Academic Nook Illustrator Sketchpad Meet the Storyteller Photo Journal Reading Themes

Featured Guests in GatheringBooks: An anthropologist, a photographer, a singer-songwriter, and children’s book illustrator

We have just recently launched our bimonthly theme, Books about Books and the River of Words. We are now proud to introduce our featured guests in the next two months.

Meet the Storyteller: Noel Cabangon

Yes, you read it right. Noel Cabangon, one of the Philippines’ best and brightest and highly respected singer-songwriters/musicians will soon be launching his very first picture book as based from his song: Ako ay Isang Mabuting Pilipino (I am a Good Filipino). I have had the wonderful privilege of working with Noel several times and as expected I am more than happy to feature his soon-to-be-released children’s book here in GatheringBooks. This would have been a perfect book to include in our Picture Books that Sing bimonthly theme which we had sometime in 2010. Congratulations, Manong!

Illustrator’s Sketchpad: Jomike Tejido

It is also with pride that we feature Jomike Tejido, a multi-award-winning illustrator based in the Philippines. He was among the celebrated Filipino artists/authors we invited for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content this year as we had a regional focus on the Philippines. Jomike is also the illustrator in Noel’s recently-launched book Ako ay Isang Mabuting Pilipino. It would be good to know more about their collaboration.

Academic Nook: Dr. Stephen Acabado

Stephen, or Boboy as we fondly call him, used to be one of my former colleagues in the University of the Philippines. He taught anthropology in the state university before he earned his PhD at the University of Hawaii. His piece, though, is somewhat linked to our Books about Books theme as he would be sharing with us some of the books that he shares with his own extremely bright son who just turned six. Here is his short bio:

I am an anthropological archaeologist interested in landscape and agricultural systems in Southeast Asia. I received my PhD in Anthropology from the University of Hawaii-Manoa and currently serves as Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Guam.

My research focuses on the relationships between Southeast Asian agricultural complexes, self-organization, and the landscape. My investigations among the Ifugao of the northern Philippines integrates ethnography, ethnohistory, spatial analysis (through Geographic Information Systems), and archaeology. I am also engaged with the local community, through the Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo – a local grassroots NGO whose main objective is to preserve the rice terraces and help document Ifugao intangible heritage) in developing conservation plans for their upland rice terraces. My long-term research goals include documenting Southeast East Asian agricultural systems and highlight the limitations of current intensification models to Southeast Asian production systems.

Featured Photographer: Blanche Berzamin Acabado

We seem to be working in ‘pairs’ for our bimonthly theme. Blanche happens to be the beautiful wife of our Featured Academic, Stephen Acabado. Photography is one of her hobbies and we are excited to feature her glorious pictures with you for our weekly photo challenges. Here is her complete bio:

Blanche Berzamin-Acabado believes that it is our relationships with other people that define who we are so much more than our achievements or positions in society, which is why she describes herself, first and foremost, as a mom, a wife, a daughter, and a sister.

Aside from these four important titles, Blanche is also an HR and Communications specialist by profession. She received her BA in Communication Research and MA in Development Communication from UP Diliman. Right out of graduation, she worked as Research Analyst at Asia Pacific Research Group, a Manila-based US Telecommunication Research Company. She shifted gears after a year and started working at the University of Asia & the Pacific as a Graduate Programs Specialist for the new MA in Humanities program. In 2004, she found her niche in Human Resources when she entered Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc. first as a Recruitment Specialist then eventually moving on to be Recruitment & Manpower Planning Officer for the company best-known as Sun Cellular. In 2006, she left the Philippines to pursue motherhood, but went back to full-time work in 2008 as the Human Resources Manager for Island Temporary Nurses, a Hawaii-based employment company for healthcare practitioners. In between jobs, she’s done several HR and Communications consultancy work for companies such as Aptech, Connect Asia, and Unilever in the Philippines and McMahon Inc. in Hawaii.

As a self-described avid hobbyist, Blanche likes to read books and watch movies. She likes to write, draw, and paint. She likes to play the piano and the guitar. She likes to bake and eat as well as run, do yoga, and zumba. However, amidst all these hobbies, she found her real passion in photography.

Presently, Blanche resides in Guam and is a stay-at-home mom.

What an exciting time for us here in GatheringBooks! How about you, dear friends, what’s your next two months like?

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

4 comments on “Featured Guests in GatheringBooks: An anthropologist, a photographer, a singer-songwriter, and children’s book illustrator

  1. I hope we’ll learn even more about these interesting people, Myra. Thanks for the introduction!


  2. Ohhh looking forward to Noel’s picture book. And Sir Boboy! Haven’t seen him since… a long long time ago. My friends and I will always remember him and his pink polos. haha 🙂


  3. Maraming salamat! Sa oct.11 opening ng art exhibit ng book namin. Ill send u the event pics for upload 🙂 sir noel will be there too


  4. Pingback: Reading in September: A Round Up and AWB Reading Challenge «

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: