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Seasons of Love

The year is about to end. It's a good time to reflect on how we should measure success. Not just at work, but at home, in our relationships with family, friends. Ourselves. How, in fact, do you "measure the life of a woman or a man"? How would you measure yours?

Jonathan Larson, the creator of Rent—the musical from which the song "Seasons of Love" comes—died after watching the final dress rehearsal of his creation, which would become a hit on Broadway and win just about every award, including the Pulitzer Prize.

How, indeed, do you measure the life of a woman or a man?

Seasons of Love
Jonathan Larson

525,600 minutes
525,000 moments so dear
525,600 minutes
How do you measure - measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles
In laughter, in strife

In -
525,600 minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love

Seasons of love
Seasons of love

525,600 minutes
525,000 journeys to plan
525,600 minutes
How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died.

It's time now to sing out
Tho' the story never ends
Let's celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends

Remember the love
Remember the love
Remember the love
Measure in love

Measure, measure your life in love

Seasons of love
Seasons of love

Category: About Vonjobi


Fixing the Comelec

"Cyberspace 'pirma' urges Abalos et al. to resign" by Jerome Aning appears in print on the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (28 December 2005) as "Petition in cyberspace: Abalos et al. resign now." The URL for the online petition, however, does not appear in either the online or print version of the story—an unforgivable sin.

It's a good thing that Erwin Lemuel Oliva of INQ7.net wrote "Online petition urges Comelec officials' resignation" (27 December 2005) and provided not just the URL but a clickable link to the petition. Unfortunately, readers of the print edition who wish to sign the online petition would not have seen this story because it appears exclusively online.

If you wish to read, sign or see who has signed the "Comelec Commissioners Must Resign!" petition written by Gus Lagman, click here. At this time, there are 263 signatories, but not all of them seem to be supporters of the petition based on the comments they've left (e.g., "Puro kasinungalingan naman itong petisyon na'to"). There also seem to be problems with multiple signatures and untraceable signatories.

The online petition is probably good for spreading the word, but it will probably be useless for validation purposes. If you would really like to do something about the Comelec, it might be better to join the call of Urbano dela Cruz to "Reform the Comelec Now."

Category: The Philippines


FO: Jose Rizal and Rizaliana

December 30 is a national holiday in the Philippines. Jose Rizal was executed on this day 109 years ago. If you do not know who Rizal is, the following should be useful starting points:

JoseRizal.ph was "...created to assist students in the appreciation of the role of Rizal in the development of the Filipino nation." While the site—with its study guides, summaries and downloadable syllabi—is directed to students and teachers, it is also a good starting point for anyone who wishes to know more about Rizal and his works. Interesting features: two articles on Rizal as the father of Hitler (!), the first declaration of December 30 as a "national day of mourning," and pictures of Rizal, his women and other works.

Project Gutenberg is the place to go for the full text of some of Rizal's works in Spanish ("El Consejo de los Dioses," "Filipinas Dentro De Cien Años," "Junto Al Pasig") and translations in English (The Indolence of the Filipino, The Reign of Greed, The Social Cancer) and Tagalog ("Ang Liham ni Dr. Jose Rizal sa mga Kadalagahan sa Malolos, Bulakan"). A book about Rizal is also available: Lineage, Life and Labors of José Rizal, Philippine Patriot by Austin Craig.

The Diaries of Jose Rizal reproduces the thoughts recorded by Rizal from Calamba on 1 May 1882, to his trip to Manila and then Europe, and throughout his travels in Europe until 21 October 1886. Photos, postcards and maps appear occasionally. It must be noted, however, that the site is a blog and the dates on which entries were posted do not correspond to the dates on which Rizal wrote in his diary. For an overview of all the entries, it is probably better to start with the archives, where the places and dates on which Rizal wrote in his diary are listed.

Rizal-Blumentritt Friendship is not really just about Rizal's friendship with Blumentritt. Aside from the letters they exchanged, the following are also available: The Story of José Rizal by Austin Craig, "The Monkey and the Turtle" as illustrated by Rizal, and Virtual Travels of Rizal, which presents what Rizal and others wrote about his travels using maps.

Rizaliana is devoted to the poems written by Rizal and translated by others into Spanish, English, Tagalog and even Japanese. The transcript of Rizal's court appearance, which may or may not be complete, is also available.

Categories: Filipiniana Online, Events


Three Wise Pinoys

Let us remember the reason for the season: Merry CHRISTmas!

The Star of the Kings
Horacio dela Costa, SJ

The Star of the Kings by Horacio dela Costa, SJ
I do not think the three wise men
Were Persian kings at all.
I think it much more likely
That they set sail from off Manila Bay
In answer to the call.

And though the great historians
May stare at me and frown,
I still maintain the three wise men
Were kings from my hometown.

And if you ask why I affirm
That Melchor was king of Tondo,
When Gaspar ruled Sampaloc,
And Baltazar Binondo—

We will not argue. We will walk
The streets on Christmas Eve,
And I'll show you the poor man's rafter
Where hangs the Star the Kings sought after,
High above Christian prayer and laughter—
You will see it, and believe!

For when they crossed the sea again
From Bethlehem afar,
They lost their camels in the sea
And they forgot the Christmas tree
But they brought back to you and me
The secret of the Star.
Note: It is important to remember that dela Costa kept rewriting his works and that the version presented here is the one usually performed by Dulaang Sibol, a theater group at the Ateneo de Manila High School. Click on image to view source.

Category: The Philippines, Events


Email New Year's Resolutions to Yourself

A few people who read "Email Yourself... Receive It 20 Years Later," asked me why there was a deadline. Well, that's how it was set up. But for those of you who would still like to email yourselves—especially now that it's New-Year's-resolution time again—there's Futureme.org (via Kung-Fu Librarian).

Unlike the Forbes "E-Mail Time Capsule," this site allows users to choose to send their email privately or let others read what they wrote without revealing their identity. The sending options range from 1 to 30 years—10 more than Forbes. Plus, there is no deadline for emailing yourself.

For those of you who like controversy, it appears that Futureme.org was there before Forbes. For more information, see Futureme.org's response and the more neutral "Web Sites Let Users Send E-Mail to Future."

Category: Internet


Being Filipino is a Gift

"Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all."

Filipinos tend to have inferiority complexes: I'm too dark, I can't do this, I'm not good enough, I don't have any talent, I'm not good-looking... But some Filipinos look at what they have and see being Filipino—and all that goes with being one—as a gift.

In "Why Filipinos Are Special," Ed Lapiz asks, "what makes the Filipino special?" Lapiz summarizes by saying that Filipinos are "brown, spiritual, timeless, spaceless, linguists, groupists, weavers, adventurers." He looks on the brighter side but acknowledges that it is still up to us to embrace who we are: "but first, we should know and like ourselves."

AsianSmiles reacts to what Lapiz wrote by telling her own stories about her life in a multicultural setting (see "Brownies" and "Huggies"). And then there's Rustedscissors, a Filipina living in New York.

In the three-part "Being Pinay," Rustedscissors starts by enumerating the ways in which Filipinas are different and how it can be a liability (Part I). She then goes on to comment on "Yan ang Pinay" and how there are so many other problems that need to be addressed (Part II). Finally, she acknowledges how her views have changed (Part III):
Once I longed to belong, to be like any other girl, to have blue or green eyes and blonde hair... Now I glory in the fact that I have shape when others do not, that my hair shines like molasses in the sunshine, that my skin retains a tan all year ’round.
That's what some call being comfortable in your own skin. I call it a gift.

Categories: The Philippines, Filipina


Google for Dummies

In "How Google's PageRank Works," I provided links to articles about Google's algorithm for its search results. Well, some of those articles were heavily mathematical and overly technical. For a simpler explanation, check out "How does Google collect and rank results?" by Matt Cutts in the first ever Google Librarian Newsletter. Cutts, who works at Google, explains how search results are ranked in a way that even kids can understand. Exercises that school librarians or teachers can use to explain the concepts involved are also provided.

Category: Internet


Tim Berners-Lee's Blog

Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web, now has a blog. Yes, the man who made this blog (and all other blogs, for that matter) possible—not to mention the Internet as we know it today—is now blogging. There's only one post so far, but the comments are already at 274! (Via LISNews)

Category: Internet


Pasko = Christmas

Another reason this blog has not been updated as often as before is that it's the Christmas season. True, Christmas (or Pasko in Tagalog) starts as early as September in the Philippines (i.e., Christmas carols begin to get played on the radio and a few Christmas trees start going up), but it is only in December when schedules, eating habits and exercise routines are thrown out the window.

If you're a foreigner and would like to understand exactly how Filipinos celebrate Christmas—or if you're a Filipino who'd like to know why we do what we do—check out the following articles and/or sites:

GlobalPinoy's "Filipino Christmas Traditions" summarizes what it is that Filipinos do during Christmas by using the lyrics of "Ang Pasko ay Sumapit" (Christmas is Here) as a structure on which to hang the "decorations" (read: peculiarities) that Filipinos like to display at Christmas-time.

"Agrarian Christianity" (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 16 December 2005) and "‘Simbang Gabi’ begins" by Jaime Pilapil (Manila Standard Today, 16 December 2005) are the latest newspaper articles written to mark the start of Simbang Gabi, which literally means "night mass," but in reality refers to masses held before 6 am.

"How to Celebrate a Filipino Christmas" lists ten things that make Christmas in the Philippines truly Filipino, and provides tips and warnings (e.g., "There are more than 30 ethnic groups in the Philippines, so Christmas traditions are quite diverse and cannot be generalized").

MyParol.com is the place to go for information about the parol (lantern), which is probably the most Filipino of all Christmas decorations. The site includes articles on the parol's history, how to make a parol (includes photos and illustrations), and even a free coloring book.

Christmas in the Phillipines (note that "Philippines" is spelled incorrectly) is a site that seems to have been "currently under construction" since 1997. But it is notable for the emails reproduced on the page: one is from a foreigner who lists eight "random thoughts and reflections" that are right on the money, another spells out "Merry Christmas" in Tagalog phonetically, and still another provides a sound file.

Category: The Philippines, Events


Librarian as Firedancer

JR Santos (right) is an undergraduate student at the Institute of Library and Information Science (ILIS), University of the Philippines (UP). He literally dances with fire.

The photos accompanying this post were taken at UP's annual lantern parade, which was held today. That's the ILIS lantern behind Santos in the photo on the right.

Santos and his two firedancer-friends brought cheers and attention to the ILIS contingent. Click on the photos to see larger versions.

Category: Stereotypes


Gainfully Employed

One of the reasons this blog has not been updated as frequently as before is that I have been gainfully employed as of November 2005. The official document that I've been waiting for finally arrived and that's why I'm sharing this information only now. Click on the image to read the document.

It's official! I'm now an assistant professor at the Institute of Library and Information Science, University of the Philippines. I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in library management and research.

I've been teaching for more than a month now, but I still get mistaken for a student. Verrrry flattering =)

Category: About Vonjobi


Censorship in UP Libraries?

In "My Economics Book Is Censored in the Philippines," Mark Skousen, author of The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers, claims that his book and Ayn Rand’s novels have been "pulled from the shelves" of the libraries at the University of the Philippines (UP), which he says is "a hotbed of Marxism."

Skousen is, of course, quoting "a friend in the Philippines," who may or may not have an agenda of his own. I will still have to make my own investigation, but based on a search of UP's online catalog, the books written by Skousen and Rand are available at the different libraries on campus.

There may be a more logical explanation. Skousen quotes his friend as saying:

Well, just yesterday she looked again [for Skousen's book] -- and it was gone! Also all Rand’s books have disappeared (they were in both the main library and the library of the College of Arts and Letters -- gone from both).
Just because a book is not on the shelf doesn't mean it has been "censored." It's very likely that someone got the book from the shelf and left it in another part of the library. There is also the other possibility that the book was borrowed. And so, of course, it would not be on the shelf.

Skousen's friend goes on and says that, "the copy of your book had been heavily highlighted by the librarian -- complete with annotated comments disputing what you said." I wonder how this friend knew that the book had been highlighted if it were missing? Ok, assuming that s/he saw the book right before it "disappeared," how can s/he be certain that it was the librarian who did the highlighting? The fact that the book was dog-eared implies that the book had already passed through more than a few hands. Besides, I don't think any librarian would deface any of the books s/he's responsible for. Or any book, period.

And Rand's novels? I wouldn't be surprised if students were told to read her novels and, instead of buying their own copies, just borrowed the copies from the different libraries on campus.

Please don't get me wrong. I am not making a case for or against Marxism or capitalism. I just think there is a less insidious explanation for the absence of certain books on a library's shelves than what Skousen suggests.

Category: In the News


Beware of Librarian

Have you ever seen those signs saying, "Never Mind Dog, Beware of Owner"? Well, the Kung-Fu Librarian seems to be in splendid fighting form nowadays. Check out her "Rules for approaching The Kung Fu Librarian's Desk."

Category: Librarians


Game KNB's Tarantarium

Pilipinas Game KNB? is a game show. If you would like to know how it's played, please see the review on ReviewStream.com. This post is about the so-called tarantarium, which figures prominently in the one-million-peso round and about which I have mixed feelings.

Nope, a tarantarium is not the same as a tarantULarium. Apparently, a tarantarium is a room filled with books, one of which contains the answer to the one-million-peso question. The catch? The books are not arranged in any particular order. And the contestant has one minute to find the book. Why taranta-rium? Taranta is a Tagalog word that means "flustered." If you had a shot at one million pesos, but had only one minute... you'd get "taranta-ted."

So why do I have mixed feelings about this roomful of unorganized books? On the one hand, it seems so unfair that contestants practically have no chance of finding the right book. I've been told that some contestants actually got their hands on the correct book but still couldn't find the answer. Perhaps because they had no way of knowing that they had the right book?

On the other hand, it seems to be an excellent example of the importance of organizing a collection... and the need for librarians! Spread the word, you'll lose your chance to earn a lot of money—not to mention other intangible benefits—if you can't find the information you need when you need it =)

Category: The Philippines


One More Time: Ateneo's Rizal Library

In "Ateneo's Rizal Library," I committed the sin that I always comment on whenever a librarian's name is not mentioned in an article about a library. I said that, "The Rizal Library is probably the best-marketed Filipino library today," but did not mention any librarians' names. Let me correct that now.

Rogelio B. Mallillin, who was library director from 1980-1997, was responsible for automation and building up the revenue-generating business that now accounts for a third of the library's annual budget. Lourdes T. David, who was appointed director in 2001, is responsible for the library's increasingly high-profile in the Ateneo community, the cultural scene in the Philippines, and even among the libraries of the world. Proof of this may be seen in the most recent international conference hosted by the Rizal Library.

I wrote about the conference in "Preserving Our Cultural Heritage," which was also featured in "Over 230 Librarians Attend Int’l Confab at Ateneo" on the Ateneo website. The Powerpoint presentations and/or papers delivered (pdf) were recently uploaded at the conference website. You may also wish to look at the presentations/papers of the 2001 and 2004 conferences.

And then there are "Trip to the library" and "Libraries are Love," which tend to confirm what I have already said about the Rizal Library, except that the bloggers compare it with larger libraries. Guess which library comes out as being better? Then again, the bloggers—including this one—are all Ateneo alumni. Could it be that we're just biased? Maybe. But I seriously don't think so =)

Category: Libraries


Free Books

This is a bit late, but just in case you need books for your library, there's still some time left. The following announcement was posted to the PLAI Yahoogroup:

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Library wishes to announce that some 8,000 books and documents are available for donation to research and academic libraries from state colleges and universities and public institutions. The subjects covered are mostly economics, business, management and other areas of the social sciences. In addition to books, ADB publications on the same subjects are included.

Representatives may view the materials on December 5-9 from 9:00 am-5:00 pm. Prior registration is required. The ADB Library staff will assist in packing the materials but recipient institutions are responsible for delivery to their libraries.

For inquiries, please contact Riza Villafana (tel. no. 632-4270; e-mail lvillafana@adb.org) or Gina San Buenaventura (tel. no. 632-4272; e-mail gsanbuenaventura@adb.org). The ADB Library is located on #6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City. It is between SM Megamall and Poveda Learning Center, along EDSA.
I have seen some of these books and documents because I used to work there. Most of them, I believe, are hardbound and a bit dated. But many, in my opinion, will still be of use to libraries whose collections are sorely lacking in basic texts in the social sciences.

Category: Technical Services


Professional Development

You're probably overworked, but that's not an excuse to be ignorant about the latest developments in our profession. I hope you will find the three sites listed below useful for your own professional development.

EBSCO has made its Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA) database available online—free of charge—for all those interested in libraries and librarianship. However, only abstracts, which vary in quality (some are downright terrible), are available. And so, users will still have to look elsewhere for the full text.

You may wish to search E-LIS—E-prints in Library and Information Science—in case the article you're looking for has been uploaded to this open archive. Conversely, you may also wish to upload articles you've written or conference presentations you've made (provided there is no breach of copyright) so that others who have no access to the publications in which your work appeared can benefit from your scholarship. As far as I can tell, no articles from the Philippines have been uploaded.

LISTA and E-LIS, however, are more properly consulted if you're looking for a specific article or articles on a particular subject. If you would just like to know what the latest articles are that librarians should read, then Current Cites is for you. Articles published online and in print are selected and annotated by librarians for librarians.

Searching the database is supposedly possible, but it doesn't seem to be working, so use the following on Google plus your keyword: "site:lists.webjunction.org/currentcites/ [space] keyword(s)." You may view the list of articles online, sign up for the mailing list or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: Librarians


Influential? Ulirang Guro?

I don't quite know how it happened, but this blog is no. 2 on PubSub's Librarian List. In the sidebar, it says that, "This list shows the most influential librarian blogs, based on LinkRank." But, as Rambling Librarian observed, it may as well read: "You'd better watch what you blog. Blog responsibly." Click on the screenshot to see a larger version or click here in case this blog hasn't fallen off the list yet.

And then there's the Ulirang Guro feature in the sidebar of Pinoy Teachers Network. I don't know how long it will stay up, so I've uploaded the screenshot I took. Click on it to see a larger version.

Categories: About Filipino Librarian, About Vonjobi


Librarian Trading Cards

Librarian Trading Cards Librarian Trading Cards

Librarians have trading cards, too! Check them out at Librarian Trading Cards. Or join the club and make your own at Trading Card Maker.

Click on the cards above to see larger versions. Note: I don't think Sarah is Filipino, but our cards look good together, right?

By the way, there is at least one other Filipino librarian in the group: Multifaceted Librarian.

Category: Stereotypes


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