Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Slaysayan 2006 Update

I received these fantastic invites from Ani Almarion today.


On July 1, 2006, I will be judging the elimination rounds of the Salaysayan 2006 contest. There are 30 contestants in the Filipino Division while the English Division has 15 contenders. The contest will be held at the National Library from 9.00 a.m. till 5.00 p.m. It is going to be a marathon contest, but I'm sure inisights as to how storytelling in the Philippines has evolved will be ripe.



Come July 18, 2006, PBBY will recognize people, organizations and institutions who continously helped in the development of Philippine Chidlren's Literature.

* Graphics are by Pepper Roxas

Thursday, June 22, 2006

5th Barlaya Writing for Children Workshop

Adarna House, the country's leading children's book publisher, is mounting the 5th Barlaya Writing for Children Workshop. Barlaya is designed to help aspiring writers for children enhance their craft.

Ten writing fellows will be chosen based on the merit of their submitted stories. Interested parties should submit three copies of one (1) original, unpublished story to Adarna House at Room 102 JGS building, 30 Scout Tuazon St., Quezon City.
Entries should be typewritten, double-spaced, and should not exceed five pages. All entries should be accompanied by a one-page backgrounder on the writer.
The deadline of submission is 5:00 PM, Friday, August 11, 2006.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

It's NCBD next month!

I am supposed to write about budget cuts and how libraries are the first to suffer (or is it the Arts & Humanities? I don't really know what is the pecking order. But one thing is for sure, when schools and the academe goes on cost cutting measures, expect that libraries are in the top roster of the chopping block) when institutions of learning are short of money, however, I choose to anticipate the forthcoming National Children's Book Day 2006. It's a more exciting event -- and inspiring at that so let me offer a glimpse of this year's NCBD.

Then again, should you want a personal side of the "budget cut" story, go to my other blog.

This year, honorable winners of the Salanga and Alcala prizes will be awarded. The
Salaysayan contest will be held a few weeks before so that winners will also be heralded on July 18, 2006 at the National Library. New titles of books will be launched and guest children will be performing. The greater news this year is that, NCBD is already recognized by the DepEd as an annual MUST for all public elementary school in the Philippines to celebrate. Isn't that grand?

There will also be awardees this year who all have contributed to the promotion and development of reading, literacy and Philippine Children's Literature. Now I'm saving that for my official NCBD post next month. Better watch out for it.

For the meantime, I leave you with Commisioner Ocampo's article on
books, reading and Jose Rizal
. He was the guest of honor in last year's NCBD celebrations. This essay he wrote for gracing the PBBY event, and of course, as historian. It tells us a lot about our national hero, more so, the culture of reading in the Philippines.

Monday, June 19, 2006

IASL Books for Children

Straight from the horse's mouth, so they say! IASL has granted the Philippines a Book Award via the unrelenting efforts of Ms. Hermie Salazar from the University of Northeastern Philippines.

Congrats, Hermie! I am proud of you!

The International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) has awarded grants to three schools in developing countries to enable them to purchase library books. The awards totalling US $1000 were made possible through a fund raising auction held at the IASL Conference held in Hong Kong, in 2005. In making the awards, IASL President Peter Genco noted that the recipients of the IASL Books for Children awards each had to guarantee shelves, space, personnel and service and verify this through a letter or other documentation by the school principal or designated supervisor.

The recipients for 2006 are:
Mrs. Judith Oyugi of St. Josephs Combined Preparatory School in Nyanza Province in Kenya. Many children are orphaned as a result of HIV/Aids and the school is addressing the educational needs of many children. The grant will allow the school to purchase textbooks and readers for the school library.

Mr. Antony Chiwaka of The Heritage School, Harare in Zimbabwe. The Heritage school has 600 students but few books for reference purposes. The grant will enable the school librarian, Mr. Chiwaka, to purchase books that are updated and provide better access for students for their learning.

Herminigilda H. Salazar from the University of Northeastern Philippines, Iriga City in the Philippines. The High School department within the University has 626 students and will use the grant to improve the reference collection as well as books on science, literature, mathematics and computer science.

The International Association of School Librarianship comprises personal, association and institution members from over 80 countries. Through the improvement of school libraries and school library programs as a vital component of education, the Association is committed to enabling young people to develop literary and cultural appreciation and to use information effectively. Information about membership and the awards program is available on the IASL website: www.iasl-slo.org and from the IASL Secretariat, email: iasl@kb.com.au
IASL Secretariat, PO Box 83, Zillmere, Queensland 4034, Australia

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Boys in the Library

My yearly library orientation for grade 7 students is scheduled next. The rest of the librarians in my department began orientation today. I marvel at how patient the Primary Librarians are to the lower grades boys (Prep to Gr. 3). Having been assigned to work and teach intermediates for the past six years, I'm pretty sure that if I get to handle the primaries again, I would be making a big adjustment. But, just the same, it would be a delight. Children, boys or girls, in all their toxicity, are a wonderful lot!

