FHL Book Donation Program

There’s no doubt about it: reading has changed all our lives. Books play an important part in our everyday lives, and we are privileged enough to get the books we want to read and build our own personal libraries. But not everyone is as fortunate, and more often than not, school libraries across our countries do not have enough reading material to fuel the habit of the students in the school.

Filipinas Heritage LibraryAs book lovers, we can do our share to make sure that everyone has enough books to read. On August 18, United We Read attendees will get a chance to help out with Filipinas Heritage Library’s Book Donation Program. FHL will be accepting book donations all day during the event, and these books will be given to the school and public libraries that FHL is helping to build. They can be old, pre-loved books or new books, or even both — just bring them at the venue and there will be someone who will accept your donations.

More information about the program below, including contact information for those who want to partner with FHL with this program. Let’s help our fellow Filipinos become readers by sharing our books to those who need them. :)


The 2008 Functional Literacy, Education, and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS) of the National Statistics Office (NSO) revealed that almost nine out of 10 Filipinos are functionally literate. Fifty-eight million of the estimated 67 million Filipinos 10 to 64 years old can read, write, compute, and comprehend.

However, only 35.7 percent of functionally literate Filipinos-33.1 percent of male respondents and 38.4 percent of female respondents-reported having access to magazines and books that provide knowledge and information. This is according to an NSO report last updated in 2006.

The gap between the number of Filipinos who are literate and the amount of literature available to them is huge, but could be bridged by the availability of public libraries, school libraries, and reading centers around the country.

Unfortunately, most of our country’s libraries have a limited collection of academic and non-academic reading materials.

The Campaign

The Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL) seeks to promote a love of books and reading among Filipinos of all ages through its book donation program and activities in partnership with its stakeholders and partner communities. Every month for the last sixteen years, a public school library, community or public library, is given a collection of age and subject-appropriate reading materials by the FHL through its fundraising efforts and the generosity of its stakeholders. Some of the public libraries and school libraries that have benefited from this campaign are the following:

  • Triniville Central College Inc.
  • Mt. Pulag Primary School-Benguet
  • Abucot Elementary School-Benguet
  • Dorin Elementary School
  • Datu Sangki Akoy Elementary School
  • Kinayao Elementary School
  • Busok Elementary School
  • Sapang Bato High School-Pampanga

These libraries are from a list of target beneficiaries that the library maintains. However, we are also open to receiving book donation requests from other schools and libraries.

Aside from donating books, FHL also helps public schools organize and manage their own libraries through its OurLibrary project. This project aims to improve library facilities, enhance library services, and promote a greater love for reading and learning among Filipinos through librarianship training and other programs. Please visit the OurLibrary page to read more stories about this project.

Should you wish to be a partner, donor, or beneficiary of our book donation program, please contact us at 892-1801, send us an email at fhl_inquiry[at]filipinaslibrary.org.ph.

Help FHL provide our fellow Filipinos with books that will expand and enrich their knowledge. Help us create more Filipino readers one library at a time.

Book Club: Goodreads – The Filipino Group

In the huge social cataloging world that is Goodreads, where can Filipino readers find a home? Well, it’s fairly easy: just do a group search for the word “Filipino” and go to the first result on the list. Now you’ve found the biggest Goodreads group for Filipinos that is also one of the active local book clubs in the country.

Goodreads Philippines There are many, many ways to call this group — Goodreads Philippines, The Filipino Goodreads Group, or simply The Filipino Group. Until finally, everyone just settled on calling it by an acronym: GR-TFG. The group was created in Goodreads in 2007, but most of the discussions happened online because of the original administrator was located in UK. It wasn’t until 2010 when the members based in Manila decided to do their first meet-up, which pretty much set the rest of the other meet-ups later on.

The attendees of the first ever TFG Meet-up

Most of the group’s book discussions were done online first, with the group’s meet-ups reserved for chats and book exchanges — something they call “palengke meet-up” because everyone in the group likes to talk. During the early years, they would meet-up about four times a year with mini-meet-ups on the side where they would also talk about books. The group also had several members who are also authors. During their 5th official meet-up, authors Samantha Sotto and Mina V. Esguerra were their special guests, who were there to promote their books and answer questions.

In 2011, some of the group’s most active members decided to create a list that would somehow define what the members’ favorite books are. Inspired by list like 1001 Books to Read Before You Die, the TFG 100 Favorite Books was born. Members were asked to nominate their favorite books and the books with the most number of nominations were shortlisted and deliberated on by the administrators and several active members of the group. They came up with the final list and distributed it to the members during the group’s 2nd Christmas party. This list also started the group’s Face to Face discussions the following year. From this list, three books will be chosen based on a theme or a genre, and the members would vote for the book that they want to read for the month. In January 2012, the group met again not for a palengke meet-up, but for their first offline book discussion with 1984 by George Orwell.

