Wouldn’t it be nice if every town in the Philippines would have a library?
It does not have to be a fancy one, just a decent space where people, especially children, can read for free.
Yesterday, October 26, I went to the Inquirer office in Pasong Tamo, Makati, and read a story to over 50 kids and their parents. The title was Sina Linggit at ang Barakuda, and I had fun changing my voice many times in an attempt to make the story-telling more engaging and animated for them.
The time spent reading books is actually learning that’s camouflaged as leisure. A good book excites the imagination, and makes the reader’s world instantly bigger than it actually is. In an ideal world, every child should have a library to go. But that is easier said than done.
Education has the biggest cut in our country’s annual budget. But for some reason, we don’t always see the impact of that “budget,” especially when you go to the countryside. I noticed that in the province of Ormoc, which I frequent.
I have been going around the district to see how things have changed through the years, since my wedding with Lucy some 11 years ago. I noticed that a lot of the schools in and around Ormoc are dilapidated. Very few schools have computers, and if ever some have, they don’t have printers.
I checked the libraries and realized the need for more books, both for reading and/or reference. I wished at that very moment that there was something I could immediately do about it.
Then one day, while checking my Facebook, I had an online chat with my long-time friend from Los Angeles, Mary Ann, who happened to have at her disposal some books given by friends in her area. I jumped at the chance to help her distribute them.
After telling her about the sorry state of some schools in and around Ormoc City, she graciously agreed. The books were shipped, and soon as they arrived we gave the books to Ormoc City National High School, Ipil National High School, Valencia National High School, and Margen National High School. All in all, there were about ten balikbayan boxes of books, most of them hardly-used and in almost mint condition.
I promised Mary Ann I would take pictures to show her the happy faces of the teachers and students. Mary Ann, I hope you are reading this now. Many, many thanks again for all your help!
If there is anyone reading this article who would want to help more kids and teachers in Ormoc, please do not hesitate to send your old books to Union Bank Building, Room 2408. Your support will surely go a long, long way.