to - National Book Development Board



to - National Book Development Board
Socorro Ramos
The Industry’s Most
Endearing Mom Reveals
Her Greatest Achievement
Pop Music’s Heartthrob
Christian Bautista
Finds Escape through
Fantasy Worlds
As Imagined
As Lived:
Sense for Language,
Sense of Country
Poet Gemino H. Abad’s
Centennial Lecture
Cool Places to Read
Recommended Getaways to
Curl Up with your Favorite Reads
Nbdb And IP Philippines Celebrate
vj Nikki:
Why She Can’t
Get Enough of Books
ISSN 0119-0288
and Reading
Ne b Pr
w A e se
Log ge nts
o! ncy its
World Book and
Copyright Day
5 NBDB at the Global
Intellectual Property
Rights Academy
5 Award-winning
fictionist Susan Lara
registers with the NBDB
6 BDAP inducts newly
elected officers
promote lifelong learning
on Mother’s Day
7 Celebrity storytellers
read to the children of
Quezon City
promote regional
literature in the NBDB
Book Club’s April session
8 Booklatan sa Bayan on
the first half of 2008
8 NBDB holds textbook
writing workshops in
9 NBDB and IP
Philippines celebrate World Book and
Copyright Day
10 NBDB visits libraries
of La Union and San
Fernando City
11 2007 Investment
Priorities Plan includes
Book Industry
Special Feature Story
12 National Book Store’s
Socorro Ramos shares
her life’s biggest
achievement 12
14 As Imagined As Lived:
Sense for Language,
Sense of Country
Prof. Gémino Abad’s
UP Centennial Lecture
18 Christian Bautista finds
escape through fantasy
Cover Story
20 Nikki Gil: Her weird
reading habits and
why she can’t get her
hands off books
Special feature
22 Cool places to read!
32 NBDB presents new
agency logo
In Every Issue
2 Chairman’s Message
3 Executive Director’s
4 Editor’s Letter
27 Hot Off the Press
29 Book Review
31 Read Alert
Nikki Gil reads
Happy Endings (UP Press)
by Luis Katigbak.
Photographed by
Ocs Alvarez.
Happy Endings, Luis
Katigbak’s first collection of
fiction, takes a look at our
world and refracts it through
a lens of wild imagination and
humor. Available in major
book stores for P200.
Art Director
Circulation Staff
Alvin J. Buenaventura
Camille Dianne S. Mendoza
Jay Alonzo, Ocs Alvarez
Kathleen Dianne Barican
Jen Padua, Daniel Tan
Sylvia C. Mendoza
Gemma E. Bermudes
Rhonell C. Dacio
Marketing Staff
Atty. Andrea Pasion-Flores
Executive Officer
committee 2008
Maria Pia Benosa
Glenn L. Malimban
Corren Marcelo
Helen Naddeo
Mikke Gallardo
Grace G. Santos
Salvador D. Briola Jr.
Lily Y. Pahilanga
Board of Advisers
Dr. Dennis T. Gonzalez
National Book
Development Board
2/F National Printing Office
Bldg., EDSA corner NIA
Northside Road, Diliman,
Quezon City 1100
Trunk lines: (632) 920-9853,
929-3677, 929-3887
Quality Textbooks:
An Investment Priority
Poetry in Motion
Dr. Dennis T. Gonzalez
NBDB Chairman
to catalyze the
development of the
book industry into a
world-class or globally
competitive industry
that produces
value for society.
To produce superior textbooks, publishing companies should
greatly increase their investment in research and development
(R&D) and either set up permanent research units manned by fulltime experts, or enter into formal partnerships with existing centers
of excellence or reputable academic institutions. Admittedly,
adequate R&D in any industry entails considerable cost.
In this light, the NBDB has written Congress to include textbook
publishing among the activities that can avail of the incentive of double
deduction (from taxable income) for R&D in the proposed law on the
Rationalization of Fiscal Incentives. In the meantime, the NBDB uses
three developmental mechanisms to help raise the quality of books
in private elementary and secondary schools: the Textbook Review
Service, the rule on the cancellation of registration of publishers that
produce poor quality books, and the Quality Seal Awards.
On 14 June 2008, the NBDB awarded the Quality Seal to five
Mathematics textbooks in basic education, viz. Growing up with
Math 5 by A. Orosco & I. Coronel (FNB Educational), Intermediate
Algebra by A. Jalimao (JC Palabay Enterprises), Realistic Math
Worktext 3 by A. de la Paz (Sibs Publishing House), Advanced
Algebra, Trigonometry and Statistics by M. Esparrago et al. (Phoenix
Publishing House), and XP Advanced Algebra, Trigonometry
& Statistics IV by E. Bautista et al. (Vibal Publishing House).
Congratulations to the authors and publishers!
The Quality Seal serves as a sure guide but not a directive to private
schools, which rightly enjoy autonomy, and should be protective of
their autonomy, from State management and control especially on
matters like the specific textbooks to select or reject for their learners.
Such autonomy is part of the reason for the decision of many parents
to send their children to private schools, and these parents know that
they, and not politicians, have the primary and ultimate responsibility
of ensuring that their children experience quality education.
The NBDB wants to catalyze the development of the book
industry into a world-class or globally competitive industry
that produces value for society. The social value of the industry
comprises (1) the quality books, printed and electronic, which help
make our citizenry, young and old, knowledgeable, discerning and
creative, and (2) the jobs sustained and created by the industry.
Backed by R.A. 8047, which states that “book development
activities shall always be included in the Investment Priorities
Plan (IPP),” the NBDB has pushed for the inclusion of “content
development” among book development activities listed in the
2008 IPP. With the inclusion of “content development,” incentives
such as the Income Tax Holiday are available to those publishers
who prioritize the improvement of the quality of their books and
increase their investment in R&D. We expect that the end result of
this effort is the production of superior textbooks (like the Quality
Seal awardees) at affordable prices.
Andrea Pasion-Flores’ Photo by Dakila Angeles courtesy of Star Teacher
Soon, riding the LRT will be an unforgettable
experience. So on this space I will blatantly
promote and invite Pinoy poets and publishing
associations to partner with the NBDB because,
believe me, you will want to come on board.
In a project called Tulaan sa Tren, the NBDB and
the Light Rail Transit Authority have teamed up to
bring the train-riding public a taste of Philippineauthored poetry, putting excerpts on sintra boards
within the trains, getting celebrities to read the
poetry to be played on the public announcement
system on the trains, and declaring to the 700,000800,000 train-riding commuters that the celebrities
they most admire “Read Pinoy!”
The Filipinas Heritage Library has also agreed
to develop a literary map to identify places in the
city that have historical and literary importance.
Also on board are the photographs of travel
photographer Jay Alonzo, as well as photographs
of Daniel Tan, who, together with Jay, have been
taking photographs of the NBDB’s GCR endorsers
for this project.
An offspring of the NBDB’s literary exhibit last
year The Portrait of the City, wherein we featured
authors and their works in a giant literary map in
Glorietta Park and the Trinoma mall, the Tulaan sa
Tren is a project that will introduce places in Metro
Manila as written and experienced by our own
poets. I can only wish that this page came with a
scratch-and-hear feature so that you can listen to
the initial recordings of poems read by celebrities.
It will make the hair at the back of your neck
stand on end. But absent that, here are some of
the pictures we took of the celebrities who will be
I’d like to thank our early partners who are
making this project slowly come to life:
LRTA Administrator Mel Robles, OMB Chair
Edu Manzano, National Artist Virgilio Almario,
Vim Nadera, the Filipinas Heritage Library,
Prof. Belen Calingacion, Gemino Abad, Issy Reyes,
Paolo Manalo, Conchitina Cruz, Benilda Santos,
Harlene Bautista, Romnick Sarmenta, Nikki Gil,
Matt Evans, Lyn Ching-Pascual, Rhea Santos, and
Miriam Quiambao.
Thank you for riding on an idea.
Edu Manzano has so many books to
read and makes time for them all
A view of Escolta from the
Pasig River by Jay Alonzo
UMPIL’s Vim Nadera
coaches Lyn Ching for
the poetry recording.
Matt Evans
records his
Pinoy poets.
Rhea Santos reads
Nick Joaquin’s
Manila, My Manila.
Andrea Pasion-Flores
Executive Director
Nikki Gil records
“Dear City” by
Conchitina Cruz.
Harlene Bautista reads Rio Alma’s
Kung Bakit Kailangan ang Himala.
A Lot to Love
In Catalonia, where the idea for
the UNESCO’s World Book and
Copyright Day celebration originated,
love is expressed not with a rose
alone. Here, a woman, after receiving
a stem of rose from the man she
likes, hands him a book in return.
Every 23rd of April therefore is like a
Valentine, showering everyone with
love, roses, and books.
It excites me to see two of my
favorite words side-by-side: book and
love. Love is universal and we hope
that through worldwide celebrations
such as this, books will get that
universal appeal too. Last April 23,
the NBDB and IP Philippines brought
the country’s most loved authors
to talk about what made them
fall in love with writing, renewing
everyone’s appreciation for our own
books and literature.
Just like how both love and books
overflow worldwide every 23 April,
this quarter’s issue of Bookwatch
also teems with plenty of things
to love: charming and interesting
Salvador Briola Jr. (standing, 2nd from right) of the NBDB’s Accreditation
and Incentives Division was one of the Philippine’s representatives to the
USPTO’s Global Intellectual Property Rights Academy Program.
personalities, fabulous places,
happy news, and books in almost
every page. Take a trip with NBDB’s
team of dynamic interns as they
go round in search of the coolest
places to escape and lounge with
the companionship of a good book.
Nanay Coring Ramos recalls the
pains and joys of being a mother to
her children and that little book store
she put up that we’ve all grown to
love, while Christian Bautista and
this issue’s cover girl Nikki Gil give
us countless of reasons why reading
makes one idol-material.
As you turn to the last page, we
hope you’ve caught that love bug too.
NBDB at the Global Intellectual
Property Rights Academy Program
US Government further entices the promotion
of Intellectual Property Rights among different countries
The United States Patent and Trademark
Office (USPTO), through the auspices of
the US Department of State, conducted
the Global Intellectual Property Rights
Academy Program on January 28 to
February 1, 2008. The training aimed to
encourage the development and promotion
of intellectual property rights protection
and its enforcement in different countries,
as well as introduce to participants the
US intellectual property rights system.
The five-day program, which was held at
the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria,
Virginia, USA, was participated in by
2008 NBDB Quality Seal Awards
now open for nominations
The NBDB is now accepting nominations for the 2008
NBDB Quality Seal Awards for English and Mathematics
The process of selecting a private school textbook for
evaluation shall be through a nomination procedure
to be spearheaded by teachers, school officials, and
textbook publishers. Only one (1) textbook each can
be nominated by a school or publisher for the grade
school and high school categories, so that a maximum
of two (2) textbooks per publisher or school is allowed.
The Philippines and the United States
Government are working hand in hand in the
fight to curb piracy. Since the early 1940s, there have been existing agreements that
have linked both countries in the struggle for copyright protection and enforcement.
There are five (5) copyright
agreements between the
Philippines and the US:
Bilateral Agreements
which was initially
signed by the Philippines on
October 21, 1948;
For more details, call the Accreditation and Incentives
Division of the NBDB at 920-9853 loc. 803 and look for
Mr. Salvador Briola Jr.
Philippine representatives Salvador Briola Jr.
of the National Book Development Board
and Michelle Flor of the National Library,
together with 23 other delegates from
different parts of the world.
The USPTO-GIPA Program is the US
Government’s most thorough introduction to
the US intellectual property rights system.
The USPTO is the lead government
agency that advises the US President,
through the Secretary of Commerce,
and all Federal agencies, on national and
international IP policy issues, including IP
protection in other countries. – Jun Briola
Did you know that…
The deadline for submission of nominations is on
29 August 2008. Nomination forms can be downloaded
from the NBDB website at
In Partnership with
Susan Lara
joins NBDB’s
pool of
fictionist signs up
with the NBDB
CAMILLE DIANNE MENDOZA and sent to the NBDB Secretariat
at 2F National Printing Office Building, EDSA cor. NIA
Northside Road, Diliman, Quezon City 1100.
