Filipino Readers Make It Social~ by Tarie Sabido
Wondering about the Filipino reading community? Filipino readers are social readers. We don’t just love books; we unite with other book lovers and meet both online and offline to discuss books. We regularly meet with our book clubs or other reading organizations in person, and we use social media to keep in touch between meetings. The first Filipino online and offline book club was Flips Flipping Pages. Flips Flipping Pages meets every second Saturday of the month for food, games and other activities, and discussions of books – everything from Dr. Seuss books, the Hunger Games, and Howl’s Moving Castle, to Wicked, the Little Prince, and the Left Hand of Darkness. Their website serves as a bulletin and discussion board. Their latest online discussion being on books they would recommend to school children and books they would like to be part of the elementary and high school curricula.
Another online and offline reading group is Filipino Book Bloggers, an informal organization that started as an online directory and grew to include regular meet-ups. Click here to see a list of some Filipino children’s book bloggers and here to see a list of some Filipino young adult book bloggers.
Last year, the Filipino reading community organized the first Filipino Reader Conference. The event was held on September 14 at the Manila International Book Fair, and included a keynote speech on the merging of readers and writers through social media, a panel on putting up and running a book club, a panel on the whys and hows of book blogging, and giveaways. Speakers included Tata Francisco, teacher and founder of Ex Libris Philippines, a book club and an organization that raises money for scholarships, and Chachic Fernandez, popular young adult book blogger and administrator of Filipino Book Bloggers. The conference provided support, instruction, and social time for readers; celebrated readers and reading; and promoted closer ties between readers, writers, and publishers.
The second Filipino Reader Conference is this August 18 and will be bigger and better, with book discussions, presentations on topics such as book blogging ethics and effective school reading programs, and the ceremony for the first Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards.
The Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards seek to honor Philippine-published books and give the Filipino reading public a greater voice in the Philippine publishing industry. The award categories include children’s picture books, comics/graphic novels, short story anthologies, and essay anthologies. (Next year will probably see young adult novels added as a category as more are published in the country.) There will be a two-week online nomination period, followed by a one-week online voting period. A shortlist of finalists for each category will be based on the top nominations and the tally of votes. The finalists will then be deliberated by panels of reader-judges. For example, the winner of the children’s picture book category will be determined by a panel of young readers.
In the Philippines, reading is a social activity. In cyber space and in person, Filipino readers engage with one another and very actively promote books and reading!
Tarie Sabido is an English teacher and editor in the Philippines. She blogs about children’s and YA books at Into the Wardrobe and Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind, and writes for Kwentillion, the Philippines’ first YA science fiction and fantasy magazine. Tarie was a judge for the 4th Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (CYBILS) and the 1st Philippine National Children’s Book Awards.
We were thrilled to have Tarie join us as PaperTigers’ Global Voices Guest Blogger for the month of June. This is her final guest post of three: Part 1 of her series “Best Reads from the Philippines at the 3rd Asian Festival of Children’s Content” was posted here . Part 2 “Watch Out for New Young Adult Literature from the Philippines!” was posted here.
Award-winning author Rene Colato Lainez will be joining us as our Global Voices Guest Blogger for July .