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Blogging 101 for Librarians

The following presentation was delivered by Vernon R. Totanes at the 13th General Conference of the Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (Manila, Philippines; 29 March 2006)

  • Bloggers, non-bloggers
  • Predominantly Filipino
  • Prerequisite: email address
  • Free resources
  • Online citations

  • Definitions
  • Examples
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Issues

Blogging is changing the media world and could, I think, foment a revolution in how journalism functions in our culture.
- Andrew Sullivan (2002)

What is a Blog?
  • From "web log" to "weblog" to "blog"
  • Originally "logs of links to websites" (Cohen 2005)
  • Entries
  • - List of items received
    - Record of visitors
    - Diary
  • Arranged in reverse chronological order (Blood 2003)

Other Features
  • Name
  • Content or posts
  • Links
  • Archives
  • RSS feed

  • Title
  • Date/time
  • Permalink
  • Categories
  • Comments

Other Definitions
  • "Define:blog" on Google
  • Use same syntax for definition of other words

Uses of "Blog"
  • Noun: blog
  • Verb: to blog
  • Bloggers
  • Blogosphere
  • Biblioblogosphere
  • Blograrians

A blog is a species of interactive electronic diary by means of which the unpublishable, untrammeled by editors or the rules of grammar, can communicate their thoughts via the web.
- Michael Gorman (2005)

Some people use paper to write insightful articles... Some people use paper to write grocery lists... Paper has been used for journalism, diaries, scribbling, gossip... The same is true on blogs.
- Danah Boyd (2005)

Popular Blogs


Institutional blogs

Southeast Asia

Frappr’s Blogging Librarians

From Frappr’s Blogging Librarians



Read: Why?
  • Latest news and/or articles
  • Professional development (Lavallée-Welch 2005; ppt)
  • Monitor blogs

  • Really Simple Syndication
  • Subscribe and organize
  • - Same subject
    - Priority
  • Bloglines
  • Online tutorials (see Rai 2005)
  • Subscribe to newspapers, magazines, websites

Search and Participate

Write: Why?
  • Experimenting with technology
  • Preserve thoughts (public or private)
  • Raise personal or institutional profile
  • Promoting library services (Fichter 2003)

  • Personal blog: real name or anonymous? (e.g., Feel-good Librarian)
  • Work-related matters: institution and/or co-employees
  • Institutional blog: permission?
  • Blogger, WordPress or others?
  • Audience? Subject? Frequency?

  • Time
  • Control
  • Ethics
  • - HBR case study (Suitt 2003)
    - "Every blog produced by librarians, no matter how casual, represents librarianship to the world" (Schneider 2005)
  • Digital divide

  • Filipino Librarian
  • Benefits
  • - Writing skills, HTML
    - Online resources
    - Network
    - What can and must be done
    - Reference questions
  • Responsible blogging

Categories: Consal XIII, Blogging, About Vonjobi



This blogger is currently busy with Consal XIII. Those of you who can't live without my daily post (oh, maybe one or two LOL!), I will write about my experience as facilitator, conference blogger and speaker once I finish my responsibilities.

Category: About Vonjobi


Conan the Librarian

Click on the arrow to watch the video. It will take some time to load, so I suggest you click on the "pause" button while waiting. The video will stop playing, but it will continue to load.
Thanks to a comment left by Dominique, I remembered that I once linked to a video featuring Conan the Librarian. Yes, it's the fake commercial that appeared in UHF, starring Weird Al Yankovic.

Don't forget to check out the adventures of Conan the Librarian as told by Hadley V. Baxendale. And then there's the Conan the Librarian blog, whose anonymous owner (obviously a librarian, very likely male) started writing about "idiots of the day" in August 2002. For more information about Conan the Librarian online or offline, check out the Wikipedia entry or Jux2.

Category: Humor


Rex Libris: Librarian as Comic Book Hero

Rex Libris 1 Rex Libris 2 Rex Libris 3
Click on any of the images above to find out more
about the first three issues of
Rex Libris.

Rex Libris is the tough-as-nails Head Librarian at Middleton Public Library who, "Wearing his distinctive, super thick bottle glasses and armed with an arsenal of powerful weapons... strikes fear into recalcitrant borrowers, and can take on virtually any foe—from noisy, loitering zombies to fleeing alien warlords who refuse to pay their late fees."

Read the first nine pages of the first issue; get to know James Turner, the creator of Rex Libris through an interview entitled "The secret history of librarians"; or visit the official Rex Libris website, which features introductions to the main characters, a conspiracy theory on why Section 217 is missing from the Dewey Decimal Classification system, and a link to the store where you can buy the comic books, posters and shirts.

Category: Humor


Unshelved: Librarians as Comic Strip Characters

Yes, there's a comic strip with librarians as the main characters. Unshelved is actually a blog with a comic strip that changes daily—three-panel, black-and-white strips from Monday to Saturday, and special, colored strips on Sundays.

You can check out its archives, or the primer, which introduces all the regular characters, including three librarians, a 12-year-old customer, a mascot and a nudist lawyer =)

It was originally called Overdue, but they had to change the name due to trademark problems. Oh yes, it's a business. And you can actually buy comic books, shirts, bags and jackets at the Overdue Media Store.

