Illustrator Sketchpad Loss, Heartbreak, and Coming of Age Meet the Storyteller Reading Themes

Featured Guests for July and August – Russell Molina and Sergio Bumatay III


We are very honoured to welcome our featured guests this July and August for our current bimonthly theme: Loss, Heartbreak and Coming of Age. 

These two are among our favourite Filipino book authors and artists, and it is really with a measure of excitement that we feature a few of their works and highlight their creative process.

Meet the Storyteller: Russell Molina


russell pic

RUSSELL MOLINA is a Filipino children’s book author with over a dozen books to his name.  An advertising creative director by profession, Molina started writing for children in 1998 with the story “Lumang Kumot ni Lola” (Grandma’s Old Blanket). 

Reflecting current Filipino realities and mirroring the local milieu and culture, his stories embrace a wide range of themes: From difficult issues like discrimination and apathy to real-life experiences like sibling rivalry and the reinvention of the family.  With books like “Madyik Silya ni Titoy” (Titoy’s Magical Chair) and “Sampu Pataas, Sampu Pababa” (Ten Up, Ten Down), Molina has inspired children to conquer physical disabilities with a dose of creativity and imagination.

For his stories, he has won numerous local awards, including the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, The PBBY Salangga Writer’s Prize, The PBBY Alcala Illustrator’s Prize and the National Children’s Book Awards.

In 2004, his story “Sandosenang Kuya” (A Dozen Brothers) was included in the IBBY Honour list. 

He is currently working on his first graphic novel “Sixty Six”. 

Illustrator’s Sketchpad: Sergio Bumatay III



Sergio Bumatay III is an award-winning children’s book illustrator, book designer, and occasional painter. His book, Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu!, written by Nanoy Rafael, recently awarded the Peter Pan Prize by the International Board on Books for Young People in Sweden. He also won the grand prize in the 20th Daekyo Eye Level Children’s Literature Award in South Korea for his picture book, The Best Book in the World. 

Among his significant works as an illustrator include Ay Naku!, 2012 National Children’s Book Award–One of the Best Reads; Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu!, 2008 Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) Alcala Illustrator’s Prize grand winner and NOMA Concours Japan  Encouragement Prize winner; The Boy Who Touched Heaven, 2008 National Book awardee; and the Tight Times, 2007 PBBY Alcala Illustrator’s Prize grand winner. 

He is also a member of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Illustrators for Children), the first and only art group in the Philippines dedicated to illustrations for children. 

He graduated magna cum laude at the University of Santo Tomas. Some of his illustration and craft tutorials can be read at his official site.

Contact Information: sergiobumatay@yahoo.comtwitter: sergiobumatay3; instagram: sergioiii

It’s going to be an exciting two months here for us in GatheringBooks. How about you? What is going on with your blog in the coming months?

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).

2 comments on “Featured Guests for July and August – Russell Molina and Sergio Bumatay III

  1. Pingback: [Nonfiction Monday Reading] Of Scars and Candles: Michael Rosen’s Sad Book and The Scar |

  2. Pingback: [Monday Reading] Displaced Hearts and Nontraditional Families in Picture Books “Every Saturday” and “Fly Away Home” |

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