Berne Convention for the
Protection of Literary and
Artistic Works as revised in
Paris on July 24, 1971, entered
into by the Philippines on
August 1, 1951;
Membership in
the World Trade
Organization (WTO)
which includes, among
others, intangible property
rights, including copyright
and other intellectual
property rights, entered
into by the Philippines on
January 1, 1995;
Party to the World
Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO)
Copyright Treaty in
Geneva 1996 joined by the
Philippines on October 4,
2002; and
Party to the World
Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO)
Performances and
Phonograms Treaty in
Geneva 1996 joined in by
the Philippines on October
4, 2002.
Source: US Copyright Office
Last April 23, during
the World Book
and Copyright Day
celebration at the
Filipinas Heritage Library,
fictionist Susan Lara
registered as author with
the NBDB. Lara joined
venerated Philippine
authors National Artist
for Literature Virgilio
Almario and Jose Y.
Dalisay Jr., who shared
their experiences and
inspirations as writers
during the discussion
“Why I Write”.
Lara has won
recognition for the stories
in her literary works
Letting Go and Other
Stories including the
National Book Award,
the Don Carlos Palanca
Memorial Awards for
Literature, and the Focus
Literary Awards.
The NBDB invites
all published Filipino
authors to register with
the NBDB, as it sets free
author registration for
the entire 2008. Authors
registered with the NBDB
are entitled to incentives
to showcase and promote
their works locally
and internationally, as
well as participate in
programs and trainings
that will further hone
and develop their skills.
The free registration for
a three-year term is until
December 2008.
Dr. Dennis T. Gonzalez (extreme left)
inducts BDAP officers (l-r) Ani Almario,
Gwenn Galvez, Olan De Vera, Lirio Sandoval,
Karina Bolasco, Dr. Luisa Camagay, Bezalie
Uc-Kung, Ramon Rocha III, Jose Maria
Policarpio, and Antonio Hidalgo.
Book Industry Stalwarts
take Oath of Office
BDAP inducts new set of officers.
Newly elected officers of the Book
Development Association of the
Philippines (BDAP), led by its
president Lirio P. Sandoval, recently
took their oath of office before NBDB
chairman Dr. Dennis T. Gonzalez at
the Albergus Catering in Quezon City.
“Like BDAP, the NBDB wants to
develop and professionalize the book
publishing industry into a world-class
and globally competitive industry that
produces value for society,” said Dr.
Gonzalez during his speech before
BDAP’s officers and members. The
event was also the organization’s general
membership meeting and induction.
The organization’s other new officers
are Mylene A. Sazon, vice president,
Kultura at Panulaan
NBDB Book Club promotes
regional literature and Pangasinan
poetry in its April meeting.
internal; Karina A. Bolasco, vice
president external; Atty. Manuel
D. Yngson Jr., corporate secretary;
Rolando R. De Vera, treasurer;
Ramon A. Rocha III, auditor; Jose
Maria T. Policarpio, committee
chair for advocacy textbooks; Dr.
Ma. Luisa T. Camagay, committee
chair for advocacy trade books; Ani
Rosa S. Almario, committee chair for
public relations; Antonio A. Hidalgo,
committee chair for ways and means;
Gwenn B. Galvez, committee chair
for events and conferences; and
Bezalie Uc-Kung, committee chair for
BDAP was incorporated in 1979
and is the force behind the country’s
celebrated Manila International Book
Fair and the prestigious Gintong Aklat
Awards. – Alvin J. Buenaventura
Celebrity couple Romnick Sarmenta
and Harlene Bautista and TV
personality and Get Caught Reading
endorser Rhea Santos read to
the children of Brgy. Payatas and
Project 7 in Quezon City.
Basa Tayo ‘Tay, ‘Nay!
Celebrity storytellers read to the
children of Quezon City and encouraged
parents to read to their children.
A Tribute to our
First Teachers
NBDB and PCCI promote
lifelong learning during
Mother’s Day celebration
with Gawad Kalinga
project aims to raise awareness of the
importance of reading in uplifting one’s
PCCI president and founder of
Philippine Mother’s Day Movement
Samuel Lim said that a nation is judged
by the quality of mothers we have; that
is why the PCCI and the NBDB chose
to cater the project to Gawad Kalinga
During the celebration, the
Philippine Bible Society (PBS),
through the NBDB, also donated
Bibles to GK mothers.
Other sponsors of the project were:
Department of Science and Technology,
Department of Environment and
Natural Resources, Lopez Group
Foundation, Philippine Booksellers
Association Inc., Franchising
Corporation, Philippine Retailers
Association, and the Philippine Daily
Inquirer. —Helen D. Naddeo
(ABOVE) NBDB chairman Dr. Dennis Gonzalez shares his
insights on the value reading. (LEFT) NBDB’s Buknoy &
DOST’s Tron with the children of Baseco Compound
In celebration of Mother’s Day,
the National Book Development
Board (NBDB) and the Philippine
Chamber of Commerce and Industry
(PCCI) launched a lifelong learning
project for Gawad Kalinga (GK)
mothers in the Baseco Compound of
Tondo, Manila last May 11.
NBDB chairman Dr. Dennis
Gonzalez expressed the importance
of raising children who know the
value of reading. “Ang pagbabasa ay
mahalaga para maging malikhain,
marunong at matagumpay sa buhay.
Ang karunungan ay hindi lamang
matututunan sa eskwelahan. Ito rin
ay nakukuha sa pagbabasa”. The
NBDB and PCCI’s lifelong learning
Children of Brgy. Payatas and Project 7 in Quezon
City were treated to special storytelling sessions by
celebrities, when the NBDB joined the Quezon City
local government in its readership and library promotion
campaign “Basa Tayo ‘Tay, ‘Nay!” in celebration of
Public Library Day last March.
Get Caught Reading endorser and TV anchor Rhea
Santos and celebrity couple Harlene Bautista and
Romnick Sarmenta read to enthusiastic youngsters
and their parents exciting stories from Bakit Matagal
ang Sundo Ko (Adarna House) by Kristine Canon,
Ang Barumbadong Bus (Adarna House) by Rene O.
Villanueva, and Ang Batang Ayaw Maligo (OMF
Literature) by Pen Alba, and encouraged parents to read
to their children as well.
Rhea Santos, a young mother herself, said she enjoys
reading to children, “I love reading to kids. I feel so
fulfilled reading to kids. You can see on their faces
their eagerness to listen and to learn. Kids should be
exposed to books. Let’s go back to basics. Books spark
the imagination. Children become more creative and
imaginative when they read books.”
“I Love 2Read: Basa Tayo ‘Tay, Nay!” is a campaign
launched by the Quezon City local government to
encourage parents to dedicate at least 20 minutes each
day reading to their children. Aside from the NBDB,
the Quezon City government also partnered with the
Quezon City Public Library, Adarna House, and UP
Artists’ Circle. —Camille Dianne S. Mendoza
Last April 26, the NBDB Book Club, together with
Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo (LIRA)
and the Ortigas Foundation Library, hosted a
special lecture on Pangasinan poetry at the Ortigas
Foundation Library, featuring the book Malagilion:
sonnets tan villanelles by renowned Pangasinan poet
Santiago Villafania.
Santiago Villafania expressed his confidence in
the future of Pangasinan poetry and regional poetry
as a whole. His first sonnets were first published in
the US and have been translated to French and other
languages. Villafania also stated the important role
that the Internet now plays in spreading language.
His works were discovered abroad when he started
posting his works on the Net.
Dr. Crisanta Nelmida-Flores of the University
of the Philippines gave an insightful lecture on the
distinctive icons, objects, and places that Pangasinan
is known for – from the legendary Princess Urduja to
the now rare cattle caravans.
Malagilion: sonnets tan villanelles is published
by Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) and the
Emilio Aguinaldo College.
The April NBDB Book Club meeting was the
third book club meeting held this year and the first
ever lecture hosted by the NBDB Book Club.
—Camille Dianne S. Mendoza
Pangasinan poet
Santiago Villafania
brings regional poetry
to a wider audience
during the NBDB Book
Club’s April session.
Villafania’s collection
Malagilion: sonnets
tan villaneles
sa Bayan 2008
NBDB reaches out to
more communities to
spread the love of reading
and libraries.
The NBDB continues to encourage
and promote readership and literacy
all over the country as it brings the
Booklatan sa Bayan to Laguna, Pasig
City, and Marikina City on the first
half of the year.
Done in partnership with Colegio
de San Juan de Letran-Calamba,
Booklatan sa Laguna was benefited by
47 teachers, students, and librarians from
different schools across Laguna who
participated in the Acting and Reading
Techniques in Storytelling (ARTIST)
Seminar-Workshop and the Readership
Enhancement and Advancement
(READ) Program for Trainors,
conducted by Manolo R. Silayan of the
Philippine Alitaptap Association.
On April 18-19, with the support
of Couples for Christ-Education
Foundation, Inc , the NBDB organized
Booklatan sa Pasig at the Bulwagan
ng Karunungan of the Department of
Education, Pasig City. A total of 93
participants from 16 public and private
schools in Metro-Manila and nearby
provinces attended the READ Seminar
Workshop. Anna Rhea R. Manuel, a
Participants of
Booklatan sa Marikina
Dr. Jose Y. Dalisay Jr.
IP Philippines Director General
Atty. Adrian Cristobal Jr.
National Artist for Literature
Virgilio Almario
World Book and Copyright Day
Participants of Booklatan
in Calamba, Laguna
NBDB and IP Philippines promote appreciation for books and respect
for copyright in a whole-day celebration of World Book and Copyright Day
at the Filipinas Heritage Library.
reading specialist currently teaching at
U.P. Integrated School-Diliman joined
Dr. Elena Cutiongco in facilitating the
READ Seminar- Workshop.
On May 9, 12 and 13, a total of 40
Day Care, elementary and high school
teachers and librarians participated in
storytelling and readership training
workshops in Marikina City. The
said event was made possible through
partnership with Marikina City
Government and the Marikina City
Library. ­—Helen Naddeo
NBDB and IP Philippines promote
appreciation for books and respect for
copyright in a whole-day celebration
of World Book and Copyright Day at
the Filipinas Heritage Library.
While different countries all over
the world celebrated the pleasure of
reading and its inimitable contributions
to humanity during the World Book
and Copyright Day last April 23, the
NBDB and the Intellectual Property
Office of the Philippines spearheaded
the celebration in the country by
hosting a whole-day lecture series on
literature and copyright for the public
at the Filipinas Heritage Library in
Makati City.
Writers, book publishers, students,
educators and other industry
stakeholders attended the two-part
event, where multi-awarded and
renowned writers had an intimate
discussion with audiences on why
they write and law specialists gave
basic information and know-hows of
Participants of
Booklatan sa Pasig
NBDB’s Textbook Writing Seminars in Iloilo
NBDB joins hands with academic institutions in Iloilo to equip teachers with
the necessary skills in developing quality instructional materials.
—Camille Dianne S. Mendoza
Promoting our Languages
Photos by Rodel dela Cruz (NBDB)
The NBDB and WVCST conducted the Instructional
Materials Development Workshop last 15 April in
La Paz, Iloilo City, where a total of 41 teachers and
educators all over Iloilo benefited from the workshop.
Dr. Isagani Cruz, resource speaker for the workshop,
provided participants with basic knowledge and skills
on writing instructional materials and shared with
them effective writing techniques.
The NBDB continues to establish linkages with
different institutions all over the country to provide
teachers and educators with the necessary skills in
developing quality instructional materials.
The NBDB recently partnered with Central Philippine
University (CPU) and the Western Visayas College of
Science and Technology (WVCST) in Iloilo to conduct
two instructional materials training workshops for
teachers and educators all over the province.
A total of 70 teachers from the Central Philippine
University (CPU) as well as other schools in Iloilo, Capiz,
and Aklan benefited from the comprehensive training held
at the CPU campus in Jaro, Iloilo City last February 19 and
20. Literary critic and former Department of Education
undersecretary Dr. Isagani Cruz and former University of
the Philippines professor Dr. Elena Cutiongco were the
resource speakers for the two-day training.
Award-winning fictionist
Susan Lara
NBDB Chairman Dr. Dennis
T. Gonzalez, who spoke of the
importance of reading, also encouraged
the promotion of languages through
books and literature, as 2008 is also
declared as the International Year
of Languages. “In the case of the
NBDB, we recognize that languages
are treasures of our country. These
languages are part of the richness of
the culture of our country. The National
Book Policy encourages the writing of
books in regional languages, as well
as the translation of books in our own
languages.” Dr. Gonzalez also shared
his dreams of seeing the Philippines
produce many literary writers and a huge
population to read them in the first
Why Writers Write
The Why I Write portion put the
spotlight on veteran writers National
Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario,
Jose Dalisay, and Susan Lara. Dean
Almario, or Rio Alma, shared his
struggles to be a poet, despite a father
whose long-standing wish was for
him to become a lawyer. Jose “Butch”
Dalisay, multi-awarded writer and
columnist who just recently made it to
the shortlist of the Man Asian Literary
Awards, talked about the pleasure he
felt at making interesting things out
of words, be it literary or technical
writing. Susan Lara, writer and regular
panelist for the Dumaguete National
Writers Workshop since 1993, shared
how writing became an escape for her,
making up for the powerlessness she felt
as a child whose preceding sibling was
more than ten years older.
Innovation and Creativity in
IP Philippines’ Director General
Atty. Adrian Cristobal spoke on the
importance of creativity in nation-
building and the contributions
of the creative industry in
today’s economy. “Creativity and
innovation is key to economic
growth and development, especially
in today’s knowledge-based
economy. The intellectual property
system, whereby artists, inventors,
scientists, and entrepreneurs are
granted exclusive rights over their
creations for a limited period,
provides the incentive needed to
spur innovation.”
Basics on Copyright
Copyright expert Atty. Susan D.
Villanueva of CVC Law and Atty.
Louie Calvario of IP Philippines
gave extensive lectures on copyright
for owners and users, while
Filipinas Copyright Licensing
Society Executive Director Roland
de Vera talked about the importance
of reprographic rights organizations
to collectively manage fair royalties
for authors and publishers.
The World Book and Copyright
Day celebration was also made
possible through partnerships
with OCE Singapore, ATI,
Functional Inc., and Figaro
Coffee. The NBDB and its partner
organizations hope that future
celebrations of the World Book and
Copyright Day will be bigger and
that there will be an actual increase
in Filipino publications to make
merry for. —Maria Pia Benosa
Getting to know
Executive Order 226
The La Union Provincial
Library and the San
Fernando City Library
boast of extensive
collections of books and
modern facilities for the
people of La Union.
A Library Just
Like Heaven
With a location overlooking
the city and the sea, every
reader will find heaven
when they visit La Union
Provincial Library.
n Tax credit on raw materials, supplies and semi
manufactured products;
n Additional deduction from Taxable Income for
labor expense (cannot be enjoyed with ITH);
n Employment of Foreign Nationals;
n Simplification of customs procedures;
n Importation of consigned equipment; and
n Privilege to operate a bonded manufacturing/
trading warehouse subject to customs rules and
As provided for in EO 226, book publishing
industry stakeholders may avail of the following
n Income tax holiday (ITH);
n Exemption from taxes and duties on imported
spare parts;
n Exemption from wharfage dues and export tax,
duty, impost and fees;
In addition to the above incentives, the BOI
recently approved an incentive for research and
development. This covers commercial R & D
activities of private firms and research institutions
and in-house R & D activities of manufacturing/
services firms. The guideline for the said incentive
is not yet completely finished but it will surely be a
good incentive to look into for the book publishing
industry. —Jun Briola
How to apply for registration and incentiveS with the BOI
Despite the many years of implementation of the BOI incentives for the book publishing industry, there is still no
known record of any book industry stakeholder that has availed of any of the incentives offered by the BOI. Though
there were attempts from time to time, none of them have been documented to materialize up to this time.
Below are the requirements to register with the BOI and avail of the above-mentioned incentives:
Home Sweet Home
Learning will never be this fun if you’ve got the
chance to visit San Fernando City Library.
“Small but sweet” are the words that best describe the San Fernando
City (SFC) Library. The extensive book collection and the serenity of
the air-conditioned space invite one to sit and read in quiet.
SFC Library was started by former City Mayor Mary Jane C. Ortega
in July 4, 2002. Patrons from various age groups visit the place to enjoy
its diverse materials from books: fiction, non-fiction, reference, and
Filipiniana, to movies: educational, entertainment, and cartoons. “The
library averages 100,000 visitors a month; our readers come from all
over La Union,” says Ortega. For a city with a population of 115,494,
this figure attests that the library is an excellent place to visit.
Visitors can have their own library cards for free and have free
Internet access for an hour. It boasts of a Children’s Corner where one
can borrow children’s books and toys. To appeal to bibliophiles and
cinephiles, assistant librarian Aiko Nagas said they will revive Book
Club meetings to discuss books made into movies and vice-versa. The
library offers film viewings during Saturdays and Sundays. OIC-City
Librarian Agnes J. Baltazar welcomes visitors to SFC library, home of
learning and leisure in the heart of San Fernando City, from MondaySunday, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.—Helen Naddeo
n NBDB Endorsement of the
n SEC Certificate (Articles of
Incorporation/Partnership and
By-Laws)/ DTI Registration
(Sole Proprietorship)
n Audited Financial Statement
and Income Tax Return
(past three years)
n Board Resolution authorized
company representative
n Accomplished Application
Form 501 and Project Report
Photos by Ianne Barican
The Provincial Library of La Union is
situated in the City of San Fernando.
Responsible for the seven municipal/city
libraries, Marissa Acosta has been able
to sustain the provincial library’s main
The library is divided into its
traditional and e-library system. As a
useful traditional library, their usual
visitors are students in their graduate
studies. Students from the other
provinces also make use of the library’s
resources. With its air-conditioned room,
the E-library allows students one hour
free use of the computer.
Acosta said they want to acquire more
computers and books. “We are in need of
books in Literature, Engineering, Nursing,
and Review books as well,” she added.
Send book donations to Marissa
Acosta at 5th Floor Administrative
Bldg., Quezon Avenue, San Fernando
City, La Union, call (63 72) 700-4976,
888-3070, or email: [email protected]
com.—Helen Naddeo
The NBDB and the Board of Investments (BOI)
have been in close ties to help promote the
development of the book publishing industry in
the country. The book publishing industry, as a
mandatory inclusion to the Investment Priorities
Plan (IPP) through the enactment of Republic Act
8047 or the book publishing industry development
act, is eligible to apply for incentives stated in
Executive Order No. 226, better known as the
Omnibus Investment Code.
Registration Procedure
n Filing of BOI Form 501 with
supporting documents and
filing fee
n Evaluation of Application
and preparation of Evaluation
Report of the BOI (incl.
Publication of Notice of Filing of
Application, plant visit)
n Presentation of application to the
BOI Management Committee
n BOI Governing Board
n Applicant is notified of the
Governing Board’s action through
a Letter of Advice
n If Approved, applicant must send
Letter of Approval including preregistration requirements
n Applicant complies with the preregistration requirements
n Preparation and issuance
of Certificate of Registration
upon payment by applicant of
Registration Fee
n Release of Certificate of
The BOI boasts of ten (10)
to twenty (20) working days
processing time. Submission of
application and requirements can
be sent to:
Project Evaluation and
Registration Department
Board of Investments
385 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave.,
Makati City
Tel # 890-9326/890-1332
For more information regarding
the BOI incentives, please visit
the BOI website at
Source: BOI Primer on Doing Business
in the Philippines
The Divine
Secrets of
Nanay Coring is also the endearing Nanay
to employees of National Book Store
whom she treats as family.
Further beyond the familiar letters of the
National Book Store symbol is a matriarch:
the trailblazer who defied time, nature and
war to make the store as we know it now,
sixty-five-years and a hundred and three
branches later. In the past, many stories
have been written about her but, today, we
present her, not as champion entrepreneur
or award-winning tycoon, but in the career
she considers herself to be greatest at – as a
mother to her children, to the company, and
to us who are all Laking National.
Giving birth to the company
Wearing only simple clothes and little jewelry that
complement her beaming smile, Nanay Coring is nothing
like the strict business mogul anyone who has not met her
would expect her to be. In fact, seeing her in person would
make the kid in all of us want to curl up beside her and be
lulled to sleep by her mellifluous voice. Perhaps this is why,
in the first place, she would let anyone address her with the
endearing word, Nanay, like she was their own.
Now 85, Nanay Coring is still as vigorous as she was at 20,
waking up at 7 a.m. each day, no matter how late she sleeps at
night. Part of her day is visiting several NBS outlets, (which
she has all seen during their respective inaugurations) checking
up on how the business is doing and, in the process, meeting
employees from far-flung places. When asked why she hasn’t
stopped working yet, retiring to a life of leisure and traveling
by the French Riviera, knowing that the company is already in
good hands with her children, Nanay Coring would say, “This
is not work at all. Alam mo naman ang matanda, pakialamera.
For me, what I am doing is what any mother or grandmother
would do for her family: look out for them.”
Christmas 1993. Nanay
Coring has passed on her
knack for entrepreneurship
to both her children and
grandchildren who are all
hands-on in running the
family businesses.
With son Alfred, President
of National Book Store
Growing Business, Growing Children
Not surprisingly, due to the laudable story of Nanay Coring’s
rise to success, most people shine the spotlight on her
entrepreneurial achievements, the recognitions she has received
throughout the years, her patent pragmatic disposition and
her humility. In fact, these are the aspects that are most often
associated with this woman of the kindly face and the warm
smile that, ironically enough, are more reminiscent of one’s
mother than of a highly successful businesswoman who has
endured adversities on her climb upwards. Another irony
is that Nanay Coring’s maternal aura is usually regarded as
the point that makes her stand out among other superiors,
yet seldom has there been an instance when anyone inquired
about her as a true mother: not as the “Nanay Coring” that is
accommodating to her employees, but simply as the “Nanay”
that her children and grandchildren have known her to be .
Nanay Coring gave birth to twins Alfred and Ben, and only
daughter Cecille. Her first borns, the twins, were premature
babies and used to be sickly as they grew up. Alfred distinctively
remembers how Nanay used to tend to him and his brother
in their early childhood years when they would fall ill. “As a
Photos by Daniel Tan; family photos courtesy of Ms. Socorro Ramos
By Maria Pia Benosa and Kristina Corren Marcelo
I was able to raise
good, educated,
intelligent children.
mother, she really cares about us, lalo
na kapag may sakit kami. Ang problema
kasi noong maliit kami, sakitin kami,
nagko-kombulsyon. Noong ipinanganak
kasi kami, seven months lang.”
“Kaya iyan katabi ko maski gabi,”
Nanay Coring says. Even with a helper
present then she would not leave her
children completely to the helper’s
care. “Maski noong nag-aaral na sila
sa Ateneo de Manila sa Padre Faura,
pagdating nila,merienda muna ‘yan,
tapos uupo kami.” She further quips
that in truth she learned more from
her children during these afternoon
With sons Alfred
sit-downs than the other way around.
and Benjamin and
Knowing the value of education
daughter Cecil.
and literacy, aside from sending her
children to quality schools, Nanay taught them the love of books
early on by regularly reading to them. “Oo naman, noong maliliit
pa lang sila, tinuturuan ko na sila. Iyong mga Hardy Boys at Nancy
Drew, at nung maliliit pa, Ladybird, ‘di ba ‘yung mga Ladybird
noong araw, magaganda iyon.” It did not take much pushing from
her for them to find considerable space in their hearts for books
because of the encompassing “influence of [their] environment”.
“All their lives they were surrounded by books sa bahay,” Nanay
says. “Para bang, nai-immerse ka na doon eh, nahahawa ka na sa
nakapaligid sa iyo. They loved books.” This initial introduction to
Family Values
fiction while simultaneously
growing up in a household
surrounded by volumes of print
later on influenced both Ben
and Cecil into taking literature
courses in college. Alfred, on
the other hand, in spite of his
similar affection for reading,
was inspired more by his
mother’s example and followed
a different track by taking up a
business-related course.
Yet no matter what
her children’s chosen fields
were, Nanay Coring had
always been supportive
and encouraging of their
endeavors, like the time when
they suggested that they open
a branch in Araneta. “Ang
sabi ko kung gusto ninyo, go
ahead. I allow them to make
More important, she instilled in them the virtues of
modesty, discipline, industry, self-reliance and daring. When
asked at what point she realized that National Bookstore was
successful, Nanay plainly responded that she didn’t know.
“We just keep on going. You’ll feel the same, if you were in my
place. To you, it’s just a job.” The central point of modesty for
her is not to forget where you came from and to try to give back
to the community in as many ways as possible, a principle that
even her grandchildren now live by. For one, Nanay reprints
copies of books on cheaper paper so that students could afford
to buy textbooks, remembering how difficult it had been for
her during her time to pay for one. National Bookstore also
sponsors a scholarship program and is a committed donor of
books to public school libraries, mostly through the efforts of
Nanay’s children and grandchildren.
Nanay Coring takes pride in her children’s diligence,
but Alfred points out that it was all because of their firm
upbringing under Nanay’s disciplinary palo and the example
that his own parents had set for him and his siblings. “Nobody
will help you but yourself,” Nanay stresses, encompassing in
one sentence how industry and self-reliance go hand-in-hand.
But if there was one lesson that Alfred would claim to
be his mother’s most lasting instruction, it would be the
importance of not accepting defeat and prevailing over one’s
apprehensions. “Ang talagang naituro ni Nanay siguro ay iyong
maski akala mo tumba ka na, tumatayo pa rin eh, lumalaban.
Kahit parang talo ka na, hindi ka maggi-give up.” When faced
with ordeals, it is not the absence of fear that will count, he
says, but the courage to pick one’s self up and overcome it.
One would think that her vast bookstore chain is the
sole measure of her success. But Nanay Coring answered
with a glint of satisfaction in her eyes “I was able to raise
good, educated, intelligent children.” She said it with such
conviction that one is bound to believe that it is in fact her
greatest achievement ever.
write – strictly in that order – comprise
at the most basic level the life of the
University; all infinitives, as to suggest
the unlimited and the indefinite, an
infinity of possibilities, for truly the
future of humanity rests on that order of
the mind: to read, to think, to write.
Reading as the main path
towards inner cultivation
Poet and literary critic
Dr. Gémino H. Abad
TALKS about how
language shapes our
sense of nation through
reading and literature.
Language as the root of
human civilization and culture
Dr. Gémino H. Abad is Emeritus University Professor at the
College of Arts and Letters, U.P. Diliman, where he teaches
creative writing. This speech is part of the UP Centennial
Lecture Series delivered at the College of Humanities and
Social Sciences in UP Mindanao last February 29, 2008.
The series of talks by the University’s
Centennial Fellows is called “selfreflection lectures: the view from the
inside.” The University’s Centennial Year
2008 is, significantly, the International
Year of Languages.
All life, it seems to me, begins with
sounds – from bird calls to human
speech. At the root of all human
civilization and culture is language: the
finest human technology.
At the root of all national literatures
is great writing. At the root of all great
writing is the sense for language. And
at the heart of the sense for language is
the sense for order and harmony.
I begin with a simple reflection:
the infinitives to read, to think, to
For me, the deepest symbol of
civilization is a man or woman reading
a book: thereby one is connected, heart
and mind, with all the past, present,
and future of our species and our
relation to the universe.
We speak of people who are most
committed to the University as the
faculty. All that the Latin word facultas
denotes is “ability, means.” What ability
then but to read, and think, and write:
and by that means, we teach, we prod
and nurture the youth entrusted to us.
Today I find that a number of our
students – I certainly hope, not a
very great number – find reading an
irksome discipline, for they are much
distracted. It isn’t for lack of intelligence
that they track the written word with
difficulty; other than the high-tech
distraction that afflicts them, and apart
from the discombobulating jargon of
some scholars, they have, I believe, a
diminished sense for language.
Sven Birkerts in his essay, “Reading,
Then Writing: The Arithmetic,”
observes: “we are rapidly and
remorselessly leaving behind the age
of the book … and entering upon
something that might be [called] ‘the
media age.’ … [A] profound cultural
shift [has occurred] – the shift from
print as a cognitive base to one shaped by
a range of electronic media. A massive
collective rewiring is underway.”1
A dismal consequence of this shift,
this underrating of the written word,
is depicted in Birkerts’ portrait of his
students in a writing course at Harvard.
“[Something has changed in their]
cognitive make-up, [their] fundamental
relation to the world and to history.
[They show] a whole new set of aptitudes
and responses, an altered dispositional
alignment. … [They] are … more restless
in posture and demeanor, more neural.
… At the same time, they seem blanker,
shallower than their predecessors …
[The] extent to which they are cut off
from the past, from an encompassing
sense of history, is startling. … [They] are
appallingly without the kinds of context
required for any significant exchange
of ideas. … They lack the means, the
language. … [They] lack a working
knowledge of ideas and philosophies;
[they] have lost [the] feeling for language
as a living, supple, delighting, and
generative entity. And no fiddling with
curricula is going to restore these things.”
The main source of the trouble is the
loss of the habit of reading. “Almost
none of my students,” says Birkerts, “read
independently.” In contrast, as Butch
Dalisay recalls his student days in the
1970s and earlier, “nobody had to force
you to read anything; you went out and
discovered great literature on your own
– not even for a grade, but just because
you wanted to.”2 Not reading for school,
not “beach” reading, but, as Birkerts puts
it, “the serious, private, self-generated
interaction with books that forms the
main path toward inner cultivation.
… For reading is stillness, absorption,
the forging and sustaining of mental
perspectives; it is active, difficult; it opens
upon density and diversity. And it is also
listening: to voices, sounds, rhythms,
and articulations of otherness. To read
is to situate oneself in some relation to a
heritage.” Something quite crucial about
reading is also “the way that reading
keeps the language alive in us. Not just
words and their uses but a feeling for the
syntactic masonry required by different
kinds of expression. … Will the world
be different if people stop reading? Very
likely it will again be flat.”
Reading cultivates
effective writing
Birkerts goes on to say: “One cannot
write well if one does not read … writing
that is clear and varied, capable of
sustained exposition as well as of detail
and discrimination, cannot happen
where there is not a sensibility to generate
it. And such a sensibility cannot exist
without the kind of auditory awareness
that reading cultivates. For writing is so
much more than just the transmission
of ideas or information. … effective,
memorable writing depends on the writer
hearing the language. One balances
sounds, their values and meanings; one
holds in readiness clauses and word
chains; one speeds up and slows down …
The ear does the brain’s fingertip work
– it joins and adjusts, adds and subtracts.
“Be the given natural
language Tagalog or
English, the sense for
language is the basic poetic
sense: an imaginative grasp
of words and their sounds;
a lively sense of their
cultural freight; an instinct
for order, wholeness,
It hears the rightness of a phrase, rejects
a dissonance. If you can’t hear words
and their arrangements – the music that
accompanies and enforces meaning –
then you can’t write. Certainly not well.”
That feeling or sense for language is
much more than a grasp of its vocabulary,
grammar, and syntax. Be the given
natural language Tagalog or English,
the sense for language is the basic poetic
sense: an imaginative grasp of words
and their sounds; a lively sense of their
cultural freight; an instinct for order,
wholeness, intelligibility.
Reading enhances
language proficiency
The University has a most fundamental
responsibility for language, so much so
that I, for one, would propose passing
a language proficiency test before a
student is allowed to graduate. Such
a requirement for graduation at the
undergraduate level stresses a student’s
responsibility to foster, through all
his years in college, such mastery of
the language as would enable him to
express with ease and even felicity his
thoughts and feelings on topics that he
is knowledgeable about.
The language that I have chiefly in
mind is, of course, that global language
called English.
From personal experience we all
know that proficiency in any language
is unremittingly enhanced and enriched
through reading. I would propose
then that at the annual Freshman
Convocation, a reading list of 100
books comprising the classic works in
literature, philosophy, religion, and the
social and natural sciences be distributed
to all freshmen. This will constitute the
very heart of their General Education.
Such works in literature, for example, as
Sophocles, Oedipus Rex, or Dostoevski,
The Brothers Karamazov; in philosophy,
Plato, The Republic, or Ken Wilber, Sex,
Ecology, Spirituality; in religion, Hans
Küng, Christianity, or Mircea Eliade, A
History of Religious Ideas; in the social
sciences, Machiavelli, The Prince, or O.
D. Corpuz, The Roots of the Filipino
Nation; in the natural sciences, Stephen
Hawking, A Brief History of Time, or
Brian Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos.
For such a limited reading list in
the immense universe of the human
spirit’s quests and questionings, there
could be alternative works to satisfy
the burning interest of members of our
faculty in those works. For throughout
the academic year there ought to be a
series of lectures by our scholars on a
number of works in the list to which
our students may repair themselves
for intellectual refreshment. I find it
significant that a student organization
in our College of Arts and Letters in
U.P. Diliman calls itself “Read or Die.”
Language creates reality
But I have gone ahead of myself. Allow
me to reinforce what I have so far
adumbrated by touching briefly on the
nature of language and the nature of a
“literary work,” as it is called.
I said earlier that the sense for language
is the basic poetic sense because language
is, in and by itself, already work of
imagination. Indeed, where you have a
master of the word, the poetic sense is
even that which transcends language for,
as the poet Yves Bonnefoy says, the poetic
sense “opens up the intuition to all that
language refuses.”3
Any natural language is already
a translation of reality. The word
“translation” comes from Latin, transferre,
translatus, meaning “to carry or ferry
across.” Thus, when we write, we ferry
across the words our perceptions of reality.
Across the ever-changing river of lexical
meanings, we must bear our words without
hurt. The meanings of our words do not
come so much from the words themselves,
from their differential relations, but from
lives lived. “If the grape is made of wine,”
says Eduardo Galeano, “then perhaps we
are the words that tell who we are.”4 This
is why, when we read a story or poem, we
need to imagine the human action, the
human experience, that is represented or
simulated there.
Language makes real to the mind,
to our consciousness, our perceptions
of reality, for it is the mind that has
the imaginative power. “When the
imagination sleeps,” says the philosopher
Camus, “words are emptied of their
meaning.”5 In that sense, what is most
imagined is what is most real. Moreover,
if the sense for language is intimately
bound with one’s sense of reality, then in a
profound way, language creates our reality.
That is the essential power of language.
All great writers work from, forge
from, a given natural language their
perception, their interpretation, of
reality. Indeed, they create their
subject as a clearing in the vast field of
human understanding. That clearing
is constituted not only by the matter
but also by the very manner or style of
writing, for style, as Camus defines it,
is “the simultaneous existence of reality
and the mind that gives reality its form.”6
All writings are works
of language and imagination
I am a professor of literature, and so my
bias is decidedly for the literary work.
All writings deal with human
experience, and are limited by it, for
we can observe and apprehend only as
human beings. All writings are, before
anything else, work – work of language
and work of imagination, both; and
only by that way might every kind
of writing move toward becoming a
work of art. Work is the key word: the
work of forgery in the triple sense of
the word, “to forge” – that is, to form
or fashion, to feign or fabricate, and
to forge ahead, to advance. It is quite
significant that poetry is associated with
“verse”: the word comes from Latin
versus, which refers to “furrows,” those
cuts in the earth made by the plow.