This morning, I saw how excited my nine year old son was upon receipt of his borrowers card. He borrowed four books, all from the Magic Tree House series. At lunch time, the library was a full house. Good thing we had very good (and new) air-conditioning units. Tony R., our circulation man, held out a five inch thick pile of book cards (Sorry folks. We're not automated yet). Now those were the books borrowed only for the day. Just imagine how many books we'll circulate in the next three months. And with it goes the pile of books Tony R (also our resident book doctor) will be repairing.

I don't know about your school library, but every year, we have carts and carts of books for repair. For boys, books are not only reading materials, they're like toys to tear apart. When they can't put it back together, enter the book doctor.

Don't think that we don't teach them how to care for the books. We do. And we never tire repeating the value of conservation and respect for intellectual property. You see, for us in our school library, intellectual property is also the understanding that physical books hold great value a smuch as the ideas and the content put in by the authors, illustrators and publishers.

But kids are kids. Boys will be boys. One teacher once sighed, "when will they ever learn?"

I'm keeping my faith on the boys.

Teaching is like gardening, you see. You'll never know if the plant will grow but, you tend it every way you can. A teacher can never really, truly assess learning, but a teacher does what needs to be done.

That holds true with children's libraries. It is better to do something than to not do anything at all.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Pinoy Podcast

I got this nifty announcement from Jannette Toral, the Digital Filipino. I sure would love to know how to podcast.

The 5th episode of the DigitalFilipino.com Podcast is now online. As we are celebrating ICT month and the 6th anniversary of the Philippines E-Commerce Law or Republic Act 8792, we will be having 4 episodes, every Friday, for the month of June. We will return to our twice-a-month podcast on July.

This episode is made possible by AboitizLand, American Power Conversion, and Creative Voices Productions.

For this episode, we have the following segments:

- DigitalFilipino.com Updates (Manila club eyeball, updates in Bead Club Philippines, the APC data center road tour experience with Ian de la Rosa)

- DigitalFilipino.com Events featuring Wilson Ng to talk about the forthcoming InTourPreneur event in Cebu City.

- Chat with Janette featuring DigitalFilipino.com Club Members:

1. Jay Frank De Jesus of TitikPilipino as he celebrates the 9th anniversary of his website and share his lessons learned in making his hobby site to a profitable venture.

2. Jovel Cipriano of PinoyDelikasi sharing his growth experience and the expansion of his dotcom endeavours with GalingPinoy.

- Ask Janette (tackling the significance of the Philippines E-Commerce Law and shared tips on top 10 gaming design techniques)

To listen to this podcast, visit

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Let your voice be heard!

Join Salaysayan 2006

Got the knack for telling stories? Get something out of it by joining Salaysayan 2006, the nationwide storytelling contest organized by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People.

Salaysayan 2006 is a book-based storytelling competition open to both amateurs and professionals aged 21 and above. There shall be two categories: Filipino and English. Winners from each category shall get P20,000 for the First Prize; P10,000 for the Second Prize; and P5,000 for the Third Prize.

For inquiries, and if you want to obtain application forms, email events@adarna.com.ph or call 372-35-48 loc 110 and look for Vanessa. Deadline of entries is on June 24, 2006.

Join and be heard, this is your chance at becoming one of the Philippines’ finest storytellers. The stage awaits you!

Salaysayan 2006 is organized in partnership with Anvil Publishing, Hiyas, Growers, RCBC, and Vibal Publishing.

Monday, June 5, 2006

Helping Libraries

I have been interviewed recently by AHON, a foundation that will help libraries in support of literacy development. Headed in collaboration by Filway Marketing and Harvey Keh, the brainchild behind Pathways to Education, it shall be holding training sessions for library personnel in the public school library system. Last I heard about AHON, it is pooling its resources to donate boook sto spublic school libraries.

This is good. More and more NGO's (Non Government Organizations) are made awrae of the value of libraries as avenues for learning and qcauisition of literacy skills. What I specially like about AHON is its initiative to train people in charge of the school libraries. Stocking up a library with books is one thing, building the manpower to manage the content and knowledeg found in books is another.

The again, it poses a not so pleasant image to government agnecies in charge of empowering library personnel and library resources. Are they not supposed to spearhead such initiatives. I may be wrong, you know, so inform me of a government project (Library Hub aside) that is helping liraries grow. In this country beset by bad news, a little good news is enough to keep our hopes afloat.

On a more hopeful note, Scholastic Inc. has unleashed its marketing arsenal this school year. After attending Dianne delas Casas' dynamic workshop on Storytelling last May 13, 2006, Scholastic is gearing up for an exciting and competitive school year ahead. Its reach has widened, covering schools and conducting book fairs as far as Batangas and Cavite. They too has decided to give back to the community that made them who they are in the publishing and book selling industry. They have come up with projects to help public schools acquire books for the classroom. one of these is the Newspaper Drive - Classrom Library Project. A class or school can bring old newspapers and convert them into library corners in the classroom. For more inquiries look go their website.

This may seem to be an unabashed promotional lift, but I don't do this if the product or project is below standard. The project fosters a reading culture, besides so it is worthy of sharing with others. Keep reading! Keep helping libraries!
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