Category: Humor


Powerbooks Warehouse Sale

Update as of March 24: Check out baratillo books cinema @ cubao for tips on how to get there, what to wear, what kind of books you can expect, payment options, etc. Remember, it's a warehouse =)

This is all you'll get from the Powerbooks website:

Powerbooks is having a warehouse sale on March 16-31, 2006; 10am to 7pm at # 25 Brixton st. Capitol Subdivision, Pasig City. If you are coming from Shaw blvd., take a left turn to Reliance st. then turn right to Brixton st. (it's the street parallel left to Pioneer st.). there is a BIG Powerbooks signage at the gate. More bargain books, bigger discounts!
And that's if you know where to click. No map, too. But here's what I got via email:
Visit the new and bigger Powerbooks Warehouse and enjoy big discounts on our wide range of new and best selling titles!!! (20% off on regular items and up to 90% off on bargain items). Don't miss out on the hottest sale this summer starting on March 16 up to March 31, 2006 from 10AM-7PM (including Saturday and Sunday) at # 25 Brixton St., Capitol Subdivision, Pasig City.
Other bloggers have written about this and provided the same map below, but what they haven't said is that you can click on the map to view a larger version and that if you're using Internet Explorer, you can wait for the image to load, point your mouse at the map and click on the small square with arrows on the lower right-hand side to see the full-scale version. If you're using Firefox, click on the map below, then click again on the larger map to see the full-size map. Got that? =)

Powerbooks Warehouse Sale
Category: Events


Check Out the Consal XIII Blog

The 13th General Conference of the Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians starts on Monday, March 27, and ends Thursday, March 30, with library tours. There will be pre-conference events on Saturday and Sunday, March 25-26. Check out the program or the blog for last-minute changes and other news.

Category: Consal XIII


1984 and Pinoy Big Brother:
Lost in Translation

According to "When evil is good" (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 21 March 2006), George Orwell's novel 1984 is "a chilling portrayal of a totalitarian society." The editorial goes on to mention "the all-powerful, all-present, all-seeing Big Brother, the embodiment of the Party who is seen only on TV," but forgets or chooses to ignore the fact that Filipinos are not quite scared of Big Brother.

Instead, Filipinos are tuning in to "Pinoy Big Brother," the TV show with the all-powerful, all-present, all-seeing Kuya, the disembodied voice who is never seen on TV. And then there are the House-mates under the "care" of Big Brother Jose de Venecia, who probably makes Filipinos' lives easier by not being seen or heard.

This disconnect between the original Big Brother and the Pinoy version is, perhaps, the reason why Filipinos don't seem to be as alarmed as the media at the alleged state of undeclared martial law. Maybe many still remember what martial law was really like. Then again, maybe something was lost in translation when the frightening novel was turned into the latest money-making scheme of the Big Brother who lets his beloved audience bake in the sun for days and allows them to get trampled in a stampede. But that's another story.

Anyway, if you'd like to read 1984 without buying the book, there are several "editions" available online. The best one for online reading is the one at the University of Adelaide Library. There is, of course, Project Gutenberg, for those who'd like to copy and paste the entire text. But for those who'd like to search (e.g., count the number of times the term "Big Brother" appears in the novel) and read more information about George Orwell and his novel, check out George-orwell.org and Charles' George Orwell Links.

Category: The Philippines


Quiz: Which is Witch?

The following exercises will, I hope, illustrate the proper use of words that sound or look alike. While the sentences were created specifically for this post, the ways in which the words have been misused are not. I have encountered examples of these errors in students' papers, blogs, newspapers, books, and yes, even my own work =)

Feel free to use these exercises with your children, nephews and nieces, students, etc. If you are not sure of the answers, please click on "Comments" below.

Instructions: Choose the correct sentence.

  1. a. Their there in they're room.
    b. There their in they're room.
    c. They're there in their room.
    d. They're their in there room.

  2. a. Its eating it's sh-t.
    b. It's eating its sh-t.

  3. a. Your on you're own.
    b. You're on your own.

  4. a. Tell me whether the weather is better.
    b. Tell me weather the whether is better.

  5. a. Don't lose your loose change.
    b. Don't loose your lose change.

  6. a. The principle author preferred principal over money.
    b. The principal author preferred principle over money.

  7. a. The foreword spoke of moving forward.
    b. The forward spoke of moving foreword.

  8. a. It may be that "maybe" means "no."
    b. It maybe that "may be" means "no."

  9. a. Never advise someone to disregard advice.
    b. Never advice someone to disregard advise.

  10. a. A compliment can complement an insult.
    b. A complement can compliment an insult.

Category: Education


INQ7's Good News

The Good News on INQ7

Did you know that INQ7 has a special site devoted to the Good News? Unlike Good News Pilipinas (GNP), the authors of the INQ7 articles are properly credited, and its archives go back to November 2004. The lone 2004 article, incidentally, is "Success and failure of unity in the Philippines."

But there is something that GNP does that INQ7's Good News doesn't: categorize the articles. Just in case you'd like to search the site using specific keywords, try adding the keywords after "site:news.inq7.net/thegoodnews/" on Google. That's if you're not already using the Google Toolbar =)

Category: The Philippines


Good News Pilipinas

Good News Pilipinas

"Let's be positive about our country! Let's move forward as a people! Let's help our nation be great!"

The quote above is from the "Why GNP?" page of Good News Pilipinas (GNP). It is also stated that "GNP has no agenda!" And looking at the contributors—most of whom are journalists—it does seem that none of them are identified with the current administration or the fragmented opposition.

Then, of course, there are the articles. Some articles are essentially summaries of articles that have already appeared in newspapers, but there are a few that seem to have been written for the site. It's just too bad that most of the articles are not credited to authors or websites. For instance, "100 Things About Being Pinoy" seems to have come from "100 Best Things About Being Pinoy."

I hope the people behind the site get around to giving credit where credit is due. Having said that, GNP is still worth visiting because what's so good about the site is that it puts the good news together. And that's not something you can say about most newspapers—or even blogs =)

Category: The Philippines


Outstanding Librarian 1994:
Rosa M. Vallejo

Rosa M. VallejoRosa M. Vallejo
Dean and Professor
Institute of Library Science
University of the Philippines

The Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Rosa M. Vallejo in 1994. The citation reads:

Widely known and respected not only in the country but also in international library circles, she was the Chairman of the International Federation of Library Association [sic] (IFLA) 1980 General Conference held in Manila and the 7th Congress of the Conference of South East Asian Librarians (CONSAL) held in Manila in 1987. As a member of the Section and Education and Training of IFLA, she has demonstrated the highest degree of leadership and professionalism. She is recognized for her outstanding achievement as teacher and practitioner of library and information science, and meritorious and dedicated services as past President of PLAI and as officer of various library association [sic] in the country.

Thanks to Susima Gonzales and Lilia Echiverri for providing the photo and citation.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


Convert Documents to PDF Files

Have you ever wanted to email a file, but it was so large that it took forever to send? Or you were able to send the file but the email bounced because the recipient's email box was full or too small?

The obvious solution is to reduce the size of the file. Some people use the WinZip solution, but this doesn't quite work if the file has photos or graphics. The best solution, in my opinion, is to convert the file into Portable Document Format, or pdf. (Note: It would be redundant to say "pdf format.") Even if the recipient doesn't know what a pdf file is, s/he can always download the free Adobe Reader to open the document.

But don't you need to buy Adobe Acrobat (299 dollars!) to create a pdf file? Nope. You can download PDF reDirect (free!), install it and start converting documents by clicking on File/Print and choosing "PDF reDirect" as your printer. If you need help installing or creating pdf files, PDF reDirect's User Guide is pretty comprehensive. You may also wish to look at an overview of its Features.

How good is it? Just recently, I converted a 1,479kb Word file with colored photos into a 92kb pdf file. When I printed the pdf file, the photos weren't as clear as the printed Word file, but the photos were clear enough on the screen. In any case, there is an option to improve picture quality—with, of course, a corresponding increase in file size

According to PDF reDirect's FAQ sheet, "PDF reDirect has been tested to work correctly with PDF files up to 50 MB in size and up to 350 pages (mostly text)" and that "Large documents with pictures and up to 180 pages have been demonstrated to work correctly." For something that is totally free, that's good enough for me.

Category: IT


Outstanding Librarian 1995:
Numeriana M. Villareal

Numeriana M. VillarealThe Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Numeriana M. Villareal in 1995. The citation reads:

Her foresight, enthusiasm, selfless dedication, pioneering spirit and professional skills epitomize the modern Filipino librarian. In addition, she developed the Don Bosco Engineering Information System, a software for an integrated library system. She unselfishly shares her expertise and experience in library automation with her fellow librarians around the country.

Thanks to Naomi Villareal for providing the photo, and Susima Gonzales and Lilia Echiverri for the citation.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


National Libraries in Asia and Oceania

The 2006 Meeting of the Conference of Directors of National Libraries from Asia and Oceania (CDNLAO) will be held in Manila on Sunday, 26 March 2006.

The meeting will, of course, be limited to directors of national libraries, but since it will be held in connection with the latest General Conference of the Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (CONSAL XIII) scheduled on 25-30 March 2006, this is a good opportunity to feature the CDNLAO Newsletter, which provides information on national libraries in Asia and Oceania.

Previous issues of the Newsletter are available from November 1998. The Cumulative Index lists articles about the national libraries of the member countries.

Only seven of the ten ASEAN countries are represented in the Cumulative Index: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Could this mean that Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar do not yet have national libraries of their own? Or are they just not members of CDNLAO?

Another interesting question: Is the volume of articles about a specific country's national library related to commitment to the dissemination of information? Or is the volume of articles just an indicator of participation in CDNLAO?

By the way, if you have not yet registered for Consal XIII, the official website provides details and a registration form.

Categories: Libraries, Consal XIII


Outstanding Librarian 1996:
Vidal E. Santos

Vidal E. SantosThe Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Vidal E. Santos in 1996. The citation reads:

For his outstanding leadership and indefatigable efforts in producing and publishing the Philippine Business and Industry Index, the centerpiece of Library Integrated Services Cooperative’s (LISCO) publication activities since 1979, in the service of fellow librarians, researchers, students, corporate planners, and the general public.

For his zeal in organizing the Ortigas Center Group of Librarians as Founder and Chairman for effective sharing of reference and information materials.

For establishing the standards for Special Libraries which have become the major criteria for selecting the Special Library of the Year.

Thanks to Susima Gonzales and Lilia Echiverri for providing the photo and citation.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


FO: Urbana at Felisa

In "Table manners" (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 15 March 2006), Ambeth Ocampo writes about "Lagda," a book whose authenticity he is not sure of. Later, he states that,

Those who want to compare "Lagda" with the more famous Tagalog book of manners "Urbana at Felisa" will have to visit the National Library, the Lopez Museum or a university library because this once-popular book is currently out of print.
Well, this isn't actually necessary. The full text of "Pag Susulatan nang Dalauang Binibini na si Urbana at ni Feliza" by Modesto de Castro is available through Project Gutenberg. Other titles in Tagalog are also available.

