Iloilo Love Affair

So I went back to Iloilo as part of the Mentoring the Mentors Program (MMP). The only thing different (aside from my weight) is I have more confidence in my being a comparative literature major mainly because of better grades (shallow, don’t you think?).

Well, with that I have come to talk to daycare workers/teachers not just as a pedagogue but as a comparatist-in-the-making as well. If only all teachers were comparatists then everyone would be more critical with the things they teach–especially the literature they use no matter how young their students are.

As I believe in mother-tongue (MT) based teaching and as K+12 will be following principles of MT, I humbly reminded daycare teachers in Iloilo that they have to strengthen their student’s Hiligaynon culture by, at the very least, looking for stories and books in their native language.  Here, I found an example of such a book.

Translated into Hiligaynon by Genevieve Asenjo, this book may just open a child’s world from thinking as an Illonggo to thinking as a human being who is part of this world.

Epistaxis 😛

On a more personal note, the participants really loved my talk on storytelling for teachers (based on their smiles and faces). It was very humbling. I still can’t believe that people listen when I talk (or maybe they are simply forced to). I enjoyed sharing with them as much as I enjoyed listening to accounts of their experiences. Ewan ko ba. Ang saya talaga makipag-usap sa mga kapwa guro tungkol sa aming mga classroom, estudyante ang pagtuturo. Pero syempre, andun pa rin ang mga problema ng mga guro. Kahit saan naman sa Pilipinas madalas pare-pareho lang.

  1. sweldo
  2. mga pasaway na bata
  3. mga pasaway na magulang
  4. mga pagbabago

Anyhow, I love Iloilo. I fell for it the first time I visited to give a similar talk and I’m still in love with it. Kung pwede lang sa Iloilo na lang ako magtuturo. I love its airport, its food (Aligue rice!) its people, its languages, its culture. Though I admit two visits are probably not enough to give someone an accurate impression of the place. Eitherway, it was another happy experience. Another moment, another memory that will help me through days when I feel burnt-out as a teacher.

I love Iloilo. I love children’s literature. I love teaching.

P.S. Thanks to _geek_ for the cakes, coffee, books and the wonderful conversations! See you soon!


Museo Pambata

The only trip I made last sembreak (aside from lazy trips to the gym) was a trip to the Museo Pambata as a post-dated treat to two of my cousins who celebrated their birthday last October.

With James (12), John Paul (7), CJ (5), together with my aunt, I drove to the city of pleasant noise, Manila. Located at Kalaw Corner Roxas Boulevard, the museum was mostly the same since I first set foot in it around 15 years ago back when I was still in kindergarten. The mini waterfalls in the rainforest section, the telephones talking about National heroes, the play-pretend stores with a palengke, carinderia, fire station, botika,the long esophagus tunnel, the science section with the moonstone among others, were quite the same since I last saw them.

It really amazes me how time flies and how changes happen. I used to be the one treated by my lolos and lolas, titas and titos and older cousins. Now, I am the one doing the treating strating at a place I loved as a child and still love now that I am not really a child anymore (ok, arguable phrase).

Life is beautiful.

Based on the Museo Pambata website (, entrance fees are as follows.

  • FREE for streetchildren, infants (2 years and under), teachers (with teachers’ ID–License or employment IDs) and museum workers.
  • Php 100 for children and adults
  • Php 50 or 50% off for Manila Residents (with valid ID)

The museum is open with the following schedule.

  • Tuesday to Saturday (8:00 am -5:00 pm–August to March)
  • Tuesdays to Saturdays (9:00 am -5:00 pm–April to July)
  • Sundays (1:00-5:00 pm)


Done with the First Level

I have been training with and applying to become a member of the UP Mountaineers. Known for its discipline and hard-core training, the organization demands focus, determination and dedication from its applicants as well as its members.

It has been such a treat then that I have officially passed the first level of three yesterday. Consisting of a 6.6 Km run in 45 minutes, a pre-climb, level 1 climb and a post climb, I am still in the running to becoming a UPM member.

For my run, I finished 15th out of 32 runners in my group, clocking in at 43:44. I cannot get all the credit though as I was only pushed and motivated by Ms. Elaine–a member of the UPM who I met at the third loop of the run. Although I have been training, it still bordered in mediocrity. I therefore still have lots to work on.

Passing the 6.6 Km run allowed me to climb the first level last Saturday and Sunday at Mt. Balay Kalo in Lipa, Batangas. Main problem for me was the weight of the 50-liter bag I brought to contain 6 Liters of water among other essentials such as sleeping bags and clothes. I admittedly is still a weak mountaineer. I learned a lot from the climb though and has been inspired more than ever to train even more.

I enjoyed the entire trip, even na cuts and briuses, the slides and crawls, the muddy and slippery terrain thanks to my groupmates (Mia, JB, Drew, Kid, Ambo), group leader Mo and assistant group leader Les. Learned about knot-tying, tents and ropesmanship that I have yet to master.

One thing I have to particularly learn though is how to accept clashes of different ideas and perspectives of co-mountaineers without getting so much affected. Homophobia, self-sufficiency VS group cooperation among other things bothered me in a not-so-slight-way. I guess this is one of the things one has to learn as he grows up.

By the end of the day, every bit of Mt. Balay Kalo was appreciated and will be treasured. So much more to learn and experiences to live.

For now I have to prepare for the 10 K run that I need to finish in less than an hour and 15 minutes. Can’t wait 🙂

World Turtle Day

Mula noong taong 2000, ipinagdiriwang  tuwing Mayo 23 ang World Turtle Day upang mas lumaganap ang kaalaman tungkol sa mga pagong at pawikan. Kaya naman humingi ng storyteller o kwentista ang Manila Ocean Park mula sa Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines at ako ang napili nilang ipadala upang magkwento.

Napansin lang ng kapwa ko kwentista na sa Philippine children’s literature kadalasa’y negatibo ang karakter ng mga pagong sa mga sikat na kwento. Nariyan ang Why Do Turtles Carry Their Homes kung saan ganid o greedy ang pagong. Nariyan rin ang Alamat ng Pagong kung saan naging pagong ang mga magnanakaw bilang parusa. Isama pa diyan ang Ang Bugnuting Pagong kung saan mayabang at masungit ang pagong.

Buti na lamang nariyan ang Si Pagong at si Matsing, kung saan matiyaga at matalino si pagong, at Si Pilandok sa Pulo ng mga Pawikan kung saan iniligtas ni Pilandok ang mga itlog ng mga pawikan. Ang huling binanggit ang siyang umangkop sa pagdiriwang kaya naman iyon rin ang aking ikwinento.

Maayos naman ang naging pagkwento bagamat medyo pagod na ata ang mga batang aking kwinentuhan sa paglakad sa Ocean Park. Natapos ang kwentuhan sa pamamagitan ng pagsusulat sa mga itlog na papel ng mga mensahe para sa mga pawikan.

Para sa storytelling na ito, binigyan ako ng dalawang complimentary tickets sa Manila Ocean Park. Pinaalala rin sa aking ang kaibahan ng pagong sa pawikan. Naipapasok ng mga pagong ang kanilang ulo at mga galamay papasok sa kanilang shell samantalang hindi ito kayang gawin ng pawikan. Mas mabilis namang lumangoy ang mga pawikan kaysa sa mga pagon.

Pagkatapos ng masayang araw ni ito, isa na lang ang hindi ko pa rin alam. Ano nga ba ang tunog na ginagawa ng mga pagong?