Mary Ann San Juan is the only Filipino librarian who can claim to have worked for more than 33 years in public libraries in what is now known as the City of Toronto. She is currently Library Service Manager responsible for four branches of the Toronto Public Library. She immigrated to Canada in 1972 as Mary Ann Salcedo, her maiden name, with an undergraduate degree in foreign service from the University of the Philippines, and obtained her master's degree in library science at the University of Toronto in 1976.
She turned 60 this year, but she doesn't look like she's slowing down. She is a dragon boater who has competed in local, national and international races, including the last three World Dragon Boat Racing Championships. At the 2009 championship, held in Racice, Czech Republic, she was part of the Canadian women's team that won gold in all its races.
The photo above was taken at the Filipino Centre Toronto. For more about Filipino librarians in Canada, see "Filipino Librarians in Vancouver" and "Filipino Librarians in Toronto."
Click on the play button below to listen to my favorite Christmas song:
I played this song for my students during the one year that I was a religion teacher (!) at an all-boys high school. At the end I asked them, "What was the one word that was never mentioned, but we all know that's what the song is about?" Can you figure it out? =)
An Evening in December
Artist: First Call
As I wait here on this evening in December,
I remember how it felt to be a child.
This old house still feels the same,
All the family will be here in just a while.
I hope daddy gets here first to build the fire.
He's the only one who has that special touch.
Then my sister with her kids,
And my grandma who I love so very much.
Oh, I'm glad we'll be together
On this evening in December.
We'll watch the falling snow
And hold each other close.
I'm so glad we're here together
For an evening to remember,
On this night,
On this December night.
Sometimes out on the road it gets so lonely.
'Cause I miss those special people I hold dear.
Though our calendars are full,
At least for this one night we'll all be here.
How the children love this evening in December.
And while the smallest ones are playing on the floor,
There's a warmth I can't explain,
And I feel the love of those who've gone before.
Keep the fire burning here
Until we all come back next year.