Thus, as the farmer works the soil to
produce a crop, so the poet works his
language to produce his poems. I take
the figure of the poet as a figure for all
writers because “all writing aspires to the
condition of poetry”7, for poetry enables
language to transcend its limits by its
evocative power. Similarly suggestive
is the word “text,” from Latin, texere,
textus, “to weave,” so that to write is to
plait or braid together the sounds and
the words of a language.
Now, what distinguishes the “literary
“…a country’s literature
is its own image, that is to
say, its imagination of how
its people think and feel
about their world and so,
justify the way they live.
In short, its literature is
its lived ideology.”
work” from other kinds of writing
is the singular fact that it seeks to
fashion, feign, or mimic an individual
experience, to relive it, to give its
representation a human face. That
imaginative fashioning or feigning is
what used to be called by the Greek
word, mimesis, from which comes the
English “mime, mimicry,” the act of
feigning or simulating. Mimesis then
is the creative process of imagining
whereby a “form comes to be imposed
upon the artist’s material.”8 That
material, as regards the literary arts, is
language and human experience.
Literary work simulates
human experience
The etymology of the English word
“experience” is very illuminating if we
bear in mind that what distinguishes the
literary work from other forms of writing
is its mime or simulation of a human
experience as imagined as lived. The
Greek word for “experience” is empeiria,
from the verb, enpeiran, “to try or
attempt,” and also, peran, “to go or pass
through, or undergo.” Thus, we have the
English word “empirical.” But the Greek
vocabulary passes to Latin experiri, “to
try or attempt,” from which the English
words “experience” and “experiment”
derive; moreover, the Latin experiri
relates to Latin periculum, which means
both “attempt” and “danger.”
Such the meaningfulness of that
single word “experience.” It is associated
with faring, going on a journey, with
peril and fear: one goes forth, tries and
is tried, meets with chance and danger,
and nothing is certain. In the literary
work, it is that human experience, as
imagined as lived, by which we are
moved as we read.
That is the essential power of a literary
work, be it a story, poem, or play. It gives
us the very sensation of living, it gives us
a vivid sense of our humanity.
True stories of
life as imagined as lived
Without a masterful use of language,
no literary work can rise to the level
of art. Now, form is the matter of art,
content the matter of interpretation. We
said earlier that creative writing is that
process of imagining by which a form
or structure is imposed on the writer’s
material. That form is the very form
of a human experience that has been
mimed or simulated by a particular
deployment of language.
For the writer, poem or short story
is only a convenient label; when they
write, they do not adhere to any fixed
criteria or theory of the literary work.
They only aspire to creating something
unique in their playing field which is
the field of imagination; they make
things anew or make new things.
This is why we need to restore to our
reading of the literary text the performance
of the text itself precisely by attending first
to its form. Form is, says the critic Mark
Schorer, “achieved content.” When Jose Y.
Dalisay, Jr., was asked whether his stories
were true, he said, Yes, of course, because
“on the page,” where the story is, “is the
life that matters.”9 That life as imagined as
lived is achieved by the story’s form.
In Horace’s critical dictum, dulce
et utile, “delightful and instructive,”
I should think that utile refers to the
literary work’s content, which is the
matter of interpretation, and dulce,
to the form that has been wrought by
which the content is achieved – that is,
endowed with the meaningfulness of a
human experience. Not a fixed meaning,
but meaningfulness. Dulce et utile: in
other words, both revel and revelation.
The appreciation of the form of the
literary work is that which must direct and
validate the interpretation of its content.
Only then might a critique from some
theoretical standpoint – say, a Marxist or
feminist or postcolonial perspective – be
brought to bear on the poem’s or the story’s
subject as interpreted.
A country’s literature
is its lived ideology
If we ask why the system of education
in any country includes its literature as
a required subject, the answer is pretty
obvious: because a country’s literature is its
own image, that is to say, its imagination
of how its people think and feel about their
world and so, justify the way they live. In
short, its literature is its lived ideology.
In that light, our country’s literature
is “our native clearing” within the
language that has been forged and
adopted for the artistic mimesis.
Now, one’s country is basically how one
imagines her. Note the poetical gender:
Inang Bayan. For one’s sense of country is
essentially a poetic sense: an imaginative
perception of our day-to-day living in the
very element of our history and culture.
The literary text, as language
purposefully worked, may be the clearest
expression of one’s sense of country: in
that light, a poet’s sense for language –
whatever the language he has mastered
– may be his most intimate sense of his
country’s landscape and his people’s
lived lives. By the same light, if reading
like writing is finding your way through
language, then the same poetic sense
may well be the hidden dynamo for revel
and revelation.
What is Philippine or Filipino in
our literature – in Spanish, in English,
in Tagalog, in Sugbuanon – is not so
much a matter of what one reads, it is so
much more a matter of how one reads.
We are not stressing markers like local
color and particular items of Philippine
reality like jueteng and jeepney, tungaw
and talipapa. How one reads is more
basic: I mean, a practice of reading, a
way of seeing when one interprets the
text on its face and relates it to one’s
own historical and cultural scene.
The universal plane is the site
of everlasting questioning
To read is first to interpret the text on
its face, to deal with it on and by its own
terms. After all, the text has already come
to terms with itself. That close reading,
attending carefully to the form of the
literary work – the achieved content – is
the antidote to the text’s predestination:
that is, the privileging of Theory over
text, such that the text is read to conform
to the theory that one prefers.
How we interpret as we read is that
which creates our sense of country. There,
in the literary text, a human experience,
a human action, is mimicked, feigned, or
depicted, and it is already meaningful, as
imagined and depicted, be it only a mood
or a train of reflection, as in most lyric
poems. That meaningfulness is its moral
or ethical dimension. And that moral
dimension raises the literary text to a
universal plane.
The universal plane is not the realm
of eternal verities; it is rather the site of
everlasting questioning. That is what
makes a work a classic.
If for both writer and reader, the
chief appeal of the literary work is to the
imagination, then the primary requirement
is what we call the sense for language.
We cannot deal with the question,
“What is Filipino?” in the abstract; it
isn’t a pure and unique essence. It isn’t
being, it is becoming. In fact, most
literary texts exist on the universal
plane where the imagination is most
free. On that plane, as we read we grasp
a living sense of our common humanity.
It doesn’t contradict that sense of our
humanity to apprehend in the same text
a sense of our country, the Filipino in
his own “scene so fair.” (Maramág)10
We cannot help being ourselves,
Filipinos, in much the same way that the
Filipino in America, after many years
there – or generations – cannot help being
American. It cannot be helped that we
bring to the poem or story that we read
what knowledge and experience we have,
nor is it wrong, for as long as we respect
the poem’s or the story’s text that requires,
before all else, a sense for language. If
we happen to know that the author is
Filipino, then our reading may well be
further informed by general knowledge
of our history and culture and personal
reflection on our present circumstances:
what we have ourselves personally lived
through, what we imagine we have
become as a people through our history,
what we think as a people we aspire to.
We: that is to say, from reader to reader,
each one imagining his community and
assuming that its members share a history
and culture. This may be illusion, but
each one, for himself and for the moment,
makes it real.
Sense of country
is more image than concept
For our sense of country is, in the first
place, personal and subjective, but that
doesn’t make it any less real. It may also
be shared, through education, the mass
media, literature and the other arts, and
other means and institutions.
One’s sense of country is more image
than concept, more feeling than thought;
but image is livelier than concept, and
feeling is deeper and wider than thought.
And this of course is why that sense of
country is more readily apprehensible
in the artistic media – painting and
sculpture, film, theatre, song, the literary
text. Literature and the other arts “may be
what Derrida has in mind when Derrida
speculates that ‘there are perhaps forms of
thought that think more than does that
thought called philosophy.”11
If one immigrates, he brings with him
that sense of country; but because it is a
sense borne out of living among people
in a natural terrain that has a people’s
own culture and history, it is over time
and generations as elastic and mutable
as a people’s history and culture. The
“Filipino-American” is over time not
Filipino, he is American; that is his own
choice. After an indeterminate period,
he thinks and feels American, he lives
American. “America” becomes what his
imagination owes its allegiance to; if
his mind or heart should at times turn
to his country of origin, it is a passing
nostalgia, a transient ache for a home
that was once his heart’s country. If he
returns and settles in his country of
origin, or returns to die and be buried
there, it can be said that he has never
really in his heart relinquished his
imagination’s allegiance to his country
of origin, he has never really gone away,
he has always nurtured in his heart his
sense of his original country.
One’s country is what one’s
imagination owes its allegiance to.
1 All I have of this essay is a photocopy. I do not recall who gave it to me, and so far, I do not know when or where it first appeared.
2 Dalisay, “Stories I Like To Teach,” in his column, “Penman,” The Philippine Star / Lifestyle, 14 Jan. 2008: F-1.
3 “Interview with Yves Bonnefoy” by John Naughton in Bonnefoy, In the Shadow’s Light, tr. John Naughton (University of Chicago, 1991): 163.
4 Galeano, The Book of Embraces, tr. Cedric Belfrage (N.Y.: W. W. Norton, 1992): 18.
5 I came fortuitously upon this quote as I sought my source for Camus’ remark on style.
6 Camus, The Rebel: an Essay on Man in Revolt; tr. Anthony Bower (New York: Alfred A.Knopf, 1951): 271.
7 Franz Arcellana in his “Introduction” to Jose Y. Dalisay, Jr.’s first collection of stories, Oldtimer (Quezon City: Asphodel Books, 1984): ix.
8 “General Introduction” to The Complete Greek Drama, ed. Whitney J. Oates and Eugene O’Neill, Jr. (New York: Random House, 1938), I: xxiii.
9 Dalisay in his “Preface” to his Selected Stories (Quezon City: U.P. Press, 2005): x.
10 See Fernando M. Maramág’s poem, “Moonlight on Manila Bay,” The College Folio, Feb. 1912: 127; also in Gémino H. Abad and Edna Zapanta Manlapaz,
eds., Man of Earth: An Anthology of Filipino Poetry and Verse from English, 1905 to the mid-50s (Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University, 1988): 32.
11 Derrida as quoted by Nicholas Harrison in Postcolonial Criticism: History, Theory and the Work of Fiction (Cambridge, U.K.: Polity Press, 2003): 149.
He looks
Several years back, he captured our hearts through song. Over the years he has produced hits that
tickled many people’s ears, gained the title ASIA’s POP IDOL, and became the face that graced the
advertisements of many establishments here and abroad. In this interview with BOOKWATCH,
Christian Bautista temporarily strips himself of all the fame and glory, driven by the will to share
with his countrymen the thing he loves most next to singing—reading. By Maria Pia Benosa
Christian’s reigning favorite book. It
was the first one he managed to finish
when he was in high school. Christian
had always been a sporty type of guy,
playing varsity tennis until college, so
he really was not that into fiction yet
as an adolescent. But, the moment his
father handed him his own copy of the
book that gave birth to Middle Earth,
Christian curled up in a corner, sat in
silence and willingly submitted himself
to this whole new world presenting
itself before him, in words. With that,
Tolkien paved the way for Christian’s
new mission of seeing Frodo to the
destruction of the ring, and his quest
for the best works in fantasy.
The Father Figure
Escaping into Fantasy
The Bautista home in Imus, Cavite is a
haven of books. A beaming Christian
proudly recalls that it was his father
Ebert who was the big reader in the
family. His study had on all walls
shelves lined up from top to bottom
by books, copies of Readers’ Digest and
Newsweek, and other reading materials.
It was because of this love and attitude
toward reading that the Bautista
brothers did not grow up fearing words
and books, despite being young boys
fond of television and play. However,
it would be several years later, when
Christian was in high school, that he
would really start his lifelong affair
with reading.