Category: Filipiniana Online


Outstanding Librarian 1997:
Josephine C. Sison

Josephine C. SisonJosephine C. Sison
Institute of Library Science
University of the Philippines

The Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Josephine C. Sison in 1997. The citation reads:

With a distinguished career as librarian, she has been known internationally through her scholarly researches and professional engagements. She is a relentless advocate of the modern information professional and an excellent resource person on continuing professional education programs. One of the few librarians in the country with a doctoral degree, she has made the librarianship profession stand proudly side by side with the other professions.

Thanks to Susima Gonzales and Lilia Echiverri for providing the citation and to Shelly Bayang for the photo.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


Gabriel A. Bernardo — Filipino Librarian

Gabriel A. BernardoGabriel A. Bernardo
14 March 1891 - 5 December 1962

Those interested in knowing more about Gabriel A. Bernardo may wish to visit the Rizal Library's "Preserving Gabriel A. Bernardo’s Memory," an exhibit of Bernardo’s personal papers in celebration of his 105th birth anniversary. The exhibit opens today at the Pardo de Tavera Room of the Ateneo de Manila University's Rizal Library, and will run until 14 April 2006.

You may also wish to attend the Gabriel A. Bernardo Memorial Lecture, where DOST USec Fortunato dela Peña will talk about the "Philippine e-Lib: A Promising Tool in Knowledge Management." The event will be held at the College of Engineering, University of the Philippines Diliman, on Wednesday, March 15, 9 am.

For those who wish to read a sample of what Bernardo has written, below are a few paragraphs from an essay by Bernardo, as quoted in "The enemies that books face" by Ambeth Ocampo (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 14 April 2004):

The National Library and its branches salvaged about 36,600 volumes out of its aggregate collection of 733,000 volumes and pamphlets. It also practically lost its entire collection of 186 paintings, pieces of sculptures, carvings, etc.; 575 historical objects and specimens; 3,543 medals, coins and pieces of jewelry; and 75,534 unused postage stamps.

The Scientific Library lost its collection of about 357,000 volumes, pamphlets, and periodicals, as well as its entire stock of duplicates for exchange and gift purposes, including a total of 4,194 issues of the Philippine Journal of Science, 79 reprints therefrom, and 933 technical and popular publications of the Bureau of Science and the Department of Agriculture and Commerce. Of this entire collection, only about 300 bound volumes and pamphlets were salvaged. Its library, quarters, furniture and equipment, including its union catalog of Library of Congress printed cards and slips in its general catalog, were also totally destroyed.

The library of the University of the Philippines with its prewar aggregate collection-about 147,000 volumes, over 45,000 pamphlets, more than 5,000 current periodicals, 9,000 theses and dissertations, 500 manuscripts, over 300 maps, charts, etc., over 10,000 music scores, and 700 phonograph records; and over 1,000 art pieces, were completely destroyed, with the exception of about 3,000 volumes returned by borrowers after the liberation. In addition, it also lost collections of duplicate publications of the University of the Philippines for exchange and gift purposes; official records of the University Library, the Department of Library Science, the University Council, and the Board of Regents (1908-1941), and music collections loaned by private collectors for the annual art exhibits held under the auspices of the Department of Library Science and the President's Committee on Culture; collection of postage stamps (three large boxes of Philippine, United States and foreign stamps); woodcuts, linoleum colored prints, bookplates etc.; collection of five large-sized portraits of past presidents of the University of the Philippines, painted in oil on canvas by prominent local artists [Fernando Amorsolo?] collection of trophies, cups, medals, seals, diplomas, etc. awarded to the University of the Philippines; complete medium-sized book binding machinery, equipment and supplies; and one hand-operated multigraph printing machine with complete accessories and printing supplies; collection of books, etc. mainly Filipiniana, loaned by private collectors for University use. The library building itself was reduced to ruins.

In 1940, there were 5,934 libraries in the Philippine public school system, holding an aggregate collection of 3,709,939 volumes. Most of these libraries were either looted, seriously damaged or completely destroyed during the enemy occupation and the subsequent fighting for the liberation of the Philippines... Of the 74 libraries surveyed by the Catholic Welfare Organization of the Philippines, 41 had lost their records of holdings. The other 33 libraries had pre-war holdings aggregating 203,751 volumes. The total cash value of losses to the 74 libraries surveyed amounts to 1,087,212.20 dollars... no survey on non-Catholic schools.

Category: Librarians


Outstanding Librarian 1998:
Leonor B. Gregorio

Leonor B. GregorioThe Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Leonor B. Gregorio in 1998. The citation reads:

For her distinguished career in agricultural information services having instituted the computerization and networking of 13 libraries of the UP-Los Baños with the DOST-ESEP network; for having conceptualized, developed and managed the UP Los Baños Libraries as the national and regional center of agricultural information system [sic]; and, for relentlessly promoting library and information science from the grassroots to the global level through articles published in local and international journals.

