From the TSP volunteers, I realized how our search for meaning and goodness in this world can be actualized in volunteer work. I look back at the young professionals I met a week ago and I am still touched by their hope and their sincerity to help TSP reach its goal of people empowerment through books and reading. From the DepEd K-3 teachers in Pangasinan, I am reminded once again of the values of grit and patience. The Filipino public school teacher is up against challenges bigger than herself or himself. It will take a lifetime to change the system, but it is enough to be able to inspire and affect one person.
Feeling young and energized with TSP volunteers!
I see the goodness in Rey Bufi and his wife, Grace, the parents and founder of TSP. I admire the resilience of Teacher Ara for continuing on and doing a thankless job. Organizing people and mobilizing them is not an easy task, but they do it anyway. This is the grace I take away from leaving Biñan once in a while. I meet authentic people who, despite limitations, persevere to make a difference in their communities.
Specifically, I discovered how tenuous our connection is with our folk literature and local knowledge. Pangasinan is showing signs of progress, but my conversations with teachers there reveal gaps in the use of their mother tongue and in telling stories from their culture and history. Exposure to different forms of literature is an area of growth as well. Both groups, TSP volunteers and K-3 teachers were fascinated at the folk tales I used as samplers for storytelling. Comments like “ganun pala yun”, “ay pwede pala” were aplenty.
DepEd Superintendent Balderas explains that reading is comprehension.
The scarcity of books and resources was a clamor of both groups. I resolve to include one or two activities for materials creation next time I do a workshop. As a librarian, I will echo and share this concern. Hopefully, any of my advocacy group could pick from there and help bridge children to books they so badly need to engage in.