Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Recommended LGBTQIA+ Books for Kids

Sirena Ba Yan? 
Is That A Mermaid?
By Candy Gourlay
Illustrated by Francesca Chessa
Billungual Edition
Adarna House, 2019

Sirena Ba 'Yan? (Is That A Mermaid?)is Candy Gourlay's new picture book. It is about a dugong (sea cow) claiming itself as a mermaid to the chagrin of two kids who met this gentle sea creature by the shore. Together they go on an adventure with the dugong consistently keeping its claim, I am a mermaid!

Kuwento ni Bernadette Villanueva Neri
Guhit ni CJ da Silva

A child comes face to face with the reality of living with parents who are both women. Using the chrysanthemum and gardening as allusion to the care and love that this unique family arrangement offers the little girl, she accepts this openly despite the teasing and the stigma of society.

By Rhandee Garlitos
Illustrations by Tokwa Salazar Penaflorida
Chikiting Books, 2013

A young boy examines his likes, dislikes and choices. Eventually, he realises what he is and becomes proud of this newfound identity.

Dead Balagtas Tomo 1 Sayaw ng Mga Dagat at Lupa
By Emiliana Kampilan
Anino, 2018

One good thing I can say about Dead Balagtas is its timely message on relationships. Love wins. It’s about time readers, young and old like me, get to read and see more LGBT represented in Philippine literature.

Written by Segundo Matias, Jr.
Illustrated by Jason Moss
Published by Lampara Publishing House, Inc.

Uncle Sam was chosen as a book in the Top 9 Kids Choice because of its insight on the LGBT community through a child's eyes whilst still keeping with a colorful theme and a plot that is sure to make multiple readers love the book. As well as that, the book brings along a story that makes young people who feel as if they are different, feel more at home. Plus, it's in both English and Tagalog. 

Citation Prepared by Alon Luna Fabros

Monday, June 29, 2020

Rhandee Garlitos on LGBTQIA+ Stories for Children

May panayam ang blog kay Rhandee Garlitos, manunulat, makata at bonggang-bonggang nilalang tungkol sa panitikan para sa kabtaan na may tenant LGBTQA+.

1. Kamusta ang reception at readership ng LGBTQ book mo na Bonggang-bonggang Batang Beki? 

Since it was first published in 2013, it has made milestones in both children’s book publishing and in LGBTQIA+-friendly books.  As the very first Southeast Asian children’s picture book to discuss about sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE) way before the term was even invented, it blazed the trail for other SOGIE books in the Philippines to be published and read by a wider audience of not only children but also grown-ups who now recognize what used to be a “taboo” topic that is too unsafe to be published in a country that has strong religious traditions and its prevailing biases or homophobia. 

2. Sa observation mo, ano ang status ng LGBTQ stories for children sa context at environment natin? Excluding provinces and rural areas.

Unti-unti nang namumulat ang ating mga mambabasa na may ganitong klaseng babasahin o mga aklat na maaari na ring basahin o ipabasa sa mga bata.  This would not have happened a few years ago. It also pays that the Internet, social media and mass media like TV and newspapers/news websites now feature LGBTQ stories and experiences.  One aspect that has become mainstream are stories like boys’ love dramas in very recent times or the Batang Poz series that tackle HIV-positive teenagers. Hindi na lamang ito para sa mga mambabasa sa  highly-urbanized areas kundi maging sa mga rural areas.

Of course, may initial shock ito noong unang lumabas. May iba na nagsasabing hindi ito inaakala given the situation of those times. May nagsasabi ring di dapat lumabas ito dahil it would encourage children to become gay, etc. o na hindi pa handa ang audiences sa ganitong mga paksa.  Still, a good majority welcomed the book because they thought it is time for children to get exposed to this kind of literature with proper guidance from the adults that rear them.

Hindi pa rin mawawala ang homophobia sa panahon ngayon at dapat nating gawin ang lahat para tuluyan itong mawala. Maganda siguro na ang lipunan, sa pamumuno ng mga religious institutions, ay maipaunawa na bahagi ng ating komunidad ang mga miyembro ng LGBTQIA+ community. 

3. Ano-ano pa ang dapat gawin ng book industry para mabigyan ng boses ang mas maraming authors and illustrators na gustong lumikha ng mga LGBTQ stories for kids? 

Simple lang – mag-publish lang nang mag-publish hanggang may magagandang mga kuwento na may ganitong paksa. Mas maging open-minded ang mga publisher at editor sa paglathala ng ganitong mga kuwento. Also, makakatulong din kung mas maraming independent presses hindi lamang sa Manila kundi maging sa iba’t ibang lugar sa bansa na maglalakas ng loob na maglathala. Maganda rin kung may mga kuwentong nasusulat sa iba’t ibang wika sa Filipinas. 

