It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations — something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out to towards people whose lives are quite different from their own.
Well said, Katherine. A Chinese-born American writer best known for children’s novels including Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine has won two Newbery Medals and two National Book Awards.
Making her words true is one Filipino teacher of preschool and kindergarten learners, who did stretch her learners’ imaginations in this January 2022 winning entry to the literacy campaign spearheaded by Southern Voices Printing Press (SVPP).
The contest rules were simple enough. Anyone who posts on FB or IG a selfie role-playing a character in one of the books published by SVPP, tags at least 3 friends and the SVPP fb or IG accounts, and uses the following hashtags — #akoangbida, #cosplaysvpp, and #OdettePH — is a potential winner of a 2022 Ang Munting Prinsipe Planner, a book voucher, and a PhP500 donation to Odette Relief efforts in her/his name.
Teacher Lita went way beyond a selfie post. Her class topic for the day was on ‘parts of the body’, particularly the HANDS. She encouraged her young learners to imagine how their hands could be used to help others and do good. She ended the short class period with a story reading session of JAMIN, Ang Batang Manggagawa (JAMIN, The Child Laborer).
Later, when asked if Jamin was a happy child, one of Teacher Lita’s learners responded: “Hindi siya masaya kasi lagi na lang siya pinatatrabaho ng kanyang boss.” (She is not happy because her boss keeps forcing her to work). When asked “Do you think Jamin also finds time to play?”, the response was “Sabi ko nga sa iyo, may boss siya. Bad. Bawal maglaro.” (I told you so, she has a boss. Bad. Playing is not allowed).
A 2011 Survey on Children of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reveals that of the 2.1 million Filipino child labourers aged 5 to 17 years old, about 95 per cent of them are in hazardous work. Imagine how much more children were forced into hazardous forms of labor during this period of the pandemic, just to help their families survive.
Teacher Lita showed us how a simple game/contest can be stretched beyond our expectations and revealed just how much learning children can get when taught to read good books, and allowed these learners to reach out to people whose lives may be different to their own.
Let’s see how the February edition* of the #AkoAngBida ng Aklat and #cosplaySVPP stretches our imaginations!###
You might not remember every detail in ‘Noli Me Tangere’, but surely Maria Clara and Ibarra are characters in the novel you know so well.
Characters in a story evoke strong emotions. Perhaps you hated Padre Damaso while reading Noli Me Tangere. Or maybe you pitied the poor school girl in Dr. Fanny Garcia’s ‘Isandaang Damit’ short story. Did your heart crunch with Bandong as he struggled in Amado V. Hernandez’s ‘Langaw sa Isang Basong Gatas’?
Unforgettable characters and good plots make up the best stories. But even the best of stories, whether mentioned in awards and top reading lists or not, will not be read by Filipino readers if readership of Filipino literary books remains dismally low.
Southern Voices Printing Press hopes to push the envelope for increased readership of its indie-published literary works by launching on socials the #AkoAngBida campaign for the whole of 2022. It hopes other similar campaigns are initiated as well by other publishers or even the National Book Development Board.
The #AkoAngBida campaign encourages readers to invite non-readers to read SVPP-published books through a #cosplay-like format.
Be Jamin, the child laborer from Sasa Port in Davao working nights for a handful of coins. She evokes the spirit of hope amid poverty when she said: “Umaga na. Uuwi na kami ni Oliver. Ang lamig ng hangin. Sisipunin pa yata ako. Nasa Bulsa ko ang perang kinita ko sa dalawang gabing puyatan. Hinihintay na ako sa amin. Kay sarap umuwi…”
Or Ka Bel, the heroic labor leader who, as a child, witnessed Japanese soldiers forcing their victims to dig graves — graves that the Filipino victims were forced to kneel in front of, graves where they would then be buried in after the Japanese samurais severed their heads.
Be Lola Bai, the Manobo woman leader, who gave strength to her fellow tribes-people in defense of their ancestral domain, and remember her words: “Ang paggamit ng pana at bangkaw laban sa mga mapanghimasok ay sagrado nating karapatang bilang mga Lumad.”
