Sunday, July 30, 2017

Illustrator of the Month: Sophia Demanawa

The blog's Illustrator of the Month is Ms.
Sophia Demanawa, winner of the 2017 Alcala Prize. Read on and get to know Sophia!

How did you learn about the Alcala prize?

I wasn’t aware it existed until my student org Blue Indie Komiks posted the contest details on the facebook page. Since I sent works of the same story to INK but was unsuccessful in passing, I thought I could improve on the drawings I made so I could join the contest.

What is your creative process for Dalawa Kami ni Lola? 

I wanted to have a sort of sequence in my drawings. The first would show Oyen enjoying a normal afternoon drawing with their lola watching over them. The second would show the turning point in the story when Oyen realizes their lola cannot play ball with them anymore. The third would show Oyen’s growth in taking care of themself in how they finally know how to take care of their lola. I wanted to draw it to look like the sequence of a day, from afternoon, to sunset, to night, so there would be an obvious progression of what’s happening. It was important for me to make this right as well since I’ve always been mainly taken care of by my own lola when I was very young.

Who are your role models in your chosen field and discipline? Why? 

I wasn’t into children’s book until two years ago when I made my own, since I never had a lot of children’s books when I was a child myself, having only two books that I don’t even remember. I finally realized the importance of these books in everyone’s formative years, the way they shaped their perception of the world, most especially the radical children’s books about our history, about LGBT issues, etc.

It was my girlfriend who introduced me to Ang Bonggang Bonggang Batang Beki, Papa’s House, Mama’s House, and were some of my favourites. Ang Bonggang Bonggang Batang Beki because it taught children, especially men, that it was okay to be feminine. And Papa’s House, Mama’s House that taught children about non-nuclear families, which is still the only children’s book in the Philippines about divorce. Both writers and artists of those books are my role models because they all have styles that are distinct.

Who is Sophia Demanawa?

My name is Sophia Demanawa, I love drawing, and only recently in my life, children’s books. I want to illustrate more things in the future, especially for literature that is radical and can help people be more open-minded. I love drawing personal stuff as well as fan-made stuff, no discrimination. I love my family for letting me do what I love and  letting me have a good education. I love my girlfriend for collaborating with me on many future projects and opening my eyes to all kinds of things. me do what I love and  letting me have a good education. I love my girlfriend for collaborating with me on many future projects and opening my eyes to all kinds of things.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Book Doctors of the National Library of the Philippines

Mrs. Anne Rosette Crelencia is the division head of the Filipiniana Division of the National Library of the Philippines (NLP). During the 2nd Philippine Children's Book Summit, she and her team of Book Doctors conducted a mini-workshop on book binding and book mending. In this interview, my dear friend Rosette enlightens us on the role of librarians as conservationists of one of humanity's greatest inventions, the printed book.

Librarians of the Filipiniana Division, NLP
Tells us more about the Filipiniana Division of the NLP, the services and programs it offers to the reading public.
The Filipiniana Division supports the National Library of the Philippines (NLP) in achieving significant developments in the country. It performs two main functions, first,  as an active research centre and public library to answer the information and education needs of the public; and second, as a national cultural center as it leads the collection and preservation of the written and printed cultural heritage of the country. 
The Filipiniana Division offers extensive sources of information about the Philippines, its people, culture, history, arts, literature and government. It is comprised of six sections which hold  collections for all types of researchers and research needs in Philippine perspectives. The six sections are the Conservation Section, General Books, Theses and Dissertations Section, Government Publications, Multimedia Resources Sections, Rare Books and Special Collections Section,  and Serials section  

What are your top 5 prized possessions in the Filipiniana Department? What makes each one "precious"? 

The Filipiniana Division is a home for valuable, historical and original printed collections that are significant in the study of Philippine history. It recognizes its collections as important sources of knowledge and pride for every Filipino. Among the most valued collections in NLP are the original manuscripts of Dr. Jose Rizal’s novels, “Noli Me Tangere”, “El Filibusterismo” and “Ultimo Adios” which became inspirations for strengthened Filipino national identity and nationalism. 
The Filipiniana Division is also a proud repository of primary sources such as the collection of Philippine Revolutionary Papers and the Manuel L. Quezon Papers which are both useful for researches about Philippine history during the American Period. 

