Genaro Gojo Cruz

Isa sa mga naging bahagi ng pagdiriwang ng National Children’s Book Day ay ang paggawad kay Genaro Gojo Cruz ng PBBY-Salanga Prize para sa kaniyang maikling kuwentong pambata na “Makinang Makinang.” Isang guro ng panitikan sa Genaro at marami nang naisulat na aklat pambata at napanalunang mga patimpalak sa pagsusulat.

Kinapanayam namin si Genaro tungkol sa kaniyang pagkapanalo, ang kaniyang nanalong lahok, at ang buhay niya bilang manunulat para sa mga bata.

*

Pagbati pong muli sa pagkapanalo ninyo ngayong taon. Hindi po ito ang una ninyong pagkapanalo sa isang patimpalak sa pagsusulat para sa mga bata. Paano po nagiging bahagi ang mga patimpalak sa buhay ninyo bilang manunulat?

Parang ang mga patimpalak tulad ng PBBY ang aking nagiging gasoline upang makasulat ng mga kuwento para sa mga bata. Actually, di ko na concern kung mananalo o hindi, basta ang makasulat ako ng bagong kuwento, ayos na sa akin. Kung di man pinalad na manalo, ayos lang sa akin kasi ginagawa ko naman itong libro. Kung manalo man, bonus na iyon talaga sa akin.

 

IMG_1921

 

Nakatutuwa po ang konsepto ng “Makinang Makinang.” Paano po nabuo ang konseptong ito? At ano po ang naging proseso ninyo sa pagsulat nito?

Matagal na itong nasa aking utak. Kumbaga parang hinog na hinog na ang kuwento nang isulat ko ito noong Nobyembre 2015 sa panahon ng APEC at walang klase. Ang Nanay ko ay isang mananahi kaya ang mga deskripsiyon ko sa makina at ang mga inilahad na karanasan ng bata sa kuwento ay mga batay sa totoo kong karanasan noong bata.

 

Ang tema po ng pagdiriwang ng NCBD ngayong taon ay Bumasa at Lumaya. Mayroon po ba kayong karanasan na nagbasa at “lumaya” kayo sa isang bagay?

Sa mga sandaling nagsusulat ako ng mga akda para sa mga bata ay nakadarama ako ng paglaya. Ngayong matanda na ako saka ko lang napag-isip-isip na noong bata ako ay nakakulong pala ako sa mga gawaing-bahay, sa mabibigat na tungkuling pangmatanda. Ang pagsulat ng mga akda para sa mga bata, kung gayon, ay isang paglaya sa akin upang maging masaya, maglaro, sumulat, magtanong, at iba pa.

 

Genaro

 

Karamihan po ng mga lumabas ninyong aklat kamakailan ay isinulat para sa mga batang natututo o nagsisimula pa lamang magbasa. Bakit po ninyo naisipang magsulat para sa grupong ito?

Nakikita ko kasing medyo bumabaha na ng mga aklat para sa mga bata na may edad 8 hanggang 12. Naisip kong bigyang-pansin ang mas bata pa, ang 0-4, na ang tingin sa mga aklat ay laruan muna. Gusto kong hawakan nila ang aking mga gagawing aklat na parang laruan muna. At ngayon ko nalaman na mas mahirap pa lang sumulat ng kuwento para sa 0-4 na mga bata. Nagkukuwento ka na parang walang ikinukuwento. Nagsusulat ng kuwento gamit ang kakaunting mga salita. Ito ang pamantayan ko, kahit pang-0- 4 ang kuwento, kailangang may nangyayari o nagaganap sa kuwento at di lang parang listahan ng mga salita.

 

At ano pa po ang aasahan naming mga aklat sa inyo sa hinaharap? 

Balak kong magsulat pa ng mga aklat para sa mga 0-4 na bata, at makapaglathala ng koleksiyon ng mga tula para sa mga bata, alphabet book, at iba pa. Gusto ko ring gumawa ng mga aklat para sa mga bata na magtuturo sa kanila sa tamang paggamit ng wikang Filipino. Gusto ko ang isang aklat sa gramatika na nakapaloob sa kuwento at hindi itsurang teksbuk.

