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Keeping Your PC Clean

Keeping Your PC Clean

Have you noticed that your PC has been taking longer and longer to accomplish the simplest of tasks? Maybe it's time to do some housekeeping. Check out the five steps listed in "Keeping Your PC Clean" by Maryanne Murray Buechner (Time, 18 April 2005). And no, you don't have to pay for anything. It's free!


I Love Philippines?

It's good to know that I'm not the only one wondering...

I don't pretend to be proficient in the English language, but I think there is something wrong in the advertising slogan of the Dept. of Tourism. It says "I Love Philippines." I think it lacks the article “the.” It should read "I Love the Philippines."

--Paul R. Mortel quoted in "Running gags and comic set-ups" by Nestor Torre (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 28 April 2005).
For more information about this campaign, see Tourism's Ace: I Love Philippines, Biyahe Na! (21 February 2005).

Related posts:

The Philippines are or is?
The Philippines


Top Ten Stupid Mistakes MA and PhD Students Make

If you are currently finishing your thesis or know someone who is—or just plain fed up cataloging terribly written theses and dissertations—take time to read "Nice to meet you slkwerli" by The Kung Fu Librarian [digression: she's for real; check out The Art].

Who says librarians are humorless? The reference to "incestuous research"—among other things—is seriously hilarious! Just a caveat, she can be very eloquent with her language, so parental guidance is advised.


Do Libraries Still Matter?

From "Do Libraries Still Matter?" by Daniel Akst (Carnegie Reporter, Spring 2005):

Nobody can reliably predict the far-off future, but for libraries, the digital information revolution raises a host of existential questions about the present. In this day of Amazon, the Internet, hundreds of cable channels and ubiquitous computing, what is the role of the institutions Andrew Carnegie thought were so important that he devoted himself and a good bit of his fortune to propagating them?
This article is a good starting point for a newcomer to our field, as well as something to think about... for everyone else!


What's better than...?

Yesterday, commencement exercises were held at the University of the Philippines, my alma mater. I wasn't there two years ago when Butch Jimenez was the commencement speaker, but just about everyone in the Philippines read or heard about what he said. Two years later, what he said is still very true:

What's better than focusing on the negative?
Focus on the positive.

What's better than working hard?
It's working smart.

What's better than dreaming?

What's better than doing something for yourself?
Doing something for your country.

What's better than a vision?
A cause.

--"What's better than...?" (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 31 May 2003)


FO: Photos from SEAiT

The South East Asia images and Text project is an online archive of historical photos on the Philippines spanning the US colonial era from the 1890s to the 1940s. The collection may be searched by subject, keyword, a predefined image collection or grouping (e.g., women, conflicts), and even geographically (i.e., click on the map for photos taken in those areas).

Series: Filipiniana Online


BusinessWeek on Blogs

business week

I found out about "Blogs will change your business" by Stephen Baker and Heather Green (BusinessWeek, 2 May 2005) through Rambling Librarian, who found out about it through Micro Persuasion. Very Vannevar Bush, right?

There are very few Filipinos blogging right now who go beyond the personal level. Just about the only corporate blog I can think of right now is Inside PCIJ: Stories behind our stories. (And then, of course, there's UPLSAA Online, but that deserves its own post.)

This BusinessWeek cover story is proof that blogs can and should be used as more than just a personal diary in cyberspace. And Filipino Librarian is proof, I hope, that libraries in the Philippines can, in fact, take advantage of this technology.


Copy Cataloging

Below is a reference question that I received as a comment:

I read somewhere that Isabelo delos Reyes rewrote the Catholic Bible which he published under the title "Biblia Filipina." Do you know where I can secure a copy?
As far as I can tell, Biblia Filipina's full title is Biblia filipina : primera piedra para un Génesis científico expuesto según las rectificaciones de Jesús, authorship is credited to Gregorio Aglípay, and Isabelo de los Reyes is considered its publisher (see the entries from Library of Congress and RedLightGreen).

But to answer the question, your best bet is to ask a member of the Aglipayan Church (a.k.a. Iglesia Filipina Independiente or Philippine Independent Church). If you don't know any Aglipayans, resorting to search engines will only lead you to articles that claim de los Reyes wrote Biblia Filipina. Your next best bet is to search online catalogs and see if your library can borrow the book for you through inter-library loan , or you can try and go to the library directly and ask if you can photocopy the book.

LibraryLink and the UST, DLSU and Rizal libraries don't have it in their catalogs. Only the UP Main Library and the National Library have it. And then, of course, there's the Philippine eLib, which has the UP Main Library's bibliographic information but not the National Library's.

So why is this post called "Copy Cataloging" and not "Biblia Filipina"? Because, in case you haven't cataloged a book in a long time, all the resources consulted above are ideal for copy cataloging.

MARC tags available:
No MARC tags:


The Philippine eLib

The Philippine eLib has been launched. Check out the press release.

It does not seem to be fully functional yet—e.g., bibliographic information from the five partners is still incomplete (see Portal Collections); "For Corporate Subscriptions, please contact us at: +63-XXX-XXXX or email us at XXX@elib.gov.ph" (see Registration Form)—but libraries in the Philippines with limited budgets will probably be interested in becoming members, if only to have access to the Electronic Databases. Unfortunately, local databases that foreign libraries might want to subscribe to do not seem to be available through the eLib.

Here's hoping that the project is able to achieve its objectives!


Zarah Gagatiga — Filipino Librarian

When I was still working on my master's degree in library and information science, I wondered if there were any role models in our field. I kept reading about Zarah Gagatiga and her storytelling and observed that she seemed to be one of the very few Filipino librarians whose name got mentioned as often as the library where she worked (note: most articles about libraries in the Philippines hardly ever mention the librarian's name).

Well, I finally met her at the workshop I attended last week. And it turns out that an article on her appeared in my favorite newspaper that same day! Check out "The new librarian sheds hackneyed image" by Ime Morales Aznar (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 13 April 2005), where Zarah says:

I feel very passionate about my job because it's my way of making my life meaningful. I don't look at it as a job to be done. This is my contribution to children, to future generations. It's something that I really like to do. And it feels good to be a librarian.


Information Literacy

In Public School Libraries, I promised to "discuss why public school libraries in the Philippines have been neglected, and how a few have managed to flourish despite this neglect." I hope to fulfill this promise by next week. In the meantime, I would just like to share some observations regarding the workshop featured in Hope for Public School Libraries.

"Building Learning Communities Through Libraries" was a two-day workshop for principals, teachers and librarians. On the first day, Rosemarie Yague (Rosa L. Susano-Novaliches Elementary School) presented a report on the state of public schools education in the Philippines and ended by stating that "Dreams are free." Diljit Singh (University of Malaya) shared with the participants Malaysia's ongoing journey to information literacy. And James Henri (University of Hong Kong) emphasized that the workshop's intended output would be directed to teachers—not students—because if the teachers don't "buy" information literacy, then students won't, either.

But what exactly is "information literacy"? According to Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, when individuals are information literate, they are able to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information" (ALA, 2000).

Is information literacy the same as computer literacy? Of course not. Someone who is information literate has the ability to become computer literate. But someone who is computer literate is not necessarily information literate. Or, more simply, you don't need a computer to be information literate.

There is actually so much more that can and should be said, but since this is only the beginning of a year-long project, allow me to end by saying that, yes, dreams are free, but every dream has a price—and we have to work on ourselves, our superiors and our communities to achieve our dreams. We've only just begun.

Related posts:

Hope for Public School Libraries
Public School Libraries


Hope for Public School Libraries

The first workshop on "Building Learning Communities Through Libraries" is almost done. Principals and librarians from eleven elementary and secondary schools in Quezon City attended the workshop on information literacy. The workshop was funded by IFLA-ALP, administered by the Rizal Library and the District of City Schools-Quezon City, and held at the Ateneo de Manila University on 13-14 April 2005. More information will be provided in the next post.

Related post: Public School Libraries


Small Change

I can't change Filipino librarians, but I can change the way you look at us.
Carlos Celdran has been quoted as saying, "I can't change the way Manila looks, but I can change the way you look at Manila." I have paraphrased above what he said because it occurred to me that I am trying to do something similar through this blog. My effort may just add up to small change, but—guess what?—sometimes small change can make a big difference.

Celdran, whom I do not know personally, is quoted and portrayed vividly in "Walk the Talk" by Liam Fitzpatrick (Time, 14 March 2005):
One of the best ways to get to know the city is through the half-day walking tours given by the garrulous Carlos Celdran... Decked out in an appropriate costume... Celdran offers up rich narratives that are by turns gossipy (his account of Imelda Marcos' rise and fall is hilarious) and compelling (the description of a bombed-out Manila, at the end of World War II, is unforgettable).
It is this article, I believe, that prompted a longer piece on Celdran in a local newspaper: "Take an unforgettable tour with the Pied Piper of Manila" by Ross Harper Alonso (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 10 April 2005).

Celdran has his own blog, called Walk This Way, where you can get information on his tours, what he recommends, and even his views on the Catholic Church and poverty in the Philippines.


Bataan Day

Today we celebrate Bataan Day or Araw ng Kagitingan. But it has been so completely overshadowed by John Paul II's funeral that the following seem more like afterthoughts:

If you would like to know more about this day in Philippine history, please check out the following websites, which I have taken the liberty of arranging chronologically:
8 December 1941. Within a few hours of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese also attacked Clark Field in the Philippines. "The Fall of the Philippines," by John Vader, tells the story from the first attack to the fall of Bataan through text, maps, photos and posters.

9 April 1942. To understand why the defenders of Bataan decided to surrender to the Japanese, see "Surrender," chapter 26 of The Fall of the Philippines by Louis Morton (this document is available in its entirety at HyperWar: A HyperText History of the Second World War).

10 April 1942. On the following day, those who surrendered are forced to walk 65 miles. Those who survived would later be transferred to a concentration camp in Cabanatuan. "The Bataan Death March," by Richard A. Long, tells the story through text, photos and drawings. The Bataan Death March: A Collaborative Web Site is a more comprehensive collection of resources on the event.

6 May 1942. Those who did not surrender retreated to Corregidor Island. Corregidor - Then and Now is a collection of resources for history buffs. Corregidor: A Memorial for the Courage, Sacrifice and Heroism of Its Defenders serves as a virtual guide to the tourist attraction that Corregidor has now become.

20 October 1944. MacArthur returns to the Philippines as promised.

30 January 1945. The remaining POWs in Cabanatuan are rescued. "Bataan Rescue," a PBS documentary, provides information on the film and other resources. The Great Raid—a film produced by Miramax based on the book by William Breuer (although it seems that Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides was also used as a basis for the film)—is scheduled for release in December 2005.

6 August 1945. The first atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima.

2 September 1945. The Japanese in the Philippines surrender.


Epifanio de los Santos Day

WHEREAS, Republic Act No. 9246 declares that "The State recognizes the essential role of librarianship as a profession in developing the intellectual capacity of the citizenry thus making library service a regular component for national development";

WHEREAS, Epifanio de los Santos, national hero and former director of the National Library, was born on April 7, 1871;

WHEREAS, it is important that said event be observed with meaningful and appropriate activities;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, vonjobi—citizen, licensed librarian, and self-appointed blograrian of the Republic of the Philippines—by virtue of the powers not vested in me by the Constitution or any library organization, for that matter, do hereby declare that April 7 of every year shall, henceforth, be known as "Epifanio de los Santos Day."

This day will be observed—if not by anyone else, then at least in this blog—by telling or reproducing a story about a living Filipino librarian doing her/his job well. On this occasion, however, the story will be about Epifanio de los Santos himself.

From Filipinos in History:

He was born on April 7, 1871, in Malabon, Rizal, the only son of Escolastico de los Santos and Antonia Cristobal... On May 16, 1925, he was appointed as a director of Philippine Library and Museum by Governor Leonard Wood...

One day a reader went to the library to read something on Concepcion Bagay, the first Filipino Cartographer. He approached Don Epifanio and told him what he wanted. Knowing perhaps that the visitor was unfamiliar with the Filipiniana Division, Don Epifanio went personally to look for [the] materials he needed and readily handed them to the visitor. The library employees were amazed at the ease and exactness with which he pulled out the bundles that contain[ed] the desire[d] information. He was asked why he did not ask his clerks to look up the materials. He answered: "all of us here are servants of the reading public. I am the head of the servant[s] and I must show that I know better than any of the servant[s] where the materials are found. I want to show that our service here is efficient and that we are really working to serve.”
If you know a Filipino librarian whose story should be told on "Epifanio de los Santos Day" next year, please feel free to let everyone know by clicking on "Comments" below this post.

Related post: Epifanio de los Santos

Filipinos in History
Pipol... and their legacy
Aguador: Part I Part II


FO: Laws and Legislation

The most obvious sources of information regarding laws and legislation in the Philippines are the websites of the three branches of government. But these websites, while good sources for current information, leave much to be desired when it comes to older laws:

  • The documents available through the Office of the Press Secretary (for the Office of the President), are limited mostly to speeches, directives and issuances of the current president;
  • The Senate Library only provides information about what's in the physical library (so you really have to go there if you want to look for something);
  • The House of Representative's Download Center is composed largely of pdf files of pending bills and is the place to go if you want copies of laws signed by the President—but only from 1987 onward; and
  • The Supreme Court's E-Library has decisions rendered by the Court from 1987, plus copies of past and present Constitutions—but no means for searching.
The following websites are more comprehensive resources for Philippine laws and legislation:
  • The LawPhil Project does not show up in searches using "philippines law," but its sections on "Statutes" and "Jurisprudence" go all the way to the year 1900 and 1901, respectively [tip: click on Jose Rizal's face for an overview of what is available]; and
  • The Chan Robles Virtual Law Library is neither as slick nor as organized as the former, but its Repository of Laws, Statutes and Codes and Supreme Court Decisions are nothing to be sneezed at. The fact that it is organized according to disciplines (e.g., criminal, civil, taxation) may be an advantage or disadvantage depending on what you're looking for.
What's good about these websites is that both are searchable. Users may have individual preferences for various reasons, but it may be necessary to consult both when looking for specific statutes or decisions because neither has a complete set.

Series: Filipiniana Online


The Philippines are or is?

A more learned man has weighed in on the question posed in February regarding The Philippines. Previous laws and several constitutions are quoted in Manuel L. Quezon III's "The Philippines are or is?" It looks like the earliest official reference to the Philippines may be found in the Jones Law of 1916:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the provisions of this Act and the name "The Philippines" as used in this Act shall apply to and include the Philippine Islands ceded to the United States Government by the treaty of peace concluded between the United States and Spain on the eleventh day of April, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, the boundaries of which are set forth in Article III of said treaty, together with those islands embraced in the treaty between Spain and the United States concluded at Washington on the seventh day of November, nineteen hundred.


John Paul II, Pope, 1920-2005


John Paul II visited the Philippines twice:

  • In 1981, when the pope was said to have made the lifting of Martial Law a precondition for his visit; and
  • In 1995, when the pope said Mass for more than 4 million people, the largest-ever crowd for a World Youth Day gathering, if not for any gathering.
To understand just how much Filipinos loved the pope, check out the following:

A 1995 2500-peso gold coin


A 1981 2-peso note on which the papal seal was also printed


One of the many items sold with the pope's face or name


For more information, see his biographies in CNN and Wikipedia.


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