Ang kuwento ng kasarian at kalayaang maipahayag sa mundo ang ninanais ng kanilang puso ay hindi lamang personal; ito rin ay kuwento ng mundong ating ginagalawan. Bawat miyembro ng LGBTQIA+ ay ating kapamilya, kaibigan, katrabaho, kapanalig, katuwang sa lipunan.

4. Your top 5 LGBTQ stories for kids

   In no particular ranking or order:

a.    Dalawa ang Daddy ni Billy (Tahanan Books, 2018), written by Michael P. De Guzman and illustrated by Daniel Palma Tayona

b.    Ang Ikaklit sa Aming Hardin (Publikasyong Twamkittens, 2012), written by Bernadette Neri and illustrated by CJ de Silva

c.    Mga Batang POZ (Lampara Books, 2018), written by Segundo Matias Jr.

d.    My Princess Boy (Simon and Schuster, 2009), written by Cheryl Kilodavis and illustrated by Suzanne DeSimone 

e.    Sanctuary (Scribner Books, 1997), written by Paul Monette

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Pilgrim’s Pit Stop: Living and Loving in A Masked World

And so I am back after a long hiatus from writing and contributing to the Magis Deo Newsletter. One text message from Cesar Sangalang made me turn around. It was a reminder on the value of community involvement given the circumstances. As if living is not complicated enough, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted everything I know as normal and manageable.

 Suddenly, distance and physical space took on a whole new meaning. Facts and information need to be verified and validated by critically examining the source and the intent of its authors before sharing them to the public. Divisions among people and culture have all been magnified and gaps appear to grow wider as science and technology push for cures and solutions to this virus as well as the illnesses that malign society today. To hear news from the Inter-agency Task Force every day does not help alleviate anxieties and fears in a time of uncertainty and unprecedented change. School campuses remain close but there is a need to continue learning most especially at home and from home. We all find ourselves in this predicament. But, strive we must to survive. And it is in the struggle where we thrive and find grace.

Take for example the basic health protocol of frequent hand washing, the observance of social distancing and the wearing of mask when going out. It all sounds simple to do but these health practices require generosity and kindness from each of us. It is about personal care, interior freedom and the challenge to continuously “be”. This is the call of the time and the teaching of Ignatius no less.

Of the three health guidelines, it is the wearing of masks that fascinates me to no end. Wearing a surgical mask, we protect ourselves from the coronavirus and those we get in contact with. Wearing a mask pre-COVID-19, however, had a different meaning. In the Marriage Encounter experience, wearing a mask is an act that prevents us from being authentic and real, but now it is considered an act of love. What remains as constant is God’s call to continue building a relationship with Him with or without a mask. Because our ways of loving differ from one another, the response to the call of nurturing this relationship varies too.

In my quest to find a quiet and scared space to be with God, I discovered Fall in Love, a poem by Fr. Pedro Arrupe.

Nothing is more practical than finding God, than
Falling in love
In a quiet absolute, final way
What are you in love with
What seizes your imagination, will
Affect everything.
It will decide
What will get you out of bed in the
What you do with your evenings,
How you spend your weekends
What you read, whom you know,
What breaks your heart,
What amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in love, stay in love
And it will decide everything.

This poem helps me work through the Examen as I reflect on my desires and the grace asked and received especially in this time of pandemic.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Friday, June 26, 2020

Guest Blogger: Shine Uy on Home Schooling and Home Based Learning

The blog, School Librarian in Action, is happy to have Shine Uy as guest blogger. She writes about factors that made them decide to home school (HS) their children when campus closed at the last term in March. All throughout the summer, Shine made use of home based learning (HBL) strategies for them. Now that the opening of school is nearing, her children will learn at home and from home where she leads them to authentic learning experiences while adopting an online learning module where her children are enrolled in.

Months before my daughter to be born, I have already thought of a home set-up where she can play using "sensory materials" like wooden toys, blocks, balls, musical instruments, etc. And since then, I got more interested in homeschooling my kids. 

Being a teacher by profession, I always picture myself and interest myself in teaching my children. My interest in homeschooling paved the way to my style in parenting. 

Here are the factors that made me decide to HS/HBL my kids. 

1.) Personalized Learning. My kids have different interests and learning styles. One loves to learn about machines and robots and the other loves to read and do arts. One understands concepts easily while the other one needs more time to analyze. To homeschool them makes it easier for me to let them understand the concepts of what they should know and how to apply the concepts in our daily lives. Personalized learning means they don't need to compete with other children. Thus, it helps them feel confident. Since my kids learn together in one room, they develop cooperation among themselves. For example, in learning how to cook, which is part of their daily activities, the older sibling can guide/teach the younger ones. Cooperation naturally develops and is also a way of getting to know themselves as siblings, thus creating a bond. 

2.) Lots of Play. Their study time for academics only lasts for around an hour. So, playing or having games is the most significant way to instill knowledge in their young minds to keep their interests in things that they should know.

Transitioning to HBL is not that difficult for us because they already grew up in a home learning set-up. Going to school makes learning more enhanced. Social interaction develops naturally. 

This August, they will start the distance learning program option that their school has offered. With this, I need to add computers, cork boards, and some more art materials. Unlike before that, they both go to school and homeschool at the same time. I had some time to do house chores while they are away. Now, they need to be at home the whole day and I need to juggle HBL and house chores. Having a flexible schedule helps me prioritize the things needed to be done in the day. This way, I can minimize my stress.

Switching to HBL means lesser time interacting with other kids. I prepare some activities like cooking and assembling electric fans in order to build cooperation and good communication at home. Looking for certain books, like workbooks and other materials can also be challenging. Some of them are only available abroad. But thanks to family and friends, they help me purchase them.

When I asked my 8-year-old daughter what she liked about our HS/HBL, she said that our lessons are shorter and that she has more time for playing. Indeed, play is still one of the most important things in her life.

For parents who think it is impossible to homeschool their kids, given the technology that we have, the Internet is our best tool to search for lessons and activities, all you have to do is, choose the tools suitable to their learning styles. For the parents who are both working, you may start with creating a learning environment by putting shelves with books, musical instruments, art materials, sensory toys, tables, and chairs. Let the learning and curiosity unfold.

I am a wife, a mother, a breastfeeding advocate, a plant lover, a chef at home, a former school teacher, and now a homeschool Mom.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Diversity and Inclusivity in Teaching and Learning

This is an interview I did for Teacher Lani who based in Japan before the quarantine. She and I met in 2015 in Kyoto where I had an enjoyable day walking under blossoming sakura. We keep in touch and recently talked about teaching ang learning in the IB Programs. 

In February, she sent me some questions for an online workshop she was attending for the IB Primary Years Program. It is on assessment and learners' diversity. Here is the transcript of the interview.

How do you unpack or connect to the diversity of students you teach?

I think the unpacking and the connecting is based on two things: the learner and the curriculum. These inform pedagogy. Assessment in the admissions level is also essential for academic leaders and teachers to know if the student can perform and meet the learning goals of the curriculum and if he/she needs accommodation and differentiation. It is meeting half way and parents must cooperate. The school and the parents have to work together.

I also think that differentiation in instruction is a given in an inclusive classroom. Regardless of students’ background, teachers need to be aware of diversity and different learning styles.

What kind of learning engagements do you use?

Lately I have been using some visible thinking strategies, like the see-think-wonder. I also use collaborative techniques like the think-pair-share and the jigsaw. I have always believed in the learning center approach and blended learning.

When teaching writing, I make use of the KWL and the model-feedback-guide-release strategy. Over the years, I think I have learned to use a variety of teaching approaches, methods and techniques.

How do you differentiate learning opportunities for your students? Based on what?

Students have assessment record and this is provided by the academic team and guidance counselors. When students move up the grades teachers gather and discuss profiles of students so that teachers are informed of students learning styles, behavior and profile. This is information to help the teacher plan and design the learning environment.

How,when,and why does this change?

Learning is dynamic.

How do you adjust your learning engagements based on student need?

Adjustments are made when there is a need to change it. Changes like accommodations in learning must be informed by assessment through instruction.

How does this compare to how you get to know your students?

I think this is an ecosystem of teaching and learning and many factors on student development come into play.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

PASLI Statement: School Libraries Are Essential

This is the draft statement of the Philippine Association of School Librarians on the relevance of school libraries and the valuable role of school librarians especially in the time of pandemic.

As school leaders, teachers and parents prepare for the opening of school year 2020-2021 under the circumstances surrounding the country and the world, webinars and varied literature and media that lend advise, guides, protocols and support for the transition to Blended Learning are in abundance. The DepEd has identified different ways for which learning can be delivered in this time of COVID-19 namely, Home Based Learning, Online Learning, Flexible Learning or a combination of all three into a Blended Learning approach. Whichever the parent or the school chose to facilitate the continuity of learning, school librarians play a relevant role in this experience of continued growth and development of children, the parents who care for them and the professionals who teach and mentor. It is at this time of crisis and unprecedented challenges when the expertise of school librarians is essentially needed by learning communities.
The Philippine Association of School Librarians (PASLI) holds the position by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) that the school library provides information and ideas that are fundamental to functioning successfully in today's information and knowledge-based society. The school library equips students with life-long learning skills and develops the imagination, enabling them to live as responsible citizens (School Library Manifesto 2006). The association further believes that, being licensed professionals, school librarians are the qualified personnel to actualize the ideals stated above by the IFLA as mandated by law under the Philippine Librarianship Act of 2004 also known as RA 9246. Furthermore, the School Library Guidelines of the Department of Education (2011) stipulates the specific duties, financial support and requirements in resource, media and collection development for school libraries that school librarians are bound to adopt and adapt as dictated by the context of their learning communities. 
PASLI advocates and asserts these identities of the school library.
    • The school library is an institution of human rights, specifically, children’s rights.
    • The school library is an agency of lifelong learning.
    • The school library is a learning commons for the growth and development of human capital.
    • The school library is an essential social infrastructure, but in the “new normal” it has demonstrated that social infrastructure extends to online social infrastructure as well.
    • The school library bridges the digital divide.
    • The school library is a safe space.
    • The school library promotes inclusivity and diversity.
    • The school library recognizes mutliculturalism and multimodal learning.
    • The library is a universal classroom with resources and programs online to support K-12 education, distance learning, workforce skills, and much more.

School librarians assume varied roles such as a manager of information systems and structures of thinking, a reading and literacy advocate, a teacher and mentor, a counselor, a confidant to colleagues and a community developer. These identities and roles are espoused and endorsed by PASLI so that school librarians have an anchor of principles when designing and implementing programs and services in the new normal. It is highly recommended for school librarians to communicate this position, the identities and roles presented in this statement to school leaders, teachers, parents and partners in the formation and learning of children and young people.
The School Library in Teaching and Learning for All. IFLA 2006. Retrieved June 12, 2020 https://archive.ifla.org/VII/s11/pubs/manifest.htm
The Philippine Librarianship Act of 2004 RA 9246 . The LawPhil Porject. Arellano Law Foundation. 2020 Retrieved June 10, 2020 https://lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2004/ra_9246_2004.html

Prepared by PASLI Officers 2019-2021 / Version 1

June 17, 2020 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Komikera wins 2020 PBBY-Alcala Prize

The grand prize winner of the 2020 PBBY-Alcala Prize is Victoria Melissa R. Tadiar. Ms. Tadiar won for her illustrations based on Boon Kristoffer Lauw’s chapter book, Team Abangers at ang Estilong Trumpo. Lauw won the grand prize at the 2020 PBBY-Salanga Prize, the first time the competition was opened to chapter books.

Tadiar is a full-time IT professional who works on comics and illustrations in her free time. She won the Komiket Best Komiks Award in 2017 for her Filipiniana fantasy comic SAGALA, which was released as a self-published graphic novel in 2019. Her current project, Twinkle, Twinkle, is an Official Selection finalist at the First Philippine International Comics Festival (PICOF). She is also a new member of Ang InK (Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan), the only professional organization of children’s illustrators.

Tadiar will be awarded at the 37th National Children’s Book Day celebration on July 21, 2020.

For inquiries about the contest, contact the PBBY secretariat at secretariat@pbby.org.ph.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Kdrama Review: The King Eternal Monarch

WARNING. This review has SPOILERS.

Yeong and Lee Gon battle the villains to save the kingdom and the multiverse.

The King Eternal Monarch (TKEM) had its finale last Friday, June 12, 2020. I followed every episode for three months and became invested in the series because of two women, Kim Eunsook (KES), the script writer who also wrote Goblin and Descendants of the Sun, and Kim Goeun (KGE), the actress who played the lead in Goblin. Needless to say, Goblin has a huge impact in my Kdrama life. I was very much impressed with these two women who were a part of the production and I wish to encounter their works once again in TKEM. And of course, TKEM stars Lee Min Ho who is a top Hallyu actor in South Korea (SoKor). This is my first LMH drama so I am curious.

What are my discoveries watching TKEM then?

1. LMH is brilliantly beautiful. I have no other drama to compare his acting chops to, but I like his protratyal of the genius "King" - calm, collected, steadfast and supremely rich. He is your cookie cutter romance male lead. And yet, through his interaction with KGE's character, he becomes a better man. A cookie that has more fillings than one.

