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In case any of you have been wondering—hellooo? anybody there?—I've been busy finishing a long overdue paper and I still haven't figured out how to connect my laptop to the Internet at the place I moved to recently. But don't worry, I hope to soon start posting again daily... maybe =)

Anyway, how do you know you're homesick? I always used to daydream about baking under the sun on the beaches of Boracay. Well, just a few days ago, I found myself daydreaming about being stuck in Manila traffic, complete with smoke-belching vehicles and dirty streets. That's when I realized I was truly, madly and deeply homesick.

But I should be home in less than six weeks. Let the countdown begin!


FO: Pinoy Ako (I'm Pinoy)

Pinoy Ako
Lyrics: Jonathan Manalo
Music: Orange and Lemons
Performers: Orange and Lemons

Two years ago, I posted the lyrics and my translation. This time I thought it would be good to reflect on the changes that occurred between "Ako ay Pilipino" (I am Filipino) and "Pinoy Ako" (I'm Pinoy). There is the shift in musical styles, of course, but I suppose even linguists would find the differences in titles very interesting. And then there's the history behind each song's creation and reception. Is there any significance to the fact that one was commissioned by Imelda Marcos for her husband's inauguration in 1981, while the other was written for ABS-CBN's "Pinoy Big Brother"?

There are probably many ways of looking at it, but what matters most in my opinion is whether the song itself appeals to the people. Not all Filipinos will like both songs, many probably don't like either one. But it cannot be denied that aside from the national anthem, these two songs belong to the short list of songs that promote feelings of nationalism among Filipinos.


FO: Ako ay Pilipino (I am Filipino)

Ako ay Pilipino
Lyrics and music: George Canseco
Performers: AUP Ambassadors

It is Independence Day once again.

The video above was recorded before the performers won 2 golds and a silver at the 2006 World Choir Games.


Sex Advice From Librarians

Sex Advice From Librarians
The title says it all: Sex Advice From Librarians. One of the four "advisers" is someone who has become a good friend—the Lipstick Librarian.

And since it's been a while since I posted "Pickup Lines in the Library," take a look at LL's reply to "What's the worst pickup line someone has used on you in the library?"

If you happen to be a single-willing-and-available-but-too-shy librarian, you may want to check out Eric's reply to "Everyone says I'm the 'librarian' type — shy and quiet. As a result, I don't have any romantic prospects. What can I do to put myself out there?" Who knew? I should probably try it =)


Literacy, Reading and Book Donation Programs

In "A Nation of Nonreaders" (iReport, 7 June 2007), former undersecretary Juan Miguel Luz differentiates between reading and literacy, and simple literacy and functional literacy. He examines the results and methodologies of different tests used to determine literacy and reading skills, points out their inadequacies, and indicates why it is important to have accurate figures on both: "With poor reading comes poor learning." Luz, however, shows that there is reason to hope by citing several examples of successful initiatives, including DepEd's Library Hub, which has continued despite the absence of Luz, its original proponent.

Note that the essay appears on four pages (1 2 3 4), and is accompanied by a photo gallery (six images of Marikina libraries) and "Libraries of hope" by Lala Ordenes-Cascolan, which tells the story of AHON Foundation's work in Marikina. The latter illustrates why I am wary of book donation programs ("You can give books, but if the library is not conducive to learning and to reading, sayang ang books mo [your books will go to waste]"), and why AHON is different from other reading programs ("one, the foundation works with, not independent of, DepEd; two, it enlists the help of the local government as a partner; and three, it encourages participation from stakeholders by mobilizing the community to contribute.")

To understand the significance of AHON's work, see "8T books collected for SM's Donate-A-Book project" (Sun.Star, 8 June 2007), which is a typical press release that mentions the names of donor companies prominently, but says nothing about what will happen to the books.


SLA 2007: Denver and A Day in the Life

Today is the second day of SLA's annual conference, but I've actually been here in Denver since June 1. Last night, Al Gore opened the conference. (Unfortunately, picture-taking and videotaping were disallowed.) Today will be the first day of two full days of sessions. And then, on Wednesday, Scott Adams (Dilbert) will close the conference. This is the third year I'm writing for the conference blog. Check it out!

I was also finally able to get a copy of A Day in the Life. I didn't realize it was going to be such a thick book. But getting the book reminded me that even though I knew that the book was out there, and that there's a website devoted to it, I still belong to the school where a book isn't quite a book until I can hold it in my hands and turn its pages.


June is Book Development Month

"Love Your Books" is the theme of this year's celebration of Book Development Month (BDM). The National Book Development Board (NBDB), in partnership with the Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL), has lined up a series of lectures and activities. Unfortunately, neither the NBDB nor FHL websites has any information on BDM yet, so I have reproduced the schedule I received from NBDB below. For more details, please call NBDB at 9280048.

Just a few notes: Zarah Gagatiga and Troy Lacsamana, both of whom are well-known children's librarians, will be speakers on "Your Community Library" at FHL in Makati on Monday, June 4. I wish I could be there for May Jurilla's session on "The Book Talks: What Will It Tell?" on June 7. Her dissertation was on "Tagalog Bestsellers and the History of the Book in the Philippines," which is something I'm very interested in.

Incidentally, the billboard above, with the slogan “Open a book, See the world,” shows media personality Lyn Ching-Pascual reading Charlson Ong’s Banyaga, A Song of War. It is part of the NBDB’s efforts to invite more people to get caught reading. The photo was provided by the NBDB.

Here's the schedule of activities:

June 4
Your Community Library
By Zarah Gagatiga
A whole day lecture on setting up and sustainability issues of a community library to be held at the Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL).
June 6
A Book is an Event
By Ani Almario and Zarah Gagatiga of PBBY
A two-part lecture to equip teachers and librarians with knowledge and skills that will help encourage students to read more often for longer periods of time and improve their comprehension.
June 7
The Book Talks: What Will It Tell?
By May Jurilla, Ph.D.
This unique lecture topic depicts the crucial role of book development vis-à-vis nation building.
June 8
NBDB Anniversary

June 14
What Makes a Reading Campaign Work?
This panel discussion will assess the successes and failures of the different reading campaigns vis-à-vis the various considerations and objectives of different agencies, identify gaps and address them.
June 27 – July 1
Portrait of the City Exhibit: The Literary Imagination and the City We Live In
A literary exhibit to be held at the Glorietta Park, this exhibit will feature the places around Metro Manila that have inspired the literary works of local authors.
June 27
Opening and cocktails

June 28
Book Illustration Contest Launch

June 29
Performance Poetry

June 30
Reading short fiction with celebrities, theatrical storytelling

Portrait of the City Tour
To be conducted by Joanna Abrera Del Prado, the Tour begins at the Literary City Exhibit in Glorietta, where participants will get an orientation of the tour before visiting the places themselves.

The exhibit is free of charge but the tour is only five hundred pesos (P500) to cover meals, transportation and materials. Guided tours at the Glorietta Park and the Trinoma Mall are available for classes on June 28 and 29 and on July 5 and 6 at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM.

For more information on the other events, please call the National Book Development Board at 929-3881. To join this tour, call the Filipinas Heritage Library at 892-1801.
July 4-8
Portrait of the City Tour at the Trinoma Mall with daily field trips
This exhibit will feature the places around Metro Manila that have inspired the literary works of local authors.
July 1
Storytelling for children

July 4
Opening ceremonies

July 8
Closing ceremonies with storytelling for kids

Student field trips during the Literary Exhibits at the Glorietta Park and Trinoma Mall are welcome. For more information, call the National Book Development Board at 928-0048.


Pinoy Big Biblioblogosphere: May 2007

Do you remember why you became a librarian? Or how you got your first job as one? During the past month, Mhel asserted that "once a librarian, always a librarian." But no, she wasn't referring to retired librarians (she hasn't graduated yet); she was actually talking about how she grew up "playing" with her books, and that this was her OJT. Wow! Zarah, meanwhile, reminisced about her job hunting days on her 13th year as a librarian. But it was clearly not all fun and games, as shown by her post on "The Living Wounded."

There were quite a lot of posts on lectures and conferences, perhaps because many of these are conducted during the summer months.

Zarah shared what she learned at the RAP Annual Summer Convention 2007, had time for "Live Blogging @ Apple Camp" (1 2 3 4), and commented on the lecture of Cora Nera on Continuing Professional Education for Librarians. Mila reported on the talk delivered by Fides Datu-Lawton on open access initiatives. The PLAI-NCR blog summarized the lecture of Chito Angeles on the Design and Implementation of the U.P. IPN.

From Down Under, Peachy gave "a taste of an Aussie conference" and noted the differences between Australian and Filipino library conferences. Noel dreamt of a new future, but it was his presence at the 2007 JavaOne Conference that led me to hope that future librarians like him will be attending more conferences that are somewhat related—but not necessarily devoted—to librarianship.

Arnold linked to an article on the "4 Habits of Highly Effective Librarians," and points out that these are "nothing new... But it won’t hurt to refresh our memories and probably our practices as well." One way of doing this would be to consult the list of new books for librarians at the PLAI-STRLC blog.

Charles, a non-librarian, started a series on "Library Stories" (Part 1), but it was a non-serial post about eBook design that turned into a series when it was followed by "eBooks Redux," where he offered six "conditions" that would make the adoption of eBooks a reality; and "The Textbook Dilemma," which he believes is the solution to the problem of textbook photocopying.

The Read Or Die blog has started what I hope will turn into a series of posts. It began with "An informal survey of reading habits," and was followed by "More on Reading Habits." One of the writers can't imagine reading a book while eating, but I can't imagine eating alone without reading =)

Well, that particular reader was averse to eating while reading because he didn't want to get his books dirty. He may want to try the ancient way to protect books that Juned suggests. By the way, if anybody tries it, I'd be interested in knowing what happens =)


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