Sunday, November 18, 2018

CCP’s Thirteen Artists

A few weeks back, the fambam was in the Cultural Center of the Philippines to support the eldest’s music career. We were there, the three of us plus girlfriend and sister, to watch and cheer for the eldest and his acappella group compete in the 2018 Akapela Open International. Long story short, the group won the grand prize and it’s been a juggling act for each member, balancing academics and acappella guesting commitments.

On the side, our youngest was fortunate to catch the Thirteen Artists Exhibit before competition hours. She was immersed and impressed at the art works on display, and so was my husband. Here are three reasons why.

1. With art, you can be brave. The CCP’s thirteen artists courageously communicated their beliefs,  philosophy, and yes, political leanings. Theirs are a statement to what is wrong that needs to be right; a documentation to years of struggle; an eye opener to culture and religious beliefs that has crucified the country in poverty; an expression of escape; and a way to communicate big ideas that media could not and would not articulate. It is a well curated exhibit!

2. While the message and media used by the artists encompass universal truths, some “isms” that cannot be taken for granted especially in this political climate, their works are neither high nor low. Indeed, art must be for all!

3. The art works were all engaging. Goodbye to passivity. 

If you are in the area, go visit the CCP! Feed your soul. Wake up and disturb yourself!


Thursday, November 15, 2018

Book Review: The Formative Five

I received a book recommendation from our Guidance Counselor the other day. She recommended Dr. Michelle Borba’s Unselfie, a book that hopes to bring back empathy in our lives, in general, and in the lives of our children, in particular. Checking the book’s bibliograohic data and reviews online, I put in our possible purchase file. My staff is processing budget and costing as I write this.

So, while waiting for the acquisition of Borba’s book, Unselfie, I searched for books in our collection that discuss empathy. I found one that looked like a good match to our GC’s information need. 

I semt her my review and recommendation. Sharing with you, my dear readers, what I sent her.


Dear GC, here’s a book you may wish to browse or read: The Formative Five Fostering Grit, Empathy and other Success Skills Every Student Needs by Thomas R. Hoerr (2017). Chapter two is where Empathy is, how to grow and nurture it in the school, strategies for teachers to help students develop empathy, why listening is the at the core of empathy, tips for school leaders in support of teachers who build empathy in and out of the classroom. Integrity, self-control and diversity are the three success skills identified and discussed further in the book. Includes a self-assessment of the five success skills. 

The  book ends with an emphasis on culture as key in actualizing the formative five. Hoerr uses John Coleman’s 6 Components of Culture (Harvard, 2013) as gauge or indicators of success. These are Mission, Values, Practices, People, Narrative and Place. Hoerr takes on his administrator’s har in this chapter, but ends the book with a very humanist turn by drumming up the importance of relationships and what makes us happy being teachers and working with children and young people.

Our library OPAC is down, but you can always send an email for questions and sources. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

PPT on Bibliotherapy Experiencing the Healing Magic of Stories

Friday, November 9, 2018

National Book Week 2018 Contest Winners

Lifted from the Facebook Page of the Philippine Librarians Association. With permission for posting from Darrel Marco, #NationalBookWeek2018 Chairperson.

Congratulations to the following nationwide winners of the NBW2018 contests. We received so many creative outputs  and these are the best:

POSTER MAKING
1st place - Angel Blessy Fordan - Central Mindanao Colleges
2nd place - Jezelle Oliva - University of the Cordilleras
3rd place - Heizel Heins Martin - Nueva Ecija University of Science & Technology 

ESSAY WRITING
1st place - Natania Shay S. Du - Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu 
2nd place - Andrea Salvador - St Paul College - Pasig
3rd place - Gwyneth Dianne Zenarosa - Ateneo de Naga University 

GRAPHIC NOVEL CREATION
1st place - Rouel Christian Piczon - Calbayog City National High School 
2nd place - Daryne Judy Chua - Hua Siong College of Iloilo 
3rd place - Judith Lobrio, Nina Balbin, Liezel Escoto, Angeline Basa - Eastern Samar National Comprehensive High School

Congratulations too and thank you dear librarians and RCs for all the help in promoting and making your own NBW events successful.

Winners will be awarded at the opening ceremony of the 84th National Book Week at the Gateway Gallery, Cubao in Quezon City on November 24, 2018.

*Next challenge is for librarians and regional councils to level up the game by mentoring and coaching more students, making them realize the importance of these contests, therefore, having more diversified, well-formed and superb entries!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

National Book Week 2018: Stories! Stories! Stories!




Darrel Marco explaining the judging mechanics
National Book Week begins on Saturday, November 24, 2018 and will end on Friday, November 30, 2018. NBW Chairperson Darrel Marco shares with us what makes this NBW celebration exciting, why libraries are all the more important in today's globally conflicted world, and compares NBW 2018 to Rhandee Garlitos'  Chenelyn! Chenelyn! (Adarna House)

 1. What makes NBW 2018 exciting?

Stories! Stories! And more stories!!! 

National Book Week 2018 this year is themed "Connected Actions, Collective Vision: Libraries transforming society".
I believe that it is thru the telling of stories that we can transform our society -- stories of struggles and hardships, stories of failures and downfalls, stories of hope and aspirations, stories of collaboration and cooperation, and stories of success and happy endings.

