It’s June, once again. The start of a new school year. And so, the children from our nearby village, the children of informal settlers at Bongbongon, will once again pass by our house every morning on their way to school, and every afternoon, on their way home. During summer, they seldom visit the Library Project, the “Kasabuahan Ha Gagaw”, as named by Datu Macabugwas. They opted to roam the nearby forests and rivers, and to avail of the free City Public Pool. But come June, they would once again frequent this little space. They would once again, as my Mama used to report, leaf through pages and pages, book after book, leaving a state of disarray as they leave. My mother may be complaining of having to arrange the books and the magazines every time the children leave, but being the teacher that she is, I know that she’s happy as I am happy. That the children came, that they loved coming to the library, and that they eagerly leafed through these pages. Afterall, the shelves of libraries and pages of books were not meant to gather dust. What started last March 2011 as a cabinet of books, has grown a little bigger into a room with two filled shelves of children books. To date, the library has an assorted (remaining) content of 137 books, magazines and references. We have 20 encyclopaedias, 31 magazines, 27 short young adult novels, 30 storybooks, 49 reference books, 3 Bibles. These are books from my friends in Manila (you know who you are), some were from friends and neighbours in Bukidnon who dropped by and dropped their books too, some were even from strangers, like the missionaries who recently donated a box full of books —-increasing the number of books in the library. I may not be able to send as much books as I can afford to ship, but as the school year opens, once again, I am asking friends for more children’s books that they can spare. Slowly, but surely, I’ll (we’ll) find a way to ship them to Bukidnon. Books from Bukidnon are most welcome
What is the library project or “Kasabuahan Ha Gagaw” ?
The library project began with this call:
A few days ago, I’ve read a tweet from the Professional Heckler and it says: “my goal this year: set up a community library in our remote barangay in batangas.” I retweeted it, not for the sake of my few followers but for myself, I’d want to remember it when I finally have the time to do this: write about it, and conceptualize my own project based …
And later became these:
I talked to Datu Macabugwas this Summer and he explained the literal meanings of the words “Kasabuahan” and “Gagaw”. “Kasabuahan” means “unity” “wholeness” “oneness” “togetherness” “collective”, and “gagaw” means “pity” “sympathy”. When asked to explain the phrase though, he said, as before, that it means being united, being together in love, in feelings, in goals of helping those who are in need.
Just like the first time he explained it, I felt I understood what he wanted to say, sans the language barrier and his propensity for figures of speech even in Binukid or even when he speaks and explains to me in Cebuano. Is it more of collective empathy then? Indeed, meanings are elusive, especially when I could only understand isolated words in Binukid, and could not speak the language. Nevertheless, the spirit is there, and I know you, as readers, understand it too.
What books can I donate?
Since “The Library Project” or “Kasabuahan Ha Gagaw” is a primarily a Children’s Library, children’s books and ‘young adult’ books would be preferable.
Can I donate text books?
We do accept textbooks, even those with answers, as long as they are still usable. However, due to the cost of shipping, they would be sent much later compared to much lighter children’s books.
Can I donate board games?
Board games for children would be most welcome.
Where can I drop off my donations?
Since books, in bulk are often heavy, I prefer to have them dropped off at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Investigation Division (first floor). The CHR has two entrances, one is along Commonwealth Ave. just in front of HSBC of the UP Techno Hub, cars can go through this entrance. The other entrance is with the UP side, cars cannot go through this entrance and you’d have to walk from the back of the UP NCPAG building towards the CHR or from the UP Archery Range towards the CHR. You can call me before hand if you will be dropping some books at 09175874660 or at 02-9260454.
Note: Dropped off donations get shipped later, depending on available funds, and depending as well on my next trip to Bukidnon. Right now, I still have some books to ship so it is preferred if books are sent/shipped directly to the library or delivered there (for those in Bukidnon).
Want to help more?
You can sponsor a shipment of books through 2Go. Once enough books are gathered, I ship them through 2Go. Right now, I am using my own money to ship books, but others who would like to sponsor a shipment can do so. I’ll pack the books, contact 2Go (Door to Door delivery) for the cost, have the books delivered then ask for refund for the cost of shipping (as reflected in the 2Go receipt).
For those who do not have time to go to CHR, and would be willing to ship the books themselves through 2Go, can surely do so. Here’s the 2Go website for guidance on the fees: http://supplychain.2go.com.ph/DeliveryTransport/parcel/boxes.asp. Should you choose this option, please send me a message so I can inform my parents to look out for your packages.
Books may be sent to the following address:
Old Transmitter Site, Claro M. Recto Street
Malaybalay City, Bukidnon 8700
Contact Number: 09164330914
Or WILMA RUBIN (09164330913)
I live in Bukidnon, or Malaybalay City, how to donate?
Please, do take time to drop off some of your books and donate some to the library. The address is shown above. It’s always open such that you can just drop by, and arrange the books on the shelves without my father (who is always at home) knowing it. But even then, I’d like to know my partners in this project so, please leave your name, for proper credits. Address is indicated above. You can also leave books through my mother at the Bukidnon National High School, Math Department. But if you choose to do so, make sure they are not too heavy. It would be difficult for my mother to transport them home. ;) And do take pictures when you do so, and send them to me.
Thank you once again. And, yep. A library starts with a single book. And that book that you’re not reading anymore? It’s welcome.
Eulogy to the moon :)
Doesn’t it strike you as strange that we have a letter in our alphabet that nobody uses? It represents one-twenty-sixth of the possibility of our language, and we let it languish. If you and I really, truly wanted to change the world, we’d invent more words that started with x.
-David Levithan, Lover’s Dictionary