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Consul General Aguilar-Usudan Reads For Overseas Filipino Children In Book Launch Of Filipino-Chinese Illustrated Books

Hong Kong, 23 May 2024 – To cap off the month-long Philippine National Literature Month celebration for 2024, the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong and Sentro Rizal Hong Kong, in partnership with “Room to Read,” hosted a Children’s Book Launching and Reading Activity last 28 April 2024 at the Consulate’s premises. The 12 books featured at the launch, published and printed by “Room to Read,” are a collection of bilingual books in Chinese and mother-tongue languages for children from the Philippines, India, and Pakistan, now living in Hong Kong. Eight of the 12 books were printed in a Chinese-Filipino language format. All of which were beautifully illustrated in a colorful manner and features a story that would resonate with the lives of migrant children in Hong Kong.

Consul General Germinia V. Aguilar-Usudan made her opening remarks highlighting the National Literature Month’s theme, entitled “Literature and Peace.” She congratulated “Room to Read” on their bilingual book project, and expressed pleasure on how “each story is a bearer of peace and encourages both young readers and their parents to reflect positively on their situation and experiences.” Ms. Bonnie Wong, “Room to Read’s” Development Manager in Hong Kong, explained how their organization seeks to transform the lives of millions of children by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. She emphasized how “world change starts with educated children”.

Vice Consul Allan G. Revote, Head of the Consulate’s Cultural Section, presented all 12 books and provided a brief description of each title. This was followed by a ceremonial turnover of the bilingual book collection from “Room to Read”, by Ms. Wong, to the Consulate, through Consul General Aguilar-Usudan. The book collection consists of:

1. Many Mothers in Hong Kong (𝑀𝑎𝑟𝑎𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑁𝑎𝑛𝑎𝑦 𝑠𝑎 𝐻𝑜𝑛𝑔 𝐾𝑜𝑛𝑔), written by Corazon Amaya-Cañete and illustrated by EorG, is about the sights in Hong Kong through the eyes of a young boy.

2. The Game of Rona and Powa (𝐴𝑛𝑔 𝐿𝑎𝑟𝑜 𝑛𝑖 𝑅𝑜𝑛𝑎 𝑎𝑡 𝑃𝑜𝑤𝑎), written by Becky Gerodias and illustrated by Joanne Wong, teaches about the value of sharing toys

with friends.

3. Can Maya Do It? (𝐾𝑎𝑦𝑎 𝑏𝑎 𝑛𝑖 𝑀𝑎𝑦𝑎?), written by Eny Bawse and illustrated by Maia Hermosa, teaches about the value of everyone, no matter how small or insignificant they may feel.

4. Sam’s Sad City (𝐴𝑛𝑔 𝑀𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑛𝑔𝑘𝑜𝑡 𝑛𝑎 𝐿𝑢𝑛𝑔𝑠𝑜𝑑 𝑛𝑖 𝑆𝑎𝑚), written by Christine S. Bellen-Ang and illustrated by Rain Haze, is about a girl who finds joy and beauty

in a small town in Hong Kong, despite being away from friends and family, through the art of drawing.

5. Dancing Chopsticks (𝐴𝑛𝑔 𝑆𝑢𝑚𝑎𝑠𝑎𝑦𝑎𝑤 𝑛𝑎 𝐶ℎ𝑜𝑝𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑘𝑠), written by Mary Ann

Ordinario and illustrated by Ivan Reverente, teaches about the value of perseverance.

6. Kokak, written by Malio Malibiran-Salumbides and illustrated by Dione Kong, is about overcoming fears and worries of being in a new environment and even finding a pleasant surprise in the midst of it all.

7. Colors of Hong Kong (𝐴𝑛𝑔 𝑚𝑔𝑎 𝐾𝑢𝑙𝑎𝑦 𝑛𝑔 𝐻𝑜𝑛𝑔 𝐾𝑜𝑛𝑔), written by May Lee and illustrated by Libby Lam, teaches about appreciating and embracing new experiences and adventures even when you are far away from home.

8. Tin-Tin’s Surprise Birthday Party (𝑆𝑜𝑟𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑎𝑛𝑔 𝐵𝑒𝑟𝑡𝑑𝑒𝑦 𝑛𝑖 𝑇𝑖𝑛-𝑇𝑖𝑛), written by Rhandee Garlitos and illustrated by Marcus Nada, is about a girl who is celebrating her birthday for the first time in Hong Kong and is amazed by the surprise birthday celebration prepared by family friends.

Other books written in Hindi-Chinese and Urdu-Chinese are Beyond the Clouds, Quest for Bindi, Emil’s Treasure Box, and Wait, Don Don.

Ms. Corazon Amaya-Cañete, OFW in Hong Kong, GMA correspondent and the author of the book “Many Mothers of Hong Kong,” one of the books in the bilingual book collection, gave a message recounting the process on how she developed her story. Her inspiration for the book came from her personal experience on a day out in Hong Kong with her son, and how he observed the many “mothers” in Hong Kong in the form of Foreign Domestic Workers acting as child carers for the city’s children.

The Overseas Filipino Children present during the book reading listened eagerly as the Consul General read “Many Mothers of Hong Kong” to them in Filipino, with the help of Ms. Amaya-Cañete’s son, Mr. Gabriel Cañete, who read in Cantonese. Consul General Aguilar-Usudan also read “Colors of Hong Kong,” with the help of the book’s illustrator, Ms. Libby Lam, who read in Cantonese. With smiles on their faces, the children left the event with a complete set of “Room to Read’s” bilingual book collection.