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Book Development Month 2009

"Galing Pinoy, Basahin!" is the theme of this year's celebration of Philippine Book Development Month (PBDM). The Tagalog word "galing" may be pronounced two ways and has two different meanings. The first may be translated as "talent," while the second, "from." Thus, the theme could be "Read Pinoy Talent!" or "Read [Books] From Pinoys!" There's more information about the different activities being held, including the awarding ceremonies for the National Book Awards, on the website of the National Book Development Board (NBDB).

But actually, PBDM is not the only thing happening in November. Long before PBDM was moved from June to November to coincide with National Book Week (NBW), it was already Library and Information Services Month (LISM). Unlike PBDM, however, there doesn't really seem to be any central location where information about NBW or LISM can be found easily. The National Library's website has been down more than it's been up since I first thought of becoming a librarian in 2002, and while the fact that it has a wiki is encouraging, it doesn't really provide much useful information beyond address, contact numbers and library hours. Is it really that hard to get a website to work or update a wiki? The Quezon City Public Library, in contrast, provides a list of events for all its branches, branch locations with maps, and even regular newsletters.

Other events taking place in November are the following:

National Conference, Philippine Association of Academic and Research Librarians - Pasig City, 11-13 November 2009

National Conference, Reading Association of the Philippines - Dagupan City, Pangasinan, 12-14 November 2009 [postponed]

National Congress, Philippine Librarians Association - Pasay City, 25-27 November 2009
It seems rather odd that while the sponsor of the first event actually has its own website and wiki, information about the event is circulating only via email, and so questions get asked and requests are made over and over again. The sponsors of the other two events, meanwhile, do not even seem to have their own websites, and details are just disseminated through the kindness of interested parties.

This post was really just supposed to be an announcement about important events taking place in November, but I just couldn't help letting out some of the disappointment I'm feeling about the way these events are being publicized. NBDB has gotten much savvier at promoting its activities since I first blogged about its website, but all the others seem to be pretty much where they were before. Finally, there's what I wrote last year in Book Development Month 2008: "It is rather unfortunate, however, that there does not seem to be much evidence of synergy or cooperation between the different groups behind PBDM and NBW/LISM." Not much, it seems, has changed since then.


Vilma Santos, In My Life and Librarians

I was finally able to watch In My Life, in which Vilma Santos plays a librarian, and about which I've already blogged in "'Losyang' Librarian?" Perhaps the significance of this film to Filipino librarians may be seen in the fact that my post has already attracted 32 comments, a number which very few of my posts about Filipino librarians have ever reached.

This post will not really be a review of the film, but I do have to say that In My Life, though it is the usual sigawan-iyakan-sampalan (shouting-crying-slapping) Filipino film, was not quite as formulaic as others I've seen in the past. The most striking non-formulaic element was the no-big-deal treatment of the homosexual relationship between the character played by Santos' real-life son, Luis Manzano, and his boyfriend, portrayed by John Lloyd Cruz. There is some tension, of course, that arises because of their relationship, but the film itself is not primarily about the mother coping with her son's sexual orientation.

It must also be said that the movie is not about librarians. The scenes that show Santos as a librarian in a library come and go in five minutes, probably less. Very little is said about her occupation later in the film. Perhaps the most prominent reference to her being a librarian—which most viewers probably missed—was when she actually shushed her co-workers at a restaurant.

I can understand why the director and her co-writers thought it might be appropriate to have Santos play a librarian. After all, if Santos is shown as a stereotypical librarian at the beginning—i.e., organized, conservatively-dressed, cranky—then it will be much easier to show how she has evolved into a more relaxed, fashionable, and happier person at the end of the film. While I agree that such a portrayal perpetuates the librarian stereotype, it must be remembered that stereotypes exist because they are reinforced by what exists.

Some Filipino librarians insist that librarians have changed or that there are no losyang (unglamorous) librarians, but I honestly wonder whether they are in denial or merely confusing the word some with all. Not all librarians, of course, are losyang, but I have met more than enough Filipino librarians—i.e., organized, conservatively-dressed, cranky—to know that the filmmakers were not inventing a non-existent librarian.

Having said that, I do have a problem with how this librarian, who was shown as having an assistant and was important enough to have a salesman try to get her approval, could later turn into a helpless employee working odd jobs. Whatever the stereotype may be, someone who becomes head librarian at a school will, at the very least, know that she should try getting an entry-level job at a library or a similar environment before she seeks work in a restaurant where she doesn't even know the names of the dishes being prepared.

But overall, I liked the film. I watched it primarily because the lead was a librarian, which I don't think has ever happened in a Filipino film before, but I could not help but get drawn into and be moved by the situations that the characters found themselves in. Not everything, of course, felt authentic but certain scenes were quite recognizable because I had actually witnessed or experienced some of them... in my life =)


Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving is known as an American holiday, and is still a few weeks away, but Canadians have their own day for thanksgiving, today. I'd be celebrating this holiday with Canadians in their own country, except I'm now on a bus on my way to Chicago to do even more research... and meet a friend =)

I'd like to thank my loyal and occasional readers for inspiring me to keep this blog going. What do I get out of it? Well, I do earn some money from those who click on the ads, but more importantly, blogging forces me to keep up with what's going on in Philippine librarianship. There's also the added satisfaction of seeing a comment every now and then thanking me for a post that I wrote... or even having a post cited on GMA News!

And then there are Filipino librarians like Jay dela Cruz, who surprised me recently by sending a new header for my blog out of the blue. Yes, it's the one up right now. Thanks, Jay!

Update as of 14 October 2009:

In case some of you are interested in seeing the evolution of this blog's header, here are all of them:

February 2005

March 2009

October 2009


Vote for Filipino Librarian
at the 2009 Philippine Blog Awards

This blog is a finalist at the 2009 Philippine Blog Awards. It's up for a special award for "Best Filipiniana Blog," as well as a sponsor award for "Chikka Media and PBA Readers’ Choice – Luzon." The former recognizes "the blog that has focused and consistently blogged about the Philippines whether it be social, political, historical and cultural. Everything Filipino: Everything Filipiniana," which is pretty much what this blog has been all about from the beginning, especially the posts on Filipiniana Online. The reason for this blog's inclusion in the latter category, however, is not so clear. In any case, it would be nice—and perhaps appropriate?—if the blog Filipino Librarian emerged as the reader's choice =)

And so, assuming that you'll be voting for this blog because you're reading this now, you have three options:

  1. Vote online by selecting the blog of your choice (hint: its initials are FL), providing your name and email address on or before 3 October 2009, 10 am. It's not clear if the deadline is tied to Manila time, but I would recommend that my friends in North America vote NOW or before 2 October, 10 pm =)
  2. Send "CHIKKARC L3" as a text message to 2929 (presumably only for those with Philippine prepaid or postpaid plans). You can vote until 7 October 2009. Note that each text message will cost P2.50 and is equivalent to TWO votes.
  3. Do both.
I have no idea whether any cash prizes will be given away, but if this blog wins in either category, I promise to donate any cash award in full to one of the funds set up for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy. And don't worry, I have a track record when it comes to keeping my promise to give money away (see "Katas ng 'Kapamilya Deal or No Deal'").

By the way, the following are the other finalists for the categories for which this blog has been nominated:
Best Filipiniana Blog
pamatay homesik
Simbahan – Philippine Heritage Churches and Related Structures
The Philippines and Beyond

Chikka Media and PBA Readers’ Choice – Luzon
BYAHILO: Ito ang Trip Ko!
Funny is the New Sexy
Good Times Manila
Komikero BIDJO
Let’s Go Sago!
magnetic-rose.net: Japanese Pop Culture for Filipino Fans
Pinoy Mountaineer
Ready To Be Rich
Table for Three, Please
The Marocharim Experiment
The Mike Abundo Effect
The Professional Heckler
The other finalists in the rest of the categories are:
Best Technology Blog
JaypeeOnline // Blogging News & Reviews
MMO GrindHouse- fueling your daily grind on MMO Games
My Asus Eee PC
sasa java
Software Critics
TechPinas : The Philippine Technology Blog
The Mike Abundo Effect
The Rookie Blogger

Best Travel Blog
A Pinay in Europe
BYAHILO: Ito ang Trip Ko!
Explore Iloilo
Just Wandering
Langyaw – Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
Making Things Happen
Nomadic Experiences
sagada tourism guide

Best Entertainment Blog
Lessons From the School of Inattention
Music Picks
PH Stars
Pop Reviews Now
Reel Advice Movie Reviews

Best Personal Blog
ai’s cracker
Brief Stories
Cerebral Insights
Excuse My French
Funny is the New Sexy
Life with Ria
Platonic Trip
room for squares
Succulence Unleashed
The Casual Observer
The Digitizer
The Free Lancer
writing on air

Best Food & Beverage Blog
A Scientist in the Kitchen
Cebu Restaurants
Flipflopping my way around Town
Kitchen Cow
Our Daily Blog
Overseas Pinoy Cooking
Table for Three, Please
The Thirsty Blogger
Yedylicious: In Between Bites

Best Family & Living Blog
Absolute Cousins
Animetric’s World
Make or Break
occupation: SAHM
Viva La Vida Mama
What is a Progressive School?

