Sunday, September 27, 2020

Kuwentong Musmos Author Interview: Kora Dandan Albano

Si Kora, Ara at si Itok!
Isang karangalan ang ma-interview si Kora Dandan Albano. Hindi lamang siya isang batikang illustrador, isa din siyang premyadong manunulat ng mga aklat pambata. Ang kanyang aklat na may pamagat Tara, Itok! ay ginuhit ni Ara Villena at nilathala ng Adarna House sa ilalim ng proyektong Kuwentong Musmos ng Room to Read. 

1. Bakit ka nagsusulat para sa mga bata/kabataan? 

Hindi ko ito pinag-iisipan... Basta nagsusulat lang. 

2. Paano ka nagsimula sa pagsusulat ng mga kuwentong pambata? Ano ang iyong origin story?

Dumalo ako sa poetry clinic ng LIRA (Linangan  sa Imagen, Retorika at Anyo) summer ng 1993. Si Rio Alma ang mentor at ginaganap ang palihan tuwing Sabado sa Adarna House. Noon ko lang nalaman na may Adarna books pala. Kalaunan, nalaman ni Sir Rio na FA graduate ako at nakaguhit na ng isang libro, Ang Paglalakbay ni Butirik (OMF, 1993) kaya tinanong niya kung interesado akong gumawa ng character study para sa librong Si Pilandok at ang mga Buwaya.  

Fast forward sa 2018, bukod sa 10 libro sa Adarna House na naiguhit ko – 8 doon ay isinulat ni Sir Rio at  5 sa kanila ay Pilandok series -  inilathala ng Adarna House ang aking tulang pambata na Kung May Dinosaur sa Kamalig ni Lolo. Kaya masasabi ko na I have come full circle. Nabalikan ko ‘yung pagsusulat ng tula: ang orihinal na dahilan kung bakit ako napadpad ng Adarna House noon. 

Sa tingin ko naging malaking salik ang pagguhit ko ng halos 50 mga aklat pambata sa loob ng 25 taon para ako maihanda sa pagsusulat naman ng mga akdang pambata sa ngayon.

3. Magbigay ng tatlong salita upang mailarawan ang karanasan mo bilang isang fellow ng Kuwentong Musmos Workshop?

Natuto. Nahasa. Nagpapasalamat.

4. Anong aklat ang sana ay ikaw ang nagsulat?

Where the Wild Things Are

5. Magbigay ng 5 tips o payo para sa mga gustong magsulat ng kuwentong pambata.

Balikan ang inyong pagkabata.

Makinig, makipag-usap, makipaglaro sa mga bata.

Magbasa nang magbasa ng mga aklat pambata.

Pigilan ang sarili na magdikta, magturo at magsermon sa batang mambabasa.

Mag-enjoy sa iyong sinusulat.

Kora Dandan-Albano is an award winning children’s book author and illustrator. Her picture-poetry book Habulan (Anvil, 2016) is a Best Read winner at the 5th National Children’s Book Awards in 2018. A graduate of Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from U.P. Diliman, she is the illustrator of over 40 well loved children’s books including All About the Philippines (Tuttle, 2015) which won a Gold at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards 2016 in the US. Tara, Itok! is Kora’s third book as an author.,  

Friday, September 25, 2020

Digital Library Talks: Open Library

 Another session I had with our MYP students last week was the Digital Library Talks. It is a session I give to students and teachers on anything library related that happens in the digital environment. Here is the presentation I put together in accessing free ebooks and audiobooks on Open Library. 

With the help and support of our Communications Associate, these slides were also published in our Newsletter for parents, staff and alumni to know and access as well.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Kuwentong Musmos Author Interview: Kristine Canon

Balik Kuwentong Musmos tayo sa pagpopost sa blog ngayong buwan ng Setyembre! 

Naging abala tayo sa maraming bagay noong mga nakaraang buwan dahil sa COVID-19. Pero, tuloy ang ligaya at patuloy ang munting proyektong ito sa blog. Naway maitulay natin ang impormasyon at kuwento ng mga manunulat at ilustrador na naging bahagi ng Room to Read project sa mga school librarians, guro at magulang na naghahanap ng mga babasahin para sa mga bata at kabataan.

Sa pagbabalik ng Kuwentong Musmos Author Interview, ang Team Adarna naman ang naka-feature sa mga susunod na araw. Buena mano si Kristine "Teacher Tin" Canon sa pangatlong serye ng blog interviews na ito.

