Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Keeping up with the Librarians: New Zealand librarians gets inspired by the Kardashians

A post by the Invercargill City Libraries and Archives of New Zealand went viral. Six librarians posed for a photoshoot inspired by the Hollywood Reporter cover with the Kardashian family celebrating the 10th year of their reality-TV show Keeping up with the Kardashians. Check out the photo below and the original cover:


Their post caption reads: "It has been 10 years since the Kardashians first graced our screens. To celebrate, our social media team decided to have a totally impromptu, definitely not planned, photo-shoot." As of this writing, the post has about 9,300 likes and has been shared for nearly 4,000 times.

The post got both positive and negative reactions but it was done all in the name of good fun. This library has also created fun content to promote the library in other ways. Its great to see librarians using their creativity and promote their libraries at the same time.

I hope we Filipino librarians also get a clue from them. Even our simple posts or promotions for library events or conferences should be attractive and written in an interesting way, since most of the time they are boring and uninteresting! Let's change the common stereotype of librarians being boring, strict, and old-fashioned uninteresting people one small way at a time.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Why I became a librarian

"The Archivist" art by Martin Motett
Inspired by "Why I became a librarian" by Von Totanes (of the Filipino Librarian blog) from Rappler.

When I was younger, I wasn't a reader at all. My grade school friends and classmates were conyo English-speakers and were deep into reading Harry Potter before it was even a popular movie. I didn't feel like I belonged with them. I wasn't a smart student based on my average grades, but I was intersted in logic, philosophy, and ideas.

I liked reading random facts in encylopedias, and I found a book on the history of philosophy from my mother's college textbooks. I pored over the aged pages and I found myself suprised and pulled by the ideas of mankind on their own selves and lives. Though, I had no friends with similar interests. I was too quiet when I was a kid. I was too quiet that I wasn't always aware of myself, and I would always be surprised if anyone noticed me. I kept to my own world and I was pretty content with that.

In our small 6th grade classroom library where our adviser was a science teacher, I was the assigned cleaner and arranger of her old science fiction novels and magazines. I was also assigned as a 'librarian' - I kept the log of those who borrowed the books. I also picked up a book out of curiousity, and that was when I began reading. The first book I ever tried reading there was a pretty weird sci-fi book with alien love scenes.

I only started seriously reading in third year high school. I was fourteen, and like most introverted teenagers, I was struggling inside. I lost my friends, I hardly talked to anyone, it seemed I had a problem but didn't know what it was. I bought Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami in National Bookstore and reading the stories surprised me - how could this stranger who doesn't know me describe my own feelings and experiences so well? I became hungry for more books, more words. My weekly allowance was wasted more for books than lunch food. I disliked romance since I wasn't that interested - I loved fantasy, science fiction, horror. I read and read and read.

College was an even more difficult time for me. I found it hard to adjust and I barely studied. My grades suffered, but I borrowed book after book from the excellent collection of the university library of the school I attended then. Soon, I was only returning to school to return my borrowed books, but I lost all enthusiasm for classes. I dropped out and transferred to a nearer school. I chose CPU.

At first, I took up Library Science with only a vague idea of what it is. My first reason was I loved reading, and there was no other course I found interesting. I'm an avid user of libraries and thought that I wanted to try it. I learned that there is more to libraries and librarians than books.

There are a lot of aspects of library work and one can find his or her niche in this field. There is business and finance in acquisitions work. There is customer service and marketing in reader's services. There is keeping accurate cataloging records and ensuring materials are properly processed in technical services. For those interested in history and archival work, they may find their passion for archives. There is the constant quest for answers and interesting questions that stimulate knowledge in reference service. There are many varied opportunities and many choices in the library field.

Skills from other fields of knowledge can also be applied to the library. The skills and knowledge learned in the librarianship can also be applied in other fields. It is notable that most who work in libraries did not start as librarians but chose librarianship as a second career. I chose librarianship because it is a wholistic career. Working in the library is challenging but never boring.

I really did not expect then that I would enjoy library science, and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would eventually graduate with honors or top the board exam. Part of that is the small community, supportive teachers, and the friends I met both during my undergraduate years and now in graduate school. I think of myself as a writer, but I will not be ashamed to call myself a librarian!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fake News ba ng binabasa mo?