Best News & Media Blog
Cagayan de Oro News Online
Daily Contributor
iNews Philippines
Virtual Journals

Best Business Blog
Millionaire Acts
Negosyo Ideas
Owning a Café
Pinoy Money Talk
Ready To Be Rich
The Sagada Lemon Pie House

Best Sports Blog
Buhay Basketball
Fire Quinito
Lakers Today
Philippine Basketball Blog
Philippine Boxing
Sports and Tech sa Pilipinas
The Duffer

Best Hobby & Recreation Blog
Bearbrick Love
Bored & Crafty
Comicology: The Study of Awesome
Dance Manila
Flying in Crosswinds
Mad Labs and Hug Dogs
Pinoy Experience Mountain Biking and Outdoor Philippines
Pinoy Mountaineer
The Singing Blogger

Best Fashion Blog
My Fashion Juice
Style and Relax
THE UKAY QUEEN:Ukayshopping101
Ukay-ukay Escapades
who is elyoo?

Best Photo Blog
Asin at Paminta
Didang Alvarez
Distilling Thoughts
I Am a Documentary Photographer
Lino Photography
My Manila

Best Culture & Arts Blog
Art in Action
magnetic-rose.net: Japanese Pop Culture for Filipino Fans
Perlas Design Studio
PinoyTattoos.com – Filipino Tattoo Source
Sari-Saring Sineng Pinoy
The Spy in the Sandwich
Views from the Pampang

Best Commentary Blog
ad maiorem Dei gloriam
Alleba Politics
J. R. Ramos Go
Matinong Ehemplo Ng Youth Ehemplo ng Kabataan
Me and My Big Mouth
myepinOy’s bLOG
Pencil Pusher/Number Cruncher
Splice and Dice
The Marocharim Experiment
Third Wave
Zzaragoza’s Weblog

Best Videocast
DoctorDude – Fun Vlogs on Health and Wellness
Komikero BIDJO

Best Podcast
Brink Notes Entertainment Daily
World 3

Best Humor Blog
Good Times Manila
Indolent Indio
Kwentong Barbero
manik makina
Noisy, Noisy Man
Oi! Greenpinoy!
The Professional Heckler
tuyong tinta ng bolpen

Best Gaming Blog
Mike Got Game!
Pinoy Gaming Network

Best Advocacy Blog
Autism Society Philippines
discourses of a free mind
Fide Quarens Intellectum
Filipino Deaf from the Eyes of a Hearing Person
Filipino Freethinkers
Foreclosure Philippines
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo RESIGN!
Greenpeace Southeast Asia
Nurses Notes

Best Beauty Blog
Candy Blush Beauty Blog
Shen’s Addiction
The Doctor Is vaIN

Special Award: Best Blog Design
Design was here
DigDesignz: Blog of a young Filipino Web and Graphic Designer
Loy Meets World
Pink is Fab!
Pink Notes Diary
Simon Ong | Personal Blog and Portfolio
The Rookie Blogger
The Site Guy
The Vignette

Special Award: Best Foreign Blog
BakitWhy.com | Filipino American Lifestyle
koji ryan
My Sarisari Store

Special Award: Best Filipino Abroad Blog
Baul ni Noel
Funny Side Up
myepinoy’s blog
The Warped Zone


Wet Books: Do's and Don'ts

Did your books get wet? Here are some tips from the PAARL yahoogroup:


* open or close books
* separate single sheets
* press water out of wet books - the paper is too fragile when wet
* wipe off mud or dirt
* remove book covers or separate materials
* disturb wet file boxes, prints, drawings or photographs

"Such handling may result in extensive and irreparable damage to materials that otherwise might be salvaged" (Peter Waters)
* stand books on their heads (or use support to keep them standing)
* interleave absorbent paper every 50 pages (toilet/tissue, paper towels, or blotting paper will do; just replace every now and then)
* use fan to keep air circulating, never expose books to dry under the sun
* keep temperature below 65 degrees F (approx. 18 degrees C)
* when completely dry, lay books flat but not stacked together
Books should be sorted out based on the amount of salvage work needed, as well as level of priority. It is generally more efficient to work on the least damaged than on the wettest materials.

If the book is only damp, it can stand upright with covers and pages fanned in a cool, dry place to air dry. Use electric fans to increase air circulation, but fans should not be directly positioned on the books. If the book is wet, it will probably need to be cleaned before being dried. Use either running water or a cycling process with about 4-8 wash basins filled with water for closed books. Don't use a brush; use a sponge to clean. And books should not be rubbed. The water should be doing almost all of the cleaning.

The above guidelines are intended as an initial response to the disaster. More and detailed treatment methods may be required depending on the severity of the damage. When planning the recovery, it's important to keep in mind that often there is no one "best solution"; instead, several different methods may be the answer.


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