….. the great Bayanihan Library Project : a dream come true!


our new library launched last Sept. 14, 2012 @ Rizal Elem. School in Brgy. Rizal, Gubat, Sorsogon

When I was a kid, I never had any story books or encyclopedia on my own, never had a chance to see one. The books I only have and read are the goverment-owned academic books that I need to return at the end of the school year.

In high school, the only extra books I’ve read are the borrowed komiks and tagalog pocketbooks. Worst, I’ve never seen a library at all because my school nor our barrio never had one. It was only during college time that I saw a real library in BIcol University where I spent my free time.

That was until 1999. Since then, I frequented public libraries. And since I started working after graduation, I could afford to buy the books I wanted.

So this Bayanihan Library is very personal to me, It’s a dream come true not only for me but for my community, for my elementary alma mater and for the kids most of all, who just like me coming from a barrio, might not be able to own a storybook.

My school never had a library ever since neither my barrio where I grew up. The school were there already since the ’50s.

It’s not only a dream for me, but it’s also paying back to my school.

So as a sign of deep gratitude, I made a vow to  myself to help my school in any way I can. And this started in 201o. Please read my post on https://emmthepinaytrekker.wordpress.com/category/community-volunteerism/

I volunteered myself as project coordinator to help the school’s alumni group both under then Presidents Erning Manallo and Ms. Lydia Arrindell. I was confident I could pull it off  because I was trained by experience as a weekend GK ( Gawad Kalinga)  volunteer/youth facilitator for almost 4 years altogether.

We all challenged everyone to share their bayanihan spirits.

I worked closely with the the school’s principal, Sir Aldrin Estipona,with the alumni officers,organizations, locals,private individuals to work together for the project. I rallied financial support since June 2011 from my FB friends,mostly alumni. Sir Estipona,whom I fondly call Kuya Al ( he was my theater and youth mentor when I was in my teens until college), was able to lobby 400K php budget to repair the 3 delapidated rooms in the school. However, the repair was way delayed versus our target repair of summer 2012 due to change of Deped personnel in Sorsogon so it was  just repaired on August 2012.

It was a 1 year & 3 months in the making project but its all worth it. Please allow me to thank the individuals who have sent their hard-earned money from all over the world:

Alumni Pres. Lydia Ereno Arindell (USA)
batch mate Ariel Guevarra (Dubai)
batch mate Carmelita Forteza Caranog (USA
Marivic Estera (Canada)
Mervin Gading(Taiwan)
Lucy Caceres (Canada)
Jane Mendoza Jolampong (Singapore)
Chona Santos (Philippines)
Dennis Escueta(sailing thru the seas)
Vanna Estareja (Spain)
Dayie Villarroya(sailing thru the seas)
Rowena Caudilla Sarmiento(Spain)
Cong. Ding Ramos(Philippines)
Edwin Ferreras(sailing thru the seas)
Cathy Cuenco Domanais (Philippines)

Meantime, the rest of Alumni officers ( Noel Estareja, Emma Camposano, Kenneth Escandor, Marissa Embile, Albert Buhion, Munding Estera & Carmen Escandor)  helped in selling tickets during the alumni 2011.

The fund raised was used for bookshelves, tables, chairs, ceiling fans etc..

Room,check! library facilities, check!

Then came the next phase of the project>> fill it in with books! I had high hopes of course!

I started a book donation drive via Facebook and the response was just awesome! I personally picked up books in Laguna, Fairview,QC, Makati,almost everywhere and used my own money to transport as much as 12 boxes of books via taxi and delivered almost 20 boxes via bus to Gubat, Sorsogon and burned my butt sitting for 26 hours travel back & forth from Manila. hahahha. This happened when you really want to fulfill your dream!

But the books weren’t enough to fill the room. Honestly, the thought of giving up brushed on my head but I thought we all have gone this far so its best to continue the fight.

I tried sending solicitation letters to known bookstores but to no avail. I even went to the MV Doulos ship ( a floating library/bookstore that travels around the world to sell affordable books) docked in Manila Harbor just to ask help but to no avail. It was almost June 2012, one year since the library project was launched and  I was nervous already that we wont be able to open the library by Alumni celebration.