GR TFG F2F1: 1984 by George Orwell

GR TFG F2F1: 1984 by George Orwell

An online discussion is also done during the month to support the offline one, as well as to provide the people who will not be able to go or those who are not in Manila to participate in the discussion as well. The moderators of each discussion is in charge of what gimmick to do for their discussions, and attendees often have something to bring home. So far, there were giveaway chocolates, towels, bookmarks, CDs and story booklets, all related to the theme of the books discussed. These discussions were often followed by “after parties”, where the members hang out and talk about everything, and sometimes they end up being (almost) kicked out of several venues for being too noisy, or because it’s closing time. :)

TFG gets dressed up for The Remains of the Day discussion

In February 2012, the group also held their first outreach activity where they donated almost 200 books to Virlanie Foundation, a group that houses street children, for their library. The members spent an afternoon with the kids and got to know them, and helped them put the books on the shelves of their library.

TFG visits Virlanie Foundation

There is a wide range of genre preferences among the TFG members, but there is a considerable number of members who are into YA and Fantasy books. Aside from the monthly Face to Face discussions, the group also has ongoing Buddy Reads, where members buddy up (with some eavesdroppers) to read and discuss the books in their own threads in the group homepage.

You can find TFG in the following places online:

You can join TFG just by sending a request to join the group via Goodreads and saying hi in any of the threads or showing up for any of their monthly book discussions. If you want to test the waters first, though, the group will be hosting a book discussion during the 2nd Filipino ReaderCon on August 18 at the Filipinas Heritage Library! The group will do another run of their discussion of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry — so if you’re a fan of this classic children’s book, you won’t want to miss this. :)

Book Club: Flips Flipping Pages

If there’s a book club that probably really knows what they’re doing, it’s Flips Flipping Pages.

Flips Flipping Pages Flips Flipping Pages (FFP) started in 2007 when Gege Sugue (aka islandhopper) was looking for a Filipino community in the bookish social networking website, Shelfari. She knew some Filipinos but there were no formal groups, so she decided to start one. As with the other online book clubs, they started with online discussions until they finally had their first formal meet-up/eyeball in January 2008. Come May of the same year, the group had their first offline book discussion with Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

That book discussion pretty much started the ball rolling and they’ve had regular monthly discussions since then. Sometimes they even have two discussions in a month, not to mention online discussions on Shelfari and on their Facebook group. They also incorporated pre-activities for their discussion to give a “sensory dimension” to their book discussions, and it’s usually something related to the book. For example, for their Hunger Games discussion, they decided to take it to the field and go paint ball:

And then they took it a step further by having bookish parties with costumes! Based on the photos, they take their costumes seriously (photos from Blooey of Bookmarked!):

FFP Bloody Prom Night

FFP Bloody Prom Night — the Flippers go to prom and discuss Carrie by Stephen King

FFP - Reading Rampage Christmas Party

FFP – Reading Rampage Christmas Party – the Flippers go in costume for Christmas

Other than book discussions and bookish parties, they’ve also done a 24-Hour Readathon where the attendees read as much as they can in an entire 24 hour period, and outreach events where they share their love for books and reading with kids from All Together in Dignity (ATD) Fourth World – Philippines from Museo Pambata.

FFP has a very diverse membership when it comes to reading preferences — there are people who read classics, Filipino lit, fantasy, fiction, non-fiction. Some of them like their books new while others scour secondhand bookstores to add more to their collection. Whatever your reading preference is, you’re bound to find a reading buddy in FFP.

Flips Flipping Pages can be found online through the following links:

The group is also affiliated with the following:

You can join Flips Flipping Pages by simply joining any one of their groups from the links above and saying hi, or showing up at their monthly book discussions. You may also contact Gege aka islandhopper via email.

Flips Flipping Pages will be at the 2nd Filipino ReaderCon too! They will be discussing Pacific Rims by Rafe Bartholomew, so if you’re a fan, or if you’ve always wanted to read and discuss the book, or if you just want to experience a Flips Flipping Pages discussion, then be sure to drop by the afternoon activities on August 18 at the Filipinas Heritage Library. :)

Much thanks to Gege Sugue for telling us about their book club!

