Friday, February 15, 2019

The More Loving One

The More Loving One

W. H. Auden, 1907 - 1973

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well

That, for all they care, I can go to hell,

But on earth indifference is the least

We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn

With a passion for us we could not return?

If equal affection cannot be,

Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am

Of stars that do not give a damn,

I cannot, now I see them, say

I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,

I should learn to look at an empty sky

And feel its total dark sublime,

Though this might take me a little time.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

International Book Giving Day 2019

Today at work, I did two things that gave me genuine happiness — one, we sent out pop cakes to teachers with recommended books to borrow and read and two, we received visitors from Keys, a progressive school in Mandaluyong.

As a reading and book campaign promo, the pop cakes plus recommended read give away turned out pretty good. Of our twenty faculty members, ten responded to our invitation to borrow a book I picked for them. I had a blast observing and taking in their social ques. Most of them were up for the challenge. It is enough for me to see them appreciate our gesture. It is already an accomplishment to have them step in the library to borrow and read books.

By mid-morning, expected visitors from Keys arrived and we spent the rest of the day conversing about the Diploma Program. Teachers Al and Van are both librarians. They are preparing for IB certification. The visit gave them ideas on where to start building the library collection in congruence to the IB certification requirements.

Before they left, I gave them a copy of my book, My Daddy, My One and Only! What a way to celebrate the day of love and International Book Giving Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Library Information Service: Web OPAC 101

Our library has finally migrated to a new OPAC and it is in the cloud! We are trying it out this week, taking notes and learning its new features. This will prepare is for the training session which Mr. Romy Sebastian will conduct soon! 

To prepare our community and to inform them too, I have written a short easy-to-do guide in accessing books and citing them. I posted this in the Academy’s chat room. Here is how it looks like.

Why are we smiling every time we use and access bibliographic information in our new web OPAC? It has a built-in citation builder for APA, CMoS and MLA formats!  Here are screenshots of the OPAC and easy to do instructions when using the citation feature. Click each photo to read the instructions. 

If all else fails, just holler. We are here to help!


Go to the BA Library Web OPAC. URL is 

Type in the search box a subject or topic of choice. If you know the author or title of the resource, you can use them as keywords too.

The OPAC will show results of your search. In this case, the resource is a book. Choose a title of a book from the list.

The OPAC will present the book’s bibliographic data. At the right frame of the web page is the button “Cite” and an image of a pen and paper. Click it!

There! Copy-paste your citation format of choice to a Word document.

You can also view the book’s bibliographic data in “card display”. This layout is similar to the formatting styles of APA, MLA and CMoS since it provides the author, title, publication data, and copyright of the resource.

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Lighthouse Diary 2019 #14: Don's Tree

The Beacon Academy had its 4th annual school fair last Saturday, February 9, 2019. Congratulations to the Beacon Academy Student Council, the Fair Committee, my co-teachers who moderated the clubs and mentored students, the Operations Team, the School Life Team and the School Leadership who gave their support in making this year's fair another successful event. There were booths, a variety of food, merchandise on display, a talent showcase and a Battle of the Bands.

In previous years, I have volunteered to man booths and assist students in the showcase. There was even one school fair when Nico and I performed with a colleague. We sang a duet of Joey Albert's hit songs in the 80s. Nico was so nice to accompany us in the guitar.

This year, I chose to enjoy myself.

I watched Zoe perform with the Dance Club and sing with Wednesday Firsts, one of the many school bands in the Academy. There are less than 150 students, but around three to four bands exist. There is also a faculty and staff band who performs during special events and occasions like Christmas and Buwan ng Wika. This goes to show how much we love music. It's that, or work can be really stressful we needed an outlet. Either way, it only goes to show that we can chill. And I did just that last Saturday. It is the most relaxing fair I had in my nine years of work in the Academy.

Chillin' at the Beacon Academy Fair
Spreading a mat under Don Salubaybay's tree, I sat, sprawled and lay down to my heart's content. People were doing the same thing all around. Some were eating at the food boths. Others busy buying merch, plants, zines, etc. In what school fair can you sit under a tree, named after a dearly departed colleague and not be called out? It is these little things I cherish these days. Yes, these are signs of growing old. But to me, I call it pacing. Taking my time. Resting.

While under Don's tree, I couldn't help but remember our beloved art teacher who died of aneurysm three, four years ago. He was a dedicated cultural worker, passionate artist, loving father and husband. I lost a friend that year. We would talk about different aspects of art; Indonesia since we have been there for different reasons. Him for his art. Me for my work as school librarian. We both love the coffee and the chocolates in Bali. His art has appeared in a children's book and he donated a copy in the library. One of our precious titles. He is a storyteller too. He uses paper, light and darkness. Shadow Play. I once asked him if we could do a book project together and right away, he said yes. Sadly, he left us all too soon. We planted the tree in memoriam to Don.