Be Lolo Cosme, a ‘barako’ and ‘macho’ grandfather, or better yet, be the storyteller’s Tatay, who is actually a Na-Tay, in ‘Barako Baraking,’ a tribute to the Tatays who are the primary caregivers of their children, and possess extraordinary powers such as cooking, doing laundry or even mending his kids’ clothes.
The social media campaign, to be launched on January 7, hopes to encourage Facebook and Instagram netizens to post their in-character selfies and sharing them widely. ###
Had Hon. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran not died from a fall while repairing the roof of their simple house on that fateful day of May 20, 2008, he would be receiving warmest greetings from all over the world on Friday, January 7, 2022, on his 88th birthday.
But he did die that day, both a patriot and an internationalist. “At the time of his death, he was the honorary chairperson of the International Coordinating Committee of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS). He died an activist of the highest order, a revolutionary, a legendary labor leader, an exemplary congressional representative and steadfast servant of the people.” Thus wrote Ina Alleco R. Silvestre, author of KA BEL: The Life and Struggle of Crispin Beltran.
Many would do well to embrace the golden lessons of Ka Bel’s legacy. It is thus fortunate that his legacy is wrapped in the clear and memory-filled words of Silverio’s book, published by Southern Voices Printing Press.
To relive Ka Bel’s life revealed in excerpts from the book is to gain a glimpse of a human being wise to the rights and wrongs of life. Early on, he knew which side he would always choose.
ON BEING A COURIER FOR THE HUKBALAHAP
“As a child living during the Japanese occupation, Pin’s life was irrevocably changed. School was suspended, and all children were forced to forego their formal education for three-and-a-half-years. Pin was then two months shy from finishing grade four….
By then, Pin’s own parents were guerrilla sympathizers, giving shelter and protection to the fighters, and serving as militia. Pin decided to do the same and volunteered his services.
It was the assessment of the guerrilla leadership that Pin was a sturdy and steady boy, and because of his smallness, he would be considered a harmless, ordinary boy even as he went around town and the surrounding region as a courier.
He learned from the guerrillas and his teachers about what the Japanese aimed to achieve by invading the Philippines. His young mind did not understand why another nation had to invade and take over another, when on its own, the invading nation was already rich and developed.
In his heart, however, it was easy to determine right and wrong — it was wrong to take over, torture and massacre a defenseless people. The one time that Pin saw the Japanese behead a group of suspected guerrillas behind the Bacacay school house was more than enough to cement his anger against the occupying forces. The experience also planted the seed of patriotism in Pin; it was then that he first understood what love of country meant.”
ON BEING A STUDENT FROM THE BARRIO
“Like most of the neighborhood children, Pin attended Tanagan Baggio School, but Pin needed more learning than the school could provide. Upon the strong recommendation of his fourth grade teachers, Pin was able to transfer to a bigger school in Bacacay when he reached fifth grade….
…To get to Bacacay from Tanagan, Pin had to take a banca ride. Not having any extra money for the fare, he volunteered to be the boat’s ‘crew’. The old sailor, Tata Fulgencio Bertiz, a cousin some degrees removed, was kind to Pin and let him onboard for free, but Pin insisted on working for his ride.
He took his position at the other end of the boat and acted as a balancing weight. Sometimes the waves were particularly strong, hitting the boat’s sides with force and there was a threat of the boat falling on its side. Pin would rush to the side of the boat that was tilting, tighten the ropes securing the boat’s sails and pull, bearing down with all his weight to steady the boat’s center of gravity.”
To learn more of his growing up years and blossoming as a legendary labor leader, read Silverio’s book ‘KA BEL: The Life and Struggle of Crispin Beltran’.###
The pandemic was… is… a game-changer for almost all aspects of our lives, including how we consume books. Being locked down, being on self-quarantine, and all the time living by the rules of social distancing, shifted most of our former activities to online platforms. There is much less foot traffic to previously-visited book stores or book cafes, and we could say that the current situation drastically pushed reading, hence publishing, to be mostly online. This huge shift from the print industry to an all-of-sudden digitalization of literature greatly affects all types of publishers, but most importantly, indie publishers.