Thanks to Susima Gonzales and Lilia Echiverri for providing the photo and citation.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


FO: Bench TV Ads

Francine PrietoFrancine Prieto is a Filipina whose photo has appeared on billboards for Bench Body. But no, this post is not about Prieto. The photo is really just a stunt to catch your attention =)

This post is about the television ads available on the Bench website. The ads range from "Sculler" featuring Richard Gomez to "The Red Series" with Marc Nelson. The former made Filipinos sit up and take notice of Bench, while the latter is probably responsible for the brisk sales of red underwear for men.

In between are more underwear, cologne and hair gel ads with Gomez, his wife Lucy Torres-Gomez, model Borgy Manotoc, actors Jomari Yllana and Diether Ocampo, VJs Amanda Griffin and Nonie Tao, and even basketball players BJ Manalo and Enrico Villanueva. The ads may be viewed using Real Player and Windows Media Player.

In addition to TV ads, the following may also be viewed or downloaded: product photos, model photos and bios, desktop wallpapers, and special events galleries that include Jerry Yan's visit to Cebu and several underwear fashion shows.

As far as I know, Bench is the only Filipino company that has made its ads available on its own website.

Category: Filipiniana Online


Outstanding Librarian 1999:
Antonio M. Santos

Antonio M. SantosAntonio M. Santos
Law Librarian
University of the Philippines

The Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Antonio M. Santos in 1999. The citation reads:

For outstanding accomplishments toward the development of the librarianship profession through active participation in the implementation of the "Philippine Librarianship Act" as past President of the Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (PLAI); for active participation in the drafting and the implementation of the continuing professional education for librarians; and for having institutionalized the holding of PLAI regional assemblies, seminars, and outreach programs to touch base with librarians throughout the country.

Thanks to Susima Gonzales and Lilia Echiverri for providing the citation. The photo is from the Consal XIII website.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


Outstanding Librarian 2000:
Corazon M. Nera

Corazon M. NeraCorazon M. Nera
Faculty Member
Centro Escolar University and University of the East

The Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Corazon M. Nera in 2000. The citation reads:

For organizing the FAPE library which became the premier library of educators in the country and training library for students and practicing librarians; for conceptualizing a library development program for Filipiniana materials, thereby enhancing the collection, utilization, and importance of Filipiniana materials in the academe; and for devoting the best years of her life in teaching and training the best of young librarians.

Thanks to Susima Gonzales and Lilia Echiverri for providing the photo and citation.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


FO: "Food Trip" by Don Gurrea

Food Trip 1 by Don Gurrea Food Trip 2 by Don Gurrea
Food Trip 3 by Don Gurrea Food Trip 4 by Don Gurrea

Don Gurrea is a Dipolog-based artist. All the paintings may be viewed at the Bluewings Artspace above Rafa's Deli + Cafe (10 Xavierville Ave., Loyola Heights, Quezon City) until 31 March 2006.

Click on the images above to see larger images. Each painting is 32 x 24 inches, oil on canvas (2005). Images were taken and posted by this blogger with the artist's permission.

Category: Filipiniana Online


Outstanding Librarian 2001:
Adoracion B. Mendoza

Adoracion B. MendozaAdoracion B. Mendoza
The National Library

The Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Adoracion B. Mendoza in 2001. The citation reads:

For her numerous achievements and contributions to the library profession through demonstrated expertise in library management and administration as Director of the National Library; for computerizing the Philippine National Bibliography and establishing the Bookmobile Services in the country; for uncovering the pilferage of 8,000 rare historical documents and manuscripts in the National Library and their retrieval through appeals to antique dealers, collectors and the public; for establishing the Public Libraries Information Network (PUBLIN) in the public library system; and for extending full support and cooperation to activities and programs of the different library associations and other related organizations.

Thanks to Susima Gonzales and Lilia Echiverri for providing the photo and citation.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


Outstanding Librarian 2002:
Rosita Q. Ling

Rosita Q. Ling
Provincial Librarian
Basilan Province

The Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Rosita Q. Ling in 2002. The citation reads:

For her outstanding contribution to library science as a Christian Provincial Librarian of the Basilan Provincial Library for almost two decades now where she continues to serve our countrymen in Basilan, rubs elbows with Muslims, including children, and members of the MILF, MNLF, and even the Abu Sayyaf, and acts not only as librarian but also as teacher, mother, and sister; and for demonstrating the profession's social responsibility through outreach programs which include book mobile services that enable her to conduct information-literacy programs like the book-lending program and educational film viewing in the different barangay reading and day-care centers in the District of Isabela and Lamitan despite imminent danger to her life.

Thanks to Susima Gonzales and Lilia Echiverri for providing the citation.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


FO: Wow Philippines

Click on the arrow to watch the video. It will take some time to load, so I suggest you click on the "pause" button while waiting. The video will stop playing, but it will continue to load.
In 2002, the Department of Tourism launched the "Wow Philippines" ad campaign. Aside from the 30-second spot shown above (European version), there is also the Asian version, and the following 15-seconders:
The Chocolate Hills. (Sorry, you can't eat them.)
If you don't like this one, we have 7,106 more to choose from.
How far will your shopping money take you in the Philippines?
You may also wish to view the whole 5-minute promotional video to see the many different facets of the Philippines.

