For the Love of Books and Reading

By: Marie Denise Cristobal

On July 23, 2016, Pandoo Foundation’s mobile library, Beep Beep Books, opened its door to the people of Cebu at The Walk, IT Park, where we held an advocacy campaign and book sale as part of the Cebu Literary Festival’s Open Mic Night. Whether they were passersby, audience of the open mic, or employees and patrons of the establishments in the area, the Pandoo team welcomed all who were drawn to the sight of books and the colorful jeepney.

Aside from getting volunteer sign ups, the goal that night was to raise money to buy more local dual language books. Books by local authors are not exactly cheap, but we need more of them in our library. So our sales pitch was: For every Php75.00 you spend, you allow us to buy 1 dual language book.

Why is it important to have local books in our mobile library? Because in order for kids to love reading, they need to realize that books are not at all intimidating. Local books, we feel, do just that. They feature places, characters, things, and themes that Filipino children can relate to, and are in languages that they understand.

Throughout the course of the night, we watched as the number of books for sale dwindled and the amount in our book fund grew.  It was uplifting to see so many people come together because of their desire to help and, of course, for their love of books and reading. Including some additional sales after that night, we raised a total of Php5,615.00, which will allow us to buy about 75 local dual language books.

Thank you to Hendri Go and Cebu Literary Festival for allowing us to use the Open Mic event as a venue to raise awareness about our mission and to gain recognition and support from the people of Cebu. Thank you as well to everyone who supported our book sale and advocacy campaign – those who asked about our work, explored our mobile library, purchased books, signed up to be volunteers, and donated books. We are incredibly grateful to all of you!