These are authors preferring to market their own books instead of having some outfit gobble up at least 40% of the price of each book, or even higher. They are authors who prefer to be in touch with at least 80% of their readers. They are indie publishers trying out their first publishing project, hoping that the first 200- to 300-copies print run is rapidly gobbled up, allowing them to do a second run for a bigger volume.
We are authors or publishers who own a voice, a unique lens with which we view things, and want these shared with a wider audience outside of a few family members and friends. Southern Voices Printing Press is one such indie publisher. Though not extensive, it wishes to share its experiences and lessons with indie publishing and marketing to encourage more voices out there to be heard through publishing.
The first lesson on the list is this: Make sure you have a good original material thatyour readers will love, and write in a language your readers understand. You are bound for failure coming up with a material which you hope will be at par with a Dan Brown novel when you’re forte is comedy or sattire! On this we will not say much because you’re the one who will be writing in your favorite genre, in the voice you are comfortable with, and to an audience who know and love you well.
We next proceed to the biggest hurdle in indie publishing — funding. Unless you’re the son or daughter of a business tycoon, the odds are you will need a whole community of supporters who will help you through this difficult part of your indie publishing project.
There are at least three ways to go about raising funds: crowdfunding, pre-orders or publishing grants.
There are quite a number of crowdfunding platforms online – gofundme, spark project, gava, indiegogo, gogetfunding, airfunding, and lots more. Spend at least three days reading through their rules and methods so you can choose one that’s exactly right for you. A number of these platforms do not operate in the Philippines, but if you have good friends in countries where they do operate, you can have them sponsor your crowdfunding campaign. You only have to ensure that you still control the fund management aspect of it all.
Pre-orders work if you have a large digital network of friends, colleagues, relatives and supporters or fans who trust you, believe in your work, have read some of your works online, and are willing to spread the word. It’s a more direct form of crowdfunding as you don’t have another platform working for and with you. You own and control your content, your reach and your preferred social media platforms. Pre-orders are more successful if communicated through more than one social media platform.
Publishing grants in the Philippines are hard to come by but keep this in mind and keep searching for opportunities.
After you’ve hurdled your basic funding requirements, the next step would be working on your manuscript to make it print-ready. Find a good editor, preferably someone you trust and esteem professionally, and someone you can afford. Better yet, find an editor who’s also a friend, willing to support you by editing your book for free!
Then, find a graphic artist who can design a powerful cover concept for you. It’s not true that people do not judge a book by its cover. Whether on a bookshelf or an online carousel of books, you would want your title and cover to stand out and catch your intended readers’ eye.
Next, find yourself a printer who is willing to do short runs, normally at a minimum of 200 or 300 copies, and who understands your needs as an indie author. In Southern Voices Printing Press, we encourage connection, collaboration and communication. At this point, make sure you get an ISBN for your book ( http://web.nlp.gov.ph/nlp/?q=node/645).
Lastly, the most challenging aspect of your journey — market and sell your book online. So many media and blog articles have shared the sales experiences of booksellers during the 2020 pandemic. Their sales diminished from 50% to 80% of their 2019 averages. Many were forced to close. The ones who survived are those who were quick to pivot their sales and marketing strategies to online platforms. All recommend putting up a blog linked to various social media handles. These are not just Philippine experiences. Book sellers and lovers from India, Europe, US and Asia all share the same stories.
The successful ones give out similar tips — be patient and consistent in building your online audience from a few to a thousand or more, know what your audience need and want, be creative in reaching out to a wider audience and thank each one in supporting you and your book. Most importantly, welcome feedback from your readers.
We do not own the definitive guide to successful online marketing and selling. There are so many tips and guides online*. Read them!
And finally, believe in yourself. May the tribe of indie publishers increase! Good luck! ###
Photos like these could be go-to photos when news of the pandemic are turning for the worse. The recently imposed ECQ or strictest lockdown protocols which started August 6, 2021 for Metro Manila, for example, the spiking cases, the inadequate public health services for affected Filipinos, and the increasing cases for the fear-invoked Delta or even Lambda variant, are just some of these.