 

Ooh. Kaabang-abang po ang mga balak ninyong iyan. Maraming salamat po ulit! 

Mark Lawrence Andres

MarkIsa sa mga pinarangan noong Martes sa National Children’s Book Day si Mark Lawrence Andres ng PBBY-Alcala Prize para sa kaniyang mga guhit sa kuwentong “Makinang Makinang” ni Genaro Gojo Cruz. Si Mark ay isang graphic designer at kasapi ng Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan.

Malugod niyang sinagot ang ilang tanong namin tungkol sa kaniyang pagkapanalo at sa mga gawain niya bilang ilustrador para sa mga bata.

*

Pagbating muli sa pagkapanalo mo ngayong taon. Ito ang una mong pagkapanalo sa isang patimpalak sa pagguhit para sa mga bata. Bakit mo napagdesisyunang sumali ngayong taon?

Sa totoo lang, matagal ko nang gustong sumali sa patimpalak na ito. Ngayon lang talaga ako nagkaroon ng oras at lakas ng loob para magpasa ng entry.

 

Nakatutuwa ang interpretasyon mo ng kuwento ni Genaro Gojo Cruz na “Makinang Makinang.” Ano ang naging proseso mo sa pagbuo ng inilahok na mga guhit?

Binasa ko muna ang buong kuwento, saka ko pinili ang mga paborito kong bahagi. Isa sa mga napili kong eksena ay ‘yong naglalaro ang bata sa makina habang nananahi ang kaniyang ina. Noong bata ako, isa rin sa paborito kong palaruan ang makinang panahi. Isa rin sa mga eksenang gusto kong iguhit ay ang pagkukuwento ng nanay tungkol sa nakaraan ng pamilya niya sa giyera. Mabigat at mahalaga ang bahaging iyon ng kuwento, kaya gumamit ako ng simbolismo para ilarawan ito. Sa kabuuan, mas nakikita ko na sa pagmamahalan ng mag-ina umiikot ang kuwento kaysa sa makinang makinang. Para sa huling eksena, ginuhit ko ang anak na masayang sinusukatan ang ina para ilarawan ang pagmamahal nila.

 

Mark2

 

Ang tema ng pagdiriwang ng NCBD ngayong taon ay Bumasa at Lumaya. Mayroon ka bang karanasan na nagbasa ka at “lumaya” sa isang bagay?

Tuwing nagbabasa ako ng libro, lagi akong napupunta sa ibang lugar, ibang panahon, o ibang katauhan. Para sa akin, malaya ako tuwing nararanasan ko ang mga ito tuwing nagbabasa ng libro.

 

Karamihan ng mga lumabas mong aklat pambata ay nasa mga rehiyonal na wika sa bansa. Maaari mo bang ikuwento ang mga naging karanasan mo sa pagguhit sa mga ito?

Mayroon akong tatlong libro tungkol sa pamumuhay ng mga Tboli, Blaan, at Tagakaolo. Upang higit silang makilala, pumunta kami sa mga pamayanan nila noong 2013. Dito ko nakita ang tunay nilang pamumuhay – ang mga kasuotan nila, hitsura ng mga bahay nila, pati na ang mga kagamitan nila. Sa unang tingin, parang magkakapareho lang ang mga ito sa bawat pangkat. Nakatutuwang makita ang maliliit na detalye na may iba’t ibang kahulugan sa bawat pangkat.

 

Mark4

 

Sino/ano ang naging mga inspirasyon mo sa iyong pagguhit para sa mga bata

Mahilig akong mag-eksperimento at sumubok ng iba’t ibang estilo sa pagguhit. Kumukuha ako ng inspirasyon sa mga koleksiyon ko ng graphic novels at artbooks pero  ang may pinakamalaking impluwensiya sa akin ay ang mga kaibigan kong ilustrador din.

 

At ano ang aasahan naming mga aklat sa iyo sa hinaharap?

Sa ngayon, gumuguhit ako para sa isang librong nakasalin din sa isang rehiyonal na wika. Sana mailalathala ito bago matapos ang taon. Bukod sa pagguhit para sa mga storybook, gusto ko sanang gumuhit ng komiks ngayong taon.

 

Nppls

 

Aabangan namin ‘yan, at maraming salamat ulit, Mark!

NCBD Week: Bumasa at Lumaya

This week is the busiest for the month-long celebration of the National Children’s Book Day, which is celebrated every third Tuesday of July to commemorate the anniversary of the publication of Jose Rizal’s “The Monkey and the Turtle” in Trubner’s Oriental Record in London. With the theme,“Bumasa at Lumaya,” the NCBD events are organised by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY). And here are three things we can do to support the events.

 

BL2 Blog Tour Banner

 

1) Follow the Bumasa at Lumaya 2 Blog Tour

The second edition of Bumasa at Lumaya, a reference book on Philippine children’s and young adult literature, will be launched on 23rd July. To spread the word about this must-have book, Zarah Gagatiga of School Librarian in Action is hosting a blog tour that starts today. Here is the schedule:

  • * July 17 Bumasa at Lumaya 2 Blog Tour Introduction
  • * July 18 Xi Zuq’s Nook: Chapter Feature (Ang Panitikang Pambata sa Filipinas: 2000-2013 by Eugene Evasco)
  • * July 19 Bookbed: Book Review, & Josephine Litonjua of Cinderella Stories: Contributor Interview (Zarah Gagatiga)
  • * July 20 Zarah G. Gagatiga of School Librarian in Action: Book Review, & Cris Tanjutco of Teacher’s Pet: Chapter Feature (The Magic of the Frozen Moment: A Crash Course in Comics Appreciation)
  • * July 21 Blooey Singson of Bookmarked! (Book Review), & Mina V. Esguerra of Publishing in Pajamas (Contributor Interview: Carla M. Pacis and Ramon C. Sunico)
  • * July 22 Bookbed: Contributor Interview; Cassandra Javier of She Flies with Fairies: Book Review and Contributor Interview (Paolo Chikiamco)
  • * July 23 Josephine Litonjua of Cinderella Stories: Book Review; Jord Earving Gadingan of Tsa-tsub!: Book Review; & Tarie Sabido of Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind: Book Review & Closing

 

NCBA WINNERS 18x 24 poster

 

2) Get to know the NCBA, PBBY-Salanga, & PBBY-Alcala winners

On Tuesday, the grand prize winners and honourable mentions of the annual PBBY-Salanga Writer’s Prize and the PBBY-Alcala Illustrator’s Prize will be awarded in a ceremony at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines. (XZN will also feature this week winners Genaro Gojo Cruz and Mark Lawrence Andres.)

Part of this event too is the awarding of the 3rd National Children’s Book Awards (NCBA), which recognises the excellent works of children’s book creators, done in partnership with the National Book Development Board.

 

Book Fair and Talks

 

3) Attend the Book Fair and Children’s Literature Talks

The Xavier School in San Juan will host the Book Fair and Children’s Literature Talks on the 23rd. The fair shall feature local children’s book publishers. Aside from selling selected titles at a discounted rate, publishers will also hold simultaneous storytelling sessions. A special package of all winning NCBA titles, from 2010 to 2016, may also be purchased at the fair.

The culmination of the NCBD celebration is the Children’s Literature Talks. The program will start with the book launch of Bumasa at Lumaya 2, a Sourcebook on Children’s Literature in the Philippines. This whole-day event will also be a gathering of writers, illustrators, students, storytellers, teachers, librarians, and parents. For a registration fee of PHP800.00, participants may choose to attend among discussions on writing sensitive stories, body positivity on young adult fiction, the evolution of children’s book illustrations, raising multilingual readers, and more.

