Quick Links: Talumpati | Licensed Librarians | Filipiniana Online | Stereotypes | Leadership | The Philippines

Video: Juan Miguel Luz on Library Hub

It has been said that changes at the helm of the Department of Education (DepEd) have occurred too often since 2001. Usually, when a new regime takes over, anything that the previous leader supported is either actively ridiculed into oblivion or passively neglected until just about everyone forgets about it. And that's why I was wondering what would happen to Library Hub when its proponent, former DepEd undersecretary Juan Miguel Luz, resigned. Well, I finally met him in person, asked him how Library Hub avoided politics-as-usual, and even got him to agree to have his reply recorded on video:

He attributes the continued spread of Library Hubs all over the country not to money but to the leadership of Beverly Gonda and DepEd undersecretary Teodosio Sangil, Jr., which only proves once more my thesis regarding money and leadership.

Meeting Luz was one of the many things that make me glad I went to the Books Across Southeast Asia conference organized by the Book Development Association of the Philippines, which had a substantial number of librarians among the panelists and the audience.

In a few hours, I will be a panelist on "Reading Literacy Campaigns in the Region," though my focus will be on Internet access to libraries. And, of course, since there will be publishers in the audience, I'll be asking whether they know C.S. Canonigo. Then, I'll be attending a copyright session in the afternoon. Guess what I'll ask during the open forum? =)


Pinoy Big Biblioblogosphere: July 2007

This post is long overdue, so please forgive me if it's not as comprehensive as the previous ones. But first, allow me to announce that I am inviting all those who consider themselves members of the Pinoy biblioblogosphere—whether you are a librarian or not—to leave a comment below regarding your availability on September 15 or 16, and preferences on place (preferably with free wifi) and time. This way, we can confirm whether the "big" in the title of this post is merely wishful thinking on my part =)

Last July, the biggest news in the biblioblogosphere—or just about any place where people read books—was undoubtedly the publication of the last installment of the Harry Potter series. Among the blograrians who wrote about the book before and after reading it were:
Juned, Peachy, Ralline and Rhea. It was Zarah and her spoilers, however, that benefited in terms of traffic, as reflected in the rise of her blog to no. 19 on Pinoy Top Blogs.

Zarah also covered National Children's Book Day, Florante provided some notes regarding the ALA Annual Conference held in Washington, DC, last June, Igor and Noel noted the revitalization of the UP Library and Information Science Students’ Association (watch the video to see what LIS students look like nowadays), and the UP Library Science Alumni Association unveiled a new look for its website.

Personal achievements worth noting were those by Mila, who co-authored a paper on "Scholarly Publishing Initiatives at the International Rice Research Institute," which was presented in Vancouver; and Melchor, who shared the citation for the award he received as an outstanding employee in UP Visayas.

Then there's Arnold, who reported that a library from the Philippines turned down the chance to have its books digitized by Google. He also refers to this blograrian as an "established" blogger, who supposedly earns "some money (over $1000)." I've been blogging for more than two and a half years, and all I can say is, "I wish!"

By the way, in case you think working in libraries is boring, take a look at what Vhessa has to say: "The Library Is SO Not Boring!" And if you think librarians are boring, take a look at them fire breathing and dancing.

Reactions posted last July to my own posts include those of Charles on "Who is the Imelda Marcos of Books?"; Paolo and Zimm on "The First Books Printed in the Philippines"; and Charles and Bhex on "Are Bookstores Better Than Libraries?" I wish I could link to more of Charles's posts, but as he has admitted, he has too many posts. And since he referred to me as "she" in both the posts I linked to above, let me just state, for the record, that not all librarians are female =)


An Open Letter to C. S. Canonigo

See also "C. S. Canonigo Replies."

Dear Ms. Cristina Santos Canonigo,

I am writing to you in connection with the following book:
Talumpati! Talumpati! Talumpati!
Book One: Pantulong sa mga Guro't Mag-aaral

Tinipon at Isinaayos ni C. S. Canonigo

Karapatang-ari 2006 ni Cristina Santos Canonigo
Reserbado ang lahat ng karapatan (All Rights Reserved)
ISBN 971-846-052-7

Unang Limbag: December, 2006
Inilathala ng TCB Book Supply
Selling price at National Bookstore: 48 pesos
Specifically, I refer to the following speeches reproduced in the book:
Pananalig (Pangulong Ramon Magsaysay), pp. 51-52
Muling Maging Dakila (Pangulong Ferdinand E. Marcos), pp. 53-54
Mensahe sa Aking Mga Kababayan (Pang. Manuel L. Quezon), pp. 55-56
I was not born yesterday. The speeches enumerated above were taken from my blog. They were delivered in English, and I translated them into Tagalog. But no mention is made in the book, for which you have claimed copyright, of the original language in which the speeches appeared or of their translator.

Could it be that you made your own translations, and it just so happened that the words you used corresponded exactly with mine? But how do you explain the fact that the last words of "Sa Kabataan" (Onofre Pagsanghan), pp. 47-49, are the same as those of my post? I think it is too much of a coincidence that you acknowledge the same persons that I did in the exact same words that I used: "Thanks to Ronald Cabunagan and Francis Alvarez, SJ, for their assistance in obtaining the text."

For your information, the content of this blog is protected by a Creative Commons license, which states that my posts are free to be copied, distributed and transmitted under certain conditions, of which the most relevant to this case are:
Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.
You have violated both of the conditions and I certainly did not grant permission because it was not sought. Hence, I demand that you pull out all the copies of the book from all distribution outlets by 30 September 2007. If you ignore this demand, then I will be forced to take legal action, not to mention use everything at my disposal—including the choice words I have refrained from employing thus far—to make sure that everyone who might possibly buy the book knows that you reap where you do not sow.

Vernon Totanes
Filipino Librarian
PRC License No. 4154


Manila International Bookfair 2007:
Ang Bagong Mambabasa

It's official. I will not just be attending the upcoming Manila International Bookfair, but I will also be part of one of the official events.

After posting "Seminars for Librarians," I got an email from Read or Die (RoD) apologizing for the premature inclusion of my name as a speaker, and asked whether I would agree to be a panelist for a session. After verifying that the topic was within my comfort zone, I said, "Yes."

Here are the details of the session:

DAY 5 September 2, 2007 - Sunday

Ang Bagong Mambabasa - New Readings and New Readers
Read or Die
5:30 P.M. - 6:30 P.M.
Function Room B
Cost: Free
I don't know whether anyone will still be around during the last few hours of the bookfair, but I certainly hope to at least meet the people behind RoD, who have been doing such an amazing job.


Manila International Bookfair 2007:
Seminars for Librarians

The list below is based on the one provided on the official website of the Manila International Bookfair (MIBF). Additional information has been provided based on emails I have received. If no speaker or price is indicated, this means that no other information could be found. Please note, though, that my name also appears on the MIBF site as a speaker (?) for an event that I have not been invited to attend. This tells me that the MIBF list will probably still change.

DAY 1 August 29, 2007 - Wednesday
Marketing Strategies for School Librarians
Speakers: Ellinor Ferriol, Mercedes Vijandre
UP Library Science Alumni Association (UPLSAA)
10:00 A.M. - 12:00 NN
Function Room A
Cost: P150 (non-members), P100 (members) and P50 (undergraduate students)

User Education and Information Literacy: Current Practices and Innovative Strategies
Speaker: Fe Angela M. Verzosa
Philippine Association of Academic and Research Librarians (PAARL)
10:00 A.M. - 12:00 NN
Function Room B
Cost: P150 (non-members), P100 (members) and P50 (library science students)

Empowering Libraries: The Effect of Modernization and Emerging Technologies in the Philippines
Speaker: Corazon M. Nera
C & E Publishing, Inc.
1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M
Function Room A
Cost: Free

Developing a Standardized Curriculum for the Graduate Program in Library and Information Science
Philippine Association of Teachers of Library Science (PATLS)
1:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Function Room C
DAY 2 August 30, 2007 - Thursday
Intellectual Property Rights: Issues and Concerns in Health Sciences Libraries
Speaker: Elizabeth Pulumbarit
Medical & Health Librarians Association of the Philippines (MAHLAP)
10:00 A.M. - 12:00 NN
Function Room B

Preparing Your Libraries for Emergencies and Disasters
Speaker: Heather Mansell
Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (PLAI), National Book Store and Anvil Publishing, Inc.
10:00 A.M. - 1:30 NN
Function Room C
Cost: P100 (professionals) and P50 (students)

Children, Teens and Reading in the Time of IT
Speaker: Zarah Grace Gagatiga
Powerbooks Inc.
3:30 P.M. - 4:30 P.M.
Function Room A
Cost: Free
DAY 3 August 31, 2007 - Friday
Webliography: On-line Access to Information Sources
Speaker: Marita G. Valerio
Association of Special Libraries of the Philippines (ASLP)
10:00 A.M. - 12:00 NN
Function Room B
Cost: P150 (non-members), P100 (members) and P50 (students)
What is the state of librarianship in the Philippines? I think the fact that PLAI and PATLS do not have websites says a lot about "Philippine librarianship in the 21st century." And of those librarians' associations that do have websites, some have not been updated in years. There seems to be a disconnect between what has been said—and will continue to be said—at seminars and conferences about the skills librarians need today and what is actually being done by those responsible for the continuing education of professional librarians and current and future LIS students.

True, updated websites alone are not enough to pass judgment on the state of a profession. But people still, in fact, do judge books by their covers. And websites that don't exist or haven't been updated in a long while are not much different from librarians who are taken for granted by administrators because they hardly ever speak up about their accomplishments.


Filipino Librarians Googlegroup

Love Your Librarian
The Filipino Librarians Googlegroup is two years old. If you are unfamiliar with this group, here's what I wrote two years ago in "Six Months!":

You do not have to be a member of a Filipino library association. Neither do you have to be physically in the Philippines. Heck, you don't even have to be Filipino or a librarian. As long as you are interested in "the Philippines, Filipiniana, Philippine libraries and Filipino librarians," you're welcome to join the group.
I have mentioned the group in passing since then on this blog, but I was surprised to find out that I have never actually devoted a post to the group until today. And yet its membership—composed of Filipino and foreign librarians and non-librarians, LIS students, spammers (!), relatives and friends—has grown to 437, and the discussions have apparently helped quite a few people. If you would like to join the group, just input your email address in the appropriate box in the sidebar on the right.

To celebrate the group's second anniversary, I will be giving away the "Love Your Librarian" buttons and stress ball shown in the photo above at the first-ever gathering of group members at the upcoming Manila International Bookfair (MIBF), right after the lecture of Zarah Gagatiga on "Children, Teens and Reading In The Time Of IT" on August 30, 3:30-4:30 pm. If you plan to join the "meet and greet," as Zarah calls it, please wear something red in your hair (if you're female) or pin something red to your cap (if male). I'll be pinning my own "love your librarian" button to my cap the whole day, so if you can't make it to Zarah's session and happen to see me during the day, just say "Hi!" =)

I'll take pictures of all the group members I meet at the MIBF and post them here. If I meet more than six, then I guess I'll have to raffle the buttons and stress ball, which were given to me by the people at Office Movers at SLA 2006 when I told them that I really liked the pin I got the previous year.

By the way, I also turned 34 today =)


The Humor of F. Sionil Jose

The video above is of the first two minutes of the lecture by F. Sionil Jose on "History as Literature" at the Ortigas Foundation Library on 16 August 2007. Permission to post the video online was obtained from his wife Teresa.

I suppose I could blog about what he said during the rest of his stimulating lecture, but I decided that aside from further delaying my first post since I arrived in the Philippines, writing about what he said would probably not add anything new to what has already been said about him.

But I do think many more would be interested in seeing for themselves, especially those who are only familiar with his novels or provocative pronouncements, another facet of his brilliance. I think it's very interesting that his humor, like his novels, is "historical" in nature =)



In a few hours, I will be taking a plane home to the Philippines. It's been more than a year since I left on a jet plane and it took a while before I became homesick, but now that I'm finally on my way home, I'm not quite sure what to feel. I look forward to all the comforts of home and seeing family and friends once again, but I know that it won't be all quite the same as before. And then there's the fact that I'm actually going home to do research for my dissertation, not just taking a vacation.