In varying degrees, lockdowns and social distancing are contrary to the very nature of people as social beings. Perhaps Filipinos even more so, where our concept of self often includes the extensive family circles. We know that in practical terms, lockdowns and social distancing thins out our normal support systems, whether from families or friends. We have to develop alternative means to keep these connections alive — through kamustahan phone calls, chats, emails, or other similar means.
The fear, worry and stresses that are normal under past situations now become spiked too in this pandemic where a lot of things, especially government support, are so uncertain.
It is important that we look after our mental, not just our physical health. Ensuring our mental health is more important now, especially if other members of the family are also dependent on us to care for them (young kids, older relatives).
One of the easiest ways to take charge of your wellness can be done by picking up a book. Not only is reading a great way to stay entertained while you are socially distancing, but it has been shown to improve overall mental health. Some benefits of reading are mentioned here:
Stress reduction. An article in The Telegraph reports a study (2009) that reveal stress was reduced among participants who read by almost 70%, and it is said to be more effective than listening to music. Even as little as 6 minutes can help, but reading for 30 minutes (half of your lunch break!) has a similar stress reduction effect as yoga exercises for the same duration.
Night time winding down. Routinely reading a real, physical book for even a few minutes each night also helps our sleeping pattern. Take note a good night’s rest is best for our mental state. Make sure your book genre is not of the horror or mystery-adventure series type as stories like these keep our mind racing and stimulated instead of helping us relax.
Books build Knowledge. It can never be said enough that what you don’t learn from school, you can discover via a book. Reading also improves our vocabulary and helps us travel the world and cross time boundaries.
Empathy Books. There are special books, especially fiction books, where characters speak to each other and express their opinions, desires and beliefs. These books may help enhance our empathy or our ability to understand or share the feeling/s of another person.
Mental self-help books, and fiction as therapy. Reading ‘self-help’ books and fiction can help you feel more connected and can help people who may be dealing with depression or anxiety. It allows your imagination to become more engaged and you connect emotionally to characters and reflect your own feelings, problems and desires as you read.
While not comprehensive, here are some new and good books to read, published by Filipinos:
August 27, 2021 is your last day to have your book nominated to the 39th National Book Awards. Awards are to be given out to the following categories — Literary, Non-literary, Design or Language Studies.
A books that wins an award gets a reader’s attention twice, thrice or as many times as needed for her or him to decide to bring home your book and display it on their bookshelf. Two books may be similar in content and form, but THE ONE that has won an award will convince a reader to bring yours to the check out counter.
Once nominated, you can market your book as having been “nominated to the National Book Awards,” which is so true, right? Garnering a book award however, opens doors of new opportunities for publicity and sales for you and your book. It will even invite readers to look up your other works.
In the end, submitting your book for nomination helps raise the standards and informs on the breadth of the Philippine book industry, especially as books really do help readers in this time of the pandemic. Books help locked down Filipinos fly into the farthest limits of their imagination and reach destinations without having to spend for a plane ticket!
Ready to nominate a book? Read the 39th National Book Awards general guidelines by clicking on the image above and clicking on the shown link, or copy and paste to the browser the link below:
The pandemic situation is not getting any better. The overwhelming economic impact of another ECQ in Metro Manila and its environs is felt by so many.
We assert however that the lock down need not curtail our cultural growth. In a bid to gift readers in this period of the ECQ lockdown, Southern Voices Printing Press offers an AUGUST 14 to 20, 2021 LOCKDOWN INVENTORY SALE!! Residents of Quezon City, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Manila City and Marikina City (up to Bayan area only) benefit from a FREE DELIVERY service for orders above PhP500.
Kung ikaw ay magluluto ng pansit, ilang minuto lang ang igugugol dito kung instant pancit canton ang lulutuin. Kung maraming rekados at ‘totoong’ miki naman ang balak iluto, mas matagal ang proseso nito. Mula sa pamamalengke ng mga sangkap, paggayat ng mga ito, paggisa at mismong pagluluto hanggang sa paghain sa mesa. Ilang oras mo itong iluluto, pagkatapos ay kakainin lamang ito ng ilang minuto.