2. It is the same with KGE and the rest, villains and supporting cast. No wonder, it had a rough start in the ratings and viewership surveys in SoKor.

3. TKEM was exciting and engaging but it didn’t move me as much as Goblin did. Goblin swept me off my feet because of the compelling characters whose internal conflicts mirror my own and yet, their dreams and desires amplify the call to a universal good. Redemption. Justice that restores. Courage to take leaps of faith.

4. Big concepts are found in TKEM too. Love when it is constant and beautiful transcends time and space. Knowledge of good and evil is essential to keep the balance in the universe. And yet, the narrative, creatively told like a digital set of magic cards challenging viewers to think and wonder, were all laid down in the end left me wanting for more. Like, a longer version of Yeong, the Unbreakable Sword fighting for his King.

Seriously, this trio deserves a spin-off!
5. And this is my lament. Woo DO Hwan (WDH) played his role exceptionally well not only as Yeong but as Eun Sop too. In the finale, WDH only gets a minute and a few mores seconds of fight scenes. This is the Unbreakable Sword who looks every inch the sword no one can break. 

6. The same goes with Kim Kyung Nam who played the detective Kang Sin Jae. He is by far, the most flawed of all the characters in the drama and made KGE and LMH's romance more interesting. It is a pity that he was left to cry in a corner when KGE left for the Kingdom of Corea.

7. The math and the science are mind blowing. Euler's idnetity is the anchor of the drama and this also explains why the romance trope, the villains and the trajectory of the heroes are constant an consistent. In the end, LMH's character transcends and becomes the eternal king indeed.

8. KES innovated in TKEM but the gaps and the lacuna in this drama that crosses genre requires a lot of mind work. I did enjoy this engagement, but for entertainment's sake, it shouldn't be that challenging for all viewers.

9. KES gave us a happy ending. Thank you very much! Everyone's story ended well and deservingly so. 

10. TKEM does have its blazing moments as well sparks but it never went off in full glory because the conflict is subliminal. I demand a spin-off syarring the power trio: Lee Min Ho, Woo Do Hwan and Kim Kyung Nam.

Rating: Three stars

Saturday, June 13, 2020

BA Library Online for the Month of April & May

Rounding up posts on the library's online services we do in the Academy for the month of April and May.

BA Library Online Points for Reflection 2 At Week 2 of our library online services, I rounded up articles on instructional design, creating connections, bibliotherapy and the inevitable changes that the pandemic will take effect when this is all over.

Video Streaming Channels and Teaching Resource Packs - What I put together two weeks ago in BA Library Online -- Free Access to Resources for Online Learning

Pathfinder on COVID-19 - This is a continuing project of curated content and resources on COVID-19. The list has grown since February to include information databases to resources on mental health for children in lockdown.

#MaslowBeforeBloom - This week in BA Library Online, I shared the #MaslowBeforeBloom school of thought that has been circulating in social media. 

Teaching Practices and Quality Standards of Online Teaching Teachers and colleagues in the private schools and public schools are all preparing for remote and online learning, while in the Academy, we are wrapping up the academic year. Almost the entire second semester was spent in online teaching and learning. Here is what I shared with our learning community as we reflect on this unforgetable experience of change and resilience.

Hashtags for locating and accessing posts in social media - So teachers will always find their way around Workplace

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Online Writing Workshop: Weaving Stories for Kids and Young Adults

Online Writing Workshop: Weaving Stories for Kids and Young Adults
Facilitator: Zarah C. Gagatiga 

Here are the details of the workshop and payment information. 

1. You will need a Gmail account to participate in the online class. Please get or sign-up to Gmail. 
2. The online class will be delivered via Google Classroom, thus the need to get a Gmail account. 
3. Online classes begin on July 20, 2020 until August 2, 2020. Synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning experiences will be provided. This means, we will have an online chat or video call once a week as a class and content in the four modules can be done as your time allows you to. 
4. There are four modules and content will be uploaded every Friday evening from 8-10pm. You can do the activities of each module within a week. Video calls and chat can be scheduled by group or individually on a Saturday. 

5. The four modules are as follows:
M1 - The Stories that Shaped My Childhood; Children's Literature; the Status of Philippine Children's Literature today; M2 - Writing for Kids and Teens: Formats and Elements; 
M3 - Writing Workshop; 
M4 - Preparing a Manuscript 

Workshop fee is Php 2,500.00

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The Beacon Academy Graduation 2020

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