Namatay na daw si Robin Padilla. May bank account daw si Trillanes sa Singapore. At kung ano pang iba. Tila noon, wala pang fake news sa panahong wala din ang social media. Pero una nating narinig ito noong eleksyon 2015 – kung ano-anong balita at chismis na nagpapanggap na totoong balita ang lumutang lalo na sa social media. 

Isa ang “fake news” sa mga bago at kontrobersyal na isyu sa bansa at mundo ngayon. Noong nakaraan lang, may hearing sa Senado tungkol sa fake news na pinapakalat diumano ni Mocha Uson sa kanyang sikat na blog. May nasulat sa Manila Times na fake news pala ang basehan. Tila hindi na tayo sigurado kung totoo nga ba o 'fake' ang ating binabasa. Paano nga ba natin makikilala kung ang balita ay tunay o hindi?

Dahil sa social media, marami sa atin na sa internet na lang kumukuha ng balita. Ngunit sa internet, kahit sino pwedeng gumawa ng blog o website at makasulat dito ng kung ano-ano at magpanggap na may tunay na balita ngunit may ibang dahilan. May ilan na propaganda lang, may ilan na gusto lang ng maraming page views para rin mas maraming views ang mga advertisements para kumita sila. 

Dahil isa itong problema sa social media, kahit na ang Facebook ay may mga ginagawa nang paraan para mabawasan ito. Ito ang ilan sa kanilang mga guidelines kung paano makikilala ng isang ordinaryong gumagamit ng social media ang fake news:

  • Masyado bang nakakagulat ang news na parang hindi na totoo? Marahil ay hindi nga. 
  • Tingnang mabuti ang URL o web address ng isang website. Minsan, makikita natin na sinusunod nito ang pangalan ng isang sikat o lehitimong news site. 
  • May mga sources ba ang binabasa mo? Kung hindi pa ito kilalang website, imbestigahan muna ang website at basahin kung sino sila. 
  • Maraming website na may fake news ay madalas maraming mali sa grammar, spelling, o pagsulat. 
  • May ebidensya ba? Basahing mabuti ang news site kung may nakalagay na sources. Kung wala, o hindi pinapakilala ang source, marahil ay fake ito. 
  • Satire ba ang news site na ito? Minsan, may mga website na sadyang fake ang news para ma-entertain ang mga mambabasa, at kadalasan joke lang pala ang mga news dito. Isang halimbawa ang blog na So What's News. I-check kung may 'disclaimer' o mensahe na nagpapahayag na hindi totoo ang mga news dito at 'for entertainment purposes only'.


Ang IFLA o International Federation of Librarians ay meron ding simpleng graphic para malaman natin kung fake news ba ang ating binabasa o hindi:



Bilang mga tagabasa ng news, hindi lang dapat tayo basta-bastang naniniwala sa mga nakikita at nababasa sa internet nang walang sapat na ebidensya. Bago i-share, mag-imbestiga at mag-research muna.

This was written for the Saranggola Blog Awards 2017. SBA 2017 sponsors:

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Raid [sanaysay, SBA 2017 entry]


Isang gabi, biglang may sumigaw sa kalye namin. Patay na daw si Richard Prevendido alias “Buang” (salitang Ilonggo para sa ‘baliw’), ang isa sa mga kilalang Drug Lord sa Iloilo City na nakatira noon sa barangay namin. Ngayong taon lang, nagkaroon ng tila masamang reputasyon ang syudad ng Iloilo dahil sa sinabi ni Pangulong Duterte na ito ang pinaka-‘shabulized’ sa buong Visayas, at nang nasama si Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog sa lista ng mga pulitikong sumusuporta raw at may benepisyo sa illegal na droga. Si Mayor ay “on indefinite leave” ngayon, at naiintindihan ko naman – siguro ay natatakot rin siya para sa pamilya niya, lalo na sa nangyari sa Mayor ng Ozamis City na namatay rin sa isang police operation.

Ilang buwan lang ang nakalipas, napatay na rin si Melvin Odicta (alias ‘Dragon’) at kanyang asawa sa isang pier, mga diumanong kumikita sa droga sa Iloilo City. Hindi lang sila. Simula nung idineklara ng bagong Presidente ng bansa ang ‘Giyera kontra Droga’ may mga 13,000 na raw ang namatay ayon sa statistics. Bago pa man siya nahalal, sinabi na ni Duterte na lalong dadami ang negosyo ng mga punerarya, at tataba ang mga isda sa Manila Bay sa dami ng mamamatay. Nagkatotoo nga niya ang kanyang sinabi.

Sino bang mag-aakalang magiging ganito ang ating bansa? Marami nang bangkay ang nakita – bata, matanda, binalot sa packing tape at tinapon kung saan. May mga nakasulat gamit ang pentelpen at karton: Nanlaban, Wag Tularan, Addict, Pusher, at kung ano pa. Halos bawat gabi sa balita, may mga kasangkot sa droga na nahuhuli at namamatay sa mga police operation.

Isang malaking problema nga ang droga sa bansa. Maraming buhay na ang nasayang sa pagka-addict sa droga. Maraming pamilya na ang naapektuhan. May isang taxi driver sa barangay naming na nagkwento tungkol sa anak nyang addict na nasa kulungan na ngayon. Naranasan daw ng pamilya nila na walang makaing kanin dahil binenta ng anak na lalaki ang rice cooker nila para makabili ng shabu. Sabi ng matanda, addict lang daw ang anak niya at hindi pusher. Pero pagbebenta ng ilegal na droga ang kinaso sa kanya at buong buhay na pagka-bilanggo ang parusa (no bail). Pero sabi din niya, mas mabuti na lang daw na nakakulong ang anak kaysa bumalik sa magulong buhay. Bago pa yun ng panahon ni Duterte. Sabi niya, kung ngayon yun nahuli, baka paatay na rin. Ilan lang yan sa mga pamilyar na kwento sa atin.

Pero marami ring napayaman sa droga. May isang tricycle driver na naghahatid sa amin sa paaralan noong kinder pa ako. Isang araw, hindi na siya tagamaneho ng pampasaherong motor at nag negosyo na raw. Bigla na lang siyang nagka-pera. Yung dating tricycle driver, may mga kotse, gadgets, and malaking bahay na. Ilegal na droga pala yung negosyo. Yun, nahuli rin at nakulong. Nakalaya, pero bumalik sa dating gawi at ngayon ay nagtatago ulit.

Nakakamatay at sobrang delikado ang pag-gamit ng ilegal na droga. Bukod dito, ang mga addict ay wala sa tamang isip at maaaring gumawa ng mga krimen. Responsibilidad nga ng gobyerno na sugpuin ang problemang ito, ngunit sa malalang korapsyon sa bansa, may mga mapagsamantalang politiko rin na nakikinabang dito. May mga pangalang nasabi si Presidente Duterte. Isa na si Mayor Mabilog sa mga pangalan doon. 

Ngunit hanggang saan dapat ang giyera kontra droga? Tama na ba ito kung may mga inosenteng buhay nang nadamay, kung inaabuso na ito ng iba? Tama pa ba ito kung may mga taong namamatay lang na walang tamang proseso?

Sa pagsusulat ng mga tanong na ito, aaminin kong medyo takot ako. Hindi na ako masyadong nanonood o nagbabasa ng balita kasi sakit lang sa ulo at problema ang nakikita. Pero nakikita ko pa rin sa social media ang matinding dibisyon at ang mga away ng mga tao tungkol sa kontrobersyal na isyung ito. Baka pag-initan ako at ang blog ko. 

Sa social media kasi, grabe ang prinsipyo ng mga pro-Duterte at anti-Duterte. Yung ayoko lang na sa ating sitwasyon ngayon, parang maiilang kang mag-komento ng masama dahil baka iba yung pag-basa ng ilang tao sa sinulat mo. Marami nang na-hack, na-bully, na-troll. Yung ayoko lang ay parang nagiging normal na ang patayan. Tila mas maraming balita ng mga natatagpuang bangkay ngayon kaysa noon. Yung iba naman, kung kritiko ka, ‘Dilawan’ ka daw kaagad. Hindi ba pwedeng magsalita ngayon kung ano ang iniisip o nararamdaman? Diba ang malayang pagpapahayag ang isa sa mga importanteng doktrina ng isang demokrasya? 

Hindi na tayo ngayon makabukas ng Facebook nang hindi makakita ng debate sa bagong news o issue. May mga die-hard fans ang Presidente, at may mga kumokontra naman. May mga dumidipensa, may mga umaalma. Hindi ko na alam kung ano ang paniniwalaan. Pati mga sariling kakilala ko, nag-aaway na sa mga isyung politikal. May mga mag kamag-anak na ring nasira ang relasyon dahil sa mga pinagkaibang opinyon.

Walang perpektong administrasyon. Walang perpektong gobyerno o Presidente. Lahat tayo gusto ng pagbabago, at lahat tayo sawang-sawa na sa mga pulitikong dapat tumulong sa ating bansa ngunit patagong kinukuha para sa sarili ang perang dapat para sap ag-unlad ng Pilipinas at karaniwang Pilipino. Sa akin lang, tila walang matutulong kung kahit tayong mga Pilipino, nag-babastusan at minumura ang isa’t isa sa internet. 

Sa akin lang naman, oo, kailangang managot ang mga kriminal na yumayaman sa mga drogang nakasisira ng mga tao at maraming pamilya. Pero sa akin lang, hindi naman yata tama na suportahan natin ang pagpatay sa kapwa tao, kahit drug lord, pusher, o adik. Isa sa sampung utos ng Diyos sa Biblia ang hindi pagpatay. Isa itong malaking kasalanan at ipinagmamalaki pa naman natin na tayo lang ang Kristyanong bansa sa Asya. Diyos ang gumawa ng buhay, at siya rin ang tanging may karapatang kumuha nito. Pero hindi ito perpektong mundo. Simula ng nagsimula ang mundo, nagpapatayan na tayo sa kung ano mang dahilan. 

Nalulungkot ako pag may nababalitaang namatay na ‘addict’, kasi may mga personal ding problema ang mga taong ito kaya nalulong sa bisyo. Sana lang ay bigyan sila ng pagkakataon. Pero tila ginawa nang excuse ng ibang vigilante group na patayin ang gusto nilang patayin at lagyan na lang ng karatulang pusher o addict ang bangkay na to, wag tularan. Marami nang nabalitang namatay, nakita ang bangkay, ngunit tila konti lang ang mga naririnig na mga imbestigasyong nagkaroon ng solusyon. 

Lahat tayong mga Pilipino gusto ng pagbabago. Sa lahat ng nakaraang administrasyon, bumoto tayo at nagtiwala sa pangakong kahit papano, magbabago rin ang Pilipinas para sa atin at sa kinabukasan ng mga anak natin. Lahat tayo gusto ng maayos na serbisyo, mga politikong nirerespeto ang taong bayan, at ligtas na mga tirahan. May nagbago nga ba para sa ikabubuti ng bansa, o lalo lang tayong lumala? 

----
This was written for the Saranggola Blog Awards 2017. SBA 2017 sponsors:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

SBA 2017 entry: Tatlong Tula


Tatlong tula na may paksang "Karatula"

1
"Sibol sa Aspalto"

Iniwan kang bangkay sa gitna ng kalsada
Nakabalot sa scotch tape at may karatula:
Adik, wag tularan, salot sa lipunan, 
ikaw ay nararapat sa kamatayan.

Nung pinapatay ka, nakikita mo na,
ang pait ng iyong tadhana,
bangkay na nakahandusay sa gitna ng daan
Sa isang gabing madugo at puno ng karimlan.

Hindi mo na nakita ang  kanilang mukha,
at hindi ka na makalaban.
Kahit makiusap ka pa at magmakaawa.
Tumahimik ka na lang, ikaw na ay nahatulan.

Nanay, tatay, at aking mga kapatid,
Huwag isayang ang luha!
Gusto kong sabihin na lahat ay may katapusan,
at ang akin lamang...

Isipin niyo na ang buhay ay puno ng pighati
Sakit at paghihirap.
Isipin niyo na lang na ako ay pinagpala,
at asahan na kahit sa kabilang buhay...
ay marahil may hustisya at katarungan.

2
"Propeta ng Taft Ave."

