Big Books in Minasbate

T-III, English Dept. MNCHS


“Uruadlaw naga-agi sinda Clint kag Romeo sa baligyaan san kawayan, sa kamino pakadto sa eskwelahan. “Clint,Clint, kitaa anay uho. Ta, grabe laki an damu san kawayan didi sa aton. May mga halaba kag mga halip-ot na kawayan!,” sabi ni Romeo. “

Would it be more interesting and easier for the Grade 1 pupils to understand stories in Minasbate? This is just one of the events in the story of “An Kawayan”(by Jennifer Arbolado, a teacher from ASID Elementary School) which I happened to illustrate. The story depicts the life of the little Masbateños in which almost all the Grade 1 pupils can relate to the situation – “an mapangkug o matisud sa kahoy o kawayan kun nagalakat”. This scenario is easy for them to create mental pictures as they have experienced it much more so of showing them the picture itself. That is how powerful the visual aid is in facilitating the teaching of reading. This time, the difference is that the language used is in the mother tongue so children could understand more of the story, and be able to grasp the values. This is made possible so the pupils could have a link to their heritage and that they must not forget as they grow up in a world where the influence of the west culture reigns.

As per Division Memorandum No.018 s. 2012, a group of teachers from the Masbate National Comprehensive High School headed by the Visual arts and TLE Master Teacher, Vincent Erwin A. Fontelar heeded the advice of the Assistant Schools Division Superintendent, Nene R. Merioles. They served as illustrators for more than 30 local stories which made use of the Mother-Tongue –Based-Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) Instructional Materials (Big Books).

The chairman, Vincent Erwin Fontelar, identified ten illustrators. He chose five teachers (1) Roger A. Bartolay (2) Roderick A. Jardin (3) Mary Grace B. Dantes (4) Jennifer V. Garcia (5) Mher B. Rivera and five SPA Visual Arts students: (1) chris J.F. Rana (2) Julius James C. Diez (3) Mark C.A. Cabug (4) Emmanuel R. Romano, and (5) Mike Menes.

It is often said “a picture is worth a thousand words”-this powerful maxim had somehow motivated the illustrators to craft Big Books with beautiful and colorful illustrations. It took how many days and nights for them to finish the task of bringing the Minasbate stories to life; nevertheless, it was worth the while for the five teachers and five students from MNCHS to be creative and patient. The advent of making the big books in which the stories were written in Minasbate by chosen elementary teachers gave the illustrators the opportunity to share their talents and skills. Truly, it was an act of love and service for the school children who are ready to enter the new curriculum, K-12. The stories do not only entertain them but also leave imprints of our rich heritage. As the young minds delve into the world of literature, they are equipped with the necessary understanding and appreciation about the lives of Masbateños through the medium Minasbate.