NLP represent during the PCBS 2017.
 How is book binding, conservation and preservation relevant in this day and age of digital technology? 
The preservation and conservation of library collections is one of the most interesting and in demand areas of librarianship in the Philippines today. It is a response to the massive programs of the government to preserve the cultural heritage of the country jointly undertaken under the leadership of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
Nowadays, libraries are not just research centers but also social and cultural centers where people meet and where local history collections abound. And because each library community has its own stories and histories to keep, it is imperative that all local history collections be preserved. 
Preservation includes many activities that extends the usefulness of library collections and one of the most practical and interesting is bookbinding. Knowledge and application of bookbinding increases the shelf life of books and elevates the number of researchers a particular book can reach and serve. Bookbinding also promotes creativity and offers inspiration for new generation of writers and researchers to create their own book. Moreover, it providesopportunity to keep one's memorable and important literary works accessible, tangible and well-preserved.

Participants were engaged in the book binding workshop
Kindly give valuable tips for librarians, teachers and book lovers who are keen on keeping their book collections in good condition. 
For everyone who loves to read, to collect books or who works with books, remember that storage and handling are two of the most important factors in ensuring that your books remain in good condition . A good storage must be well ventilated, dry and free from direct sunlight, dim when not in use, bright when in use and must be clean—dust free and insect free. Likewise, proper handling must be observed— books should be pulled out from the shelves by grasping the book block rather than pulling the topmost part of the binding, it should be free from folds, tears and stains and must be regularly dry cleaned.
NLP offers trainings on preserving and managing paper-based collections including workshops on book binding. 
Visit the NLP or check us out on Facebook:

Friday, July 28, 2017

Pinoy Kuwentista: Anna Rhea Manuel

The blog's Storyteller of the Month is Ms. Anna Rhea Manuel.

Anna Rhea Manuel is a reading teacher, performer, and storyteller. She finished her Master's in Reading Education at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, where she also did her Bachelor's in Education, major in English minor in SPED. She wants to bring more stories to alternative systems of education and various creative platforms. For Anna Rhea, stories are the most powerful tools we have in understanding, connecting, and thriving with other human beans.

1. What is your origin story? 

As a professional storyteller, it started 2 years ago when I decided to bring stories outside the walls of schools. I've always known firsthand the power of stories, being a teacher and a reading advocate. I talked to people about it and one of my friends said I can use the 2nd floor of her restaurant to do my activities with kids and their families on Saturdays. The birth of Heads and Tales is anchored on the belief that reading allows for and creates empathy in the readers. 

2. What makes Heads and Tales Storytelling Caravan different from other storytelling program, troupe or organization? Why in Thailand?

As far as I know, I'm in the only one doing the storytelling professionally in English in Thailand. Being a home to Thais who want to learn English and expats who are seeking an English experience for their kids, I've found this niche to spread stories and the love for reading. What makes Heads and Tales unique is first and foremost, the quality of instruction and performance. I am a reading teacher and a theatre performer and musician - these skill sets help me in designing age-appropriate instruction and behavior management, as well as entertainment. Second, its roving nature allows it to bring stories to children in different spaces - libraries, schools, galleries, exhibit halls, community malls, parties, festivals, and homes. Third, it offers various workshops both for children and adults - which includes how to tell stories, storybook making, music in storytelling, and family literacy. 

3. Please share success stories about Heads and Tales.

One of the happiest success stories is that of creating a community of families in my Sunday Storytelling group. Two mommies offered their homes for us to conduct weekly storytelling sessions - where we did stories and story-related art activities. The group grew and grew so on Sundays, while the kids were with me, the mommies had their own mommy bonding sessions and skill sharing classes. It is a great deal for me that Heads and Tales has brought families together!

Another success is that I've seen more and more interest in making storytelling performances a part of birthday parties and holiday events. It's amazing to see how stories are becoming a part of these gatherings!

In the past 2 years, Heads and Tales has initiated and participated in various activities and events, one of which is Wonderfruit, a Lifestyle Festival in Thailand, in which I curated Camp Wonder, the family activity tent. Heads and Tales brought in visual artists, environmentalists, and a Capoeira group to conduct activities in this 4-day event. This December we will be doing it once more!

