This summer, Adarna House organized two workshops with the goal of producing children’s storybooks written in the mother tongue.
Fifty-eight Grade 1 public school teachers attended the first workshop, hosted by Speaker Eugenio Perez National Agricultural School in San Carlos, Pangasinan. The 58 teachers selflessly gave up their Sunday for the creative writing workshop, which was held on April 22 and 23, and which would not have been made possible without the effort and leadership of Marilu Cardenas, Assistant Schools Superintendent of their DepEd division.
Ms. Bong Oris — author of Whuuush!, former president of Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting (KUTING), and professor of Humanities at Ateneo de Manila University — shared her knowledge about the genre in discussing the elements of children’s literature, and being aware of one’s responsibilities as both teacher and writer. Proud of her Pangasinan origins, Ms. Bong also guided the teachers on injecting Pangasinan flavor and culture into their work.
A similar workshop was held in Palawan a month later — Writeshop on Aklat Ko, Wika Ko: Angking Karunungan Biyaya ng Mother Tongue, held on May 27-30, 2012, at the Victoriano J. Rodriguez Hall, Ramon V. Mitra Jr Building, Puerto Princesa City Hall.
This writeshop was a component of the reading program of Ensuring Quality Instruction Program for Palawan (EQUIP PALAWAN) in line with HEAT (Health, Education, Agriculture, Tourism) is on in Palawan of Gov. Baham Mitra, and was done in partnership with DepEd.
The workshop was attended by 45 teachers (writers & illustrators), each one assigned 1 of 7 languages represented (Tagbanwa, Palaw-an, Cuyunon, Aborlan, Pullun Mapun, Cebuano, Ilonggo) and produced around 60 stories. This time, literary guidance was provided by Nanoy Rafael — award-winning author of Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu! and former head writer of the new Batibot.
This writeshop also involved the illustrating side of children’s literature. Fifteen illustrators were taught the basics and process of illustration — from studies to pencils to layout. This aspect of the workshop was facilitated by Hubert Fucio, 2-time winner of the PBBY-Alcala Prize for illustration.
The two workshops were done in support of the mother-tongue based multilingual education platform espoused in the new K-12 curriculum of the Department of Education.