The 2nd Filipino Reader Conference: United We Read

“You can’t make someone read. Just like you can’t make them fall in love, or dream…”

– Daniel Pennac, The Rights of the Reader

     As I sat down inside Filipinas Heritage Library, I knew that Daniel Pennac’s words did not ring true for the people around me. I’m sure everyone present during ReaderCon has some sort of love affair with reading. And being the alienated (yet loved :p) bookworm in the family, I felt happy to be in a place where everyone seemed as excited as I was about books and literacy issues.

The highlights of my day were:

  • Listening to Feliz Perez talk about how they started Mt. Cloud Bookshop (which I blogged about here)
  • Hearing Divina Asuncion talk about reading advocacy programs in their public school
  • Listening to the poetry of Jun Balde
  • Watching readers get smitten (seriously smitten!) over Rafe Bartholomew, author of Pacific Rims
  • Getting a glimpse of what some book clubs do (Flips Flipping Pages and The Filipino Goodreads Group)
  • Making new friends (Hi Liwa and MJ!)
  • Discovering new books and writers, especially Filipino writers 🙂
  • Watching writers receive recognition through the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards (check out the winners here)
  •  Scavenging for books and trinkets

The teacher in me was also happy to hear other teachers clamoring for local literature. I’m happy that the lack of YA novels and informational texts written for Filipinos is becoming an issue for most of us. Hopefully this yearning would spark some sort of literary revolution and inspire writers and readers everywhere! (Sense my excitement?)

This blog post is a big shout-out to the organizers and supporters of this gathering – Congratulations for putting together such a fun event that reminds us that the reading culture in our country is very much alive and present.

I hope that next year’s event would bring in more teachers and librarians! After all as Daniel Pennac says (might as well end with a quote of his, too):

“What our duty as educators really amounts to is teaching children to read by introducing them to the world of literature, and providing them with the means to judge freely whether they fell a need for books or not. Because, while it’s fine for someone to reject reading, it’s totally unacceptable that they should be – or feel that they have been – rejected by reading. To be be excluded from books, even the ones you can do without, is terribly sad: a solitude within a solitude.”

———————–

Look out for these little treasures – perfect gifts for your beloved bookworms!

Alunsina Handbound Books

Book Lockets by Junk Studio

And here are some book clubs you might want to check out:

As for the blogging community:

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