The Hobbit, prequel to the Lord of
the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, is
After reading The Hobbit, Christian
was so hooked that he raided all the
Booksale branches he could find in his
province and in the nearby cities for
copies of the Lord of the Rings books,
as they were not being sold in major
bookstores back then. These became
the very first books in his collection.
This entire craze came before the
stardom, the movie and the reprinted
editions with Orlando Bloom and his
long ears stamped in.
When the movie first came out,
Christian was armed and ready with
trivia to spill to his friends. Although
he always prefers books to their movie
adaptation, Christian was so proud
of the job done in the LOTR series,
because the film gave the imagery
and scenery Tolkien must’ve intended,
yet a reader can only do so much as
approximate in his little head. “I never
would’ve imagined how this one scene
in the third movie would look like,
when all the horses were charging in,”
he explains. “I was moved to tears, and
it was the best film scene for me, ever.”
In later years, Christian would bury
himself in the pages of his father’s old
Tom Clancy and Ken Follett books.
He and his brothers would read
popular fantasy writer Neil Gaiman
too, borrowing his graphic novels from
neighbors and friends who collected
them. Today when asked who his
favorite fictional character is, Christian
still proudly volunteers Aragorn, the
lean-bodied future king of Tolkien’s
Reunited Kingdom.
Christian Bautista reads Sorry to Burst Your Bubble
(New Day Publishers) by Yay Olmedo-Padua.
The Good Christian boy
Of late, Christian spends most of his
reading time with devotional books. In
his hammock in their Cavite home he
lays, wind blowing in his face, knowing
that he’s at the one spot he can read
without being knocked to sleep. These
kinds of books, Christian is proud to
say, have helped him in particularly
hard times in his life. “That’s why
I prefer reading books, not shifting
to audio books—because there’s a
more intimate connection established
between you and the words, or you
and God,” he says. Given the chance
to spend the rest of his life exiled on a
faraway island with only one book in
Photo by Bobby Eleazar
o in walks this lanky, handsome
figure into the STAGES
office in Makati. Everyone
stares, as the soft-spoken
young man comes in with no
announcement or fireworks
whatsoever, only a hello and a smile
that took everyone’s breath away. We
would’ve questioned him right away
in all his perfumed glory, about show
business, his love life, and the many
women who have largely influenced
him, but he surprises us saying, that
whether in love, studies or his career, it
was generally the men who have helped
him out. Both literally and literarily,
that is.
hand, he would bring the Bible, which
he has read several times and wants to
read and discover further. That’s 64
books in one, mind you.
Christian has little qualms about the
altar boy image he is often typecast as.
In the coming productions of STAGES’
West Side Story, he breaks the stereotype
by playing the lead role of Tony, a
former Puerto Rican gang leader. He
reveals however, that his dream role
would be to play the character Chavez,
a Spanish guy in one of Tom Clancy’s
later novels, Rainbow Six. “I want to try
action. Enough with being a sacristan,”
he laughs.
So Guilty of reading
Christian loves it when he gets caught
reading. Way before the advocacy, he
and his brothers would already try
convincing friends and colleagues in their
respective industries to read, be it novels,
newspapers or gossip columns. “In one
way or another, a person would pick up
something from whatever he reads. It’s a
good habit to keep yourself in the know
of events happening, especially those
outside your circle,” he says.
Although he has yet to read the
works of Filipino authors, Christian
believes that there are a lot of great
writers out there who just need the right
amount of publicity and marketing,
so that their works would be read and
appreciated by the public. He wishes
that they’d be more visible, taken out,
first of all, from their intimidating
Filipiniana shelves in bookstores.
Christian’s advice to those who are
already readers is to bring around books
wherever they go. “Sooner or later,” he
says, “someone’s going to ask and will
take an interest. It is more convincing
when people see you reading than when
you try shoving your opinions of a book
down their throats.” That’s what got
him into the habit in the first place,
thanks to his dad. Now many years
later, Christian is still very thankful
that he knows the value of reading.
If not for it, he wouldn’t have had his
music, especially in songwriting: the
rhymes, the grasp of the language,
and the choice of which words went
together, wanting to transcend the
cheesy and the cliché.
And so Christian, toward the end of
our interview, shows us how to carry
a book to catch people’s eyes—close
to his body, book cover outward, near
his chest, and his heart, where it truly
This 20-year-old
English Literature
major and pop
idol’s obsession
with books makes
her even more
endearing to
thousands who
look up to her.
Nikki Gil is infectious.
We all remember how, for weeks, we could not get that
commercial jingle off our heads when we first saw and heard
her pass on bottles of soda to everyone on the street, while
singing the lss-inducing tune. Youngsters and teenyboppers
at heart became more endeared to the Disney made-forTV movie High School Musical when Nikki’s version of
Breaking Free hit the airwaves, and there’s probably no
seven-year-old girl who doesn’t know every line to the hit
song. Now Nikki is yet to enthuse us again, this time with
her insatiable addiction to books and reading, as one of
the newest celebrity endorsers of the NBDB’s Get Caught
Reading campaign.
Can’t Get Enough of Books
During the interview with BOOKWATCH, Nikki readily
showed us what’s inside her bag and out sneaked Joel Osteen’s
Your Best Life Now and Paolo Coelho’s The Zahir.
“Instead of wasting time being idle or doing the useless
things, I’d rather spend hours reading a book.” Nikki
explains how she carries books with her all the time, which
she reads in between takes during tapings.
A self-confessed bibliophile since childhood, Nikki shares
how her love interest with books started as a sort of extra
summer class at home when their mom would buy books for
her and her sister to read. Every summer, when kids would
be out playing, my mom would be out buying books for us,
and every summer we have to come up with a book report
to make sure that we really read the book! It worked to our
advantage because my sister and I grew up loving books.”
“Reading is both a habit and a hobby for me. I always
find time to read. You can leave me in a book store for five
hours and I’ll survive. I go to bookstores every week. She
delightedly shares how excited she got when she first set foot
at the five-storey Fully Booked store at Bonifacio High Street
in Taguig City. “I was like a kid left in Disneyland!”
By Camille Dianne S. Mendoza
Photo by Ocs Alvarez
The Literature Geek
It is no surprise that this fan of fiction would take up a course
that she herself is very much into come college– Literature.
Advancing to hardcore classics like Virginia Woolf ’s The
Lighthouse and Samuel Becket’s Endgame had not been a
problem for Nikki since as a kid, she was already perusing the
pages of classics like A Tale of Two Cities, Alice in Wonderland,
and The Secret Garden.
She confesses how these days she had gotten hooked on
Paolo Coelho and could not get enough of the Brazilian
author’s contemporary bestsellers. “I have almost all his
books. Veronica Decides to Die is intriguing. I’m now reading
The Zahir. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept is also
one of my favorites. Eleven Minutes, which I was able to read
earlier, was an eye-opener!” she comments on Coelho’s sexual
awakening novel.
Aside from Coelho’s books, Nikki also loves to read novels
adapted into the big screen, such as Like Water for Chocolate,
Lolita, Chocolat, and Nicholas Spark’s romance novels A Walk
to Remember and Message in a Bottle. She makes sure she
reads the book first before watching the movie.
Aside from singing, acting, and hosting, this charming
MYX VJ has also developed a knack for writing. She wrote
the foreword to Women on the Journey, a compilation of essays
by young women and their inspiring stories and writes a
regular column for MYX Magazine.
Her Reading Habits
Nikki can read practically everywhere; from the typical lying
position (“I always read before going to bed, which is not good
because sometimes I end up sleeping at 5 a.m.!”) before going
to sleep, to reading while in the car, and inside the bathroom
(“I have banyo books. Books that I can read in 10 minutes!”),
she satisfies her craving for books wherever and whenever she
feels like escaping to a whole new different world.
Nikki proudly shares how she has turned her own bedroom
into a mini-library, separate from their house’s main library.
Spreading the Word
As a GCR endorser, the talented Atenean is more than happy
to be of help in spreading the love for books among young
people like her through the Get Caught Reading campaign.
“First of all it creates the awareness that there is a need for
the youth to get into the habit of reading. People should be
made aware of what they can benefit from reading.”
It is never too late for anyone to acquire the habit of
reading, Nikki believes. “We should come up with a reading
program that can apply to anyone; I think (the habit of
reading) is something you develop. The appetite for reading
is something you’re not born with; you develop it through
the years. It’s a practice that you acquire. You can start with
reading the newspaper, then work your way up to reading
short stories, then get into the classics.”
Back in her old school, Nikki recalls how the reading
programs they implemented effectively helped students get
into the habit of reading. “You start with a book that is easy
to digest, and then you work your way up. You don’t even
have to start based on the age group.”
Reader = Achiever
Nikki probably best embodies the positive results of an
enduring attachment to books. Putting her talents in
singing and acting aside, her eloquence as a TV host / VJ
and her numerous achievements in school (she graduated
class Valedictorian in high school and is a consistent honor
student at the Ateneo de Manila University) are enough to
make her idol material, thanks to her fondness for books.
“Reading makes you interesting. It makes you articulate. You
are able to express what you want to express better and people
understand you better. It opens you up to different worlds.”
Soon, we will encounter Nikki’s dulcet face again, not in
the boob tube that she usually graces and minus the pleasantsounding voice that’s accountable for making songs linger in
our heads. In the Get Caught Reading posters, Nikki sweetly
smiles at you with a book in hand. And just like how easily
her bubbly songs stay in one’s head, or how instinctively we
put down the remote control when it’s her hosting the music
countdown, we’re pretty sure the sight of her clutching a
paperback would also stir up the voracious reader in anyone.
NBDB’s team of interns scout the streets of the metro and the nearby
relaxation haven of Tagaytay for ideal places where one can escape
the busy city life, even for just a few hours, to curl up in bed without
noisy nieces and nephews running about, or sip coffee with a lush,
green landscape as background, and read. And read. And read ‘til
one’s down to the last page.
A sweet escape to a lushness of
books and blossoms
Cool Places
to Read
It had been good timing. We were worn out
from office work, summer classes and the
withering month-long heat aggravated by
the smog of Metro Manila, that the offer of
an overnight break, really, was a diamond
glinting ice-cold for us. We have all heard of
Sonya’s Garden before, yet most of us being
first-time visitors there, were nothing short of
overwhelmed by the greenery and—oh, the
soothing tranquility.
You wouldn’t even need a balcony view of
Taal Lake to say that your Tagaytay lodging
experience was complete. The first feature
that you would notice and love about the
place would predictably be the ambience.
Staying true to the impression of a hushed
idyllic paradise that Sonya has had in mind,
this retreat for the drained keeps as close to
nature as much as possible: flowers and trees
perfectly choreographed to look as if they had
been untouched by human hands, an endemic
distinctive fragrance pervading that little nook
of Cavite, petals floating in water bowls even
in your bathrooms, and at night, a firefly show
in one of the old back trees that would have
you wondering if Tinkerbelle and her posse
decided to turn in for the night at Sonya’s too.
The second good thing is, you won’t find the
green just in your environs; you will spot them
on your plate as well. Sonya’s restaurant serves
healthy meals—from salads to desserts—that
are more especially delectable for being gardenfresh. They get their fruits and veggies from the
surrounding community, and even grow their
Sonya’s Garden is at
Barangay Buck Estate,
Alfonso, Cavite.
Sonya’s filled every cottage
with books to curl up with.
Reading benches and
nooks are scattered
all over the garden
By Maria Pia Benosa, Kristina Corren Marcelo, Camille Dianne Mendoza and Helen Naddeo
Photos By Jen Padua
own herbs and mushrooms. Check out their
Panaderia for hot-from-the-oven cheese hopias
and an assortment of other pastries you would
not only take home for pasalubong, but also
munch on anytime you feel like it.
What makes this enchanting garden more
heavenly, however, are these three things
combined: serenity, books books books in
almost every corner of your cottage, and a
number of spots where you can cuddle up and
create your own reading niche. Benches (even
one on calesa wheels) and canopied divans
set among branches and shrubs dot selected
spots for the leisure of the wandering reader.
