Archive for August, 2010

The Zarah Gagatiga interview: Part 2 – Blogger & Storyteller

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 5 - 2010

This is the second part of our interview with Zarah Gagatiga, literacy advocate extraordinaire. In this portion of the interview, she talks about blogging, storytelling, and her upcoming book, Tales From the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories, which she is writing with Dianne de Las Casas.

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The Blogger

Your site has been active for five years now, and was recently included in a book (“But Still They Blog“) on the evolution of librarian blogs (liblogs). Why did you decide to start your blog?

I was bored. I wanted to try something new. I want to express myself. I want to improve my writing and grammar, especially because I’m so poor at it. Very selfish reasons, actually. Hahaha!

How has your blog evolved since then?

Wow. I change layouts and designs every year. But I love the current design so it’s going to stay in a while. In terms of content, it has become more focused and it’s veering away, slowly, from content only relevant to my ego. My earlier posts were all about me. ME. ME. ME.

I guess my writing style has changed too… Oh, I don’t know! Maybe someone should evaluate my blog objectively.

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The Zarah Gagatiga interview: Part 1 – Librarian

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 4 - 2010

There are few librarians more prominent in the country today than Zarah Gagatiga–and yet “librarian” is but one of the many different hats she wears. Influential blogger, avid storyteller, and chair of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People, she is one of the staunchest advocates for books and literacy in the Philippines. Zarah graciously took time out from her busy schedule to respond to some questions via email, which we’ve divided into three parts, each focusing on a different role she plays. Today we speak to her about her work with libraries, both as a librarian and as an advocate.

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You’ve stated before that you became a librarian in part because your mom was a librarian. What was it like, having a mother with the “keys to the kingdom”, so to speak? I bet you never ran out of books to read.

Yes, I never ran out of them. Nor will I run from them. Never :-)

The earliest memory I have of a book my mom brought me was a storybook about a red fox and a hen. It was not Henny Penny, it was one of those American books with thick pages that smelled of dried animal skin. And the illustrations! I remember that the book was classically beautiful. Then came Dr. Seuss and Robert Palmer. She brought home some non-fiction books as well. I can still remember the big dinosaur books she borrowed when I was in 1st grade. At the time, I was studying in a small town parish school, and books were scarce. We had a library but students would only get to go there four times a year, imagine that. My mom filled the gap.

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Rocket Kapre is an imprint of Eight Ray Sun Publishing Inc. (a new Philippine-based publisher), dedicated to bringing the very best of Philippine Speculative Fiction in English to a worldwide audience by means of digital distribution. More info can be found at our About section at the top of the page.

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