I was bloody worried about our deadline so I flooded my FB wall with the book donation campaign.hahahha. And I wanted to believe, that caught the attention of a famous travel blogger James Betia of http://www.journeyingjames.com

I actually added him up in FB to follow his travels but I haven’t met him yet in person back then. I was researching for my 1st Mindanao travel last Feb 2012 when I googled mindanao solo backpacking and his travel blog site was on top. I can say I devoured all his mindanao travel stories like a hungry man. And I knew I’ve got all I need. I became his instant fan so I sent him an email and he gave me his number and so I texted him about my travel because he was then in Mindanao too. I was able to carry out my  1st ever solo backpacking in Mindanao for 3 weeks all in all ( 2 separate travels). Anyway.

1st week of June 2012.

I received a call from James that he is interested to help with the book drive. My initial reaction was: star-strucked! And I was already thanking him many times and I just stopped when he told me to thank him when he delivers the books =)

He told me that we will have a meeting soon and he’s just contacting fellow bloggers and friends to support this cause. I was ecstatic! Right there and then, I smell success! James was very humble how he have gotten into this project but for me he is an angel. He opened the gate for a more greater bayanihan.  Well I’m super glad our paths crossed.

our first meeting to discuss the project

from L to R: James Betia of journeyingjames.com (became our book sharing project teamhead),fellow blogger Josiah Sicad of lakas.com.ph(created our book sharing project FB group),  outdoor enthusiast/photographer Jojo Pauly( our team’s photographer), lois’ friend, travel bloggers Lois Yasay ( wearesolesisters.com),Gay Emami( pinaytraveljunkie), Laiza Limpin(azialbatanggala.com) and Christine Fernandez ( jovialwanderer.com),whom have pitched in great ideas to finally realized our book donation drive.

James, fellow blogger Marky Ramone Go of nomadicexperiences.com, sports/outdoor enthuasists Arvin Quilloy, Aggy & Niqui came eventually to Rizal Elem. School for the ocular visit and to shoot a video campaign. Thanks to our town mayor Ronnel Lim for accomodating  and touring them around.

This group shouted our cause on their respective social networks. Blogs were written to invite volunteers who can pitch in their talents, skills, time, money, effort, ideas and most of all, BOOKS.

Until more have joined like graphic artist Ed Escueta of pixelmanila.net & pinoyoutdoors.como, who designed our catchy posters.

22       21      20                     24       23

the Book Sharing Project Core Team

the Book Sharing Project core team

Christine &  runner/dentist friend Doc Minnie Tomas got us R.O.X & a Runner’s circle as our books drop-off points.

James’  friends Paula Peralejo and Charlie Fernandez opened their house as our meeting place and books storage house.

Paula’s friend GMA reporter Ms. Lia Manalac – del Castillo and her team of http://www.diksyonaryoatbp.com joined in bringing brand new books and dictionaries donated by different individuasl including GMA’s  famous news icon Mike Enriquez.

While the Team USB runners helped out in buying and sorting the books and cooking for the team while in Rizal Beach, headed by our chef Arvin.

Fellow Sorsoganon/travel blogger Gael Hilotin of http://www.thepinaysolobackpacker.com helped out spreading the word.

Even blog followers  and close friends of the Book sharing project team have pledged their support.

Big big thanks to the following volunteers/book donors: Lauren Gaile, Cathy Marzo,Eena Cantos,Faye Jacoba, Zarina Segundo,Arisse Tumandao,Claire Madarang,Janeca Racho, Reinerio Alba, Rhas Denilla,Leon Pangilinan,Tatit Quiblat, Awee Tallungan, Tet Lopez, Jeanette Nawanao, Che Asumen & family, Annabelle Mora,Evangeline Velasquez, Ivy Sy.

to those who have given books:

alumni Pres.Tita Lydia Ereno Arrindel Aida Erenol, Reading club 2000 c/o Mr.Nanie guanlao, Burugkos via Maggie Mimay Baybay,  Khrisna Domanais-Mascariñas,tita Chona Santos,Lyra Advincula,Lib Galang,Meann Estares,
Evelyn Galao,Liz Belista,Nerl Rito Cruz and to Mr. Ronnel Lim for always supporting us.

Big big thanks to the following people who supported the Book sharing project team:

books & cash sponsors via the Book Sharing Team:

Mela Padillo, Emelyn Magpantay,Jennifer Salamillas, UP Mountaineers,Richard Omana, Jelly Castillo, Julicille Nogalada,Mai Flores,AnnabelleMora and Anonymous peeps who gave big cash for more new books and the team’s logistics.

50 52 53 54 63

DSC04732   DSC06797 DSC06796 DSC06795  DSC06793 DSC06442 DSC06439 DSC06437 DSC06432 DSC06428 DSC06427 DSC06425 DSC04733  DSC06433 DSC04732

Friday, September 14, 2012. The day we launched the bayanihan library. FINALLY!

It was indeed a great dream come true, realized by a lot of people who worked together!

We all did made a great legacy that will be forever written in the history of our humble community in barangay Rizal.

Very Special thanks to my friends & relatives who accomodated me while staying in Gubat, kuya Al & Vanny Estipona, Jannet Espayos & family, Yaya Rora & family — thank you for supporting me all the way. Thanks to my friend Reah Fazonela & her family for lending me their motorbike as my service. Thanks to RES teachers,esp to mam Diding Garlan for always accomodating us even my friends during our June ocular visit. Thanks to all the countless people who have supported me in so many ways, esp. my great family! Thanks to GK for the inspiration..Thanks to God for the Divine Providence!

before n after library

(photo courtesy: journeyingjames)


the volunteers who came all the way from Manila and brought books and inspiration

(photo courtesy: Journeying James)

Thank you all for realizing the library! God bless us all always!

other blog posts about the project:

James’  Leaving a Legacy in Gubat, Sorsogon

Claire’s The Library Born from the Love of Travelers and Community

Christine’s Book Sharing Project Update

Leon’s The Sorsogon Book Sharing Project: Changing Lives, One Page at a Time

Marky’s The Kid’s of Gubat, Sorsogon Decides to Read

Thank you TV5 for the unexpected coverage:


DSC07836 DSC07921 DSC07942 DSC07951DSC07954 DSC07968 DSC07972 DSC07989 DSC08007 DSC08015 DSC08024 DSC08025 DSC08027 DSC08029 DSC08030 DSC08031 DSC08041 DSC08042 DSC08047 DSC08048 DSC08049 DSC08050 DSC08051 DSC08052 DSC08053

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Emmthepinaytrekker
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 23:05:31

    i need to like my 1st very very long, 3 months in the making blog! hahaha.never thought this would be too hard for me organizing information and thoughts. finally! yey! =D


  2. lauvee
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 00:50:10

    winner Emm! congrats…


    • Emmthepinaytrekker
      Dec 19, 2012 @ 18:42:00

      hahahha thanks much Lauvee =) omg,hirap ng work ng mga bloggers. =) try mo din sis mg blog..ahihihi.tska sama ka nxt time sa amin sa volunteering works..ahihihi


  3. thelighttraveler
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 01:31:51

    Cool, Emm! Congrats!🙂 And thanks for mentioning my post!


    • Emmthepinaytrekker
      Dec 19, 2012 @ 18:44:00

      thanks Claire! sa uulitin po🙂 baka nxt time, i may ask u tips too about blogging..hahaha..grabeh,ganito pala to..hehehe..tnx much for joining us tlga sa project. =)


  4. Trackback: Leaving a Legacy in Gubat, Sorsogon | Journeying James
  5. lista de email
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 10:09:11

    wow…it’s really good blog thanks for sharing. i bookmarked it.


  6. Manong Unyol
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 10:38:54

    2 thumbs up ma’am emm:) d ko man lng nabasa to hehehe kaw pa nagsabi noong nagkwentuhan tau.. good job naging success ang project galing… sunod invite mo din ako kahit alalay nalang hahaha…


    • emmthepinaytrekker
      Feb 12, 2013 @ 11:20:15

      hahahhaah tnx sir Mina..this is my passion and yes,ill really invite u nxt time il have another service ^_^


  7. Anonymous
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 14:24:49

    So proud of you ems! Keep it up. Ang galing mo naman talaga!Hindi ko pa nga tapos basahin mga blogs mo , follower mo na ako..^__^..


  8. emmthepinaytrekker
    Feb 26, 2013 @ 09:29:43

    big tnx Anonymous..i wish i could catch your name🙂


  9. Kokay
    Apr 06, 2015 @ 11:56:14

    Hi Emm The Pinay Trekker!, you don’t know the effect of this blog post to me. I’m currently thinking of doing something like this as well for my local elementary school (where I graduated) and I’m searching for any program by DepEd that supports projects like this. And I found yours. But it looks like they need individuals to make these things happen. Do you have an email address where I can ask you a few questions?


    • emmthepinaytrekker
      Jun 01, 2015 @ 21:12:39

      hi,Kokay. my apologies for very late reply… think been too busy with my Solid Waste MGT work in Romblon LGU that I’ve forgotten to FB,check my old blog etc etc… ill shoot u a test email from my new email add as my old one got unaccessible😦 so hope ull receive it🙂


Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: