Wednesday, November 21, 2018
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High blood

The thrust of ‘AlDub’ to build libraries

In my retirement I am so much into Facebook. But as I tinker with my iPad, I would sit in front of the television and half-listen to what my husband is watching. He usually is into sports programming, but he shifts to “Eat Bulaga” after lunch.

I too am a fan of Bossing Vic and Joey de Leon, and lately my attention has been drawn to the three mainstays in their TV program’s “AlDub Juan for All and All for Juan” segment—Wally, Jose and Paulo—with a girl doing faces and a cute, young fellow acting as the boy next door. I don’t bother about the story, but my interest has been piqued as to why it is making millions of viewers here and abroad go gaga.

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One time I was surprised to read, in Joe America’s serious blog (“The Society of Honor”) an article titled the “Social significance of AlDub” by Wilfredo Villanueva. It discussed the history of “AlDub” and how the segment is successfully “exploiting” traditional Filipino values, especially the one relating to pursuing one’s lady love. That started me setting aside my daily Facebook ritual during AlDub segments till I learned that tickets to a special AlDub performance had been “sold out.”

The show had targeted to fill the Philippine Arena, which sits about 55,000 people, to capacity. I was happy to learn that part of the money to be earned from the show would be used to build libraries. Other foundations and nongovernment organizations had helped the government build classrooms; but “Eat Bulaga” had been collecting used plastic materials, with the participation of different barangays, and recycling these into school chairs.

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Now I believe only “Eat Bulaga” would have thought of building libraries. I also know that  Bossing Vic has a heart for libraries. Way back in the past, I learned that he was helping in one way or the other the library of Tahanang Walang  Hagdanan. I happened to be a volunteer in organizing the library then and, if I remember right, in one of the meetings his name was mentioned as a benefactor.

I am aware that the AlDub segment will come to end, but I truly hope that it will not be in the near future. The AlDub library project should be able to inculcate the importance of libraries in the consciousness not only of students and professionals but also of the masa, even including those who can neither read nor write; and develop a genuine desire for knowledge. We can build public libraries where students and citizens with no means to buy books can go, study and learn.

Alumni of American School/International School Manila have been gathering and sending (balikbayan) boxes of books to their former guidance counselor Vicky Herrera. They had provided most, if not all, elementary schools in Tagaytay, with their own libraries. And theirs is an ongoing project.

Our Mayor Kit Nieto of Cainta, Rizal, has built a municipal library and people are starting to use it. The importance of having a library in every municipality, barangay and public elementary and high school cannot be over emphasized. In fact, there is a faculty item for librarians for all schools, public and private, at all levels.  We have professional librarians but  public libraries can be found only in few progressive cities and provinces. So much is still waiting to be done for our leaders and citizens to become “library-conscious.”

I have read in Facebook that one of our former students from International School Manila has collected more than 20 boxes of books, but these still need to be shipped to the Philippines. I grabbed the opportunity to ask Ms Herrera if I could send the books to a library and if I could have a daughter pay for one shipment. She welcomed my offer and asked if I could have all boxes shipped and all I have to do is make sure the books could be put to good use.  Of course, sending pictures of the new library (once it is set up) to the donors, which nowadays is so easy to do, would be a good, welcome gesture. But finding persons to help fund the shipping cost is another story.

Let us challenge ourselves to continue what “AlDub  Juan for All and All for Juan” has started! Building libraries which are well stocked will be such a very good complement to the new K-to-12 program of the Department of Education. Libraries will serve as the learning centers to complement the critical-thinking thrust of this new curriculum program, which now will necessarily be research-oriented.

Rosal Yñiguez Bulaong used to be the school librarian of International School Manila, the university librarian of the University of Asia and the Pacific, the college librarian of Maryknoll College and the University of the Philippines, and a faculty lecturer at the graduate school of Manuel L. Quezon University.

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TAGS: AlDub, column, High Blood, libraries, Rosal Yñiguez Bulaong
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