We are opening the 2018 National Book Week with a Reader's Theatre Contest and a Storytelling Festival on November 24, 2018 at the Gateway Gallery in Cubao, Quezon City. This is one successful story of collaboration between the PLAI and an NGO gearing towards the development and promotion of literacy in our society thru books and stories.
Another notable collaboration is among different regional librarian's councils working hand-in-hand with the Department of Education divisions to promote the National Book Week.
This year, we also introduced the nationwide Graphic Novel Making contest. Entries started pouring in from all over the Philippines since August, and this is aside from the usual Poster Making and Essay writing contests. Winners of these contests will be announced on the opening day, as well.

I think what makes this event exciting is the fact that this is not purely librarians' work but a collaborative effort of a community wanting to promote literacy. Some events and celebrations may have the flash and bangs but makes the NBW2018 special are those minute details that make the event more endearing to the public.
Entries for the Poster Making Contest
2. In light of the current political climate in the country and in the world, how do librarians and libraries factor in book development in the country?

The dawn of social media was a double-edged sword, with one side helping us to move forward thru easier and real-time communication, and with the other one shaking up our core value i.e. the truth. We are bombarded daily with deliberate disinformation in the forms of fake news, alternative facts and historical revisionism, and oftentimes people retaliate thru namecalling or smart-shaming. I say, let us go back to the facts -- i.e. the written and verified ones.

As librarians, we are supposed to be the gatekeepers of these facts. The library that is open to everyone -- the innocent, the accused, the victim, the abused and even to some extent, the criminals -- should be a bastion of social justice. We still have a long way to go in developing a learned nation that would go to books to seek for facts instead of social media but I am positive of the steps being taken to have a more media and information literate society. Additionally, there is also a sliver of hope that Philippine children's books today are tackling more radical and sensitive topics that were used to be considered as taboo.

The judges troop together for a photo op.
3. If you are to compare the NBW to a book, what is it and why?
In an ideal world, it would be The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Who doesn't love a beautiful butterfly as an ending, right?

But looking back, I would rather say, it's Chenelyn, Chenelyn by Rhandee Garlitos. 
Books are there whenever we need a friend or a helping hand, whenever we want to while away our time at the beach or at a coffee shop -- but we just realize their true importance once they are gone. We take for granted those books that are offered in front of us, given that we have social media, Netflix and technology.

I hope that books and technology would co-exist and would not go against each other. I mean if you could go watch one episode of RuPaul's Drag Race, then try to read one chapter of a book too, or even one short story, and you'll see that your life will change.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Book Reviews: The Demon Haunted World and Other Books on Disciplined Thinking

For the month of October, we sent this out to the community: a list of new titles and recommended books with my reviews.



A recommended title from the list is Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World (Ballantine Books, 1996). Sagan encourages the reader to make intelligent and informed decisions by turning to logic, reason and scientific research. His essays reflect his joy of debunking myths and pseudoscience with scientific explanations from years of  disciplined thinking across subject areas. On the one hand, he admits the limitations of scientific thought by saying that "it cannot advocate courses of human action but it can illuminate possible consequences of alternative  courses of action" (page 27). He weighs in scientific thinking with discipline and imagination positioning that both are essential to its successful application in the arts, mathematics, sciences and humanities.



Interestingly, this list of new acquisitions include Michael Michalko's ThinkerToys (Ten Speed Press, 2006) where the reader can access and acquire a host of creative thinking exercises and how it can push him/her to critical analysis; and then, there is the book Little Quick Fix: Research Question (Sage, 2018) by Zina O'Leary, emphasising the decision making skills that can be learned when preparing and identifying sources, reading them, documenting information and how a well crafted research question can lend focus and direction to students working on his/her academic paper.


Visit the blog for more book reviews and my sharing of wonderful titles in our library's collection!

Library and Information Services Month 2018: Ang Kulturang May Malasakit, Sa Silid-Aklatan Makakamit


Sunday, November 4, 2018

National Book Week 2018 Contests and Competitions

The Philippines celebrates two library and bookish events this month namely, the National Book Week (NBW) headed by the Philippine Librarians Association Inc (PLAI) and the Library and Information Services (LIS) Month as organized by the National Library of the Philippines (NLP). Yes, it is a very busy month for Filipino Librarians since all regional librarians association, public libraries, school and academic libraries are bent on organizing events, activities and projects on the occassions mentioned above.

It doesn’t end there.

The PLAI Congress is scheduled on November 20-23, 2018. If Filipino librarians are not affected by the senate’s decision to repeal the Continuing Professional Development Law, expect the attendance to double up from last year’s 900 plus participants. As dictated by tradition, a PLAI assembly usually takes place on November 30 as culminating event.



These celebrations are peppered with contests and competitions in between the days and weeks of stress and excitement. The PLAI, for one, has put together several contests for young people to partake in. This year’s NBW Chair, Darrel Marco, led the NBW committee in organizing an essay contest, a graphic novel contest, a poster making contest and a Readers Theatre contest. These competitions are meant to develop skills in the communication arts, visual arts and the sciences. This year’s theme, Connected Actions, Collective Vision: Libraries Transforming Lives, is the focal point to which the entries in the essay, graphic novel and poster contests are based upon.



Apparently, I was invited as judge of the essay writing competition. This is my first time to judge in the contest. Having been invited as judge in previous storytelling competitions of the NBW, I know what to expect. I have written in the blog my insights and previous experiences as judge in the NBW contests so, expect that I will do the same for this year. That’s one post I hope you will be waiting for in the next few days because the entries in the essay contests are evidences of the country’s collective thought process, pedagogy and teaching practices in literacy skills development, as well as, the untapped potential of librarians as agent of change, collaboration and community building.



Judges of all three contests, essay, graphic novel and poster making gather for a photo op. 

As the judging of the three contests was done simultaneously, we noticed patterns and similarities that bothered and moved us to think of doing more for the book industry and the LIS profession.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Pumapapel Crafts’ Paper Engineering Workshop

Interested in making pop-up books? Know the art and the science behind paper engineering! Attend the Pop-Up Books Workshop of Ms. Amy Lopez Nayve.

 Read the details in the e-poster and visit Pumapapel Crafts for information on registration to the workshop.



Amy Lopez Nayve is an entreprenuer and paper engineer. She has done numerous workshops on pop-up books making and paper engineering. She has appeared on television ans her works have been features in numerous blogs and social media. Amy has been to the US last month as presentor and speaker in The Movable Book Society Conference 2018. 

Visit her Facebook Page, 
Pumapapel Crafts 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

In Retrospect: November is Picture Book Month

Today is the 1st of November. Picture Book Month (PBM) begins. 

But, with Dianne de Las Casas’ passing last year, it has been a great challenge to keep PBM alive. As we are all used to celebrating PBM, it would have been launched with a calendar of themes each day of the month in early October. The first PBM Champion’s essay on the relevance of picture books would have been posted on the website and on social media. And classrooms, libraries and homes would be celebrating reading and the many delights of picture books. In this day and age, when a gathering dark circles around the globe, the reason to promote reading and to emphasize the importance of books in our individual lives and in the collective consciousness is paramount. PBM must be kept alive. 





Such is not completely the case this year. 

I have been Dianne’s content and web admin for PBM since 2016 as well as PBM Champion in 2013. It saddens me that this year, I am not as busy campaigning for books and reading in the US through PBM and National Book Month in my home country, the Philippines.

Dianne and the rest of the PBM ladies who started it all in 2011 have created amazing content with messages that speak of truths, insights, goodness and beauty that we all need to be reminded about. Over the years, essays written by PBM Champions enlighten readers of the ever changing and exciting landscape of Children’s Literature in general and the picture book industry, specifically. PBM is not only a celebration. PBM is a community.

I do not know where PBM will go from here, given the challenges of keeping the website up and running. But I am holding on to a candle of hope that one day, these challenges will be resolved. 

In the next few days, readers will get to read essays of PBM Champions from previous years. This year, it is a PBM celebration in retrospect. May the curated posts that I will be putting together serve its purpose to remember why we need to do what we need to do in any positive way we can.

Today is the 1st November. It is Picture Book Month. Read! Share! Celebrate!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Amy Lopez Nayve, Paper Engineer

Here is a true to life story about following one's passion and how it can lead to a full and blessed life. Amy Lopez Nayve, Paper Engineer and entreprenuer, has stories to tell. She unfolds and pops it up one paper craft and moveable book at a time. Having achieved recognition and awards for her pop-up books, Amy shares with us where she began, where she is right now and where she plans to go.

It is one exciting journey and I am personally honored to have seen slivers and glimpses of Amy's talent grow into the amazing artist that she is!

Amy with David Carter, Pop-Up Book Master
How did you become a Paper Engineer?
I grew up with pop-up books. When I was little, my grandparents would send me pop-up books from the US. I loved to peek between the pages and try to figure out how they worked. Eventually, I learned how to build them myself. I didn't think of it as a career path back then; I just liked making pop-ups for my school projects. It came as a natural complement to my abilities. But I loved the art form so much that I decided to utilize it wherever I could throughout my college years. The peak of this happened when I designed my portfolio as a pop up book, which I call "Popfolio". This is the same book I entered into the international competition for the Emerging Paper Engineer Prize 2018 held by the Movable Book Society. It went on to win an Honorable Mention, and I even got to show it to big-name paper engineers at their biennial conference. I was inspired to pursue paper engineer as a career after I felt so at home with the people in the industry. It felt like I had found my place in the world.

What are the must-have traits and characteristics of a Paper Engineer? I say this a lot when I hold workshops: "Paper Engineers are some of the greatest storytellers in the world." This is because they have all the skills needed to capture a moment in a story and turn it into a beautiful piece of art which can then be experienced by the reader. Keyword here is "experience" - one common quality paper engineers have is the ability to involve the reader in the show. Our work involves a heaping cup of geometry, a bowl of physics, and a generous sprinkling of storytelling. To paraphrase collector Ellen Rubin aka The Pop-Up Lady, Paper Engineers are puppetmasters who hand the strings to the readers. The readers make everything come alive.

