Sunday, April 22, 2012




On April 14, 2012, Pusong Pinoy volunteers traveled 3-1/2 hours from Baguio to the high mountains of Monamom Sur, Bauko, Mt. Province to visit the Pactil Elementary School.  Its library had few books and most of them are obsolete and not suitable for young readers. The library was in a deplorable condition – dark and dismal. There was no librarian and library system in place. No wonder it is not a favorite place to be for the children.

A few months ago, Pusong Pinoy donated 1,000 story books to Pactil Elementary School to help the principal, teachers and parents jumpstart a reading program to improve the reading proficiency of the children.  Initially, the program was simply composed of free reading activities where the pupils come to the library and read whatever they like.  Book lending was also done by simply listing down the student's names and book titles on a logbook because the books were not labeled, accessioned and logged in an inventory to allow proper book-lending.

With the help of San Beda alumni, Manny Vazquez, Chris Linag and storyteller, Rey Bufi, a reading program was set up. The Storytelling Project, implemented by Mr. Bufi, is a 24-day summer program that intensively focuses on fun learning activities focused on storytelling and reading. The recipients of the program are the identified non-readers and frustration readers. To enhance this program, Pusong Pinoy volunteers (Manny Vazquez, Dr. Cathy Pangilinan, Rey Bufi, Ningning Doble, Majoy Lumiwes and Lino Lumiwes) traveled to Pactil to organize the small library. The library is situated near the basketball court where all the kids in the community come to play during summer vacation.  It was the perfect time to open the library.

Organizing even a small library can be an overwhelming and daunting task. A library system that is simple enough and can work even without a librarian had to be designed. The volunteers began by taking all the books off the shelves and weeding out the obsolete, dilapidated and unsuitable books.  The remaining books were categorized between fiction and non-fiction. Further categorization was done for the reference books according to subject and the fiction books according to reading levels. The books were then returned and strategically placed on shelves, so that young readers have access to the books that they like. Proper labels were put on shelves then color-coded stickers were placed on all the book spines. 

With so many volunteer hands working together in an “assembly line”, the task was finished in one day. The Pactil Library is now open for the kids to enjoy! With simple adult supervision, the children can now visit the library, read the books they want, and return it to their designated location.  Thanks to all the volunteers for making this possible and to all the heroes for the book donations!  Pactil now has a working library!

Click HERE to read more about Pusong Pinoy's book donations at Pactil Elementary School.