Then it occurred to me, while lying on that mat under Don's tree, the many things and the people I have lost while working in the Academy. A lot of things have happened in nine years. What have I lost? What have I gained? What have I given back? What am I learning in the process? Why did I stay? Why am I staying? There are so many answers. So many things that cram in my head that needs unpacking. There are memories that surfaced, not all pleasant but filled with learning experiences all the same.

Oh boy...

Don't be surprised if in the next entries of The Lighthouse Diary, you will read about my reflections of nine years working in the Academy. I feel excited about this little project. I have a good feeling about this. My gut tells me so.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Rediscovering Tagaytay (3 of 3): Flowers, Plants, the Lake and the Cat and Dog Cafe

Is that you, Garfield?
The last leg of our Tagaytay day trip rounded up with a trip to Mahogany Market, a view of Taal Lake and the volcano and a 45 minute stop-over at the Cat and Dog Cafe.

As expected, Mahogany Market is a showcase of Tagaytay and its lovely personality. Flowers, plants, fruits and coffee were the stuff we bought from the market. It was a colorful and texture rich experience. Driving down to Silang road, we experienced heavy traffic. Ditching the drive in Picnic Grove was a smart move since we did not wish to be trapped in Tagaytay as there was work and school the following day.

Stopping by at yet another flower and plant store by the road, Zoe was able to get a view of the volcano. With a fast right hand at sketching, she was able to draw the contour of the lake and the volcano in one spread of her sketch book. She is taking her art lessons to heart.

What replaced the Picnic Grove visit was a stop-over at the Cat and Dog Cafe. This is a place where you can enjoy your beverage of choice in the company of cats and dogs. The girls, Alnah and Zoe most especially, enjoyed petting the cats. For 200 - 300 Php, one can spend 30-45 minutes destressing with these four legged, furry animals. From there, it was a smooth trip down to Sta. Rosa and Binan. We closed the day with dinner at Chicken N Beer in Paseo de Sta. Rosa.

This day trip had been educational for the girls, rejuvenating and refreshing for us "titas" of Laguna and definitely a bonding moment to celebrate friendship and sisterhood. Cheers to more day trips and travels in the future!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Rediscovering Tagaytay (2 of 3): At Sentro Botanikos

Yummy veggie meals!
Our next stop was Sentro Botinakos. This was our first time to visit the organic farm where food is served farm to table style. We had reservations made a week before our visit so, the owners knew we were coming. They greeted us with a warm welcome.

Sir Noel, an organic farmer and his wife, Ma'am Ruth explained how they grow their herbs and vegetables. The mushrooms have been harvested early that morning.  They highly recommended that we try their mushroom dishes. We obliged, of course.  We all loved the mushroom tempura served as our appetiser and the two variants of vinegar as condiment. Their menu are all vegetable and vege-meat dishes. Health buffs will truly enjoy dining in Sentro Botanikos. The price is very affordable too when compared to the older and commercialized organic farms-cum-restaurants in the district. We tried the veggie kare-kare, adobo, sisig mushroom and tofu and more mushroom tempura. My hobbit heart is happy!

The selection of rice can be brown, turmeric and moringa. There is brewed coffee in the menu as well as herbal green tea. The pineapple shake was served fresh but we missed tilbok, a local dessert popular in Cavite and Batangas. On the display rack are more veggie goodies: crispy mushroom chicharon, D' Bagoong, veggie seasoning, cassava cookies, chilli sauce and pinya-chilli suace.

Sir Noel, organic farmer, is also a storyteller.
Sir Noel regaled us with stories of how they built the cafe and restaurant and how they pooled their resources with two more friends in setting up Sentro Botanikos. He was happy and proud talking about his farm farther down Alfonso, Cavite. How different were the harvest and yields of his organic farm from that of the veggies they plant and harvest up in Sentro Botanikos. Altitude and the kind of soil they have at Sentro are two factors that determine a higher and plentiful harvest. He further amazed us with the story of the rare black mushroom of Cavite that grows aplenty when it is struck by lightning. Now that is a piece of story for a children's book, right?

We also met Ma'am Ave who runs the place like your provincial "hermana" - matronly but pleasant and welcoming. The cafe at Sentro Botinokos is ideal for the conduct of small and intimate workshops. Once the bed and breakfast service is ready, Sentro Botanikos would be a good place to hold arts and writing workshops in. Besides, the materials used to build the cafe were all recycled and the roof is heat resistant. There are lots of inspiration to draw from the site itself.

We learned that there was a tree house in the yard and we invited ourselves in. It was a perfect place t take a nap. Needless to say, we learned the delicate art of doing nothing at Sentro Botanikos.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Rediscovering Tagaytay (1 of 3): At Ilog Maria

On Chinese New Year, Zoe and I went up Tagaytay with my librarian friends, Darrel, Grace and Audrey.

The itinerary for the day was a trip to Ilog Maria, Sentro Botanikos and Picnic Grove. Ilog Ilog Maria is a bee farm where honey, propolis and derivative products can be bought. Sentro Botanikosis a newly opened organic farm in Alfonso, Cavite where vegetables from the garden are harvested for cooking the dishes in the restaurant. A good view of Taal Lake can be seen at Picnic Grove. It was a day trip meant to commune with nature and to prepare us for the coming busyness of the next two months.

We all met for breakfast at Cafe Breton in Paseo de Sta. Rosa where the serving is hearty and huge. We expected a long, full day and with two teenagers in our party of six, they need the carbo and protein sa much as we do.

The drive up Silang road was easy though so, we arrived at Ilog Maria on time. It was my first visit there and being a bee farm, the place was fragrant, serene and relaxing. We did not avail of a guided tour, besides, the bee museum is not yet ready for visitors.

There were honeycombs all around and bees, both stingless and stinging kind abound. We saw their soap factory, walked the path where rainbow eucalyptus trees grow and bought soaps, repellents and scents from the store. The highlights of the visit in Ilog Maria were hugging and smelling a rainbow eucalyptus tree and meeting a group of retired teachers from BiƱan. My kababayans! They looked happy in their greying years. When I asked them the secret to long life, one replied to simply laugh at challenges and problems that life throws your way.

For a brief moment, I understood how it is like to be a koala. For a brief moment, I was reminded how humor and laughter can strengthen one’s soul. Plants rejuvenate. Bees need to be saved. And with true friends, I know I can get by.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Masaya sa Pasinaya 2019

I kicked off the month of hearts with art.

After church last Sunday, February 3, I headed to the Cultural Center of the Philippines. It was the last day of Pasinaya 2019, an arts and artists festival that CCP stages yearl. It gathers all performing artists, visual artists and literary arts for showcases and presentations.

The eldest, Nico, who beatboxes for ConChords, was scheduled to perform at 4pm. Arriving early, I looked around and met friends in the industry. And I was not even inside the CCP yet! I was outside the building, at the complex where there is a "tiangge" or flea market picking out accessories when I bumped into writer friends I have not seen in a while, NGO people and cultural workers I had workshops with, and teachers from DepED who brought their students to watch the shows.

Moving up to enter the building at the front entrance, I saw the fountain alive and spurting. A good, strong crowd was lined up the lobby. I am often at CCP for shows and the annual National Children’s Book Day celebration but this Pasinaya was the first for me. And this was the first time I saw CCP filled with people, young and old, from all walks of life. For 50 Php, you could watch and see, experience art all you can!

Congrats, CCP! I look forward to attending next year's Pasinaya.

Happy HeARTS Month! 

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Teacher - Librarian Collaboration: Discipline and Skills Building

I had a productive meeting with our Dean of Faculty last week. 

What started out as a consultation on the updating of library guidelines on student discipline inside the library branched out into concrete plans for skills building. We were able to agree on putting in the Student Handbook the library's essential agreements and the belief that a library is a shared space. My takeaways from our meeting is that skills building requires discipline and that the library is part and parcel of this process. 

Specifically, I spread out and proposed a structure for skills building through the library.

1. Teacher Librarian welcomes ASquads who will schedule sessions with her on research and use of library resources. ASquads can advise students to plot Librarian Assisted Study Time during their free time in consultation with the Teacher Librarian.
What skills can the Teacher Librarian assist in or help students learn: development of topics for research, identifying potential sources in line with the statement of inquiry, how to develop, use and revise search strategies from a variety of media and tech sources, evaluate sources and information, advising or consultations on referencing, citations, knowledge of Creative Commons and copyright and documentation of sources.
2. Bibliography of Journal and Periodical articles, arranged or categorised by reading levels - low, average, high. 
Instruct and mentor BA Lib Assistant in the creation of book lists and academic articles following a standard citation or bibliographic format. This will be communicated to faculty and students on a regular basis. Teacher Librarian will catalog and curate the lists into directories following the MYP and DP subject groups. 
Teacher Librarian will seek interns, college students, BA students who can participate in this project as CAS activity hours.

This is how we are in the Beacon Academy. We strive to make connections in learning.

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