4. Can Heads and Tales be replicated or adopted/adapted in the Philippines? What opportunities and limitations does this kind of program present?

Definitely replicable - and this is one of its main goals - to spread  memorable and meaningful reading experiences to more people and settings. The caravan programs cater to a diverse audience - kids of different age groups, teachers, librarians, parents, au pairs, basically anyone who has a child in their care. A key element in running these are storytellers on the ground who  (1) have a fair understanding and respect for children, (2) are willing to learn/grow in the craft of storytelling, and because I will be working remotely, (3) are organized and reliable.

5. Where is the caravan going next?

Heads and Tales is on its way to Melbourne starting August. It is still ongoing in Bangkok with new storytellers. 

6. What is your favorite story to tell?

In Filipino - "Si Pilong Patago-Tago" by Kristine Canon. 
In English, "Please Mr. Panda" by Steve Antony.

7. Recommend 5 books/stories for storytelling
  • The Girl Who Always Looked at People's Shoes by Liwliwa Malabed
  • Xilef by Augie Rivera
  • What Do You Do with an Idea? By Kobi Yamada
  • The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
  • What Happens Next? By Tull Suwannakit

For more information, visit the Facebook Page Page of Heads and Tales Storytelling:

Get in touch with Anna Rhea via

Mabuhay ang Pinoy Kuwentista!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Museums and Art in Public Spaces 3 of 3

To complete our tour of museums and art spaces, Zoe and I headed to the Vargas Museum in UP Diliman. Currently on display that week were art works by various artists on lines and human rights. It is the later exhibit that hooked us, line and sinker.

The Karapatan Art Exhibit gave us many things to think about. I was deeply disturbed by the images and graphic metaphors on human rights as conveyed by the artists. I was particularly struck by the woven rug in the image of a young boy. It was even positioned at the entrance door of the exhibit hall. In this day and age, children's lives are dispensed as easily as a piece of old, unused clothing. I dared not step on the rug at all.

Zoe took everything in and gravitated towards Liza Flores' art work. She was inspired to create. She wondered how visual artists come up with ideas and what are at stake to make art. A lot of time, tons of effort and patience so I told her.

As for me, I was disturbed until we got home. 

I think it didn't help me at all to have seen Uplift first of all. There was nothing uplifting about it. At least for me. The sculpture was well made however, it did not speak to me of affirmation and oblation. There was nothing spiritual about it. Whose god and what kind of god is the woman, in prone position, being offered to?

There is this story of St. Francis of Assisi. He took of his clothes and ran naked because he had been awakened. Enlightened to a truth, a revelation. And so, he did an oblation and offered everything of himself in service to God. Sadly, I did not get this revelation of truth in Ferdinand Cacnio's opus. Sayang.

Gulliermo Tolentino's masterpiece is still the One!

So. That's art. There are artists and there are artists. Some relay a message using the best medium possible. A few use art to push a personal agenda. Artist or participant, both are witnesses to the dynamic process of creation.

Author of the Month: Genaro Gojo Cruz

Because the third Tuesday of July is National Children's Book Day, the blog's author of the month is Mr. Genaro Gojo Cruz. He is a back-to-back winner of the Salanga Prize. In this interview, Mr. Gojo Cruz shares with us his motivation and inspiration in writing stories.

Salanga Prize win ners Imelda Estrella, honorable mention & Genaro Gojo Cruz, grand prize winner 
Back to back winner ka sa Salanga at may honorable mention pa! Ano ba ang sikreto mo?

Di ko alam eh. Ang pagsali sa mga patimpalak ay lagi namang walang kasiguruhan. Iba-iba ang judges kaya di ko rin alam kung ano ang gusto o hinahanap nila sa isang kuwento para sa mga bata. Ang sikreto ko lang sigurong masasabi, kapag may patimpalak, para akong nagkakaroon ng gasolina para sumulat. Nagkakaroon ako ng "gana".

