#NCBD2015 Blog Tour Week 2: Dream Date

NCBD Blog Tour Header

I’ll take a head start on the #NCBD2015 Blog Tour this week, before I get bogged down.

(The #NCBD2015 Blog Tour is a series of weekly posts in celebration of National Children’s Book Day, happening all throughout July.)

Here’s this week’s prompt:

Hulyo 14 – 19: Dream Date
Sinong manunulat o ilustrador ang nais mong makasama sa isang araw/gabí? (Kailangang mga aklat pambata at pangkabataan ang nililikha niya. Maaari ring maglista nang higit sa isa pa.)

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Queridas ni Rizal: the Ambeth Ocampo lecture

The weekend before the MIBF, I attended the Ambeth Ocampo lecture at the Ayala Museum. I wanted to go to the lecture since I saw the announcement go up on Facebook — it’s been years (don’t ask how many!) since my History 165 (Rizal and the Emergence of the Filipino Nation) class, but I haven’t forgotten the fun I had that semester!

It was good a friend reserved a slot for me at the lecture, as nothing turned out as planned. I found myself on the other side of the metro, drumming my fingers on my lap inside a cab as I was stuck in heavy traffic for over an hour. The friends I was supposed to go to the lecture with suddenly found themselves caught up in urgent business, and I was afraid I wouldn’t make it! I got to Ayala Museum at exactly 3 pm. Good thing I was waved through when I presented my receipt so I managed to snag one of the last seats in the jam-packed hall right before the lecture started.

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Rizal at 150

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birthday of national hero Jose Rizal, I’ve started reading Ambeth Ocampo’s Makamisa, a book about Rizal’s third (unfinished novel). Just in time, my boss told me on Friday that  the original manuscripts of Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo would be on display at the National Library for the anniversary, so I blocked off my Saturday and headed over to the exhibit.

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Looking Back

I discovered historian Ambeth Ocampo’s essays back in high school: we were taking up the Noli and El Fili in Panitikan (Literature, in Filipino) class and our teacher wanted us to compile newspaper clippings about Jose Rizal. We didn’t have a newspaper subscription, but I lived a few blocks away from the Inquirer office so I went to their library to get some clippings. The library lady handed me a whole folder of articles (pre-digitization; this was the late 90’s) — most of them were from Ambeth Ocampo’s newspaper column, and I remember being so engrossed reading them that the librarian had to walk over and nudge me to let me know they were closing for the afternoon.

As soon as I enrolled in Ateneo for college, I had my heart set on taking Ambeth Ocampo’s History 165 (Rizal and the Emergence of the Philippine Nation) class, and fortuitously, I got a good random number during reg that sem I was scheduled to take that subject so I was able to enlist in his class.

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