Where do you go from where you are now?
As I'm writing this, I'm actually getting my business registered at city hall.

Some things that I'm looking forward to:
- going to Singapore to meet a fellow paper engineer. We are going to collaborate on a pop-up book.
- making my own pop-up book. I've been percolating for months with ideas for a pop-up book about Philippine mythology. I'm definitely going to do that.
- holding more workshops

For more information on Amy Lopez Nayve and the workshops she conducts visit her FB Page, Pumapapel Crafts. Come back to the blog for details of her workshop this coming November 10, 2018. I will be posting links and posters this weekend.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Author Talk at Domuschola International School

It was a pleasant surprise when Herbel Santiago, Filipino teacher of grades 11-12 in Domuschola, an IB World School, sent me an invitation for an author visit in their school. She used one of my stories, A Tale of Two Dreams (Lampara Books, Gagatiga and Solina-Wolf 2012) as text in her Filipino A class. This means, she made her studens read the story as an exercise in understanding the literary perspectives found in the text. This is a priming technique that teachers use to help students in developing critical analysis and comprehension of multiple viewpoints. And this is where my surprise came from. 

I didn’t expect an IB teacher would choose the story and the book we made! What an honor! Ms. Santiago said in our chat when I asked her
on the choice of story that, “as a teacher,  I value the ability of the book to offer two differing perspectives about various ways to fulfill one's dreams. I think that despite the simplicity of the language,  the message is profound and relevant.”



And so, to complete the learning experience for her students, I went to Domuschola to meet them all in person. My talk was for their MYP and DP students and in one full hour, I shared with them my creative process in writing A Tale of Two Dreams; that book making is an industry; that making books is a collaborative endeavor. I also emphasized the literary troupes, representation of Indigenous Groups, genre and format I considered and used for the story. 

The students were curious and perceptive. The teachers I met that day were young and vibrant. I met Aris Amor, a former student in Xavier School who teaches English and TOK in the MYP and DP. Small world! Aris has grown tall and stocky. He is a very different kid from the time I knew him in Xavier. But, he remains sensitive and insightful.




After my talk, Ms. Santiago showed me the works of her students, particularly an essay that analysed the theme of  ambition in A Tale of Dreams. I was impressed at the way the student handled the language and the analysis on the characters’ pursuancr of their dreams. It is always a humbling experience for me to get responses from readers. Be it positive or negative, I appreciate hearing from my readers.

This visit and talk is a completion of a cycle for me as author, teacher and librarian. It is a wonderful experience to be a part of the learning journey of students. It is a pleasure to partake in conversations with teachers that focus on students’ response to text, media and technology. I am glad to be able to go outside our campus in Biñan and even more grateful to have the school’s support to continuously grow in my chosen profession.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Lighthouse Diary Entry #10: The Three Enduring Truths

A colleague from school sent me a link to McCann Truth Central's global study on young people age 16 and 30. This is a follow up on an earlier study made in 2011 in which information about the lifestyle, behavior, attitude and culture of young people were collected to understand them for marketing and branding purposes. Using quantitative interviews and focus group discussions as methods to collect and gather data from eighteen countries including the Philippines, the 2017 report shows interesting findings and not so new information about millennials and the generation Z.

It turns out that millennials and the generation Z are concerned with three things, namely, finding the self, finding people (friends and a community to belong to), and finding one's place or niche in the world. Sounds familiar? We have heard these before and is considered by thinkers and philosophers, past and present as the enduring truths of human existence. Technology, especially social media, play a relevant role in their lives but the quest for these enduring truths remain the same in all age groups, demographics, even. What is remarkable in the study is that, the way young people of this age seek these truths is very much different from their predecessors.

This prompts marketers and branding agents to ask different questions to fully sell or promote an idea. McCann identifies four questions that revolve around the three enduring truths.

1. What is the truth at the heart of a brand (Finding the self)
2. Who are our people (Finding people)
3. What is your meaningful role in the lives of young people (Finding your place in the world)
4. How and where do we earn that role?

How can I use this information in my work in the high school library? I ask my own questions too, as response.

1. What is my role in the lives of young people who seek these truths?
2. As they seek their truths, how can the library and my expertise assist or help them find their truths?
3. How do library services and programs aid them in their search for identity, belongingness, acceptance and accomplishments?

Technology is a game changer, indeed. But let us not forget that there are things in this world that never really change.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Reading Advocacy: Tabang Kariton (2 of 2)

Here is part 2 of the feature on Tabang Kariton's reading advocacy in Masbate City where you will get to know its programs and projects.

DAGDAG DUNONG PROGRAM

Academic Enhancement

Academic Enhancement is part of Dagdag Dunong Program of Tabang Kariton. It aims to develop Mathematical and Communication Skills of its recipients. It has been observed that elementary pupils and high school students face difficulty in Mathematics, English and Filipino. Most of the recipients of the said program had lower grades in the subjects which prompted Tabang Kariton to conduct sessions and remedial classes during weekends to help them perform well in school.

The outcome of the program has made a tremendous effect in the performance of the recipients because not only have they acquired good grades in school but also they became more confident young individuals.

Christian Values Formation

Since the project initiator is a devoted Catholic and an active member of his church, it has been his advocacy to influence the youth to nurture their spirituality. He believes that the key to a progressive community is the moral and spiritual conscience of its citizens. If an individual fulfills his moral obligations to his fellowmen and his spiritual responsibility to his church, he definitely becomes a better member of the society.




Health Education

“The health of the people is the wealth of the nation.”

It is for this adage that Tabang Kariton initiated the program, Health Education. Through this program people are made aware of the importance of health in achieving a quality life style.  It is also a health campaign program which aims to educate the community of the danger of certain diseases that threaten the lives of many.

Activities such as Dental missions, Story Telling and Health Talks and Advocacy Campaigns are parts of Health Education program. Initiators of the said program are composed of individuals from different sectors.

Blood Donation Campaign (Tabang ko, Dugo ko)

Blood donors were often scarce in a small town like Masbate. It was due to the fact that many were misinformed of the necessity of donating blood.

Tabang Kariton, in partnership with Philippine Red Cross initiated a Blood Donation Campaign which is held twice in a year to help people specifically those who are in critical condition and in need of blood transfusion. The campaign advocates the benefits of donating blood with the aid of the local media.

Road Safety Education

Accidents can be avoided if people are educated of proper road safety measures. This program aims to impose discipline among motorists and vehicle owners since for the past years it was proven that many road accidents occurred due to reckless driving, and oftentimes, the man on the wheels is not old enough to acquire a driver’s license.

Tabang Kariton ensured that even parents of these teenagers were present during the conduct of the program to inform them that they bear responsibility on their children’s actions and behaviors. The said program imposed to the public that everyone has the duty to follow traffic rules.

It may be impossible to achieve a zero percent on vehicular accidents but the program at least helped lessen the rate.

Gender and Development

Considered as one of the most talked about issues today, Gender Equality, recognizes the rights of women and children. Tabang Kariton also advocates gender awareness and educates the people on the importance of everyone in achieving national solidarity.





Cultural Heritage Education

Masbate is rich in culture and tradition and from among the many attractions of the Province, the Lapay Bantigue Festival is its most unique offering because of its lively dance steps that capture the hearts of both local and international tourists.

In promoting Masbate Culture, Tabang Kariton has featured the story of the creator of Lapay Bantigue. Through its Story Telling Sessions, children were educated of the importance of Lola Felisa’s works in the history of Masbate and how should the Lapay Bantigue Festival be promoted to attract tourists and at the same time investors in the province. Through the program, recipients have also discovered their pride for their hometown and encouraged to promote Masbate in their own little ways.

 Tabang Kariton sa DYME TV Radyo

Part of the Tabang Kariton’s project is the information dissemination through radio and television broadcast. Because this project believes that informing the public about certain social issues must become everyone’s duty. Through the broadcast, activities of Tabang kariton are brought directly to the people so that they will have a full understanding of the project visions and at the same time, they will be also encouraged to extend help to the needy.

TABANG KARITON sa DYME TV RADYO has its live broadcast via DYME Radyo Masbate 783 and Masbate Cable, Inc. Channel 5 every Sunday wherein guests are invited to talk about certain issues currently happening locally and nationally. Young broadcasters of Masbate National Comprehensive High School, the Ranch and Ang Rantso Radio Broadcasting team are also often invited as News Partner and also part of training for Division and Regional Press Conference.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Author Talk: Creativity Expresses Identity

On October 23, 2018, I was at Domuschola International School, an IB World School in Pasig City, Metro Manila, for an Author Visit. I shared my creative process, my published books and my writing life to students in the Middle Years and Diploma Program. I will post insights and takeaways from the experience but for the meantime, I am sharing these slides from my presentation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Bibliotherapy: Experience the Healing Magic of Stories

I am excited to go back to UP Diliman on Thursday, November 8, 2018 as guest speaker on the topic of Bibliotherapy. My talk will be hosted by the UP Reading Education Department where I took cognates in Reading while I pursuing my masters degree in Library and Information Science. Those were amazing years in the College of Education!

I was truly inspired by my teachers and proessors, namely, Dr. Nemah Hermosa (Dr. H) Teacher Dina Ocampo, Lina Diaz de Rivera (LDR) Teacher Victor Villanueva and Portia Padilla. In later years, teachers Vic, Portia and Dina became friends and co-advocates in reading and literacy. LDR ignited my passion for children’s literature and from Dr. H, I learned the fundamentals of reading pedagogy and education. Dr. Felicitas Pado wasn’t my teacher, but she was always in our reading courses as guest lecturer and speaker. 

It is only now, many years after, that I realize how much love and care they put into their work and chosen profession that it seeps into their relationships with students. It was there where I felt accepted for what I am, and for who I am. A school librarian who wants to be a literacy skills teacher.

And so, I will visit Benitez Hall once again. I look forward to learning new things because, in this profession, one is never too old to uncover insights and wonderful discoveries!



If you are free, come join us and experience the healing magic of stories. My talk will focus on these three basic points:

* Children’s Literature for the development of life skills, soft skills, character and aesthetics;

* Bibliotherapy process and
materials (how to conduct sessions, programming and community involvement)

* Bibliothwrapy research and “best” practices

See you! 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Reading Advocacy: Masbate’s Tabang Kariton

The blog is featuring Tabang Kariton’s reading advocacy and book campaign programs in Masbate. Thank you to Mr. Jonathan Morano, teacher and radio show host, for agreeing to do this feature and guest post. Read on and discover the history and initiatives of Mr. Morano in building a community of reades in Masbate. 

Inspired by Efren Peńaflorida’s advocacy to offer alternative education to street children through his pushcart, Jonathan Morano launched his own project “Kariton Edukasyon” when he was still working as the principal of Liceo de Masbate in 2010. During that time, the Citizens’ Army Training was abolished, and instead of military instructions, he proposed that the students should render service through teaching good values to children of poor communities. They adopted Espinosa Elementary School at Brgy. Espinosa, Masbate City for their outreach program and the result was overwhelming since Mr. Morano had seen that both the volunteer students and the community benefitted from the different activities they organized.
Liceo de Masbate is a Catholic School and needless to say that the spiritual being of an individual is the school’s primary goal and this was indeed achieved when students realized that helping others was a way for them to become good Christians. It was also observed that they became socially aware of the fact that poverty affected the lives of young children such as of those who were recipients of the program.  But the realization that it made a big difference to children and the community was what really caught the attention of Mr. Morano. While watching how eager those children were, how the thought that someone cared for them made them smile, he had come to a realization that if only people would give time to help and somehow touch the lives of others, the world would become a better place to live in.
From then on, Mr. Morano envisioned a dream that to others might had been too large to fulfill. As a teacher, he realized that he was not building edifices of stone and cement but he was molding lives. As an individual, he started to believe that he had a responsibility to the society and be part of its desire to change for the better. As a Masbateńo, he should care. And so, instead of complying with a mere requirement of a syllabus, his ‘kariton’ continued its journey…



On August 18, 2012, he initiated “Tabang Kariton”- a community service project which its purpose was to reach out to the core of a person’s need to be assisted in terms of knowledge skills, moral and social consciousness. By then, he was already a teacher of Masbate National Comprehensive High School. He decided to change the project’s name since he wanted to bring it closer to the hearts of his fellow Masbateńos. ‘Tabang’ is a local term for help and up to this day the community service project offers programs such as; Dagdag Dunong for literacy, skills, health education and  values formation and Sumpay Kapalibutan for environmental awareness.
What makes “Tabang Kariton” stand out from among other known community service projects is it is initiated with the help of various partners both from government and private sectors.
The initiator believes in the goodness of a man’s heart and he has learned that everyone has his desire to help others but sometimes there are factors that prevent him from trying. For this, the initiator offers that person his chance. If the person has resources, particularly with financial capacity, yet has no time to organize an activity to share his good fortune, Mr. Morano would willingly step in and offer him a chance to become a partner of “Tabang Kariton”. On the other hand, if a person has without funds but is willing to offer his service to people, “Tabang Kariton” is always open for volunteers.
Tabang Kariton is a community service which offers the programs Dagdag Dunong (Literacy, Skills and Values Formation) and Sumpay Kapalibutan (Environmental Awareness)

Monday, October 15, 2018

The 2019 PBBY Salanga Prize: Call for Entries

The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) is now accepting entries for the 2019 PBBY-Salanga Prize. The winner shall be given a cash prize of P25,000.00, a gold medal, and an opportunity to be published. Prizes will be awarded in an appropriate ceremony to be held during the celebration of National Children’s Book Day on July 16, 2019. This year’s theme is narrative nonfiction.

DEADLINE: Entries must be received by the PBBY Secretariat and time-stamped no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 11, 2019.

The contest rules are as follows:

  1. Open to all Filipino citizens except those who are related to any PBBY member up to the third degree of consanguinity.
  2. Content should be intended for children aged 8–12. The content must be capable of sustaining an illustrated book.
  3. Topic must be about narrative nonfiction (e.g. historical nonfiction, biographies).
  4. Citing of sources and research materials used is a must. Citations should include the name of the author, the title of the resource, the publisher and the year of publications. URLs for online sources should be cited as well.
  5. Entries may be in Filipino or English.
  6. Entries must be in hard copy, double-spaced, on short bond paper. Each entry must be 2,000-5,000 words long.
  7. A contestant may send in up to three (3) entries.
  8. Contestants who envision their works to come with special features (e.g. photos, maps, timelines, infographics) should include a write-up on these special features. The write-up should be 1,000 words or less.
  9. Each entry must be signed by a pen name only. Five (5) copies of each entry should be placed in an envelope, on the face of which only the pen name of the contestant should appear.
  10. Together with each entry, contestants must submit a second envelope, on the face of which the pen name shall appear. This must contain the contestant’s full name, address, contact numbers, a short literary background, and a notarized certification from the author, vouching for the originality of the entry and for the freedom of the organizers from any liability arising from the infringement of copyright in case of publication, and affirming that the entry or any variant thereof has (a) never been published nor (b) won any other contest i.e. that it has never won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, honorable mention in any other contest or otherwise been awarded a medal, a citation, or included in a publicized list of meritorious entries to a literary contest.
  11. All entries must be sent through snail mail to the PBBY Secretariat, c/o Adarna House, Inc., Scout Torillo cor. Scout Fernandez Sts., Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City.
  12. All entries must be received by the PBBY Secretariat no later than 5:00 p.m., January 11, 2019.
  13. Winners will be announced no later than February 2, 2019. Non-winning entries will be disposed of by the PBBY Secretariat.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The 2019 PBBY Wordless Book Prize: Call for Entries

The Philippine Board on Books for Young People is now accepting entries for the 2019 PBBY Wordless Book Prize. 


The winner shall receive Twenty Thousand Pesos and a medal. Prizes shall be awarded at an appropriate ceremony to be held on National Children’s Book Day, July 17, 2019.

DEADLINE: Entries must be received by the PBBY Secretariat and time-stamped no later than 5:00 p.m. on February 19, 2019.

CONTEST RULES:

  1. The contest is open to all Filipino citizens except those who are related to any PBBY member up to the third degree of consanguinity.
  2. All entries must be e-mailed to pbbywordless@gmail.com. For this contest, all submissions must be in digital form, with each file clearly identifiable by a filename that is actually the pen name of the contestant.
  3. Entries may be in color or in black and white. They may be digitally rendered or traditionally done artwork that may or may not have been digitally enhanced. The submission format should be pdf. Entries should use the CMYK color space and should be at actual size format with resolution at 300dpi.
  4. Each entry should comprise the following:
  5. One clean comprehensive artwork of the cover spread design (includes both the front and back covers).
  6. Filenames for this file should include the initials CS. Example: PenName_CS.pdf
  7. Two clear comprehensive artworks of two spreads, rendered in the intended style and medium, and in the actual size format. The recommended spread size for a board book is 13 x 6.5 inches while the recommended size for a picture book is 14 x 9 inches.
  8. Filename should include SP01 for the first spread, and SP02 for the second spread. Example: PenName_SP01.pdf and PenName_SP02.pdf
  9. A detailed storyboard in line drawing (grayscale).
  10. Filename should include the initials SB. Example: PenName_SB.pdf
  11. The contestant also has the option to submit all files already collected in a 4-page pdf. Filename should be Penname_ALL.pdf.
  12. Entries should not contain any words, just the title and subtitles (if any) on the Cover spread (CS).
  13. Failure to observe file naming rules may affect judgment of entry.
  14. A contestant may send in more than one (1) entry.
  15. Entries may be collaborative, meaning a visual artist may collaborate with a writer to come up with the narrative for the entry.
  16. Each contestant should also email two documents:
    1. The first document should indicate the contestant’s full name, address, telephone/cell phone numbers, and email address.
    2. The second document should be a scan of a notarized certification from the contestant. (Download the format for the certification).
  17. If the entry is collaborative, there should be complete information for both contestants.
  18. The PBBY reserves the right of first refusal for the publication of all winning entries.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The 2020 PBBY Salanga Chapter Book Prize: Call for Entries

The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) is now accepting entries for the 2019 PBBY-Salanga Chapter Book Prize. 


The winner shall be given a cash prize of P25,000.00, a gold medal, and an opportunity to be published. Prizes will be awarded in an appropriate ceremony to be held during the celebration of National Children’s Book Day on July 21, 2020. This year’s theme is narrative nonfiction.

DEADLINE: Entries must be received by the PBBY Secretariat and time-stamped no later than 5:00 p.m. on October 18, 2019.

The contest rules are as follows:

  1. Open to all Filipino citizens, as well as non-Filipino residents with dual citizenship, except those who are related to any PBBY member up to the third degree of consanguinity. For foreigners, they must have spent at least six months (can be accumulated) in the Philippines for the past six (6) years
  2. Stories should be intended for children aged 8–12, with not less than 15,000 words and not more than 30,000 words.
  3. Entries may be in English or Filipino.
  4. Plot may be anything that relates to a Filipino child’s experience.
  5. Entries must be in hard copy, 1.5 space, Times New Roman 12 with 1-inch margins on short bond paper. 
  6. On a separate sheet, contestant must identify the target grade level, number of words, and the synopsis of the story.  Contestant may also include suggestions to teachers for enrichment activities.
  7. A contestant may send in more than one (1) entry.
  8. Each entry must be signed by a pen name only. Five (5) copies of each entry should be placed in an envelope, on the face of which only the pen name of the contestant should appear.
  9. Together with each entry, contestants must submit a second envelope, on the face of which the pen name shall appear. This must contain the contestant’s full name, address, contact numbers, a short literary background, and a notarized certification from the author, vouching for the originality of the entry and for the freedom of the organizers from any liability arising from the infringement of copyright in case of publication, and affirming that the entry or any variant thereof has (a) never been published nor (b) won any other contest i.e. that it has never won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, honorable mention in any other contest or otherwise been awarded a medal, a citation, or included in a publicized list of meritorious entries to a literary contest.
  10. All entries must be sent through snail mail or personally dropped off at the PBBY Secretariat, c/o Adarna House, Inc., Scout Torillo cor. Scout Fernandez Sts., Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City by October 18, 2019.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Max is a CMMA Finalist!

Early today, I received happy news from my publisher, Lampara Books. Our book The Day Max Flew Away is a finalist in the Best Children’s Short Story category of the 40th Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA). I am still wearing a smile in my face and there is joy in my heart as I write this. But I am nervous too.

I know that the story is up against tough competition. Eugene Evasco’s story book, Ang Tatlong Prinsipe ng Kalinaw (Lampara Books) is a finalist too. I do not know whose works are lined up as well but joining the list along side a Palanca Hall of Famer’s work shakes my confidence.

I take comfort in the idea that the panel of judges took time to read and to consider my story and our book. They sure got the message!

Max is a very personal story. It is Nico and Zoe’s experience growing up and Papadoms’ relevant role in the lives of our children. It is my story too, one about detachment and letting go. At the time of writing, I was grappling with the teachings of Ignatius, most especially about the truths we hold dear. I have gained perspective since then. Ignatius can do that too. Now I know that to be able to love freely, we need to hold the truth lightly in our hands.

I will definitely attend the awards ceremonies. Win or lose, I will be there to celebrate. I feel I have gone full circle. I am ready to begin anew.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Teen Read Week 2018

Teen Read Week in the US kicked off last October 7, 2018 and will run until October 13, 2018. This year’s theme is It’s Written In the Stars: READ. For details and promotions ideas, visit the Teen Read Week website.

To quote the purpose and objectives of Teen Read Week, here is an excerpt from the website:

“Teen Read Week™ is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)... Its purpose is to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users.”

In August, the top ten nominees for Teen Read Week was announced. The video can be viewed in the site as well. But here’s a link to the one in YouTube: 

Top Ten Nominees

What Teen Read Week activities or library evebnts do you run for the young adult readet?

Monday, October 8, 2018

Book Review: How Psychology Works


How Psychology Works
Dorling Kindersley, 2018
Rating: 4 Bookmarks 

Dorling Kindersley’s (DK) How Psychology Works presents fundamental Psychology concepts and theories through visuals and graphics balanced with content and text. The page spreads are well designed to accommodate macro and micro ways of thinking. Needless to say, the book stimulates whole brain functioning that is the trademark of Dorling Kindersley (DK). Before infographics were made available online, DK has been doing it all along with their books.

The book has the five branches of psychology namely, psychoanalytical, behaviourist, humanism, cognitive psych and biological psych. Includes hefty chapters on psych disorders, healing therapies and application of concepts in real life situations.

Recommended for senior high school or grades 11-12 as companion to textbooks and case studies.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Inclusive Libraries and Developing a Diverse Library Collection

Finally! My talk on Inclusion and Diversity in Library Services and Programming pushed through last October 6, 2018 at the training hall of JRich Building in Quezon City. Thanks to the Philippine Board on Books for Young People and Lampara Books for putting this together. There were only ten participants but all of them were eager listeners and have keen interests in running literacy and reading advocacy activities in their own communities. Numbers do tell success in talks and workshops like this, and so do  interest and enthusiasm. 



Here’s hoping I was able to inspire them! As always, I came out of the experience with insights. I learn from the participants of my workshops and talks. That’s why I enjoy conducting them!

First of all, the issues we talked about are all common across different library types: how to make our libraries appeal to kids and teens, raising a bigger budget to develop a diverse collection, support from school leadership, selection of resources based on readers’ profile and building a dynamic librarians support system. Needless to say, we came from different libraries but our battle cry for support and visibility remains the same. 

When Lampara big boss Jun Matias came in to say hello, we couldn’t help but talk about sensitive topics in children’s literature. His new book for young adults, Mga Batang Poz, is all about HIV and young people infected with virus. And so, the question on inclusion and representation came up. How to circulate and render services for a book such as this? Will it pass evaluation? If acquired, who will read such sensitive topics? What followed was a rich discussion of processes and decisions making skills on the part of the librarian.

Lastly, the participants took notes of the varied library and reading advocacy projects and programs I presented. From the Human Library to Reading Without Walls, to micro libraries and pop-up libraries initiated by The Books Stop, Pilar Reading Center and Tabang Kariton, they all had takeaways and ideas to bring back to their schools and learning communities.



Diversity is what makes us unique. Inclusion is the actualisation of diversity. Libraries are inherently made for inclusive services and the development of diverse library collections. More on this in future posts!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Library Packet for Teachers

On National Teacher’s Day, my staff and I prepared a packet for teachers. The packet contains a thank you card which I personally wrote notes for all forty teachers of the Academy, a poem about the many reasons why we teach, promotional collateral of all out online subscriptions and a profile of my staff and myself. Yup. Shameless plug. 

Needless to say, the packet was put together to thank teachers of their continued patronage, encourage teachers to ask us for questions, inform them of the rich resources we have in the library and remind them that their library staff are human resources that can help them teach better. In this age where virtually anything can be taken and sourced from Google, communicating the library’s role and our added value is very important. I have received good feedback thus far and I do welcome suggestions. And this is what I am more keen on getting. The activities, projects and programs that we run are informed by library users’ needs, feedback and responses. 

This is not the first time we distributed library packets. Nor will this be the last. In the changing landscape of education, librarians are challenged to be more creative and resourceful every day!
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