Sa isang sulok ng Maynila,
ay may propetang itago natin sa pangalang
Belton.
Uling, chalk, at kamay ang kanyang gamit
Upang sumulat ng mga propesiya:
sa mga pader, gate, at kung saan pa.

Kalye ang kanyang tahanan,
Mga galang aso ang kanyang kasama.
Karton lang and kanyang tinutulugan,
at ang sarili ang madalas niyang kausap.

Araw ng linggo, nakita ko
Nakasulat dito:
"Ang banal na salita ng dahon"
Tapos may drawing ng dahon.
"Ang banal na salita ng ibon"
"Ang banal na salita ng kahoy"

Lahat na lamang ay may banal na salita
At ako ay nagulat sa kanyang mga nasulat!
At nakita ko ang kahulugan.
Lahat ng bagay ay banal,
kung tahimik lang tayo para makinig.
Sa ibon, dahon, kahoy, papel, o langgam.
Belton, ang sinusulat mo pala...
ang bagong salita ng Diyos?

3
"Karatula"

May naiwang karatula sa gitna ng daan.
Iisang salita lang ang laman:
"Ipaglaban!"
Bakas pa ang duguang palad,
na nakahawak sa simpleng plywood.
Pula ang pinta, kasing-pula ng bagong dugo.
Ang mga tao ay lumalakad,
Hindi tumitingin,
Nananahimik na lamang.
-----
These poems are written for the Saranggola Blog Awards 2017. SBA 2017 sponsors:

Monday, October 9, 2017

5 (more) Reasons to watch ABS-CBN's Wildflower


One of the most popular teleseryes today is ABS-CBN's Wildflower starring Maja Salvador, Aiko Melendez, Tirso Cruz III, and other talented actors in Philippine TV today. Its no secret that I'm a fan of this TV show and I think it is the best teleserye I've watched in Philippine television. The bida of this show is Ivy Aguas, who seeks revenge against the people who have wronged and tried to kill her and her family. The antagonists are the Ardiente family, a strong political family controlling Poblacion Ardiente.

We all know that there are tired and overly abused stereotypes, tropes, and plotlines in your everyday Filipino teledrama. Talk about amnesia, lost children (and they eventually find out they're from a rich/powerful family), revenge, kidnappings, over-the-top kontrabidas, dramatic scenes, and you name them. Wildflower also has their fair share of these things but it manages to use it in a good way. Though it can get overdramatic at times, the actors are great at it.

Ivy Aguas is the new identity of Lily Cruz, a young girl who was 'killed' by the Ardientes, but she survives and gets adopted by a billionaire. She goes back to Poblacion Ardiente with her new identity. She attracts the attention of Arnaldo Ardiente, and soon becomes his fiance. Her main enemies is Emilia Ardiente, Arnaldo's mother, and Julio Ardiente, the family patriarch.

#TheWildestWedding was one of the most iconic scenes in recent Philippine TV with Ivy's black wedding gown (Image Source
If you're not watching Wildflower, I suggest watching a bit. Here are some more reasons to watch Wildflower (or some reasons why I love it):

It's bloody portrayal of Philippine politics. 

I think that its the first time a teleserye revolved around an influential, corrupt, charismatic, and Machiavellian political dynasty. If you look at real Philippine politics, political families run many provinces and towns and our history is influenced by many of them, in a way. Look at the Marcos family and the influence of its members even today. The Ardientes may be a fictional and a somewhat exaggerated version of a political family, they are really not far from the truth. For me, its brave of them to show something like this. What the Ardientes do is also a reflection of what's happening in reality with politics: extra judicial killings, private armies, corruption, lies, manipulations. Its a very good setting for a revenge drama.

The dramatic, unexpected Comebacks.

Philippine TV loves stories with revenge comebacks. The insecure kontrabida thought that she can get rid of the bida for good (usually by killing her), but the bida is actually alive and decides to grow spine and plots her revenge comeback to drag the kontrabida's nose in the dirt. We've seen that in Marimar and other popular storylines. Wildflower is great at grand entrances and comeback surprises. Viewers were awed at Ivy's black gown in her wedding day, and now that Emilia had buried her alive she's back again - declaring that Ivy Aguas is dead and Lily Cruz is alive. I was always wondering how Ivy will reveal her true identity and this was perfect timing. I just love it when the usual bitchy Emilia looks like she just peed in her dress in fear.

Camia Cruz's comeback and Emilia's reaction is still killing me:

...and Lily is back, "Black is out. Gold is in!"



Emilia Ardiente. Period.

I think Aiko Melendez will be remembered for a long time for her portrayal of the beautiful, classy, stylish, and psychopathic Emilia Ardiente. Sometimes I just tune in to see Emilia's latest outfit and her plastikan wars with Ivy Aguas. Though, Emilia is awful but we also see the motivations behind her actions and her flaws.

Roxanne Barcelo as the conyo Nathalie Alcantara

It seems that Roxanne Barcelo has tried everything in Philippine TV and show business. She has been an actor, a Pinoy Big Brother housemate, a singer, and Marianne Rivera's sidekick in several TV shows. She has been in the game for a long time, but her casting as the kontrabida Nathalie Alcantara is spot-on. I actually laugh a lot at her character but she's just perfect for the role and don't you just love and hate (at the same time) her posh accent?

The best of Wildflower's 'Three Little Witches':

Bidang Kontrabida

Ivy is clearly the bida here, but she's not all perfect and good. Telenovelas are usually very clear on good versus evil, while Wildflower is also a variation of that, it shows that Ivy can also be as bad as the Ardientes. Look at Arnaldo Ardiente: for me, he's just a victim of circumstances and he's not to blame for the Ardiente's crimes (he's an effect, not a cause) but Ivy was clearly manipulating him for her own goals even if he did love her for a time. Arnaldo was on his way to become an evil Ardiente, but he ended up mentally unstable, and now he is an unconscious vegetable in the story (party caused by Ivy).

Anyway, there's another character I find silly and amusing - the masked guy/gangster leader named Jaguar. His potential is great, but to me he's a little corny. And why hasn't anyone figured out he's Raul yet? To make the story worse, there's another 'real' Jaguar who turned out to be Ivy's uncle who looks like her father. Whut?

That's it. Though I'm not really a fan of shows in Philippine television, this one is an exception and I will surely watch how it all plays out until the end. Its full of unexpected twists and turns, and it will surely be remembered for a long time.

You can watch Wildflower on ABS-CBN at 5:30 PM on weekdays. Here is their official website with videos too.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Kalye [isang tula]


I wrote this because of a mistake. I thought "Kalye" was the theme of a blog writing contest, but I got it wrong. I just thought it was worth posting here, though in real life I dislike love stories but most people love them. This is just all in theory, with no experience. Anyway it was a fun moment writing it. Enjoy.


Nakita kita sa kalye,
pagkatapos ng ilang taon.
Pitong taon na ba o walo?
Mula nung iniwan mo ako.
Sa kalye din.

Tadhana nga ba yun noon?
Na lagi talagang magkikita
ang ating mga landas.
Magkakilala lang sa itsura,
at mga mata.

Hindi ko na maalala,
saan ba tayo nagsimula?
Mula sa kalye,
naging parte ka ng aking buhay.
May mga masayang araw din.

Nung huli kitang makita,
Papunta ka na pala sa airport.
Hindi man lang sinabi,
na aalis ka na.
Sana sinabi mo na lang.

Nakita ko sa Facebook mo.
May binalikan ka pala,
sana sinabi mo man lang.
Di na sana ako umasa.
E bakit pa ba tayo nagkita?

Ngayon, hindi inaasahang panahon.
Sobrang bihirang pagkakataon.
Sa lahat ng lugar, dito.
Sa lahat ng tao, ikaw.
At sa isang saglit napatigil ka.
Tayo'y napatitig sa isa't isa.

Nag-on ang green light.
Marami nang tao, at tumawid na tayo.
At sa gitna ng daan,
ikaw mismo ang nasa harap ko.
"Patawad," sabi mo.

"Okay na yun," sabi ko.
Ngunit mabilis na ang oras,
at tayo'y nagmamadali.
Nagpatuloy akong maglakad.
Nang lumingon ako,
Wala ka na.

Isang tao sa karamihan,
isang butil ng buhangin sa dagat...
Yun na ang huling beses
na tayo'y nagkita...
sa kalye.