THE Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) celebrated the 34th National Children’s Book Day on July 18, 2017, 9:30 a.m., at the Little Theater lobby, headlined by the awarding of the PBBY-Salanga Writers’ Prize and PBBY-Alcala Illustrators’ Prize winners.
Annually, the PBBY holds the Writers’ Prize to find the best children’s stories. The award was named after Alfredo Navarro Salanga, a journalist, fictionist, poet and editor who had greatly contributed to Philippine literature. He was the co-founder of the Philippine Literary Arts Council, the Manila Critics Circle, and the PBBY.
The PBBY Illustrator’s Prize, on the other hand, selects the best artworks for the winning stories. The award was given in honor of cartoonist-illustrator Larry Alcala, who was one of the founders of PBBY. Alcala was known for his works in popular media of newspaper and Filipino komiks, reaching audiences who could not afford more expensive forms of entertainment.
The celebration started with welcome remarks by CCP artistic director Chris Millado and a keynote speech by illustrator Pepper Roxas, followed by the introduction of the new books and a tribute to publisher Gloria Rodriguez.
For the awarding ceremonies, children’s book author Dr. Luis Gatmaitan and Elyrah Salanga, writer and daughter of the late Alfredo Salanga, presented the PBBY Writers’ Prize to the winner, while illustrator Totet de Jesus and Lauro “Boyet” Alcala Jr., son of the late Larry Alcala, gave out the Illustrators’ Prize.
PBBY winning story as read aloud after the awarding, followed by the opening of the PBBY-Alcala exhibit at the CCP Pasilyo Carlos Francisco. The exhibit showcased PBBY Illustrators’ Prize winning artworks and illustrations.
Anvil Publishing held a storytelling session of Nick Joaquin’s stories for children in the afternoon. “Duglit: Dugong Makulit,” an animation based on the book of the same title by Dr. Gatmaitan, was screened.
Oli Impan, another animation film from the Animation Council of the Philippines, was shown. A film adaption of the short Fiipino play written by Alberto Florentino, Oli Impan tells the story of squatters living in the cashbah (slums of Binondo) who were being evicted five days before Christmas. The plight of the poor is seen through the eyes of two young children who could neither understand the concept of land ownership and the problems squatters, nor pronounce “holy infant” in the song Silent Night.
The CCP Audience Development Division, under the Arts Education Department, launched “My CCP Story,” a publication for children written by Dr. Gatmaitan. A special CCP tour for participating school children, as well as Filipino children’s book fair was held at the Little Theater until 6:00p.m.
With the theme “For the Nation, for the Children: Laging Bago ang Mundo ng Libro,” this year’s celebration of Children’s Book Day commemorates the anniversary of the publication of Jose Rizal’s “The Monkey and the Turtle” in Trubner’s Oriental Record in London.
The PBBY is the lead agency for the celebration of the children’s book day. It is a private, non-stock, non-profit organization committed to the development of children’s literature in the Philippines and composed of sectoral representatives from the government and various fields of education, writing, publishing, illustrating, book selling and review, storytelling, research and media.
For more details, call CCP Intertextual Division at 551-5959 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.