The song is "Home" by Daughtry. It was the song played when contestants were eliminated during the last season of "American Idol." The following are the lyrics that I think best describe what happened to me this year:
Be careful what you wish for,
'Cause you just might get it all.
You just might get it all,
And then some you don't want.
I don't regret anything that I did during the past year, but I do know that I'm not in Kansas anymore =)

Before Daughtry, the only song entitled "Home" that I was familiar with was the one from the musical The Wiz. The video above is from the movie version, with Diana Ross as Dorothy. Some of its lyrics complement those from Daughtry's song:
Suddenly my world's gone and changed its face
But I still know where I'm going
I have had my mind spun around in space
And yet I've watched it growing
Well, tomorrow I'll be home.


Isang Milyong Aklat,
Isang Milyong Pangarap

AHON Foundation—whose work was the subject of the PCIJ article "Libraries of Hope"—has launched "Isang Milyong Aklat, Isang Milyong Pangarap" (freely translated on their blog as "With a million books, we can help build a million dreams"). The PCIJ article is reproduced on their blog, but aside from that, there is no other information on what will be done with the books.

I hope that the philosophy behind the foundation's work with the Marikina libraries (see "Literacy, Reading and Book Donation Programs") will be the same for the book drive, and that some librarians or LIS students can become volunteers.

I also hope that some librarians are already involved at the higher levels because even with community involvement, if there is no one looking out for who will organize the books and "sell" reading to the members of the community, then the books will probably take a back seat to the no-effort-involved TV shows that many Filipinos watch all the time.


Buwan ng Wika 2007

August is Buwan ng Wika (Language Month).

Supposedly, Filipino is the national language of the Philippines, but if you speak a language spoken in the Philippines other than Tagalog, you are probably unlikely to accept that Filipino (the language) is Tagalog (and it's not). As Horacio de la Costa once put it so eloquently: "If we must needs give currency to our thoughts, we are forced to mint them in the coinage of a foreign tongue, for we do not even have a common language."

The "foreign tongue" to which De la Costa alluded was, of course, English—the same one that I use to write on this blog, and the one that I've learned is actually a better alternative to Tagalog in certain parts of the Philippines. The video below, found through Filipinayzd, shows very clearly why I was right to switch from Tagalog to English while I was in Cebu a few years ago.

If you thought that Tagalog was the national language of the Philippines or are not sure of the difference between Pilipino and Filipino, take a look at the following articles that trace the development of the Filipino language:

"Development of Filipino, The National Language of the Philippines" by Paz M. Belvez

"The Metamorphosis of Filipino as National Language" by Jessie Grace U. Rubrico

"Filipino with the 'F': A Construction of the National Language Policy" by Eldrige Marvin B. Aceron (see also Part Two, and the complete article [doc])
The first was written by an educator, and you may want to read it if you don't really have much time. The second is by a linguist, and is much longer and more academic in nature than the first. The third is by a lawyer-blogger, and the blog post's subtitle, "A Guide for the Perplexed," indicates what I liked about it: it's scholarly and it has footnotes, but it's very readable.

If you would like to find out more about what exactly the Filipino language is, including just how many letters are in its alphabet, check out my post last year on "Ang Bagong Alfabeto at Patnubay sa Ispeling," where links are provided to the full text of the latest guidelines, articles about the guidelines, and even a blog that is utilizing the guidelines. But please note that the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) is reviewing the 2001 Ang Bagong Alfabeto at Patnubay sa Ispeling, and the Department of Education has stopped its implementation and recommended the use of the "1987 Alpabeto at Patnubay sa Ispeling" (pdf). Then again, you may just wish to wait until those in the know have made up their mind =)

In the meantime, you may wish to join the writing contests organized by the KWF (Rules | Form) and Pinoy Blogosphere (Wika2007 Blog Writing Contest). The deadline for the former has been extended to August 15, while the deadline for the latter is August 18. The theme for both is "Maraming Wika, Matatag na Bansa" (KWF translation: "A gift of tongues for a strong nation"), which indicates, perhaps, that Buwan ng Wika will not anymore be just a celebration of the Filipino language, but of the many languages of the Philippines.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...