaquin, Paz Marquez Benitez, Estrella Alfon and Ninotchaka Rosca. What made this speaking engagement equally meaningful is that, I gave the little knowledge I know about language learning through library services to students of education majoring in Literature, Language (English and Filipino), Music, Speech and the Arts.

L-R: Sir Joel, Ka Heber, Prof. Alido, Zarah G., Sir Noel and Bebang Siy
I hope that this little knowledge multiplies having interacted with 500 PNU students!

That day of the forum was World Read Aloud Day. So, I began with a read aloud of the book, Library Mouse (Kirk, Scholastic). I had to read the book since the audience choose to. I have a copy of the e-book, but the PNU students prefer seeing a live read aloud session. Another highlight of the morning of the was my tandem telling of Juan and the Rice Pot with Jude, a music education major. I told the story in Filipino. Jude told it in his mother tongue, Cebuano.

It was an enjoyable session and I did learn and gather insights from the rest of the panelists.

Pinoy Zines
Bebang Siy shared, showed and told stories about self publishing and Zines, pamphlet like reading materials of a story or stories produced using a photocopying machine. In this day and age, writing and literature are taking a movement towards mass readership. Think Wattpad, Amazon self publishing platforms and yes, Zines. If librarians pay attention enough on Zines, we can bring our readers closer to resources that will inspire them to create their own stories. Sir Noel Taylo of CCP's Tanghalang Pilipino emphasized the importance of research when creating art with different peoples and communities. Ka Heber Bartolome remains to be a force to reckon with. Here is a man who has seen the rise and fall of leaders and the changing of the guards. His love for country is still very muc evident in his music.

I wish I could have stayed the rest of the day at PNU to visit old haunts, friends and the library. But, work awaited in Binan. So, there is reason for me to go back.

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