Teaching History and Social Studies with Fiction


Fiction?! Does fiction have a place in the facts-driven world of History and Social Studies classes? There is, through historical fiction!

Historical fiction is a genre of literature with a story set in the past and typically features real-life people and events. With forms including novels, picture books, and comics, historical fiction is a popular genre of books written for kids and teens.

There are already numerous studies that emphasize the benefits of utilizing historical fiction in the History and Social Studies classes. Four of the most important ones are below.

  1. Historical fiction is an entertaining and engaging read for children. While children usually associate textbooks with schoolwork, works of fiction are usually for pleasure and leisure. So, historical fiction can serve as a breather in between their information heavy and serious textbooks. A lot of historical fiction titles also employ humor and sprinkle interesting trivia in the story. The illustrations too in some book forms easily catch children’s attention, so 12:01 and Isang Harding Papel, both set during the Martial Law period, will definitely be a hit for children.
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  2. Historical fiction provides an in-depth description of people’s lives in the past. Because most history textbooks aim on covering as many topics as possible, important individuals, places, and events are usually reduced to a few sentences. With historical fiction, however, children can imagine what places looked like in the past and how people lived, talked, dressed, and so on. More so with historical fiction in picture book forms, since these provide illustrations of the actual objects, places, and people of a certain period. The Batang Historyador picture books, for instance, are filled with illustrations on five periods in Philippine history.
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  3. Historical fiction presents the complexity of historical events. We all know how complex lives are whether in the past or today, but many textbooks just present history as single-sided and one-dimensional. Historical fiction tries to break this misconception by exposing readers to multiple perspectives. Children, for example, get to see the different sides of a historical character’s actions and decisions and how these were different from the other characters. In the novel Woman in a Frame, readers can journey to two time periods through the eyes of Sining Librado and Marcela Simbulan.
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  4. Historical fiction, lastly, allows children to connect with historical persons. Having an in-depth and broad view of a historical event can develop in readers empathy, a key aspect in making informed decisions. The good thing too with historical fiction written for children is that it usually features children as protagonists, so present readers can easily relate to people in the past. In Si Ambongan, for instance, the story of Ferdinand Magellan’s arrival in Mactan is told through the experience of the boy Ambongan.

And to smoothly include historical fiction in class, teachers should note that historical fiction only serves as a supplementary reading material to historical texts, such as biographies and documents. Children should also be taught how to distinguish the fictive from the factual elements in a historical fiction work.

* All the books mentioned above are currently on sale at the Adarna House bookshops (online and Quezon City) and will also be available at Christmas sale prices during A Christmas Treat for Readers.

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Charles Funk 1955-2016


Born on February 22, 1955, Filipino writer and illustrator Charles Funk is the first born of two clans.

After graduating with a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the University of Sto. Tomas, he soon joined what was then called Adarna Book Services for various projects spanning many of the company’s early years. He was the first designer/artist who was tasked the development of the brand identity and its product prototypes. In fact, Adarna House continues to use the logo he designed for the company during the 1980s.

During this period, he was in charge of cover design for most of the first 300 titles while authoring and illustrating several titles. His books include Si Putot (written by Mike Bigornia) and Si Hugo, Ang Pahamak na Hunyango—two of Adarna House’s classic titles.

Outside of Adarna House, he was also involved in developing the public school textbook program of the ministry of education (EDPITAF) and designed the non-lingual communication manual of the Southeast Asian Games for the Philippine Olympic Committee.

Funk migrated to the United States in 1984, doing freelance work, managing a type house, producing concerts, and designing books and numerous publications. He worked for the Los Angeles Times, a daily newspaper, as a graphic designer and the creative services department’s technical coordinator, and participated in painting exhibitions with local artists’ groups and causes.

He passed away on November 15, 2016 (Los Angeles time) and will always be remembered as a devoted friend and pioneer of Philippine children’s literature.





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Libreng seminar para sa mga guro ng Filipino (12 Nobyembre)


Malugod na iniimbitahan ng Adarna House, Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation, at Lucena City Asociation of Private Schools (LCAPS) ang mga guro ng Filipino para sa Klasrum Adarna: Paggamit ng WiKAHON. Isang libreng seminar (kasama ang tanghalian at sertipiko), gaganapin ito nang 12 Nobyembre 2016 (Sabado) mula 8:00 NU hanggang 5:00 NH sa Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation, University Site, Lucena City.

Nakatuon ang seminar sa mas malalim na pagtalakay ng mga sumusunod na paksa:

  1. Mga Salik na Kailangan sa Mahusay na Pagbabasa
  2. Iba’t Ibang Uri at Struktura ng Teksto
  3. Detalyado at Rekomendadong Paggamit sa Wikahon
    – Pagdidisenyo ng Programa sa Filipino
    – Pagtataya sa Antas ng Kakayahan sa Pagbabasa
    – Paghasa sa Bilis at Husay sa Pagbabasa
    – Paghasa sa Pag-uugnay ng mga Konsepto
    – Pagtuturo ng Balarila at mga Kasanayan sa Pagbabasa

Si Daisy Calado ang magiging tagapagsalita sa araw na ito. Nagtapos ng MA in Reading Education sa University of the Philippines Diliman, siya ay isang espesyalista sa pagbasa at kasalukuyang direktor ng ReadPlus.

Mayroong 100 puwestong pangkalahok at pupunan namin ang mga ito ayon sa pagdating ng mga pagpapatala. Hanggang dalawang guro lamang ang maaaring ipadala ng bawat paaralan. Narito ang mga detalye upang makalahok:

  1. Isulat ang buong pangalan ng [mga] gurong inyong ipapadala kasama ang mobile number at e-mail address ng bawat isa, at ang pangalan ng inyong paaralan.
  2. Ipadala ito sa email: miko[at]adarna.com.ph, text: (+63927) 382-4716, o fax: (+632) 352-6765 local 125.
  3. Hintayin ang kumpirmasyong ipadadala sa mobile number at/o e-mail address ng kalahok. Kasama sa kumpirmasyon ang tiyak na lunan ng seminar.
  4. Kailangan ang kumpletong impormasyon para makumpleto ang pagpapatala. Hindi makalalahok ang mga hindi nakapagpatala. Ang huling araw ng pagpapatala ay  4 Nobyembre 2016 (Biyernes).

Kung mayroong katanungan, mangyari na lamang na makipag-alam sa mga nabanggit na email o mobile number, o sa (+632) 3526765 local 119.


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Call for Entries: 2017 PBBY-Salanga Prize


The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) is now accepting entries for the 2017 PBBY-Salanga Prize. The contest is co-sponsored by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and The National Library of the Philippines (NLP). The winner shall receive Twenty-Five Thousand Pesos and a medal. Prizes will be awarded in an appropriate ceremony to be held during the celebration of National Children’s Book Day in July 2017.


  • The contest is open to all Filipino citizens except those who are related to any PBBY member up to the third degree of consanguinity.
  • Stories should be intended for children aged 6 to 12 years old. The plot and the sequence must be capable of sustaining an illustrated book of 28 to 32 pages.
  • Entries may be in Filipino or English.
  • Entries must be in hard copy, double-spaced, on short bond paper. Maximum length is five (5) pages.
  • A contestant may send in more than one (1) entry.
  • Each entry must be signed by a pen name only. Five (5) copies of each entry should be placed in an envelope, on the face of which only the pen name of the contestant should appear.
  • Together with each entry, contestants must submit a second envelope, on the face of which the pen name shall appear. This must contain the contestant’s full name, address, contact numbers, a short literary background, and a notarized certification from the author, vouching for the originality of the entry and for the freedom of the organizers from any liability arising from the infringement of copyright in case of publication, and affirming that the entry or any variant thereof has (a) never been published nor (b) won any other contest i.e. that it has never won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, honorable mention in any other contest or otherwise been awarded a medal, a citation, or included in a publicized list of meritorious entries to a literary contest.
  • All entries must be sent through snail mail to the PBBY Secretariat, c/o Adarna House, Inc., Scout Torillo cor. Scout Fernandez Sts., Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City.
  • All entries must be received by the PBBY Secretariat no later than 5:00 p.m., December 2, 2016.
  • Winners will be announced no later than Feburary 3, 2017. Non-winning entries will be disposed of by the PBBY Secretariat.

Grand prize and honorable mention winners shall be subject to a bidding process to be facilitated by PBBY, to determine which publisher/s will publish their winning stories.

The winning story will be the basis for the 2016 PBBY-Alcala Prize.

For more details, interested parties may contact the Philippine Board on Books for Young People, at (02) 3526765 local 203 or email pbby [at] adarna.com.ph.