Teacher Tin wrote the story Noel! Noel! Leon! Leon! which was illustrated by Nina Patricia C. Martinez and published by Adarna House. Here is a little information about this tandem. Teacher Tin won the Salanga Prize back in 2001 for the story Bakit Matagal Ang Sundo Ko? While Nina won the PBBY Wordless Book Prize in 2019 for her work, Ang Mga Sikreto ng Langit at Dagat.

Teacher Tin with Nina Martinez

 1. Why are you writing for children?

I write for children because as a teacher, I work with them and know them well. I am passionate about teaching children, and find joy in seeing how they learn and grow.

 2. How did you break out into the children's book industry?

I officially began writing for children in the year 2000. I was pregnant with my first child and had to go on bedrest, which means I couldn’t teach for a good number of weeks. I wrote Bakit Matagal ang Sundo Ko based on my niece’s “sumbong” about not being fetched on time by my sister and then I remembered my own preschool students who stay with me after school because they are fetched late.  I chanced upon the Salanga Writer’s Prize ad in the newspaper and I decided to enter my story there without knowing anything about the writing and publishing world. Lo and behold, my story won!  Then after that, I started to take writing for children seriously as I respected the award so much.

3. Give three words or phrase to describe your Kuwentong Musmos Workshop experience?

Kuwentong Musmos Workshop experience: nerve-racking, exciting, enlightening!

4. What is the book you wish you had written and why?

There are soooo many books I wish I had written, (some were even written in kuwentong musmos!) but my favorite would be Papel de Liha by Ompong Remigio and Beth Parrocha Doctolero. I absolutely love the sense of sweet and calm you feel in the mother and daughter’s relationship (totally the opposite of my life with 3 boys and 1 girl- na parang boy na rin!) and how it placed so much value in the mother’s role as a servant leader in keeping the home in order physically and psychologically.

5. What are your 5 tips for aspiring children's book writers?

What really helps me write is asking people I trust to read any attempts I have at writing a story. As for tips, keep reading children’s books and spend time with children (if you plan to write for kids).

Teacher Tin is a Founding Director for Creative Learning Paths School, a progressive preschool to Gr. 12 educational institution advocating for inclusion and peace education.  She has more than 20 years teaching experience from preschool to college levels.  She is currently a faculty member of the College of Education at De La Salle University.   She a reading specialist as well as a children’s book writer having authored original Filipino children’s picture books for Adarna House, Anvil and Vibal.   She is also a teacher-trainor and formator for Teach Peace Build Peace Movement, a non-profit and non-partisan organization.  Aside from literacy, her advocacies include peace education and the inclusion of children with special needs.  She is married and has four children, two of which are hearing impaired.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Library and Research Skills Instruction: Bibliography and APA Citation Basics

 This month, I had two sessions of library and research skills instruction. 

The first one was with our Grade 10s who are gearing up for Personal Project. I gave a 30 minute talk on bibliography and how the library can help them in their inquiry and research needs. My talk focused more on converting a question, a goal of research and an inquiry into a language of answers.

The second one was with our Grade 9 students who have started working on varied research tasks across subject areas. I had a talk on APA Citation Basics with them during a 30 minute skills session in the Comparative Religions (CRe) or World Religions class. For this group, I focused my talk on the principles behind making a bibliography and the fundamentals of citations. 

Since CRe/World Religions is under the discipline of the social sciences, it is but natural that the World Religions teacher request for a session on APA Citations. Below is the infographic I made for the class.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Online Reading Room: The Room of Rhyme and Reason

 As I am very much fascinated with Online Reading Rooms, here is the third one I made for a Bibliotherapy session in school.

Saturday, September 19, 2020


 Philippines, September 11, 2020 — Painted in shades of storm and sunset, Harry Monzon’s first wordless picture book, Pagkatapos ng Unos, is a story of hope and resilience. It is also a powerful reminder of the vital need to replenish our dying planet.

The pictures tell a simple story. After a typhoon strikes his city, a man abandons his home and loads his meager possessions into a small boat. He navigates perilous floodwaters and—while rescuing a dog from the flood—loses everything except for a little plant. Traveling through the dark night, they reach a quiet place where their new life can take root. 

In these uncertain times, where natural disasters can rob anyone of their place in this world, a book like this can plant a seed of hope. It also opens up meaningful discussions about the environment and what is essential for a sustainable life. 

A wordless picture book can offer children greater freedom to use their imagination and build their own meaning into the story. 

Monzon’s storyboard was awarded the very first PBBY Wordless Book Prize in 2018 on the 35th National Children’s Book Day. This contest was established by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) to encourage the development of this genre in the Philippine children’s book industry. 