For inquiries about the Book Fair and Children’s Literature Talks, you may e-mail ncbdph@gmail.com or call 352-6765 loc 204.

*

Press release from the Philippine Board on Books for Young People

Download the NCBD Poster

NCBD 2015 Blog Tour

NCBD Blog Tour Header

In celebration of the National Children’s Book Day this year, Zarah Gagatiga of School Librarian in Action and I invited several book creators and readers to post their answers to weekly questions about Filipino books for children and young adults. Check out their responses!

 

Week 1: What is/are your favourite Filipino book/s for children and/or young adults?

 

Week 2: If you could spend a day/night with a children’s writer/illustrator, who would it be?

 

Week 3: What book/s for Filipino children and young adults do you wish was/were published?

Joffrey Atienza

prof picOur blog’s month-long celebration of the National Children’s Book Day, which was on 21 July, ends with an interview with Joffrey Atienza. (There will be a Children’s Book Fair on 25 July to close the national celebration.)

Joffrey and Sabrina Palmares are the 2015 PBBY Alcala Honorable Mention winners. He has also won this year’s Lampara Illustrator’s Prize for his illustrations of Pamela Imperial’s “The First Star.” The book is slated to be released next year.

 

Hi, Joffrey! Can you tell us your process in illustrating Cheeno Marlo Sayuno‘s “The Missing Blanket”?

I created the scenes in a dreamlike world with lots of distortions of figures and crazy patterns that are unique to my style and, at the same time, still faithful to the story. When I created the illustrations, I constantly reminded myself, ‘If I were a child, how could/would I draw this?’ That helped me visualize how to draw the elements.

 

And how was your research on the Kalinga indigenous culture? 

I browsed the internet for the attributes and carefully observed the unique features of the Kalinga indigenous culture. I also talked to a person who is familiar with the Kalinga culture and he gave me a backgrounder on the patterns and colors of the sinanbituwon tapestry. I absorbed all these information and created a unique blend of indigenous and modern in my main subjects, the cloth, and the characters’ clothing.

 

IMG_5589

 

What are the enjoyable and challenging parts in illustrating this story? 

I really enjoyed most of my time creating each illustration piece. From the research to the detailing of the artwork, the process was exciting because I felt challenged. I also had the desire to finish it no matter what since that was my first attempt to do children’s book illustration.

The challenging part was designing the blanket. I envisioned the cloth to be intricate and faithful to the design of the real sinanbituwon. It was a very long process because I treated the lines as individual threads to achieve the blanket’s texture.

 

IMG_5590

 

And when did you start illustrating for children? And do you maintain a unique style?

This is my first attempt in doing children’s illustration. Just this year, I developed my art style to be more whimsical. I’m still trying out more styles and always see to it that these influences will help develop my own unique art style.

 

What are your favorite children’s books?

When I was a child, I enjoyed the Dinosaurs Big Book; later on, Pokemon. During those time, however, I spent my nights drawing and imagining miniature creatures.  Recently, I bought a picture/comic book by Rob Cham entitled Light. I find it very interesting since one can grasp his illustrations easily without a single word.  Light is very interactive and gives room for one’s imagination.

 

IMG_5988

 

Are we seeing more works for children from you?

Just this May, I won the Lampara Books Illustrator’s Prize. So, I am currently illustrating the story, “The First Star” by  Pamela Imperial. My illustrations for it will be exhibited at the Manila International Book Fair this coming September, but the actual book will be published next year. “The First Star” will be my first book for children.

 

Thank you, Joffrey! We are excited to see your first book.

Sabrina Palmares

Sab PicAs part of our month-long celebration of the National Children’s Book Day, which falls on 21 July this year, we talked to PBBY Alcala Honorable Mention Sabrina Palmares about her winning illustrations.

Sabrina is a member of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan and has done a lot of illustrations for all ages. She blogs about her life and work as an illustrator at Mustard World.