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North Luzon opportunities: Administrative Assistant & freelance book sellers



Adarna House is currently in need of an Administrative Assistant for its Baguio office.

The position will report to the Business Development Manager and will provide administrative, secretarial, and clerical support to maintain an efficient office environment. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Responding to phone and e-mail inquiries and accurately directing them to other members of the organization
  • Coordinating messenger and courier services
  • Monitoring inventory and maintaining office filing and storage systems
  • Ensuring office equipment and facilities are clean and properly maintained
  • Performing work-related errands such as going to government offices and banks
  • Providing logistical assistance in implementing sales and marketing activities

Candidates should fulfill the following minimum qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in any related field; fresh graduates are encouraged to apply
  • Excellent communication and people skills
  • Internet savvy with basic MS Office competencies
  • Highly organized with good attention to detail

The company offers a competitive salary and benefits package, excellent work-life balance, and training opportunities to the successful candidate.

Interested individuals must submit a comprehensive resume via e-mail to vanessa[at]adarna.com.ph with the subject line “NL Admin Assistant Application” on or before October 15, 2016. (Only qualified applicants will be notified.)


We are also looking for people to represent our company in our North Luzon book fairs. Book sellers would be responsible for on-site sales transactions, customer inquiries, ingress and egress, and turnover of sales and book fair materials.

Our book sellers must fulfill the following minimum qualifications:

  • a high school diploma
  • with initiative; approachable and accommodating; responsible and punctual
  • basic communication skills in Filipino and English; knowledge in Ilocano a plus
  • willing to travel within Region 1, Region 2, and CAR

Applicants may send their bio-data to Rosal Rubiano, Business Development Executive, via email (northluzon [at] adarna.com.ph) or post (Adarna House North Luzon, Unit 409 Jewel Igorot Building Kilometer 4, La Trinidad Benguet 2601) on or before October 7, 2016. For further inquiries, contact Rosal through (074) 423 1901.

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BOOK LAUNCH: Kapitbahay Kubo & Kara at Play


Adarna House, Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan, and Ayala Museum invite everyone to the launch of two new board books: Kara at Play (by Lara Saguisag and Jamie Bauza) and Kapitbahay Kubo (by Pergylene Acuña)! The launch will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, September 24 at the Ayala Museum Ground Floor Lobby.

The program will include a storytelling session, games, and prizes. We are also inviting guests with children to pre-register because the first fifty (50) pre-registered kids will each receive one of the new board books at the launch!

To pre-register, send us (via kaibigan [at] adarna.com.ph or 0927 382 4716) the following information:

  • kid’s name (nickname and last name)
  • kid’s age
  • guardian’s mobile number and email address

See you on Saturday!

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5 tips to help you choose the perfect Adarna House book


With over 100 different titles, our storybook collection offers an overwhelming amount of choices. Here are a few pointers that might help you narrow down your picks for the perfect picture book!

  1. Make sure it’s from Adarna House. Our books take at least 9 months in research and development for us to make sure that apart from complying with our literary and artistic standards, they are also developmentally and culturally appropriate. To know that the book you’re holding is a quality Pinoy picture book, look for our logo at the top left front cover.
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  2. Choose your preferred language. Or don’t, because most of our storybook titles are bilingual. If the original text is in English, it would probably come with a Filipino translation (and also the other way around). In support of MTB-MLE (mother tongue-based multilingual education), we also have books in Cebuano and Ilocano. You will know a book is bilingual because it would have a tag on the upper right corner of the front cover.
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  3. Look for medals. Over fifty of our books have won major awards locally and internationally. Most of these awards were received after publication, so you can be sure that our award-winning titles passed not only the discerning tastes of our editorial team, but also the critical eye of other literary institutions. Our books proudly display their medals on the front cover.
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  4. See our age recommendation. With the help of education, language, and reading experts and through kid-testing, we are able to determine the optimal reading age for our various titles. Flip one of our books over to see our age recommendation below the book summary. Our online bookshop can also be browsed according to age.
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  5. Know your reader. The more you know about who you’re giving books to, the better you can choose! Being aware of your readers’ ages and language skills is just the start. Finding out about their interests, dreams, and challenges will get you much closer to books they will surely love and remember.

Browse our storybook collection now to practice your book-picking skills! Visit our online bookshop or come by our booth at the Manila International Book Fair!

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