Leafing through a favorite author while savoring
a bite of their luscious chocolate cake, a slice
of which is often served for dessert at the
restaurant, complemented by a cup of steaming
tarragon tea, is a comforting way to wrap up
a satisfying meal. But of course, nothing beats
passing the hours away sunk into the sweetsmelling comforters and thick pillows of your
bed and reading your eyes out until you nod off.
Sonya wants to teach us harried students and
employees the value and art of doing nothing,
so better learn and do it well—with an engaging
and enriching paperback, that is.
If you are one of those glazed-eyed souls
that haven’t been detoxified by Sonya’s Garden
yet, or who have been there before and feel
like rediscovering its quiet charm, call or text
09175329097 or 09175335140 for reservations,
or e-mail them at [email protected], and
take a weekend off from driving through Metro
Manila’s pollution and steer to Barangay Buck
Estate, Alfonso, Cavite. We all need to set aside
some time to do nothing and just breathe, so
why not do it now?—KCM
Quiet zones for
reading and relaxation.
Sonya’s serves
healthy meals from
salads to desserts.
Enjoy an afternoon read with
the breathtaking view of Taal
as background.
Coffee and books-a great combo!
Quiet zones at
Discovery Country Suites
The Coffee Bean’s signature tea lattes
are perfect for a late-afternoon read.
Group reading in a
cafe is exhilirating!
Kozui Green Tea Café
Tomas Morato cor. Sct. Fernandez
and Sct. Fuentebella Sts., Quezon City
Country High
Discover a taste of paradise as you
enjoy a postcard-perfect sight
of Taal Lake and Volcano with
Discovery Country Suites.
Perched on a ridge overlooking the beautiful
Taal Lake and Volcano, Discovery Country
Suites is the perfect getaway to forget about the
hustle and bustle of the city and find escape
with a good book.
It’s amazing how this quaint little property
can house seven different worlds inside, just
like how a few leaves of a book can contain
all kinds of worlds and take you to each when
its pages are perused. Each room is a story in
its own, from the gypsy-inspired and vibrant
Andalucia suite to the elegant and stately
English-inspired Oxford suite. Just when you
think Tagaytay’s promise of a soothing view
of pine trees and magnificent ridges, and the
refreshing cool air are enough escape from
the city, you’ll realize you’re in for a farther
getaway as your uniquely themed-room
transports you to another world.
Of course, just like the luxury and
indulgence Discovery is famous for, you can
only expect a royal treat from a feast of hearty
country meals to a pampering spa during your
visit. Not the least memorable of our country
high experience was the complimentary
hors d’oeuvres at sundown, where an array
of delightful cheese, lightly chilled wines,
and preserved fruits tickled our taste buds to
prepare us for a more appetizing dinner.
Book bums and nature lovers alike will fall
in love with the charming little garden and
outdoor Jacuzzi overlooking the fabulous view
Every corner of the
Country Suites is a
perfect reading retreat.
of the Lake. Aside from the comfort of one’s
own bed, almost each corner of the place is a
hideaway to cuddle a book. The serene garden
overlooking the lake offers retreat for an easily
distracted reader, while the warm and gentle
flicker of the lobby’s fireplace invites families
with young kids to sit by the fire for an evening
of cozy storytelling. In spite of its elegance,
there’s still that warm feeling you only get to
feel at the comfort of your own home. Aside
from the wine and cheese buffet before dinner,
they offer another thoughtful nicety of a warm
glass of milk and oatmeal cookie to cap up the
night – just perfect for a bedtime story.
We’re pretty sure you’ll be overwhelmed
on your first visit that you know you’ll come
back again and again during your next trips
to Tagaytay to experience each of the seven
wondrous suites. It will be up to you then
where you’d want to be transported next: will
it be Ceylon, Saint-Tropez or Siam?
If you’re looking for a place to relax and indulge
in everything luxurious, an ideal place to pamper
the body and the mind (with the company of a
good book, that is), Discovery Country Suites is
the perfect place for you. For reservations, you
may visit or
call Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay at (63
46) 413.4567 or Manila Reservations at (63 2)
683.8383. —CDM & HN
Restaurant Verbana offers
world-class cuisines.
Indulge in your favorite
book by the fireplace.
Kozui’s interiors
and healthy green
tea-based drinks are
refreshing both to both
to the mind and sight.
We are guilty of having visited this addictive
Green Tea Cafe close to a dozen times before
press time. Kozui is a breath of fresh air from
the many tedious nut brown-themed cafes that
stand close to it from left to right. On their
menu are the following delightful varieties
and reinventions of green tea: Lemon Teaz
(refreshing cold juices of green tea and lemon),
Fruit Teaz, Tea Lattes (hot coffee drinks you
didn’t imagine would taste so good with green
tea) and ice blended Korichio drinks (Japanese
version of frappes, including Taro and Black
Sesame flavors).
The drinks alone are enough reason for us to
keep coming back, asking for more. Green tea is
known to have several health benefits; but when
your mind’s all relaxed, then who would still care
for anatomy lessons? The green motif of Kozui is
adorable too, and it changes every season.
The Café usually gets busy after 6 p.m.,
when people are coming in from a busy
day’s work. It’s also known to be a hub for
established writers who spend time just
hanging out or reading poetry to each other,
as well as for budding writers who cherish the
relaxing atmosphere for clearing their heads
before typing away on their laptops. Readers
can come in for their quiet time a little after
lunchtime until 5 p.m., before large groups
come barging in.
Kozui is a perfect place for reading dates,
a new activity gaining popularity among
bookworms who meet online and set their
group eye balls—seeking social activity and
at the same time, an excuse to flee from work
or house chores to just read, turn pages and
immerse themselves into the wonderful world
of words, even for just a few hours. ­— MPB
The Coffee Bean at Ortigas Park is
becoming a reading hub for yuppies.
The Coffee Bean
and Tea Leaf
Ortigas Park, Ortigas Center
Imagine listening to good chill-out music
onstage, while comfortably seating by the al
fresco tables, sipping your soothing cup of the
popular Chai Latte – a fair mix of Chai masala,
Vanilla, steamed non-fat milk and foam.
People who frequent this Coffee Bean and
Tea Leaf fronting the lush green landscape of
the Ortigas Park are students and yuppies from
nearby buildings, who usually come in after
5 p.m. If you’ve got a book in hand, the best
time to flick through pages is at mid-afternoon,
when there are few people and the sun is still
up to give you some light. Unlike most highsugar, high-caffeine drinks from other coffee
shops, the drinks of Coffee Bean all carry their
signature healthy teas. Be it the Green, Oolong
or Black kinds, or their Fruit and Herbal
Infusions, one’s ensured of a smooth-sailing
reading experience ahead.
Coffee Bean in Ortigas Park also caters to
small groups up for some quality time together.
There is an isolated platform in the shop
that allows for huddling and intimate talk,
perfect for small book club meetings or poetry
readings. Every Saturday, Coffee Bean plays
host to the LitCritters, a literary group founded
by fictionist Dean Francis Alfar, which holds
regular discussions on fiction and criticism. For
larger literary events to be held at the Ortigas
Park, interested parties may contact both The
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and the Ortigas
Foundation. — MPB
Hot New Releases
from UP Press
Philippine Folklore:
An Anthology
Edited by Damiana Eugenio
Available at the Libros
Filipinos Bookshop of the
Filipinas Heritage Library, P700
Philippine Folklore: An Anthology
presents a bird’s-eye view of the whole
range of Philippine folk literature and
offers a sampling of this rich and varied
branch of the Filipino cultural heritage.
It is the first volume of the Philippine
Folk Literature series. As in the other
volumes in the series, the selections
are given in English translation, but
a sampling of the text in the original
language is given at the beginning of
the selection.
Sandaang Damit:
16 na Maikling Kuwento
Ni Fanny Garcia
Available at
National Book Store, P250
Ayon sa Pambansang Alagad ng Sining
para sa Panitikan na si Bienvenido
Lumbera, “Batay sa mga kuwentong
lumabas sa Sandaang Damit, matibay na
ang tayo ni Fanny A. Garcia sa hanay ng
mga pangunahing kuwentista natin. Ang
bagong edisyon ng koleksiyon ay tiyak
na makaaakit ng bagong henerasyon ng
mga mambabasang hahanga sa mainam
na pagbuhay ng awtor sa mga kabatirang
hango sa malalim na pagkasapol sa mga
realidad ng ating lipunan.”
The Children’s Hour
Volumes 1 and 2
Volume I edited by Gemino Abad
Volume II edited by
Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo
The Children’s Hour, Volume I,
consists of 16 childhood stories
by the older generation of
writers; its sequel, The Children’s
Hour, Volume II, comprises
16 stories on childhood as
remembered, recounstructed,
and imagined by a younger
generation of writers.
Both volumes available at
the Libros Filipinos Bookshop of
the Filipinas Heritage Library, P200
Psychedelia Apocalypsis
Ni Nicholas Pichay
Nangingibabaw sa panulat ni Nick
Pichay ang sensibilidad ng isang
mapaglaro. Sa kanyang mga dula,
pilit niyang itinutulak ang hangganan
ng realismo hanggang sa—tulad
ng isang telang pilit ipinambabalot
sa katotohanan—napupunit na ito.
Butiki kung sumulat: nakaamba
lang, sumusutsot, naglalabas ng
matalas na dila na parang hinlalaking
nanunundot. Tuloy di mo alam kung
siya’y nagbibiro, naglalambing, o
Available at
National Book Store, P200
nang-uuyam nang patago. Hindi ka
talaga makasiguro. Sa mga mag-aaral, guro, at kritiko, mahalaga
ang mga dulang ito sa pagbagtas ng pag-unlad ng sining ng teatro
at pagsusulat sa makabagong tanghalan.
ni Anna Ishikawa
Friend, huwag kang maniwala.
Hindi totoong puro kalokohan
ang laman ng utak ko. Gaya mo,
punung-puno rin ito ng mga
pangarap. Ako si Emily, simpleng
dalaga, simple lang ang gusto. Ang
makilala ang misteryosong lalaking
napanaginipan. Yun lang naman.
Kaso, masyado akong busy sa pagse-xerox, pagfa-fax,
pag-e-encode, pag-e-encrypt, pagtitimpla ng kape, pagtsecheck ng appointments, pagse-xerox uli, at pagiging
beautiful assistant ng may-ari ng isang travel agency para
maghanap ng boys. Lalo pang dumami ang trabaho nang
dumating itong bagong manager, na pogi nga, super
antipatiko naman. Bagay sila ng maldita niyang girlfriend.
Hindi ako makikialam sa kanila. Pramis. Pasok ka na
lang sa DREAMS TOURS office, yung may tarp sa harap.
Ang nakalagay rito? “Where Your Dreams Come True.”
Wish ko lang totoo!
Para sa Makabagong Panlasa
ng mga Pinoy na Mambabasa
Mula sa mga nobela at antolohiya hanggang
sa mga komiks, inihahandog ng FOX
Literary House Inc. ang mga akdang ito ng
mga mahuhusay na bagong manunulat ng
bansa na nabibilang sa iba’t ibang genre:
romansa, katatawanan, erotika at katatakutan.
Pangunahing tunguhin ng FOX na tulungang
paigtingin ang kamalayan ng mga Pilipino, bata
man o matanda, sa kagalingang pampanitikan
sa pamamagitan ng paglalabas ng mga akdang
makabuluhan at napapanahon. Sa paglalabas
ng mga ito ay layunin ng FOX na ipalaganap
ang isang makabagong panitikan na papatok,
na siyang tutulong magtaguyod sa malawak na
angking literatura ng bayan at magbibigay-daan
sa pagsulong ng bansa.
DAGTA: Antolohiya
ng Erotika
nina Layeta Bucoy,
Ardee Sto. Domingo, at Beverly Siy
tinipon at pinamatnugutan ni J. Luis
Tatlong kuwento ng pag-ibig na tiyak na
makapagbibigay ng kilig!