Pagkatapos ng Unos is made in the Philippines and published by The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY). The PBBY is a non-stock, nonprofit organization committed to the promotion not only of literacy, but also of the love for books among the Filipino youth through contests and workshops. Each year, the PBBY sponsors the PBBY-Salanga Prize for children’s writing and the PBBY-Alcala Prize for children’s book illustration. These contests have led to the publication of many memorable Filipino children’s books. 

Printed on Fedrigoni Special Paper, the book may be purchased online in paperback format for the retail price of P150 on,, and 


Harry Monzon is an illustrator and graphic designer. He studied literature from the University of Sto. Tomas. Harry is a proud member of Ang llustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK). He offers this book to his father (1954–2019). He is the 2018 PBBY awardee for this wordless book.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Bibliotherapy: Taking Action and Follow Through Activity - Lumikha ng Tula

Read the poem Love by  Czeslaw Milosz. Read it aloud and this time be aware of your thoughts and emotions when you read it.

by Czeslaw Milosz
Love means to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills ----
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.
Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness
It doesn't matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn't always understand.

What images come to mind? What feelings stirred in you? What memory surfaces from your reading of the poem?

As a follow through activity, here are instructions to code, document and record your response to the poem.

1. Look for a photo that matches the theme or the emotion of the poem. 
2. Using a photo app, make a poster, a banner or a social media post using the photo and the poem. Cite your sources and/or attribute properly.
3. Try writing your own poem and juxtapose a photo using a photo app. Below is an example where a poem is written using a photo as background.

Tula ni Paring Bert Alejo SJ August 2020
It can also work the other way. 
You can begin by selecting a photo then write a verse about it. It does not have to rhyme. Stay in that moment of awareness of your feelings and random thoughts. Allow the words to surface. Write it down or type it on your smart phone. 
Preferably, use a photo that you have taken from a walk, a trip out of town or events of every day that caught your attention, objects that look ordinary but it somehow speaks to you of something else entirely.

Using a photo app, create your poem or anecdote, short story or any writing that fits the image. Share it with others when you are ready. You can use social media as a platform for sharing, Google Slide can also work or any web app for sharing of creative works. Be sure to secure a Creative Commons license when you share your work online.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Online Bibliotherapy: Rain Before Rainbows & What Happened When the World Stops

Comfort and Consolation in Rhyme and Reason (Purpose)

In times of challenges, changes and conflict, we can turn to stories and poems for solace, comfort and consolation. Selection of the appropriate literature is key. When we read, engage and share the literature with a companion, a friend, a mentor the experience becomes more meaningful.

  1. Welcome students (and teachers) to the session - Ms Zarah and Ms Sheila

  1. Presentation of Story / Poem: Rain Before Rainbows or What Happened When We All Stopped
  • Reading aloud of Rain Before Rainbows or Viewing of What Happened When We All Stopped

  1. Engagement: 3-2-1 Sanacore Method plus 1 more

  1. Identify THREE important details and summarize them.
  2. Record (write, draw, doodle, make a mind map) TWO things that are of interest to you.
  3. Write ONE question about the poem/story
  4. Share with a group your #2 and #3 output. 
  • Anyone in the group can  respond to #3

IV. Taking Action / Follow Through

  • Make a collage using photos and an app. Write something about it. Choose a theme for your collage. It can be about family, friendship or any topic you wish to explore and develop.
  • Choose a photo and use a photo editing app to write a poem. You can share this with friends and family through social media.
  • Visit Poetry Magnet and write a poem.
  • Make a banner or a poster of your favorite poem, quote or dialogue of an inspirational book or movie character.
  • Explore found poetry, black out poetry and magnetic poetry by visiting the recommended websites and online resources 

V.  Share. Share. Share.
Sharing is caring. :-) 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Online Reading Room: Creation Myths

I am posting the Reading Room I created for the grade 9 Comparative Religions class here in the blog.

This is the second Reading Room and I had fun making them. Strangely enough, it was a stress reliever. As a library service and a part of our library programming, this Reading Room is our way of communicating the content we curate, select and put together. We can always come up with lists, but presenting them with images has more appeal for the eyes especially for those who learn through visual cues and symbols.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Netflix Series Review: Cobra Kai

Netflix Series Review: Cobra Kai
Created by: Josh Heald. Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Based on The Karate Kid film series by Robert Mark Kamen

How did I stumble upon Cobra Kai? I think this question is no longer important. I watched seasons 1 and 2 of this Karate Kid reboot and I was glad I gave it try. It is a sweet drive down to memory lane and revisiting this well loved 80s classic made more sense to me now. There is no more Mr. Miyagi which the content creators and producers made use of exceptionally well to dwell on the grey areas that were never explored in the movies.

And so it begins 30 plus years after the fated loss of Johnny Lawrence to Daniel Larusso. Lawrence remained a loser while Larusso is basking on the fruits of fame, success and the life changing influence that Mr. Miyagi made in his life. Needless to say, they lead opposite lives now that they are about to go over the hill. And that is where everything begins, actually.

Lawrence is seeking redemption. Larusso is hanging on to the wisdom of Mr. Miyagi but fails miserably at it when his rival started to set up a dojo. In between their search for meaning and redemption are new Karate Kids to train, mentor and guide. And they make Cobra Kai more exciting, greyer and complicated for their elders - the ones who love the Karate Kid movies and the adults who play their parents and mentors in the series.

Cobra Kai is filled with 80s nostalgia, including a dream sequence that will remind Gen Xers like me of the MTV back then. Clear storytelling, outrageous clothes, teased hair and amazing music. Well loved characters from both sides of the fence made valuable appearances. Even a visit to Mr. Miyagi's resting place was well shot and appropriately placed an one episode in the first series. Miyagi's memory lives but no one can ever take his place. No, not even Daniel-san.

I enjoyed the episodes where there are shots of the beach, Miyagi's house and the training sessions which Larusso and Lawrence had with their students. The later amplifies the different philosophies of both dojos and the principles that each sensei teach their students. This was not further explored nor elaborated on in the movies but in Cobra Kai, I got to ponder more about the value systems we subscribe to and the beliefs that anchor us to lead a life that is not only good but purposeful.

Overall, Cobra Kai is a good watch for those who love the original materials and this generation of viewers who deal with so many grey issues in society. The season 2 finale left me unsettled though. I could not reconcile the artistic liberties that the film makers made with real life events, especially violence in a school. But, this is the America as we know it now where shootings happen in spaces we thought were sanctuaries and issues of racism remains in the collective consciousness despite the integration of different ethnicities in society at large.

Rating - 4/5

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Lighthouse Diary Entry #23: Statistics as Science and Story

A grade 10 student asked me about the NBA and statistics. Thanks to the student's Personal Project Supervisor and PP Coordinator for this chance to connect with a fan of the NBA from one of our students.

Yes, I am an NBA fan. I miss the Spurs not playing in this year’s playoffs and the Splash Brothers’ entertaining game. As a fan I look at statistics as science and story. 

As a science, a player’s statistic is one way to determine his or her progress and potential, areas for growth, aspects that need improvement on like shooting ranges in areas that are too difficult to make one in the first place. Apart from what you said, the coaching staff can use a team’s statistic to identify more plays that will work for them and mix-match combination of players. Steve Kerr is very good at this. This way, a coach is also able to predict winning or losing a game.

These are things we know as fans from watching and following the NBA games. We can look at sports science particularly on basketball, the NBA and how coaches approach the game so that they win games. Credible game analysts can also be referred too.

The science of the stats is interesting but the story of the stat and how athletes, coaches and fans respond to it is fascinating. The Warriors are a third quarter team as the stats show. They pull in points and plays at the third quarter. Why is that? Is this good for a championship team? This is where we see athletes and coaches going beyond what they can do, defying physical and mental limits and succeeding or failing in the end. As fans, we are in this journey with them. 

Klay Thompson’s Game 6 performances in the past 3 championships are filled with mind blowing stats! How can he score 20 or more points in one quarter and pull the team from the pit of loss? That is heroic and the stats prove it. It makes for a good storytelling at dinner time when we miss watching the Warriors in this season’s playoff. Now, Klay Thompson is recovering from an injury. Will he be the same player we know him to be? We will have to watch and his stats will show the science and the story.

This is how I view stats. Predicting who will win or lose is the end to itself. But sports engages us because there is a far more interesting science in the game and an amazing story of individual athletes and the collective effort of a team.

So, as for your question on what platform to use, Google has accessible tools. Spread sheet, yes. Present the highlights and cumulative data in a Google Site. You can also visualize the data using visualisation tools. For this, research on which tool is the most accessible and easy to learn. From one NBA fan to another, I hope you will be able to see the beauty of the science in basketball by looking at stats and be inspired by the marvelous feats of such athletes. Derive inspiration from their stories in victory and in loss. What awaits you is an insight, a universal truth or a significant discovery about the human spirit and humanity’s capability to survive and thrive in adversity.

Let me know if you need specific resources. Good luck on your PP! 
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