30th National Children’s Book Day ~ July 16th ~ Philippines!

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Tomorrow, July 16th, is the 30th National Children’s Book Day in the Philippines. Events will taking place tomorrow and throughout the remainder of July to celebrate this special day.national children's book day Highlights include:

paw_sm_MCPBBY (Philippine Board on Books for Young People) will be presenting the 2013  PBBY Alcala (Illustrator) and Salanga (Writer) Prizes  tomorrow at the Cultural Centre of the Philipinnes. Dominic Agsaway, an illustrator from Bulacan and a member of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang InK) is the winner of the Alcala Prize with honorable mentions going to artists Sergio Bumatay III and Francin Cruz. Teacher Michael Jude C. Tumamac has won the Salanga Prize for his story, “Ngumiti si Andoy,” a story inspired by the life of Andres Bonifacio. Honorable mentions go to Mark Anthony Angeles and April Jade Biglaen. Learn more about these awards and the prize ceremony here. 

paw_sm3The Children’s Literature Association of the Philippines, Inc. (CLAPI) will be hosting a forum on Reading Beyond Borders to be held at the P. Gomez Elementary School Auditorium, Sta. Cruz Manila on July 16th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.


“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw

In celebration of National Children’s Book Day and as part of UP LF’s 17th anniversary celebration week there will be a forum on children’s literature entitled Child’s Play on July 17th at the C.M. Recto Hall, Faculty Center. Find out more about the event here and more about the speakers here.


Watch Tanghalang Pilipino’s musical adaptation of the children’s book Sandosenang Sapatos (A Dozen Pairs of Shoes) by Dr. Luis Gatmaitan! Sandosenang Sapatos, the Musical runs from July 13 to 21 at Tanghalang Huseng Batute in the Cultural Center of the Philippines. For ticket information click here.

paw_sm3 On July 20th, PBBY in partnership with Adarna House and University of San Jose-Recoetos invites public and private school librarians to BASA! MGA KAPATID! A Free Seminar on Library Activities and Book Reviewing. Featured speakers are Zarah Gagatiga  and our favorite Filipina blogger Tarie Sabido who is also (woot! woot!) the incoming PBBY chair!!!

paw_sm_MCIn celebration of National Children’s Book Day, The University of the Philippines (Diliman) in cooperation with Save the Children Philippines presents Child Language, Language Independent: Book Playground for Education. This two day conference will take place July 25 and 26th and will feature selected speakers who will “discuss children’s book value in the promotion of advanced education and being critical of the language production of children’s books”. More details are here.

paw_sm3To find out about more National Children’s Day celebrations, do visit blogger extraordinaire, Tarie Sabido over at Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind. Tarie is always our go to gal for details on what’s happening in the world of Filipino kidlit and we were pleased to have her join us last year as Guest Blogger where she shared more about the world of Filipino kidlit with us  (read her guest posts by clicking here). She also featured prominently in our October 2009 PaperTigers issue Children’s literature from the Philippines and the Filipino diaspora.

free seminar National Children's Book Fay Philippines

PaperTigers’ Global Voices: Tarie Sabido (Philippines) ~ Part 3

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Filipino Readers Make It Social~ by Tarie Sabido

Part 3 of 3 (read Part 1 “Best Reads from the Philippines at the 3rd Asian Festival of Children’s Content” here and Part 2 “Watch Out for New Young Adult Literature from the Philippines!here)

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 .

Filipino books for children: "good stories" or "good for you stories"?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

In 2008 the Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) began putting more emphasis on programs to ensure cultural diversity, conducting educational activities and building Asia-Pacific networks with the goal of protecting and maintaining diverse cultures around the globe. One of the many events that resulted from their commitment, was the “Artists of Children’s Books in Asia, Africa and Latin America Symposium,” which Corinne blogged about in August.

Among the people invited to present on the realities of book creators and publishers in different parts of the world and the role of picture books in culturally diverse societies was Karina Bolasco, founder of Anvil, a Filipino publishing company. In her paper “The Complicated Pleasures of Children’s Books,” she offers that, in her opinion, young Filipino writers, as a result of the country’s history, “have been unwittingly weighed down by a long tradition of moralism and didacticism,” something she believes has led to many moral tales and “issue” books, and not enough stories “children can just read for pleasure and delight in.”

Her views of where her country stands in terms of writing and publishing for children and where it may/should be headed, add depth to our current focus on children’s books from/about the Philippines. For more on the topic, read her article “Towards Homes Filled With Books.” Both her texts help us learn a little more about the challenges publishers, authors, illustrators and promoters of literacy face in the Philippines, as well as the opportunities and possibilities that lay ahead of them.

Dipping into the Filipino Kidlitosphere…

Monday, November 16th, 2009

With our current focus on the Philippines, I have been exploring Filipino blogs – and indeed, this post would have gone live a couple of hours ago if my attention hadn’t been caught by this or that blog post!

I already know and follow Into the Wardrobe – and indeed Tarie has been a major contributor to this issue of PaperTigers: read her interviews with authors Carla Pacis, Dorina Lazo Gilmore (reprint) and Edna Cabcabin Moran (reprint). Tarie is also one of this year’s Cybils judges, in the Science Fiction and Fantasy category, so she definitely has her finger on the pulse of what’s out there!

