Tuesday, June 19, 2012

National Children's Book Day (NCBD) 2012

This year, the PBBY throws its support for the mother tongues initiative of the Department of Education while maintaining its conviction that the creation and preparation of content should reflect a positive preference for local authors, illustrators and other content creators and an enlightened respect for the true value of their intellectual property rights.

20 June 2012

Dear Friends,

National Children’s Book Day (NCBD) is just around the corner. The Philippine Board on Books for Young People will once again spearhead the event on July 17, 2012 at the Museo Pambata. This year, Dean Dina Joana Ocampo of the UP College of Education, will deliver the keynote address on the theme:

Masayang Magbasa sa Sariling Wika!

The winners of the 2012 PBBY-Salanga Prize and PBBY-Alcala Prize will be awarded to Russell Molina and Hubert Fucio, respectively.

In behalf of the PBBY, I enjoin you to celebrate NCBD in your school, library and learning community. Here are suggested NCBD activities which you can do:

1. Conduct storytelling sessions in classrooms and libraries.
2. Organize a Filipino Children’s Book Character Parade.
3. Invite a Filipino author and/or illustrator to speak to children.
4. Hold contests on story writing and illustrating. (This can be a follow-up activity to the author and illustrator visit.)
5. Display past winning books of the PBBY-Salanga and the PBBY-Alcala prizes in the library. (The PBBY website, http://www.pbby.org.ph, has the list of winners.)
6. Stage your own Best Reads event with parents, teachers and students. Remember to focus on Filipino books for children and young adults!
7. Invite parents, school officials, teachers and other members of the learning community to talk about books they grew up with.
8. Drum up this year's theme by showcasing Filipino books that exemplify: Masayang Magbasa sa Sariling Wika.
9. Publish or display (online or in the school paper) reviews of Filipino storybooks by students.
10. Read a Filipino children's book or YA novel.

Please remember that the NCBD celebration is not exclusive to PBBY. We would be very pleased to hear news of your NCBD celebration in your community. Send us a note or photos of your NCBD 2012 events and we will feature them on our blog and website. You may also request a poster from the PBBY secretariat (3526765 local 203/120).

Thank you very much. Happy National Children’s Book Day!


Zarah C. Gagatiga
PBBY Chair

Saturday, April 30, 2011

"About Literary Bests" by Ursula K Le Guin

The National Children's Book Awards was inspired in part by this thoughtful essay by the writer Ursula K Le Guin who wonders why and whether comparing works or art should be reduced to a sporting competition. To read the essay and visit her website, please click here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

2011 Winner of the PBBY Alcala-Illustrators' Prize Announcement

Illustrations by Grand Prize Winner, Yasmin Doctor

Honorable Mention, Leo Agtuca

Honorable Mention, Jonathan Ranolla III

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Books that hurt—and heal

by Neni Sta. Romana Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:41:00 04/01/2011

Filed Under: Children, Books

MANILA, Philippines--If plans did not go awry, this season would have been the nomination period for the National Children’s Book Awards, a collaboration between the National Book Development Board and the Philippine Board on Books for Young People which began last year, for books published in 2008 and 2009. Out of 131 books reviewed by the judges, only six were selected as fine examples and models of Philippine children’s book publishing. These titles represent four publishers: “Araw sa Palengke” (Adarna House) written by May Tobias-Papa and illustrated by Isabel Roxas; “Tuwing Sabado” (Lampara Books) written by Russell Molina and illustrated by Sergio Bumatay III; “Can We Live on Mars?” (Adarna House) written by Gidget Roceles-Jimenez and illustrated by Bru; “Lub-Dub, Lub-Dub” (Bookmark) written by Russell Molina and illustrated by Jomike Tejido; “Tagu-Taguan” (Tahanan Books) written and illustrated by Jomike Tejido; and “Just Add Dirt” (Adarna) written by Becky Bravo and illustrated by Jason Moss.

The titles selected were themselves a commentary on the state of Philippine children’s literature. Genres represented are realistic fiction, nonfiction on science, biography and a counting poem. Of this limited crop, two names belong to two books. Read that as Russell Molina and Jomike Tejido being exceptionally talented, which they really are.

The 2nd NCBA would have reviewed all books published in 2010. Unfortunately, the current body of published titles with only about 34 titles does not appear to warrant a yearly competition for now. It was therefore decided that the NCBA be held on alternate years until the publishing situation brightens. Details for the nomination period for the 2012 NCBA will be announced at the National Children’s Book Day ceremonies on the third Tuesday of July.

The happy note is that this revision will coincide with the 150th anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal’s birth and hopefully result in new Rizaliana for the youth. What is also a very welcome development is that two recent children’s books have dared to touch on what would otherwise be dismissed as topics not appropriate or too sensitive for children.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

UP literature professor wins Rizal-themed 2011 PBBY-Salanga Prize!