Category: Filipiniana Online


Outstanding Librarian 2003:
Salvacion M. Arlante

Salvacion M. ArlanteSalvacion M. Arlante
University Librarian
University of the Philippines

The Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Salvacion M. Arlante in 2003. The citation reads:

For her outstanding contributions towards the advancement of library science which earned for her numerous awards and distinctions; for her visionary leadership and outstanding achievements as the first President of the Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. and as President of the Philippine Association of Academic and Research Libraries; for her contributions to the drafting of the classification scheme (Thesaurus) of the Asian and Pacific Skill Development Programme of the International Labor Organization; for pioneering the networking for world-wide access of the University of the Philippines libraries and enlisting it and other academic institution[s] in an online regional database and in the Southeast Asian preservation program; and for conceptualizing and organizing [a] nationwide congress on state-of-the-art Filipiniana and heritage collections.

Thanks to Susima Gonzales and Lilia Echiverri for providing the citation. The photo is from the Consal XIII website.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


Outstanding Librarian 2004:
Susima L. Gonzales

Susima L. GonzalesSusima L. Gonzales
Former Chairperson
Board for Librarians

The Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Susima L. Gonzales in 2004. The citation reads:

For her unwavering commitment to the advancement of the Library Science profession as evidenced by her efforts for the passage of Republic Act No. 6966 or the Philippine Librarianship Act and Republic Act No. 9246 entitled "Modernizing the Practice of Librarianship in the Philippines"; for spearheading the establishment and formulation of standards and guidelines for the teaching of Bachelor of Library [and] Information Science (BLIS) Program; for her professional competence and unquestioned integrity as Chairperson of the Board for Librarians and Chief of Legal Documentation and Library Services Division of the Department of Justice; and for her exemplary leadership in holding key positions in various national organizations of librarians.

Thanks to Lilia Echiverri for providing the photo and citation.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


Who is Gabriel A. Bernardo?

Gabriel A. BernardoEvery year, the Institute of Library and Information Science presents the Gabriel A. Bernardo Memorial Lecture around March 14, the birthday of the person after whom the lecture is named. This year, the speaker will be USec Fortunato dela Peña of the Department of Science and Technology. For more information, check out UPLSAA Online.

But who exactly is Gabriel A. Bernardo? For those who are familiar with his name, all we ever really hear is that he is the doyen of Philippine librarianship. For those who've never heard of him, below are two articles that appeared in the Manila Times in 1962. The first was written by Alfredo Roces before Bernardo's death, while the second is an editorial—probably the source of the title "doyen"—published after his death on 5 December 1962. [Digression: When will another editorial be written about a Filipino librarian?]

Our Dean of Librarians
by Alfredo R. Roces
Manila Times, 27 November 1962

National Book Week should be the appropriate time to bring to public light a man, and more important, his contributions to Philippine library science. This man is little known outside of his circle of libraries, book lovers, students of UP and the Ateneo. In fact, we have never met him personally. But this man, Gabriel Bernardo, is considered the "dean of Filipino librarians" by all those who live in the field.

Bernardo is now about 71 years old. At present he is recovering from an operation, his ailment forcing an interruption of his teaching at the Ateneo where he was pinch-hitting for Fr. Horacio de la Costa's history and government class. Throughout his life he has expressed scholarly interest in books, Philippine and Indonesian folklure (sic), Tagalog, and culture in general. He has trained countless Filipino librarians and written many articles on various aspects of Philippine culture. He was librarian and professor emeritus at the UP. In 1957, he received a citation from the UP Library Science Alumni Association and library staff members as "Dean of Filipino Librarians, Educator, Bibliographer and Scholar."

During the American regime, Leonard Wood offered Bernardo the directorship of the National Library, but Bernardo turned it down because he could not be assured a free hand in weeding out incompetents. Till now the graying librarian is highly respected, but not popular for his highly principled and idealistic standards imposed on those under his influence. He has, for instance, many a time refused to recommend someone for a position whenever he felt that the candidate was unqualified. On the other hand, he has been known to work very hard to help someone obtain an opportunity whenever he was confident of the person's qualifications. In public libraries, where bureaucracy reigns, such uncompromising individuals are seldom popular.

In one school in the United States, where a Filipino pensionado was sent and had done so badly the school crossed out Filipinos from the list, Bernardo worked tirelessly among those he knew in the American community and wrote letters to the school officials in order to recommend someone he knew was deserving. The person was accepted and has at least vindicated Philippine scholarship in that school.

Bernardo helped organize the USIS library. He is working on a national bibliography, stung by the unchallenged cry of Retana: "Where are the people aspiring to be free, but need a foreigner to make its national bibliography?" He is a serious researcher and has done much for library work in this country and, consequently, for the seeds of culture.

We feel that humble, hard-working and dedicated men need some token of the public's esteem. In this era of public relations and image-building through press release, a man of Bernardo's achievement deserves some recognition. Roses to the dean of Filipino librarians on Book Week!

Professor Bernardo
Manila Times, 7 December 1962

An unassuming man, whose quiet manner belied his erudition, was one of the most beloved figures in the University of the Philippines in his time. He was Professor Gabriel A. Bernardo, doyen of Filipino librarians, who died the other day at the age of 71, poor of purse but rich in honors.

Known to all students as the UP librarian, Dr. Bernardo was actually an eminent bibliographer of Filipiniana and an internationally recognized authority of Philippine and Indonesian folklore. Upon his retirement from the state university five years ago, he devoted his remaining years to the completion of his lifetime project, the updating of Philippine bibliography where W.E. Retana, James Alexander Robertson and others had left it half a century ago.

A conscientious and devoted scholar, Dr. Bernardo was no less revered as an understanding and helpful friend of every student in quest of knowledge from the books and manuscripts in his care. He was a true man of learning, whom neither adversity nor academic renown could distract from his scholarly devotions.

These two articles were reprinted in Gabriel A. Bernardo: Librarian, Bibliographer and Scholar (Manila: Bibliographical Society of the Philippines, 1974), which was edited by Mauro Garcia and includes Bernardo's works (including a play!) and testimonials delivered in his honor.

Category: Librarians


"I'm Just Trying to Matter"

Every now and then, I ask myself, "Why am I doing what I'm doing?" I wasn't really thinking of this question while I was watching the Oscars, but after hearing Reese Witherspoon quote June Carter, I thought now might be a good time to reflect a little, especially after a year of blogging.

Why exactly am I blogging? And why do I continue to blog? Like Reese Witherspoon and June Carter, I guess I'm just trying to matter. The answers that I'm able to provide through this blog to questions that aren't really asked—it's more like anticipating what regular readers or Googlers might need—may not really matter in the greater scheme of things, but hey, not all of us can be heroes.

I'm just trying to matter. And the small change, I hope, will eventually add up to something more.

Category: About Vonjobi


Edsa 20/20: Download the Documentary

Last February 20, Newsstand announced that, "we are working on making it available on the Internet very soon."

"It" was a documentary on the 1986 Edsa Revolution. Well, thanks to technological advances in the last twenty years—and the generosity of INQ7—anyone from anywhere around the world can now download EDSA 20: Isang Larawan.

Category: The Philippines


Edsa 20/20: Fatigues

Twenty years ago, it all started with men in fatigues. Now, Filipinos are wearing all sorts of fatigues—people power fatigue, coup fatigue, etc. Scott Garceau explains it all in "Coup season," which I am reproducing below because the Philippine Star's archives are anything but reliable.

Coup season
by Scott R. Garceau
Philippine Star, 5 March 2006

I’m almost grateful for coup attempts, believe it or not. It seems to be the only time of the year that I can rely on getting a phone call from one or both of my parents back in the States.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that they don’t think about me and our little family halfway around the world during other times of the year. It’s just that nothing motivates them to pick up the phone quite like CNN footage of coup attempts back in Manila. That gets them all worked up.

"We were worried about you," begins the usual message from my mom on the answering machine. There’s always a faint, deprecating "tsk, tsk" undertone to this message. As in: "What are you doing in such a dangerous place?"

"Are you still there?" my mother’s voice asks. "Have you packed your bags? Is everyone safe?"

How to tell my parents that this coup stuff has now become blasé and routine, especially from the perspective of a daily newspaper desk? We’ve been down this road before, too many times. First there was people power fatigue. Soon after, we all came down with coup fatigue.

My mom’s phone message last Sunday carried that usual worried tone, as though we were sitting on a powder keg over here. How to tell that, on the day of the big "coup," my wife was getting a spa treatment in Makati, while her sister and relatives visiting from the US were shopping and hanging out at a local Internet café?

Coup? What coup?

But Mom had seen that alarming footage – you know, the usual tight close-up shot of a "crowd" that actually consists of about 300 people and gets aired on CNN worldwide every 30 minutes. She thought this meant the government had already collapsed, that the power lines had been cut, that the US embassy was being stormed. I tried to explain: the government is not collapsing, it’s just in a perpetual state of recovery. Like an alcoholic.

Really, I told her later when I returned the phone call, there were more people hanging out in the malls than taking to the streets. So chill-ax! (God, I hate using Gen-Y terms like that, but it was the only way to get through to her.)

When I called my mom back, I was tempted to slip on the Apocalypse Now or Platoon DVD in the background – something with a lot of gunfire and noise, to maybe make her think the AFP was right outside the door. But she’s older now, and there’s no good reason to get her all riled up.

Instead, I told her things were okay, not to worry, and gave her a pleasant update on the everyday surreality of living in Manila. No, nobody really knows what’s going on. And we’re completely used to that.

I pointed out that they were still airing those kitschy dance shows on noontime television. Now how could there be a coup (or media crackdown) when people were still practicing their dance routines?

Then my mom said that she had a "goody package" she wanted to send over to us, but with all the current "trouble," she wasn’t sure where to send it. "Is it still called the Philippines?" she asked. "Is it still the same address?" I could tell she was half serious. She said she wasn’t sure whether the Philippines had been taken over by Malaysia, or some other country. "No, that’s called a war, Mom," I explained. "This is a coup." I tried to clarify the difference between a "war" and a "coup." I think she finally got it.

(The kicker was, she had been promising to send this alleged "goody package" to us for half a year already. I guess the CNN footage provided another excuse for not driving down to the post office.)

Anyway, it was nice to hear from my parents. I think the last time they got worried enough to call was 2001, what with EDSA 2 and everything. Before that, it was the Abu Sayyaf and their American hostage shopping spree. For some reason, simple natural and man-made disasters – like the Leyte landslide, or ferry sinkings – don’t seem to prompt them to call. I guess it’s because I usually tell them those things are happening elsewhere, not in Manila.

But CNN packs a lot of clout. Global cable news may be a great idea, but it doesn’t always give a clear picture of what’s happening across the world. I’ve tried keeping my family in the loop with e-mail, but my parents regard e-mail with suspicion if not incomprehension, so I don’t contact them as much as I’d like.

Really, I guess it all comes down to seasons. Ecclesiastes, and all that. People here like to say there are only two seasons in the Philippines – hot season and rainy season. But I would have to add, just for the concerned or casual observer, one other period of local disturbance: coup season.

The only problem is, these days, coup season seems to be year-round.

Category: The Philippines


Fearless Oscar Forecast

Best Picture
Brokeback Mountain

Best Actor
Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Capote)

Best Actress
Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line)

Best Supporting Actor
George Clooney (Syriana)

Best Supporting Actress
Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain)

Best Director
Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana (Brokeback Mountain)

Best Original Screenplay
Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco (Crash)

See disclaimers here. And for those of you who are interested in reading the short story "Brokeback Mountain" by Annie Proulx, the link is here. But it looks like you'll have to click on the cached page because the original link is not working.

Categories: Books and Movies, About Vonjobi


Edsa 20/20: The First Few Hours on Radio Veritas

TWENTY years ago, Filipinos did not have access to breaking news the way they do today. There were no cellular phones on which to receive hourly updates. There were no computers on which to check news sites or blogs. All they had were the print-only newspapers and the radio and television stations, most of which were either government-owned or censoring themselves for fear of reprisals.

And so, on the evening of February 22, 1986, when Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel V. Ramos announced that they were withdrawing their support for President Ferdinand Marcos, Radio Veritas was one of the very few reliable sources for breaking news — perhaps the only one.

What was it like during the early hours of the birth of the Edsa Revolution? Thanks to Champ Reyes — whose father, Wency Reyes, was one of those who asked people to go to Edsa — we have a recording of the Radio Veritas broadcast on that historic night.

Download the entire recording here or listen to the following excerpts:

Read entire post...

This post was written for Inside PCIJ.

Categories: The Philippines, Filipiniana Online


Edsa 20/20: Ang Paraisong Pinaka

Ang Paraisong PinakaThe Haribon Foundation began its "Ang Paraisong Pinaka" ad campaign last year. Its message about the Philippine environment and how our country's wildlife is one the most diverse—and endangered—moved me to write to Haribon to ask whether they were going to put the ads I heard on the radio on their website. Well, the ads were made available recently and you may now listen to the radio plugs.

The fact that the ads were uploaded at this time led me to reflect that "Ang Paraisong Pinaka" applies not just to our physical environment, but also our political development. The best translation of "Ang Paraisong Pinaka" I can come up with, apologies to John Milton, is "Paradise Most."

But I made a promise not to write about politics anymore, so let me just share with you my transcription and translation of "Ang Paraisong Pinaka":

Ang Paraisong Pinaka

Minsan, may isang paraiso: ang paraisong Pinaka

Ito ang pinakamayamang paraiso
Nandito ang pinakamalaki at pinakamaliit na isda sa buong mundo
Ang pinakamaraming uri ng ibon at paru-paro
Pinakamalaking paniki at agila
Pinakamalaki at pinakamaliit na kabibe
Pati na rin ang isa sa pinakamalaking bulaklak

Pero ang pinakamalungkot sa lahat
Ang buhay sa paraisong Pinaka
Ay siya ring pinakananganganib sa buong mundo

Kaya sa pinakamadaling panahon
Alagaan natin ang buhay dito sa Pilipinas
Ang ating paraisong Pinaka

Paradise Most

Once, there was a paradise: paradise Most

It is the richest paradise
Here we have the largest and smallest fish in the world
The most kinds of birds and butterflies
The largest bat and eagle
The largest and smallest shell
It also has one of the largest flowers

But the saddest of all
Life in paradise Most
Is also one of the most endangered in the world

And so, at the soonest possible time
Let us preserve life in the Philippines
Our very own paradise Most

Categories: The Philippines, Filipiniana Online


Blogs as Filipiniana, Part I

In "The Pinoy A-list," I asked, what makes a blog "Pinoy"? Some suggestions have been made through the comments on my post, Random Takes and Ambot Ah! I'd like to suggest the following definition of a "Pinoy" blog based on the definition I use for my "Filipiniana Online" series:

Blogs about the Philippines, produced in or outside the Philippines, by Filipinos or non-Filipinos, in any of the Philippine languages, or in a foreign language (Medina 1992).
After all, if Jose Rizal, Ramon Magsaysay and Jessica Hagedorn had blogged in their youth—no matter what they wrote about—I'm sure we would all still recognize their work as Filipiniana. Another way of stating the definition would be:
Blogs about the Philippines. It doesn't matter whether the blogs were produced in or outside the Philippines, by Filipinos or non-Filipinos, in any of the Philippine languages, or in a foreign language, as long as they are about the Philippines.
What about Filipinos who do not write explicitly about the Philippines? As long as they acknowledge their Filipino roots, I'd consider them Pinoy blogs. Even those writing about not-so-Filipino topics like technology matters or American Idol, will do so with a recognizable Filipino perspective, no matter how subtle.

I am, of course, a librarian. How do I now "collect" all of these blogs in my "library"? I will now have to come up with a collection development policy. Give me a few days—maybe weeks—to come up with "Blogs as Filipiniana, Part II." In the meantime, suggestions, comments and feedback will be very welcome.

Categories: Blogging, Filipiniana Online


Confluence of Events

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and the first day of Women's Month and Fire Prevention Month. Can someone please explain the significance of this confluence of events? Are we supposed to fast because the women of this country (e.g., Gloria, Cory, Susan) are lighting too many fires? =)

Category: Events


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