Also Zarah at School Librarian in Action – Zarah opens up the world of Filippino children’s literature and is always happy to share events with us here at PaperTigers. As current president of PBBY, the Philippines chapter of IBBY, she’s another person who seems to know everything that’s going on – definitely another blog to follow!

Of the other blogs I’ve come across, I’ve found plenty of interest at Masayang Mgbasa!, publisher Adarna House’s blog; and I love illustrator and all-round artist Mark Salvatus’ blog – his current art projects are very different to his illustrations for Papa’s House, Mama’s House, which I blogged about recently! I’ve also enjoyed reading Nitoy’s Homeschool Journal and Children, Books and Life Lessons, writer Jean Lee C. Patindol’s blog.

And I’ve read some very moving posts too – writer and illustrator May Tobias Papa describing the devastation to her family’s home during the recent flooding in the Philippines, alongside delightful musings on her small son’s discovery of reading; and writer Dean Alfar’s up-to-the-minute detailings of lack of running water and power-cuts in the wake of Typhoon Ondoy and, most recently, his beautiful eulogy to an old friend, all at his blog Notes from the Peanut Gallery.

So go ahead and dip into these blogs – and if you have any other recommendations do let us know!

You can read more about the devastation caused by Typhoon Onday at TyphoonOnday.org and its sister-site OndayRelief.org, where you can also make a donation to the relief fund.

CANVAS and the "Romeo Forbes Story Writing Competition"

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Our focus on Filipino children’s book authors and illustrators wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the Romeo Forbes Story Writing Competition. Established in 2005 by CANVAS, a non-stock, non-profit organization committed to promoting awareness of and appreciation for Philippine art, culture and the environment, the competition was named after the young and highly accomplished illustrator of CANVAS’ first book project, who passed away in 2006 at the age of 24.

The idea behind the contest is simple: a Filipino artist, officially designated as CANVAS Fellow of the Year, is commissioned by CANVAS to create an original, large scale painting. The painting then becomes the “inspiration piece” of a writing competition (in English or Filipino) open to Filipino writers anywhere. The selected winning entry is illustrated as a series of large scale paintings by the same artist and published as a full color children’s book, with the original paintings showcased as a major solo exhibition for the artist.

This year’s winner, announced in April, was (more…)

From Books to Stage… inspired by the art of Frances Alcaraz

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

In 2008 Ballet Manila staged a three-part production inspired by some of Lola Basyang’s tales. Penned by Severino Reyes, Lola Basyang’s granny figure is one of the most beloved characters in Filipino literature. The three stories chosen for the ballet were published by Anvil Publishing, retold by Christine S. Bellen and illustrated by Frances Alcaraz.

A forum, “Pages to Pirouettes: Exploring Visual Literature in Ballets,” was also held in connection with the ballet opening. I asked Frances Alcaraz, whose gallery feature is currently highlighted on the PaperTigers website, to tell us a little bit about the project and her involvement in it. These pictures and words are what she shared with me:

The “Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” ballets were the first theatrical adaptation of the books that stayed faithful to the source. The director of Ballet Manila, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, and her production team chose three books from the 15 books in the series. All three books happened to be illustrated by me and since dance is also very a visual art, they asked if I would be involved in the process.

To help promote the ballets, we held a forum and exhibit at the Ateneo De Manila University. The speakers at the forum discussed the visual process of translating the books into ballets. I talked about the process of illustrating the books. Macuja-Elizalde, who was also one of the choreographers, discussed the considerations of translating the works into ballets and Jonathan Janolo, the production designer, discussed the challenges involved in staging the ballets.

For “Mahiwagang Biyulin,” the choreographer wanted a gigantic version of the book to be the background, so I recreated the book without the characters. At the finale, all three book covers appeared on stage along with some pages from inside the book.

Comparing these photos, from “Kapatid ng Tatlong Marya” (The Brother of the Tree Marias) and “Mahywagang Biyulin” (The Enchanted Violin), with the ones shown on Frances’ gallery, we see how beautifully her illustrations came to life on stage! Thanks for sharing these images and words with us, Frances, and congratulations on your and Ballet Manila’s fantastic work!

photos: ©Ballet Manila

Children’s Literature from/about the Philippines

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Now, more than ever, other countries and customs affect our everyday lives, wherever we live, making it crucial to teach our children about the wealth of cultures our world is home to.

This time, our newly added website features focus on the Philippines, whose unique history and complex cultural amalgamation have created a rich legacy borne out in its children’s literature.

By paying tribute to both old and new narratives in English from and about the country, and to the talented writers and illustrators who bring them to life, we hope to encourage readers to explore the bigger—much bigger!—picture of children’s literature from the Philippines and the Filipino diaspora.

Please keep in mind that we will continue to explore the topic here, on the blog, through the end of November, so make sure to stop by again to join in the conversation! We are counting on your feedback—and really appreciate your help with spreading the word on these features, too.

Heartfelt thanks are very much in order to Filipino editor and English teacher Tarie Sabido, who blogs at Into the Wardrobe, for her interviews and book review contributions. Thanks a million, Tarie!