 

Hi, Sabrina! Entries to this year’s PBBY Alcala Prize were interpretations of Cheeno Marlo Sayuno‘s “The Missing Blanket.” What was your approach in illustrating the story?

I got goosebumps after reading “The Missing Blanket.” It is a tearjerker as it is a story about learning to cope with loss at a young age. I tried as much as possible to tranlaste the same emotions I felt reading it into images. And I found these emotions contradicting each other — there are scenes, for instance, that seem to be happy but are actually sad because they are the kids’ memories of their late mother. Hopefully, I was able to show these feelings in my illustrations.

 

Since this story features the Kalinga indigenous culture, how extensive was your research of the group’s culture?

Data is always available online so it’s a bit easier to get instant images and information. I haven’t experienced the Kalinga culture firsthand. My closest encounter was with the Ibaloi of Pulag who are also part of the “people of the mountains” in Central Cordillera. I took into account how they looked — small eyes with straight black hair and skin baked from the sun and cold temperature of the mountains. I tried to make them look more current by dressing the children in shorts and uniforms but still incorporating the yellow, red, black, and white patterns, a trademark of the Kalinga tapestry and garments.

 

XI ZUQS NOOK_PBBY ENTRY_IMAGE 01

 

What was the fun part in illustrating this story? 

I have a five-year old niece who checked my illustration. Whenever I finish one illustration, I would ask her what this is or what that particular image is. On the illustration with a big fish in the background (it’s a happy/sad scene), she asked me why the children were sad. If you will notice, my illustrations don’t have mouths so it’s kind of nice to know that she “gets it” that they are sad, despite the rich colours used and their lack of mouths.

 

And the difficult part?

I’ve been trying to join the PBBY Alcala Prize for the last four or five years and I always came up with an excuse not to create something because I felt that I hadn’t developed my own style yet. So, one of the difficult parts was to force myself to illustrate on a blank paper. It took good advice from a loved one to just attack the story in the most honest way that I could to get me started. It doesn’t have to be a winning piece but should be something that will be reflective of what I can do for now. That ended my years of wanting to join the contest.

 

How did you choose which parts of the story you’d illustrate?

The chosen parts are my personal favorites. The first is a memory before the blanket was made by their mother, the second is when it’s made, and the third is when their mother dies. It is kind of a summary having a pre-production, an in-between, and post production.

 

MUSTARD WORLD_THE HOUSE AT TAGEN STREET

 

When did you start illustrating for children? And do you maintain a unique style of illustrating for children?

My first illustration for kids was for a design project for a bag collection. It’s very far-off from what my illustration looks like today. I was 25 then when I first saw and read a book from the tandem of Chris Riddel and Paul Stewart of Edge Chronicles. That was when I told myself that I would like to be a book illustrator. It took three years of grit after my epiphany to create something of my own and be comfortable with it.

I try to maintain my own style if possible, but I think if I just keep maintaining how I illustrate today then i’ll never evolve. It doesn’t have to be a drastic change in my style but there are a lot of possible ways to illustrate a thought. If there is a trademark though, a friend told me once that my illustrations are meant for kids but look like they’re made for grownups. Today, most of my illustrations have pointed red noses and circular tint cheeks and a face with no mouth. And maybe tomorrow they will evolve and will finally do a wide grin.

 

Is Edge Chronicles one of your favorite books?

Yes, I love the ink illustrations of Chris Riddel and how he materializes all those characters and places and events as if they exist. And Paul Stewart just tells tales that are very current but presented in a way where a younger audience can understand hierarchy in society, politics, and issues on our environment.

I also have this picture/silent comic-like book that I got from Book Sale, Wings by Shinsuke Tanaka. The 60 pesos price tag does not do it justice. It’s for keeps.

 

What are we expecting from you in the future? More works for children?

Yes, more works for children and grownups. I’m also updating my personal illustration blog, Mustard World and participating in more art fairs. And hopefully my very elusive dream of illustrating a children’s book.

 

Thanks again, Sabrina! We’ll surely wait for your book!