Book Club: The Mysterious Reading Society

You know how sometimes, you need a push from other friends to read the books that you normally don’t read, even if you and your friends read the same kind of books anyway?

This is how The Mysterious Reading Society started.

The Mysterious Reading Society

The Mysterious Reading Society (TMRS) is a book club started by six friends in 2011. The members have been friends for several years, and they usually read YA books, but they decided to form a book club so they can expand their reading experience and discover new books from other genres. Their name was inspired by The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, which they thought fit their private reading group.

The Mysterious Reading Society

The Mysterious Reading Society during their first discussion

TMRS has monthly book discussions where they choose a book to read based on a pre-selected list of genres. They start reading at the beginning of the month and meet later to discuss. Their discussions are usually low-key and informal, with the book taking the center stage every time they meet.

The book club is relatively young, but they have several memorable experiences:

  • Their first face-to-face discussion was memorable with it being the first. They discussed Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, and this discussion was their starting point where they could get the hang of the process.
  • In January 2012, they discussed Moondogs by Alexander Yates for the General Fiction category.  Their discussion leader emailed the author and got him to send questions he would like to ask the readers of the book.
  • When they discussed Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 in March 2012, they also made a point to watch the movie adaptation and included it in the discussion.

The Mysterious Reading Society usually hangs out in their own Goodreads homepage, but as of now they are not yet accepting new members. However, they are considering opening their discussions to other book lovers and are in the process of finalizing the transition. You can see their 2012 book list below:

  • January 2012:  General Fiction – Moondogs by Alexander Yates
  • February 2012:  Children’s Literature – The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • March 2012:  Books Turned Into Movies – Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • April 2012:  Mystery – The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
  • May 2012:  Classics – Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima
  • June 2012:  Science Fiction – Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • July 2012:  Romance/Chick Lit. – Austenland by Shannon Hale
  • August 2012:  Philippine Literature – Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan
  • September 2012:  Epic Fantasy – Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  • October 2012:  Biographies – no book chosen yet
  • November 2012:  Young Adult – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  • December 2012:  Graphic Novels – no book chosen yet

But if you want to see the group in action, they will be at hosting a book discussion during the afternoon activities of United We Read: the 2nd Filipino ReaderCon on August 18, 2012 at the Filipinas Heritage Library. The Mysterious Reading Society will be discussing 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James and we’re sure it will be a very interesting discussion! They will also have Kate Evangelista, author of YA Paranormal Romance Taste as their guest panelist for their discussion.

Much thanks to MeAnn from The Girl Who Read and Other Stories for telling us about their book club! :)

Filipino Fridays (4): Books and Friends

ReaderCon 2012 Filipino Friday

So we’ve had a pretty hard week, with the monsoon rains and floods that affected most of the city. We hope that this Friday finds you well, or if not too well just yet, then we hope you are recovering well.

But you know what makes these difficult times easier? Friends. This week we saw a lot of help coming from everywhere, hands outstretched to help others rise from the flood. Based on my personal experience, book clubs are not just groups that discuss books, but they’re a place where you can find good friends, who eventually become as close as family to you with every meet-up and book discussion that you attend. I think people who share the same passions are the best kind of friends because these shared passions connect us firmly to one another.

And so for this week’s Filipino Friday, let’s take the time to celebrate these friendships born out of shared books. I’ve modified the question a little bit here so it doesn’t only talk about book clubs, but the friends you’ve met, made and kept because of this love for books.

August 10Books and Friends. We will have book discussions hosted by several book clubs during the ReaderCon, so to prepare us for that, let’s talk about books and friendships and book clubs. Are you a part of a book club? If yes, what made you join one? What’s your favorite activity that you have with them? If you’re not a part of one, will you consider joining one? Why or why not?

Or if you’re not (yet) a part of a book club, do you have friends who share the same passion for books as you do? Do you have a “bookish” best friend? If yes, tell us about them! How did you become friends? What’s your favorite memory with them?

We’ll be posting about the different book clubs who will be present in the upcoming Filipino ReaderCon over the weekend, so make sure you check back on the site to read about them and see if you want to join their discussions on the 18th. :)

If you’ve missed the other Filipino Fridays, you can still catch up by including them in your post this week. Here are the topics in the past weeks:

Just post your answer on your blog or chosen social networking site (make sure it’s set for public viewing) and leave a link to your post in the inlinkz collection below. If you’d rather not write a post or if you don’t have social networking profiles, just leave a comment below. Don’t forget to tweet us @PinoyReaderCon or tag us on Facebook with your posts so we can share them too!

Have a safe and dry and good Friday everyone!