Ganito rin ang pagluluto ng libro.
Para sa pinakamamahal naming mga kliyente na madalas magtanong kung maaari bang i-deliver agad ang kanilang pinagawang libro o anupamang produkto pagkatapos ng 1 o dalawang araw, nais po naming ibahagi ang kumplikadong recipe ng paglilimbag o pag-iimprenta, depende sa kung ano ang inyong pinaiimprenta.
May nauna nang kahawig na artikulo kaming naisulat at maaari ninyong basahin kaugnay ng iba’t ibang proseso na dinadaanan hanggang sa maging libro ang inyong pinagawa.
Nauunawaan naming maliban sa MAGKANO, ang tanong na GAANO KATAGAL ay mahalaga sa inyo dahil mga datos ito na makakapagpahusay ng inyong plano, laluna kung may hinahabol kayong LAUNCH EVENT, o iba pang activitiy na paggagamitan ng inyong pinalimbag.
Sakali man pong hindi pa rin ganoon kalinaw ang usapin kung gaano katagal ang production timeline, unang unang konsiderasyon ay kung may naunang potahe bang niluluto sa kalan at kung anong potahe ito. Kung ang naunang potahe ay sobrang komplikado at matagal ilaga, pwede naman itong tanggalin muna sa kalan at isingit ang inyong pinagagawa kung may URGENCY, at tipong brochure o poster o newsletter na iilang pahina lamang at wala pang dalawang araw ay tapos nang itakbo sa OFFSET PRINTING MACHINE.
Una, ang inyong final digital layout file ay dadaan muna sa computer na ipiprint ang images sa isang aluminum plate. Kasama ng plantsa ay isang 4-color progressive proofing na gabay ng operator sa mga kulay na hahabulin. Progressive ang tawag nito dahil pinapakita nito ang lapat ng tinta mula sa 1 color muna (cyan), madadagdanan ng ikalawang kulay (magenta), ikatlo (yellow) at sa kahulihulihan ay black.
Ang plate o plantsa ay isasakay ng operator sa OFFSET machine at aayus-ayusin ang mga alignment, pahid ng tinta at iba pang kemikal para makuha ang tamang lapat ng kulay sa papel batay sa progressive proof.
Ang tawag ng mga operator dito ay “sine-setting” ang makina. Kung mamadaliin kasi ang pagse-“setting”, lalabas na parang blurred at hindi crisp ang inyong images at pati na rin ang mga text. Ang pagsesetting ang isa sa pinakamatagal na proseso sa pag-iimprenta.
Kapag ayos na ang setting, patatakbuhin na lang ng tuloy tuloy ang makina hanggang sa maubos ang papel na nakalaan. Kaya dito mauunawaan ninyo kung bakit cost-effective ang long-run o higit 1,000 na kopya ng libro o brochure, dahil pagkatapos ng inisyal na setting, mabilis na ang paggigisa ng kulay sa papel na pinili niyo.
Matapos malimbag ang inyong libro o newsletter o anupamang publikasyon, dadaan ito sa post-press na ang tagal o bilis ay depende sa kumplikasyon ng pinagagawa at disenyo.
Kung pansit o humba o kare-kare (matagala palambutin ang tuwalya ng baka) ang lulutuin, nasa ibaba ang tantiyang panahon na igugugol sa paglilimbag ng inyong mga materyales:
Ipinagpapalagay na malinis na malinis na layout file ang naipasa sa imprenta at wala nang mga koreksyon o editing na gagawin pa. Ang mga ito ay mga karaniwang timeline at hindi kinokonsidera ang mga posibilidad ng brownouts, o ECQ policies at iba pang di pangkaraniwang mga kaganapan.
Ang bunso ng SARANGGOLA BOOKS Aklat Pambata ng SVPP
Pagkatapos ng limang taong patlang, nais namin ipakilala sa inyo ang pinakabagong dagdag sa koleksyong SARANGGOLA BOOKS ng SVPP ngayong 2021, ang Sayaw ng Pantaronna isinulat ni Janine Dimaranan at iginuhit ni Ilena Saturay. Tungkol ang munting kwentong ito kay Bai Bibyaon Ligkayan Bigkay at sa makasaysayang laban ng mga Manobo ng Davao del Norte at Bukidnon noong 1994 para ipagtanggol ang lupang ninuno laban sa isang malaking kumpanya ng logging.
Ano ang Saranggola Books?
Ang Saranggola Books ay isang kalipulan ng mga kuwentong pambata ng Southern Voices Printing Press (SVPP). Ipinangalan ito sa “saranggola”, isang laruang pinalilipad sa langit, tangay-tangay ng hangin upang maging simbolo ng magaan at malayang buhay ng mga kabataang Pilipino, sa pamamagitan ng malayang pag-iisip. Tangay din ng saranggola ang mga mithiin ng mga batang mambabasa para sa kasalukuyan at hinaharap.
Taong 2011 nang ilimbag ng SVPP ang Barako Baraking ni Cindy Dizon-Gealogo sa ilustrasyon ni Archie Geotina tungkol sa isang tatay na gumagampan ng gawaing nanay dahil OFW ang ina ng batang nagsasalaysay; at ang Jamin: Ang Batang Manggagawa ni Jamin Olarita at Amado V. Hernandez Resource Center sa ilustrasyon ni Vernald Magpusao na tungkol naman sa buhay-manggagawa ng isang bata sa Sasa Port sa Davao City. 2013 naman nang ilimbag ang akdang ‘Nay, ‘Tay, Itim na po ang Dagat na isinulat at iginuhit ni John Paul Clemente tungkol sa pagkamatay ng kaibigang dolphin at puno ng bida, dahil sa lason ng kompanya ng mining at illegal na pagpuputol ng mga puno sa Bicol City. Ang pinakahuling limbag naman sa koleksyon ay ang May Mumu sa Loob ng Computer na isinulat at binigyang disenyo ng DM9 JaymeSyfu katuwang ng Gabriela Inc. Isa itong gabay sa mga guro at magulang upang maipaliwanag at protektahan ang mga bata sa online harassment at cybersexual abuse sa mga bata.
Katangi-tangi ang mga munting aklat ng Saranggola Books dahil sa mga ginintuang aral na inilalahad ng mga akda na siyang kayang magbigay gabay sa paghubog hindi lamang ng isip (pagbilang at pagbasa) ng isang bata ngunit maging ng kaniyang EQ o “emotional intelligence” sa pamamagitan ng pag-papaabot ng mga kuwentong pupukaw sa kanilang pakikipagkapwa-tao. Ang hatid ng Saranggol Books ay hindi lamang dunong pang-akademiko kundi isang mahiwagang balon ng social values na maaaring gamitin ng bata sa pang-araw-araw na pamumuhay.
Tulad ng mga unang inilathala ng SVPP sa ilalim ng SARANGGOLA BOOKS – mula sa karanasan ng isang batang may OFW na ina, at pagiging batang-manggagawa sa syudad, maging ang musmos na danas sa lugar ng development aggression at sexual harassment sa internet – ay mapakikinggan natin sa Sayaw ng Pantaron ang kuwento ni Liway, isang batang Manobong nagtatanggol ng kanilang lupang ninuno. Magbibigay ito ng kapasidad sa ating mga anak, pamangkin, estudyante, atbp. na makinig sa kuwento ng ibang batang malayo o malapit man sa sarili ang danas sa buhay.
At tulad din ng naunang apat na aklat, na nagbalik sa mga kabataan (PAI, Salinlahi), kababaihan (Gabriela) at organisasyon para pagtutulungan sa panahon ng kalamidad (TABI) gamit ang bahagi ng kita sa mga aklat, ay ganoon din ang sa bagong aklat na ilalathala. Ang Sayaw sa Pantaron ay may direktang ambag sa Save our Schools Network para sa patuloy na pagtaguyod sa karapatang makapaaral ng mga batang lumad. ***