By Jan Carlo Anolin
In celebration of the 36th National Children’s Book Day, a group of illustrators and storytellers launched five children’s books that tackle and promote respect for the diversity and equality of sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions (SOGIE).
Mulat Sulat 2018 Group featured its collection of children’s books in the Little Theater Lobby of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in Manila on Tuesday, July 16.
Aside from the book launching, the group conducted storytelling and excerpt reading to their audience.
“Gusto naming silang mamulat sa katotohanan sa mundo na iba-iba tayo at walang problema doon. Okay lang. Tanggap dapat natin ang isa’t isa sa kabila ng pagkakaiba natin,” project coordinator Kayle Salcedo said in a television interview.
(We want [the youth] to be aware that being different is okay and there is no problem to that. We should accept each other despite our differences.)
The five books launched were “Bukas na si Cajon” by Jesh Alberto and illustrated by Gabbi Ramirez; “One of the Boys” by Arkin Frany and illustrated by Fidez Balcameda; “Si Chowchow” by Angelo P. Benavidez and illustrated by Aiko Shimizu; “What’s my Power Gear?” by Mondi Ruedas and illustrated by Ruthie Genuino; and “Dumating na si Manang Elisa” by Godfrey T. Dancel and illustrated by Gabbi Ramirez.
“Kahit na iba tayo manamit, iba tayo kumilos, makakapag-contribute pa rin tayo sa lipunan. Hindi batayan ang kasarian para maging mabuting tao,” Frany, author of “One of the Boys”, said in the same interview.
(We can contribute to our society no matter what clothes we wear or how we move. A person’s kindness is not based on gender.)
The books are also accessible and can be downloaded online.
Mulat Sulat 2018 is a project of the sixth batch of graduates, who completed their training under Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES)- Philippines’ Academy of Political Management with the Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking (CYAN).
CYAN is a non-stock, non-profit, and non-governmental youth organization established in January 15, 2005.
The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY), in cooperation of CCP, National Library of the Philippines (NLP), and Museo Pambata, spearheaded the event.