Iba’t-ibang bagong pananaw at
tinig tungkol sa tema ng erotika
ang matatagpuan sa Dagta:
Antolohiya ng Erotika, na bukod
sa inaasahan nang epektong
sexual ay nakapagdudulot din
ng hindik, kilig, katatawanan at
pagkaengganyong magmuni-muni.
Sa pamamagitan ng mga pantasya ng mga personang
inaalam pa lamang ang mundo ng sexualidad at pag-ibig
ay nadidiskubre ang isang bagong mundo na tigib ng mga
personal na pagnanasa at sosyolohikal na pakahulugan.
Ang mga kuwentong ito ay mga kuwento ng mga taong
makatotohanan, mga taong parang kakilala niyo na nang
matagal, na may bagong ibabahaging sikreto sa inyo.
Express Makati
Kumplikado ang kani-kaniyang buhay
nina Charisma at Russel: may boyfriend at
anak na si Charisma habang hirap naman
sa commitment si Russel. Pero what if
magkasundong magkita ang dalawa? Isang
araw lang. May mabubuo bang pag-iibigan o
maglalaho ba ito sabay ng paglubog ng araw?
ni Nicanor David Jr.
Ito ang naratibo ni Unkyel
Batjay. Alanganing tula-essaykwento ang mga akdang
mas malapit sa biographical
creative nonfiction.
Alanganin ang lumbay at
himutok na idinaan na
lamang sa biro. Naroon sa
mga lumbay at biro ang
kaluluwa ng naratibo, ng
pambansang naratibo. Kilala
natin si Unkyel Batjay. Mahal
natin siya. Ang kaniyang
betlog ay sa atin rin. Ang
kaniyang kulangot ay duming
di natin naaamoy. Kung siya
ay tayo rin, mahalaga nga
ang kaniyang istorya.
Si Isabella ay isang misunderstood na high
school sophomore. “Saddam” ang tawag
sa kaniya dahil sa mala-diktador na paraan
niya sa pakikitungo sa mga kaklase. Lahat ay
inis sa kaniya maliban sa isa, si Ziegler, ang
romantikong binatang handang suungin ang
kahit anong baha, makasukob lamang siya
sa payong ng dalaga! Pero paano kung hindi
tanggapin ang pag-ibig ni Ziegler, at tuluyan
na siyang sirain ni Saddam?
Hambog na Pag-ibig
Matapos ang ilang taong hindi pagkikita,
nagkatagpong muli ang magkababatang
sina Sofia at James. Ngunit, sa pagkikita
nila, agad na bumalik ang mga alaala
ng lungkot at pighati: nagkahiyaan,
nagkatampuhan, nagkunwari na lang
na hindi magkakilala. Magkabati pa ba
ang dalawa, o mananatiling limot ang
masasayang alaala?
Fox literary House titles are available in major book stores.
In Love kay Saddam
tinipon at pinamatnugutan ni
Beverly Siy
Mula sa tradisyon ng mga
obra ni Gerardo de Leon,
narito sa libro ang mahigit
sa dalawampung maiikling
kuwento ng kababalaghan at
katatakutan. Sinulat upang
ibahagi ang mga nakakahindik
na pangyayari sa iba’t ibang uri ng sasakyan, sarisaring okasyon at lunan, at ang mas malalim na
usapin sa karahasan na madalas ay hindi pinaguusapan.
Kapitan: Geny Lopez
and the making of ABS-CBN
Review by Alvin J. Buenaventura
Like the primary colors—red, green,
and blue—the life of Geny Lopez Jr., the
making of ABS-CBN, and the growth of
the Philippine broadcast industry combine
in the book Kapitan: Geny Lopez and the
making of ABS-CBN to give us vivid pictures
of the state of the country from 1946 to the
More than a recital of facts, dates, and
events, the history of the Philippines comes
alive through the challenges faced by the
small group of tightly-knit band of media
In his foreword ABS-CBN chairman and
CEO Gabby Lopez III writes: “We have
survived fires, floods, coup attempts and
a dictator’s henchmen storming our gates.
People have been trying to write our epitaph
for decades. But we are still here. The values
and the stories in this book will help pass on
the lore of this network from one generation
to the next. And it can help let the world
know why Geny Lopez is the man we will
always call our Kapitan.”
Going beyond the towering picture of
Kapitan, we see the values that moved him
to provide the nation with clear pictures and
crisp sounds: “the passion for excellence, the
drive to be number one, a commitment to
public service, caring for his employees, and
above all, never giving up.”
Written by Raul Rodrigo and published by ABS-CBN
Publishing, the book won a National Book Award
from the Manila Critics’ Circle in 2007. Available at
Powerbooks for P1,500 (sb) and P3,000 (hb).
Mga Tula ng ating
Panahon mula sa
mga Makata ng
Bagong Henerasyon
sentences of a passage, then practice
seeing more than one word at a time.
Read with sufficient light.
Poor lighting will affect your
eyes and having poor eyesight
discourages people to read and
loose the interest totally. Always
make sure to read with good lighting
even if you don’t have any problem
with your eyesight.
Latay sa Isipan Mga Bagong Tulang Filipino
University of Sto. Tomas Publishing House
Mga Patnugot: Cirilo F. Bautista at Allan Popa
A Pioneering
Work on
the History
of our Books
10 Ways to Curb
Bad Reading Habits
By Glenn L. Malimban
kanilang mga mambabasa? Ang mga sagot
ay pumipintig sa mga pahina ng Latay sa
Isipan—Mga Bagong Tulang Filipino, mga
pintig na magbibigay-hudyat sa kung ano
ang ginawa natin sa ating nakaraan at kung
ano ang maaasahan natin sa ating hinaharap.
Malaking ambag ang aklat na ito sa pagsulong
ng Panitikang Filipino.
(Available at National Book Store for P250.)
Tagalog Bestsellers of
the Twentieth Century:
A History of the Book
in the Philippines
Ateneo de Manila University Press
by Patricia May B. Jurilla
This pioneering work is a study on the
history of the book in the Philippines,
with a focus on literary publishing
and Tagalog literary bestsellers of the
twentieth century. It spans more than
four centuries of publishing, from
1593 when the first book was printed
in the country to 2003 when the first
nationwide survey on reading attitudes
and preference was conducted. Through
its case studies of twentieth-century
Philippine literary forms and texts that
may be referred to as the bestselling
books in their time, the work both
highlights and puts in wider context
the publishing, manufacturing,
distribution, reception, and survival
of these bestsellers, and their impact
on and relation to the conditions and
circumstances in the culture, society,
politics, and economics of the time.
This study is, in a sense, an expedition.
It is an initial, painstaking effort at
exploring the immense terrain of the
history of the book in the Philippines, with
the hope that it will leave deep enough
tracks for other explorers to follow.
To order, call the Ateneo Press at (020) 426-5984 email them at the [email protected]
People read in different ways: some
can manage to read with a little light
on, others can do it while doing
other things like eating or listening
to music. People can pick any place
and any time to read. The point is to
read, enjoy, and understand what you
are reading. There are reasons why
people never like reading and one of
them is having bad reading habits.
Replace a bad habit with a good
one. You have to want to get rid of
bad habits and you must practice
and work at it them order to change.
The following are a few ways to curb
bad reading habits that tend to cause
people to read slowly, lose interest,
or not to read at all.
Don’t move your lips when
you read. Moving your lips slows
you to a fast talking rate, about 150
words per minute. Put your fingers on
your lips to stop the motion.
Matutunghayan sa aklat na ito ang
pagpapahayag ng diwa at damdamin ng mga
makatang may bago at kakaibang pananaw
sa kanilang daigdig. Nakakatawag ng pansin
at nakakagulat kadalasan ang kanilang
matalinhagang paglalarawan, pagsasakataga,
at pagpapatunay sa kanilang paksa. Kabataan
pa silang maituturing, subalit hindi ito naging
hadlang upang ipabatid nilang may kalaliman
ang kanilang pag-iisip at kaya nilang ipahayag
ito sa pinakamasining na pamamaraan.
Kumakatawan sa bagong anyo ng tulang
Filipino ang Latay sa Isipan—Mga Bagong
Tulang Filipino, kung gayon. Wala sa
limampu’t walong makata na kasali sa aklat
na ito ang isinilang bago 1970, subalit marami
na sa kanila ang nanalo ng mahahalagang
premyong panpanitikan. Dahil sa kanilang
kabataan, makikita sa kanilang panulaan ang
mga bagay at kaganapan ng makabagong
panahon. Ano ang kanilang palagay tungkol
sa gusot, sigalot, suliranin at takbo ng buhay
sa ating bansa ngayon? Ano ang bukal ng
kanilang kaligayahan, grasya at birtud? Paano
nila hinuhubog ang wika upang ilantad
ang katotohanan at aliwin ang kaluluwa ng
Don’t vocalize. Vocalizing
means that you are pronouncing
words in the voice box without
making sounds. This also slows your
reading rate to that of speaking. To
check, rest your fingertips lightly
against the vocal cord area of your
throat. If you feel a vibration, or if
you find that your tongue is moving,
you are vocalizing.
Read everything at the same
speed. When reading, set your
rate according to your purpose for
reading and the difficulty level of the
material. Practice adjusting your rate
to suit your material. The more difficult
the material, the slower the rate.
Do not regress out of habit.
Regressing means rereading a
word, phrase, or sentence out of
habit and not because of need.
Sometimes, it is necessary to reread
something, especially a difficult
passage. But over time it becomes a
habit. Unnecessary regressing really
slows you down. Use a card or paper
to cover the text after you read it to
prevent regressing.
Read one word at a time. Do
you think one word at a time, or in
phrases? Slow readers tend to see only
one word at a time. Good readers will
see several words at a time and their
eyes will stop only three or four times
as they move across a page. Reading in
idea-phrases speeds your reading and
improves your understanding of what
you have read. Mark the phrases in the
Don’t read to get to sleep.
A book is not a sleeping pill. A
lot of people form this bad habit
thinking that by tiring their eyes with
reading they will fall asleep. It does
but you loose the essence of reading
a good book instead of enjoying it
or you loose a good sleep because
of a good book. Either way it is not
beneficial. As much as possible
never read when in bed.
Set aside time to read. People
set time for everything – to sleep,
to eat, to play, to bathe, and to shop.
Set a time in a day to do nothing but
read and set it as your reading time.
Do it every day for thirty days and it
will automatically become a habit.
Don’t read in a vehicle. At
times people tend to read while
in a ride to pass the time. This is not
advisable. Small texts are difficult
to read when you are in a moving
vehicle and consequently, may
damage your eyesight. Look outside
instead or engage in a conversation
with somebody.
Avoid doing other things
while reading. Your brain
works best when doing one thing
at a time. Reading while listening
to music or eating divides your
attention. Reading comprehension
will be slower and you may
eventually lose your interest in
reading in favor of the other task.
Changing reading habits is not easy,
after all we have been reading the
way we have been used to for many
years. It does take strength and
several weeks of conscious effort in
order to change bad reading habits.
Start now.
The National Book Development Board
is proud to present its new agency logo.
Approved by the NBDB Governing Board during
its 165th meeting last April 28, the new NBDB logo
symbolizes the dedication of the NBDB and the
book publishing industry in working hand in hand
towards a brighter future for the nation through the
promotion of books and reading.
The new logo banners the colors of the flag to show
that it is a government agency that exists to achieve
the goals of development through the promotion of
books and lifelong learning, as represented by the
central illustration of a book in the logo, throughout
Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, represented in by the
three stars.
LOGO Designed by Mikke Gallardo

Similar documents

Lando - Headline Gitnang Luzon

Lando - Headline Gitnang Luzon CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Around 2,000 environment representatives are set to attend the Community Based Forest Management (CBFM)-National Greening Program (NGP) Congress at the World Trade Center Man...

More information