The Philippine Board on Books for Young People awards the 2011 PBBY-Salanga Prize to Eugene Evasco, a professor of creative writing and children’s literature of the College of Arts and Letters in the University of the Philippines Diliman.
This year’s PBBY-Salanga Prize called for Rizal-inspired stories, in preparation for the national hero’s 150th birth anniversary. Evasco’s entry entitled “Rizaldy” is about a boy who was named after the holiday on which he was born: Rizal Day. Honorable mention goes to a story about Rizal’s childhood, “Pepe’s Gift” by Patricia Marie Grace Gomez of Bacolod City.
Evasco shall receive PhP 20,000.00, a gold medal, as well as the opportunity to be published. This is his second PBBY-Salanga Grand Prize, having won the award in 1997 for the story “Federico.”
For inquiries about the contest, contact the PBBY Secretariat at telephone number 352-6765 loc. 203 or e-mail pbby(at)adarna.com.ph.
More details to be posted soon at our institutional website. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Must we buy books we want to read?

by Neni Sta. Romana Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:46:00 11/26/2010
Inquirer. net Filed Under: Education

“Life happened because I turned the pages.” —Alberto Manguel, A History of Reading (1996)

BAY AREA, San Francisco—If I cannot restrain myself from talking about public libraries in a developed country—the one (and only) principal reason I envy the life here—it is really to highlight how literacy and access to books ought to be a basic right that each and every citizen enjoys.

No, I do not have the illusion that American society is not confronted with a declining literacy rate and a fading interest in books. But its citizens are constantly reading more than we do. They read while waiting for the train or a concert, on train rides, even in the course of a morning walk—all of them keeping a book or even a Kindle on hand so that no time is ever wasted. I’d crane my neck, curious to know what they are reading. Most of them carry copies from their public library, as the library name was prominently stamped on the books. (Yes, many others are busy with their mobile phones.)

How could this habit have been acquired if these readers were not immersed in their early years in schools and an effective public library system? No wonder American comic strip characters make a big fuss about acquiring a library card. A library card is indeed a proud badge to own.

Marvin Atienza, a Chevron executive in Concord, recounts that in his school library in Cavite, he would salivate before the locked bookcase of the complete set of brown and gold gilded Encyclopedia Britannica volumes, something he could not yet be allowed to borrow because he was just in grade school.

Fortunately, today’s enlightened teachers know that when the inclination is there, prescribed learning dates should be thrown out the window. Seize the teaching moment as it comes few and far between.

Bless Marvin’s curiosity for not being doused. He went on to become the very first student in his grade school to become a scholar at the Philippine Science High School where he thrived in being constantly challenged. Today in the book paradise that is the US, he is a public library regular and takes pride in having a library card.

Fellow reading advocate RayVi Sunico continues to remind of this contradiction: we, a country whose economy has yet to boost the quality of life and purchasing power, are the very country that has to purchase books that we need. Little wonder that between the more basic needs and books, books are easily dismissed as luxuries.

RayVi’s tireless refrain on the paradox: “A good public library system means reading is not dependent on purchasing power. This is why I point out that the richer the country, the less money people have to spend on buying books.”

Let me not be perceived as merely raving and ranting about the absence and the dismal state of existing public libraries in the country. To date, no one has challenged my lamentations, but I continue to patiently wait, as only reactions in unison with my views have come in.

And there seems to be a glimmer of hope. I stumbled on what appears to be positive news from Mindanao: In 2009 the Davao City Public Library headed by Nora Fe Alajar had been selected by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as the most outstanding public library in the country. The library in downtown Davao promotes reading among the children in 14 villages through its mobile libraries. Other libraries in the short list were those in Dagupan, Angeles, Zamboanga, Bacolod and Talisay.

There is a blog anonymously run by “Mindanao Librarian, Region XII, Philippines.” I’m impressed that she does not bother to identify herself except to say, “I am passionate about public and school libraries being socially-inclusive learning spaces. I am also a staunch advocate of reader development, particularly for the traditionally marginalized Mindanaoans. I have great faith in the power of information to transform individuals and communities. I dream of the day when Mindanaoan children will be better able to navigate and compete in a world driven more and more by new information challenges.” Shouldn’t that be every librarian’s credo?

What’s even more heartwarming is that she actually enjoys reading—and lists Jessica Zafra’s “Twisted” series among her favorites—and keeps abreast with what’s current, what’s popular and what might appeal to reluctant readers. For how can a love of reading (a truly tired phrase today) be passed on if the librarian does not have it herself? The Mindanao Librarian needs to be lauded and publicly acknowledged.

National Book Week carries this incredibly ponderous theme, “Pandaigdigang Pakikipag-ugnayan sa Pamamagitan ng mga Aklat at Impormasyong Teknolohiya at Komunikasyon.” Could we not do as well with something catchy and memorable as these popular slogans, “Hooked on Books,” “Get Caught Reading,” or “Any Day, Any Time, Any Book,” in Filipino?

Neni Sta. Romana Cruz is a member of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People, the Foundation for Worldwide People Power, and a trustee of the Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation.