Last Saturday was the birthday of our hero Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. He was born on the 27th of November in1932 in Tarlac. We must not tire of remembering him especially now that the younger population probably knows little about him. But if there is one thing to remember about Ninoy, it should be this: He led the nation’s opposition during the time of Ferdinand Marcos, leading to his imprisonment, exile, and eventual assassination in 1983 at age 50.

Ninoy died for the Filipinos, and his death inspired more people to support Ninoy’s wife, Cory Aquino, when she ran against Marcos in the snap presidential election of 1986. When Marcos was falsely proclaimed the winner, the people went out to the streets to protest, starting what is known the world over as the People Power Revolution. Ninoy left us with this great legacy, and so we continue to honor his memory today as a way to show our gratitude for his
patriotism and sacrifices.

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There are many places across the nation that have no or little access to reading materials—especially those written by Filipino authors—and likewise no space for libraries or reading areas. In an important initiative by the National Book Development Board (NBDB), 52 remote reading and storytelling spaces all over the Philippines have been set up in just a period of six months. Known as the Book Nook project, it aims to provide access to local reading materials to young Filipinos, including members of indigenous communities, in remote locations.

There will be about 1,500 Filipino books in each of the 52 Book Nook sites, from children’s literature and young adult publications to contemporary fiction, graphic novels, comics, and many more. These books are in English, Filipino, and other regional languages—all of them penned by Filipino authors.

Aside from the reading spaces themselves, the Book Nook sites will feature events such as storytelling sessions, arts and crafts workshops, book club meetings, and other related activities. Everyone is encouraged to take part in these events so that more Filipinos will be inspired to become lovers of books. Ultimately, the project aims to help Philippine literature thrive and promote the culture of reading among Pinoys, especially the younger population.

NBDB’s flagship program was officially launched last November 24, thanks to the efforts of the NBDB staff members, local publishers, government units, community partners, volunteers, civil society organizations, cultural workers, artists, and storytellers. The launch featured a ritual, community rites, balagtasan, and performances from storytellers, among others. To find out more about the project and to know where to find Book Nook in your community, please visit this link: https://booksphilippines.gov.ph/thebooknook/

Kudos to NBDB for this worthwhile project!