NCBD 2015 Blog Tour #1: Favorite Book

NCBD Blog Tour Header

We’re celebrating National Children’s Book Day on July 21 (annually, the 3rd Tuesday of July) to commemorate the publication of Jose Rizal’s “The Monkey and the Turtle” on Trubner’s Oriental Record in London.

Every year, the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) spearheads this celebration, and there’s lots to look forward to this year, starting with this blog tour.

This week’s theme is:

Hulyo 7 – 13: Paboritong Aklat

Ano ang paborito mong aklat pambata at pangkabataan? (Kailangang isinulat o iginuhit ito ng isang Pilipino. Maaari namang maglista nang higit sa isa pa.)

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Jose Aruego Roundup

When I was in third grade, our class was sent to the audio-visual room for a storytelling session of the picture book Juan and the Asuangs. The story was frightfully fascinating — a young boy named Juan outsmarts several asuangs, which are Philippine mythical creatures, often of the blood-sucking variety. I have not seen that book in about fifteen years, but I still remember one particular spread: Juan defeats the manananggal (a female asuang who is usually in human form until sunset, when she sprouts leathery wings, tears her torso away from her lower half, and hunts for her next bloody meal) by grinding up some bawang (garlic) and siling labuyo (small chili peppers) and pouring the paste into the cavity of the creature’s lower half.

To this day, that story still stands out in my memory, but there’s another reason why: our class met Jose Aruego right then and there!

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