This blog had been quiet in 2014. We usually try to implement a project every year; thus, in addition to supporting the UP PGH Medical Foundation and the Child Foundation (the latter is specifically for child patients in the UP PGH pediatrics wards), we have had:
- 2011 – The Mae Astrid Tobias Writing Workshop for Children, with Kuting (Kwentista ng mga Tsikiting) for selected UPIS students
- Publication of Guardians of Tradition by Adarna House (nominated for the 2013 Filipino Readers Choice Awards)
- Launch of Blue Bananas by Crucible Gallery (more photos here)
- Author at Once Writing Workshop for Children, with the Marikina Public Library and Bronze Age Media, Inc.
- Guardians of Tradition blog tour
- Publication of the output of the 2011 Mae Astrid Tobias Writing Workshop for Children
2014 was supposed to be the year when Astrid’s books would go digital and become available online (we had already started talks with a few of her publishers) but before we could begin drawing up the paperwork, Yolanda happened and suddenly, priorities. (Our apologies to Crucible Gallery and Mr. Sari Ortiga for dropping the ball. I hope we can pick up where we left off).
Since we didn’t have the time or resources for a workshop in 2014, instead we used the royalties from the sale of Astrid’s books to fund, in whole or in part, the tuition of four BS Education majors from the following schools: (a) Polytechnic University of the Philippines; (b) Philippine Normal University; (c) Eastern Samar State University; and (d) University of Rizal System.
They were either selected by the school itself, or qualified through an essay competition, or recommended as deserving by people whose judgment we value. All four are female and either in their second or third year of study. Some of them spend their weekends teaching out of school youth in their respective communities as part of their church outreach activities.
This 2015, now that we’ve been able to regroup somewhat, we can start thinking about what to do for this year. We hope to be able to muster enough resources to be able to continue with the scholarships: a living legacy of teachers teaching is probably a good way to remember Astrid, who loved school and had been good at her academics. A few years ago, she told us she was thinking of going to law school after finishing her MA in Creative Writing because it would provide career opportunities with lots of travel. I laughed and told her, Perhaps, but perhaps not exactly in the way you’re expecting.
Anyway, activities! We’re thinking of having a reading activity day in May 2015 and her scholars have already said yes to helping out. Will post more when the plan has unfurled.
Our ultimate goal is actually achieving something like the 826NYC model, as well as the Shared Worlds Writing Camp by Wofford College. Putting this down now to pin it down and make it so. Here’s to putting the soon in so.