First Batch of Book Donors

Last Sunday, I delivered the first batch of children’s books to Handuraw Pizza at Sikatuna. This entry is just to say thank you to the first batch of book donors: Hazel Mae Pan, Nadia Dua, Jazz Braganza and Neoli Marcos.

Thank you, Nadj Dua! Image source: Nadj Dua

Thank you, Nadj Dua!
Image source: Nadj Dua

Thanks, Hazel! Image source: Hazel Pan

Thanks, Hazel!
Image source: Hazel Pan

Jazz and Neoli at Handuraw Pizza.

Jazz and Neoli at Handuraw Pizza.

I’d also like to thank those who already committed to donate more books. You may drop them directly at Handuraw Sikatuna. They open at 2 in the afternoon. You may also contact me so I can pick them up for you.

Uhmm, I don't recall writing this book. Photo by Jazz Braganza

Uhmm, I don’t recall writing this book.
Photo by Jazz Braganza

If you haven’t read my previous post, the book drive is for the benefit of the children survivors of Yolanda in Samar (Eastern and Western) and Iloilo.

First batch :)

First batch 🙂

Damo nga salamat!

Yolanda Book Drive

I didn’t have Barbies when I was a kid, nor did I have stuffed toys, except for that one owl holding a diploma, which was my parents’ gift back in fourth grade. I didn’t play with the owl because it didn’t look friendly and the diploma doesn’t exactly look like a playdate invite. So it stayed wrapped in a clear plastic sittting, collecting dust in one corner of our wooden divider. Instead of toys, my parents bought a lot of books for me and my brother along with sporadic toy purchases from Tupperware, of which my favorite was the red and blue shape sorter. That’s how my love affair with the printed word started (no, not with the shape sorter, the books).

Until this day, I can still see the white paper with colorful images of blond children kneeling beside their beds, reciting their nighttime prayers while an angel hover above them; or the brownish paper with Jonas inside the stomach of the big whale or of baby Moses in a basket floating in the river. Yes, my first books were Biblical stories and prayers. Then as I started school, I got introduced into the local classics like Ibong Adarna, the fables like Ang Pagong at Ang Matsing, then Pambata comics and other educational comics. Then when I was 7 or 8, my mother would take me with her to our local bank (a credit cooperative) on weekends and there I started to read The Philippine Free Press. I read about the Allan Gomez-Aileen Sarmenta case on The Philippine Free Press, as well as the Angel Alquiza rape case. My parents didn’t enforce censorship as long as my reading materials were seemingly legit. So yeah, you can see where and how my trust issues started. (Hah!)

I read practically everything then, Readers’ Digest, Health & Home (The Seventh Day Adventist’s magazine), Philippine Journal of Education, The Modern Teacher, Women’s, The Woman Today, Mod Magazine, Sweet Valley (SVH and SVU), Sweet Dreams, Mills & Boon’s, Harlequin, Sillhouette, Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steele, Liwayway Magazine, Tagalog pocketbooks, the Nido classic fairy tales (loooove those), Arthur Maxwell Bible Stories Vol. 1 to 5, my father’s Teacher’s Board reviewer, film synopses on VHS tapes and so on. My parents blamed my poor eyesight on too much reading.

Back in 2009, the apartment I was staying in, in Marikina got flooded. The place was submerged in water and so were my clothes, photographs, my books (my printed and hard bound college thesis, my classics esp, Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby and my friend’s Murakami), a few furniture and DVDs. After the flood, there was an outpouring of support from my friends and family. A lot of people donated clothes, money, food, furniture and most of all, books. I remember how happy I was when my friends gave me the books. I mean, after a disaster, the usual donations are for basic needs to help you survive and get back on track and then they gave me books. After Ondoy, those books became a promise to me, a well of hope that things will be back to normal, if not better.

When I learned about Air Juan’s book drive for Yolanda kids survivors in Eastern and Western Samar, as well as Iloilo, I just knew I had to get involved. I could only imagine what the world of literature can offer a young mind who just went through a tragedy. Maybe it can offer relief, healing, hope, a chance to dream, knowledge or if they’re not into reading, maybe a page they can tore and make paper planes with. Well, hopefully, not.

If you would like to donate books, (textbooks, children’s stories, dictionaries, young adult fiction, etc.), you may drop them off at these locations:

NFR, Rm. 205, PHILDHRRA
59 Salvador St., Loyola Heights, Quezon City

ESI Bldg., Miriam College (Mar 24-28)
Quezon City

Handuraw Pizza, 1A Masunurin St. cor. Anonas Extn
Sikatuna Vill., Quezon City

You may also email me at 7pmtrain@gmail.com or text at 0906-487-3234. I can pick them up wherever it’s convenient for you, granted, of course, you’re based in Metro Manila 🙂

 

 

UP Tacloban Survivors Trying to Survive the Holidays

More than a month after Haiyan, the survivors are now starting to rebuild their lives. It’s a tough road ahead but they are not alone. Filipinos from all walks of life have reached out to the survivors be it through financial assistance, food and clothing donations, prayers, while some have volunteered services. The Filipinos are also very grateful of the outpouring of help from other countries.
Pen, Moi, Yo, Boris and Mom not in the photo: Junella

Pen, Moi, Yo, Boris and Mom
not in the photo: Junella

Last Saturday, my colleagues and I visited the UP Tacloban students who relocated to UP Diliman who won’t be going home for the holidays. These students will be spending Christmas and New Year in Diliman because they’ve lost their homes in Eastern Visayas and for some, even their families. Kalayaan and Molave Residence Halls are their temporary homes under the supervision of Sir Gerry Lanuza, the current head of the Office of Student Housing (OSH). Female students are staying in Kalayaan while guys are in Molave. They take their meals together though: breakfast at Kalayaan, lunch at Molave and dinner at Bahay ng Alumni.
kalay sign

Mr. Joseph Torrecampo, a faculty of the Department of Psychology (CSSP -UP Diliman), together with his wife who’s a professor at College of Arts and Letters, are organizing tutorials and non-academic activities for the students while the they are on holiday break. Mr. Torrecampo approached us thinking we were from McGraw-Hill Education. McGraw-Hill, as known here in the Philippines, is the “encyclopedia company.” Our parent company is McGraw-Hill, but we are from the other side of the fence, McGraw-Hill Financial, to be specific: Standard & Poors. Anyway, he explained that they need materials for the quasi-remedial English classes. They need books, journals or magazines with content that they can use for the tutorials.

Mr. Joseph Torrecampo and some of the student survivors during tutorials

Mr. Joseph Torrecampo and some of the student survivors during tutorials

I know we are all busy with the Christmas preparations and we may have drained our budget with buying gifts, but if you have books and other literature you can share with these students, they would really appreciate it. You can also donate money and Mr. Torrecampo and his wife will use the funds for the materials.

UP Tacloban students

UP Tacloban students

If you’re willing to donate, you can reach me at:
+63-906-487-3234
7pmtrain@gmail.com
facebook.com/jobetisonthetrain
twitter.com/trainrides

Thank you in advance and happy holidays.

Note: All photos taken by Ma. Junella Gazmen.