2. Bakit Dalawa Kami ni Lola?

Napakatagal ng nasa isip ko ang kuwentong "Dalawa Kami ni Lola." Gusto ko lang ipakita ang paralelismo ng pagiging isang bata at pagiging isang matanda. Natutuhan ng isang bata ang mga gawain para sa kaniyang sarili habang di na nakakayang gawin ng isang tumatanda ang dati niyang mga ginagawa. Napakadali ko lang naisulat ang kuwento. Punong-puno ako ng gana habang isinusulat ito. Ang totoo, wala akong rebisyon na ginawa sa kuwento. Ipinasa ko ito sa PBBY kung paano ko ito unang naisulat.

Genaro Gojo Cruz with friends in the Kids Lit industry
Mamili ka lang ng isa:
a. Rizal o Bonifacio

b. Beer o kape

d. Museo o library

e. iPad o Android

f. Facebook o Twitter

4. Ano ang kuwento o aklat na gusto mo na ikaw sana ang nakasulat? Bakit?

Sana ako ang nakasulat ng "Nemo ang Batang Papel" ni Rene O. Villanueva na tungkol sa isang batang-lansangan na naging papel na nilipad patungong langit. Di man sinabi nang tahasan, death ang tinalakay sa kuwento na isang napakahirap talakayin sa isang kuwentong pambata. Sa ngayon, ginagamit ko itong pamantayan sa pagsulat ng mga kuwentong tumatalakay sa karanasan ng mga batang lansangan. Sa pagsulat ng mga kuwento, iniiwasan kong magpabaha ng luha. Gusto kong masaya ang kuwento!

Monday, July 24, 2017

NCBD 2017 Aftershocks 1 of 2

And the 2017 National Children's Book Day (NCBD) came to pass. It commenced with the awarding of the Salanga Prize and Alcala Prize at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to Mr. Genaro Gojo Cruz and Ms. Sophia Demanawa respectively. Three things made this year's NCBD Awards Ceremony truly touching, at least for me. These are the presence of Elyrah Salanga Torralba and Boyet Alcala, children of Alfredo Salanga and Larry Alcala, who granted the awards to the winners this year; the honest and spontaneous acceptance speeches of Mr. Gojo Cruz and Ms. Demanawa; and the loving tribute of the PBBY Board to one of its own who has gone to the great beyond, Mrs. Gloria F. Rodriguez. It was also delightful to see, former Usec Dina Ocampo attend a PBBY event in a long while. The usual suspects were there, present, of course. Kuya Rey Bufi of the Storytelling Project hosted the ceremony and read aloud the winning story of Mr. Gojo Cruz, Dalawa Kami ni Lola.

Pepper Roxas was the guest speaker during the NCBD celebration in CCP. She flew in from New York to deliver a stirring keynote on the power of stories and why, in this dark and dangerous times, artists, especially the ones in the Philippine Children's Literature industry must continue telling and creating stories. 

Ms. Roxas was also the plenary speaker in the 2nd Philippine Children's Book Summit.

The CCP, being an institutional member of PBBY, organized a mini-book fair, conducted workshops in the afternoon on writing, film animation and gave tours to young visitors. The tour is a regular program of the CCP to strengthen art education and art studies in the basic education level. Visit the CCP website for more information about the My CCP tour for young people.

In the days that followed, PBBY got wind of more NCBD Celebrations. SM malls had a two-day run of storytelling and reading aloud sessions featuring illustrated story books, Two Friends One Word by Ramon Sunico (Anvil, 1990) and Bumabara-bara-bara by Fernando Gonzales (Chikiting Books, 2015). PBBY President, Tarie Sabido, gave a workshop on books and reading to teachers of  Malabanan Elementary School in BiƱan, Laguna. Kuya Rey Bufi conducted a workshop on storytelling in the same school. 

On July 22, 2017, the 2nd Philippine Children's Book Summit, Illustrators Fair and Storytelling Festival were held at the GT Toyota Asian Center in UP Diliman. The National Library of the Philippines conducted its annual international conference on Children's and Young Adult Library and Museo Pambata had a storytelling workshop facilitated by Kuya Bodjie Pascua.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Today is National Children's Book Day!

It was on the third Tuesday of July when Jose Rizal's The Monkey and the Tortoise was published in Trubner's Oriental Record in London. History accords it as the first Filipino folk tale to be published in an international periodical. It would be important to note that, The Monkey and the Tortoise was dedicated by Rizal to his nieces and nephews. Translating and adapting two stories by Hans Christian Andersen (I can only remember The Ugly Duckling), Rizal seemed bent on leaving a legacy to his nieces and nephews, as well as to young Filipino people.

Stories are legacies. Stories bridge time and space. Stories bring peoples together. Stories build communities.

And so today, the PBBY leads the celebration of the National Children's Book Day. Remembering Rizal. Continuing a legacy. Bringing people from all walks of life together.

This year's theme is Laging Bago ang Mundo ng Libro. Institutional members like the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Museo Pambata and the National Library of the Philippines have all scheduled activities for parents, teachers, librarians, book lovers and children's literature advocates. The PBBY partnered with the National Book Development Board for the second staging of the Philippine Children's Book Summit. A Syorytelling Festival and Illustrators' Fair are events included in the summit's program. It will be held in the GT Toyota Asian Center in UP Diliman.

If you are free today, drop by the CCP for activities and join us in the awarding ceremony of the Salanga and Alcala Prizes. The NLP will run a three day conference on Young Adult Library Services in Naga City on July 20-22. Museo Pambata has scheduled a storytelling workshop to be conducted by Kuya Bodjie Pascua on July 22 as well.

Happy NCBD! Laging Bago ang Mundo ng Libro!

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Lighthouse Diary Entry 1: Collaborative Work

It was our first day back at work in the Academy. The day started pretty much, chill (borrowing my daughter's vocabulary) with the head of school welcoming us all and introducing new faculty. I always look forward to the HOS's SONA. One would find nuggets of wisdom in his speeches and addresses. If one listens well.

This year, he walked us through the Academy's accomplishments of past school years and identified the achievements of the recently concluded academic year.  A necessary exercise to frame the next step of the journey. Setting directions. A time for reflection. A Janus moment. 

Of the many things that struck me from his presentation, it was his use of two symbols unique to the Academy namely, the mobious strip and the Griffin, our school mascot. Finally. We have a metaphor for which to use and anchor upon our goals and our dreams. For when we grope in the dark or doubt ourselves in moments when mistakes and failures come our way, we only have to remember that learning is a continuous journey and that the Griffin's courage, intelligence and strength can see us through.

Go Griffins!

In the afternoon, we had our first Academic session. Our Dean of Faculty assigned a design challenge activity that required us to create a moving robotic face out of popsicle sticks, folders, papers, masking tape, glue and other art materials we can get our hands on in nearby cubby holes and neighboring offices. This was a collaborative work of five to six people in a group. Our group had the slight advantage because we had the Design/Art Teacher in our midst. Lucky.

The long and short of it, we had fun working together and insights from the activity were aplenty! Indeed, there are many ways to approach a task and to solve problems creatively. 

What I like to focus on for this blog post is the aspect of collaborative learning and teaching that can be drawn upon from the Robotic Faces activity. It had been easy for us teachers to work together, to go along with the process as planned, to listen, to give way, to respect and  to watch how things would proceed organically. I think this dynamic is already in place among the faculty of the Academy. Yay! Kudos to the school leadership team!

But, children and young people may have a more challenging experience working in groups. A certain level of maturity is required to work well with different people. Then again, collaborative learning leads to that exactly - an opportunity to grow in mind and in heart as each member of the group take on roles, work with others to achieve a goal, to meet an objective or to complete a task. Communication skills are vital. A project is the object of collaboration. 

To structure a collaborative learning activity, here are some recommendations.

Set roles before or after presenting a task, a problem or a project.  Roles can be: facilitator, scribe, reporter, gopher, time-keeper, devil's advocate, cheer leader, researcher, and analyst. These roles may change depending on the collaborative task or project. Identifying each role and the contribution he or she can bring to the table help facilitate the process of competing the project. 

Think-Pair-Share is a strategy for collaborative learning. Students think through on their own the task or the project assigned to them. Working individually in gathering data to solve a problem or initially identifying steps to complete the project. A student finds a partner or work with one as assigned by the teacher. They share their data, findings, discuss the better course of action, plan and then solve the problem or perform the task.

Another strategy is the Jigsaw Puzzle. More cooperative learning in approach, but can be adapted into a collaborative learning experience, the Jigsaw Puzzle is aimed at allowing students to work on tasks and projects from their context and cultural backgrounds. These students are then grouped together to share and partake in a discussion of their output and how it fits in a bigger piece. The literary circles is one example of a Jigsaw Puzzle, I think. More about it in a future post.

The Fish Bowl technique can be used as well but for a specific task like discussions on topics of ethical and moral issues. A group inside the fishbowl discuss the topics. A group outside of it records the discussion and take notes of the dynamics in the smaller group. It can be a pre-writing activity that allow students to think in a group. Both groups, the one in the fishbowl and the one outside of it will benefit from the discussion. This technique can be a research strategy as well. Good to use in gathering of data, documentation, valuation and evaluation of information generated in the discussion groups.

Like all teaching strategies, I think the success lies in the teacher's creativity and competence when he or she plans and implements them in the classroom. But of course, the better teacher would know specific strategies to use based on students goals and needs.

Here are websites and links to explore on collaborative teaching and learning.

Jigsaw Puzzle -

That's it for today. Until the next entry in The Lighthouse Diary of Zarah G, your friendly teacher librarian and reading companion!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Media and Information Literacy Matrix of Topics

A Media and Information Literacy (MIL) matrix of topics I put together as product of my practice and research when preparing for training workshops on MIL for school librarians.

Please properly attribute and appropriate my work as source when you use the matrix. I would also appreciate an email or a message informing me that you used the matrix.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Post Script on Teacher-Librarian Collaboration and MIL Workshop for ALLPI


It's been a week since our workshop on Teacher and Librarian Collaboration and Media and Information Literacy. Thank you very much for making the workshop a meaningful experience for me. As always, I learned from the experience as well. Your presence and cooperation pushes me to improve my training module and the approach I can use the next time I get to do a similar workshop.

Among the many insights I gained from our workshop last week, it is the concept that MIL is a process - something we can work on together in steps and in progression. And while you may be connecting the dots on what you gained from the workshop with actual practice, I am sending these links your way to further enhance, enrich or support your understanding and competencies in MIL.

Read on! Take note. Write down your questions or what struck you along the way.

If you are new to assessment and the tools necessary to undergo diagnoses of skills and competencies, I recommend this PPT by Marjorie Pappas (2009). In her presentation, she explains the different kinds of assessments and the tools that are appropriate for each one. I particularly like the strategies and graphic organizers she identified for self-assessment not only on IL skills, but on creative and critical thinking skills applied in communication arts.

For specific rubrics and criterion based assessment tool on IL, here are three websites and links to each of them.

Information Literacy Skills Assessment for Students 
This assessment on IL is a free online assessment tool designed by the Kent State University Libraries. All you need is to get an account, verify it and you can use the assessment tool, known as TRAILS, for one-on-one, small group or class sessions.

Information Literacy Value Rubric for Projects and Finished Research Work - 
This is a PDF of an IL rubric to assess students' achievement on IL skills applied in creating and communicating a project or a research work. The PDF can be downloaded for free.

RAILS Rubric Assessment of Information Literacy Skills is list of assessment tools on IL skills and its sub-skills. You need to log in to get free rubrics and even contribute your own. Of the three, this is may favorite because, I am able to choose which is applicable for my students, my workshop participants and colleagues who need my help and assistance.

That's it for now. Do give me feedback or ask questions on the links I recommended.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Translator of the Month: Eugene Evasco

Eugene Evasco, Palanca Hall of Famer and Salanga Prize Winner, is the translator of our new book, The Day Max Flew Away (Gagatiga and Tejido, Lampara Books, 2017). In this interview, he talks about his style and approach in translating stories in English text into Filipino. Read further on as he shares books that influenced him to write for children and his five dreams for the growth and development of Philippine Children's Literature. 

Book cover of The Day Max Flew Away
1. How do you approach translation work?

I have three approaches in translating literary texts for children. First and foremost, I must produce a text that will not sound like a translation. I have to make the translation of an English text “originally written” in Filipino. Secondly, though I have to respect the original intent of the author, I must assert my own voice and style in the translation. My style in translation is trying to write the text like my own work. Thirdly, and most importantly, after translating the text, I have to make sure that the product is child-friendly or readable.

2. What has been the biggest challenge for you as a translator of children’s books?

One of the biggest challenges is translators of children’s books in the Philippines are marginalized. Some are not acknowledged properly in the book production. They are not even considered as co-creators of the book. Another is the language problem. Translation is supposed to be a process to make the text accessible to Filipino readers. But in my experience, there are cases that some readers, young and old, are struggling to understand the Filipino language.

Title page, where Eugene Evasco is appropriated as translator
3. Among your published works, what book is the most meaningful and why?

Pintong Maraming Silid (The Door with Many Rooms) is a personal favorite. It is beautifully illustrated by Leo Kempis Ang. It is our ode to books and our testimony to the power of reading.

4. Five books that influenced you to write for children.

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White- I personally asked my publisher, Segundo Matias, Jr. of Lampara to buy the foreign rights and publish my Filipino translation. This book taught me how to write in a lyrical way, using concrete images. Rene Villanueva’s Ang Unang Baboy sa Langit and Nemo, Ang Batang Papel. The Philippine Folklore series of Damiana Eugenio
is a gold mine of stories. I adore Mayroon Akong Alagang Puno by Carla Pacis.

5. Five big dreams for Philippine Children’s Literature.

-More handsomely-produced children’s books using high quality paper and binding, outstanding design, and thorough editing. We need to package our products properly.

-We need more radical, unconventional, and brave texts for children.

-Philippine children’s books should be visible in the world market. We need agents to sell our book in the international community. We never ran out of talent. We must invest in marketing our books.

-A book museum and research center focusing on Philippine children’s books.

-Establishment of a Children’s Laureate or the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in our country.

Eugene Evasco is a panelist in the 2nd Philippine Children's Book Summit on July 22, 2017.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Museums and Art in Public Spaces (2 of 3)

And so, our visit to the Ayala Museum was a rich experience of Philippine art, culture and history. The affordable fees allowed me and my daughter to view permanent exhibits with new additions in multi-media format and current ones that are relevant and accessible to visitors of all ages. An ongoing exhibit is Revolutionary, showcasing the talents and masterpieces of Julio Nakpil and Nick Joaquin. Don't miss it if you are in the neighborhood. Entrance is free for this exhibit in the Ayala Museum.

And now, we go to Quezon City.

Our visit to the Ateneo Art Gallety was accidental. We went to the Rizal Library in the Ateneo de Manila University campus (ADMU) for a different reason all together. Our walk to Gonzaga Hall at lunch time led us to the Gallery. That day, Manga Hokusai was on display! Zoe reads manga and watches anime. How can we resist this opportunity? 

Katsushika Hokusai created manga using block prints and the pages were stitched together by hand. His prints of the wave over Mt. Fuji is already an iconic image not only in Japanese manga but also in pop culture. Known as The Great Wave, it is a piece of work that is both magnetic and kinetic. The wave has a character of its own, like a water monster with claws ready to seize anyone and anything on its path. 

Before leaving ADMU, Zoe and I took pictures of the installation art in the campus. She particularly liked the cluster of bamboo poles. It looked perfect for a game of hide and seek. I liked the animal sculptures and the bench in between them. It seemed to invite me to sit down, to play with my imagination and to wonder. But, I didn't. 

Looking back, I think that is the whole point of the art works. I have been to the ADMU campus many times and I always get that feeling of youthful abandon each time I see these art pieces. Pause. Sit down. Breathe. Imagine. Wonder. Live.

Plet Bolipata Borlongan, thank you!

When I visit the ADMU campus again, I will take the artist's invitation to simply be. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Museums and Art in Public Spaces (1 of 3)

In three weeks, Zoe and I will be back at school. She begins year 10 in the Academy and I carry on as teacher librarian. We are ticking the list of to do's one at a time and counting the days till the first day of school begins.

One of the activities we have ticked off our list is to visit museums. We have been to the Vargas Museum in UP Diliman, the Ateneo Art Gallery in Ateneo de Manila University and the Ayala Museum in Makati. All three museums are accessible to us with affordable entrance fees. As a matter of fact, I only paid Php 125 for Zoe and I went in for free in the Ayala Museum. 

Teachers only need to present their school IDs for free entrance to the Museum. So, if you are a teacher or a librarian with a faculty status, just make sure your ID says so, bookmark Ayala Museum's web page and follow the Museum's Twitter, Instagram or Facebook accounts for updates on workshops and new exhibits. The permanent displays never fail to mesmerize. The current ones are just as amazing. 

I have seen the Gold of Ancestors three times and this recent experience of looking and viewing at the artifacts made me more proud of my history, my heritage and my place in the world. Pre-colonial Filipinos (is there a better word or a term that is historically appropriate?) were already trading with the rest of the world and making art! The exhibit on textiles and indigenous weaving touched me so because the Gaddang people were part of it. One of my cousins in my father's side medntioned to me ages ago that we trace our lineage to the Gaddang. I will definitely go back and spend more time in that part of the Museum. Something about weaving, the meeting of the warp and weft, and the idea that man is a bridge between heaven and earth appealed to me. I find it strange how pieces of woven cloth moved me in ways I can't fully explain yet. I will keep this feeling on tab and park it in memory. In time, I will be able to connect the dots.

Another permanent display that engaged us was the Diorama Experience. I don't know about Zoe, but this exhibit is perfect for amplifying concepts in history like timelines and cause and effect, as well as human nature and the changing thought processes of each age and era. We missed the virtual reality on Rizal, but Arturo Luz's paintings and sculptures delighted us. It was simple but elegant. Unpretentious but classy. Less is more, indeed!

We went in at 11AM and came out at 1PM. Our minds and hearts were full. Our spirits lighter. We were hungry at the end of the visit that's why we had a heavy snack right after. That's the good thing about Makati. It makes everything accessible for everyone. 

Next post is about the exhibits in Vargas Museum and the manga exhibit in the Ateneo Art Gallery.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Day With Librarians of Laguna Province

My seminar-workshop on teacher-librarian collaboration in designing and implementing a Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Program with the Association of Librarians of Laguna Province Inc (ALLPI) was a success! There were 25 participants excluding the officers of ALLPI who came from private schools, public schools and colleges in the cities and towns of Laguna. Majority of the participants are first timers in a seminar-workshop on media and information literacy. This gave them reason to listen very well to my lecture and to follow the activities of the workshop. I felt their eagerness and enthusiasm in understanding the supportive roles they play to teachers and school leaders in the learning community. I think I gave a good introduction on this topic as well as presenting to them the basic concepts of MIL.

A few hours after my workshop, my Facebook feed received notifications of posts and tags on photos of the workshop. I did my own posting and I was happy to get a message from one participant saying that, "she always learn something new every time she attends my workshop." That is actually one of my goals in every workshop I do. One participant sent me messages over at Messenger today asking questions to clarify some points and concepts on MIL. Another' asked for my slide presentation and list of sources. Of course, ALLPI did an evaluation of the entire workshop but it is the direct feedback from participants that interests me more.

I do hope this is not the last MIL workshop I would do for ALLPI. In fact, I hinted on doing a part two. Let's see how things go because these things take time to grow and develop. Since MIL is a process oriented activity, something that can't be learned over night, I sure hope that there will be a follow up activity to the training.

The seminar-workshop was held at the Toyota Motor School of Technology in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Book Review: Issued to the Bride: One Sniper

Issued to the Bride: One Sniper (Brides of Chance Creek Book 3)Issued to the Bride: One Sniper by Cora Seton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Getting an ARC of Cora Seton's book is always a pleasure to read and to write a review afterwards. The third book in the Brides of Chance Creek led me to familiar grounds, predictable troupes and plot lines and as usual, a comforting HEA (happily ever after). Not complaining. Going back to Chance Creek is like having coffee with friends I haven't met in a while.

In this book, Hunter and Jo went through all the motions necessary to end up HEA. The story stays true to its message of partnership, gender equality, compromises and women empowerment. Though, what I like about this series is Hunter's journey to redemption. It was his own and he was brave to face his demons that has haunted him for years. Thanks to Jo, love at first sight and the error of his ways. He was given a chance to begin life anew.

And when love is real, it does find a way.

It is now the General who baffles me. How his pride has gotten in the way of loving his daughters. The mysterious ways of his wife does little to make him go back to Two Willows. I wonder what big surprise Cora Seton has at the end of the series?

View all my reviews
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