BookSail



A preview of the project. All images used in this video were taken during 
my previous visits to Palumbanes Island.


A remote island 
A small fishing village
A school without a library
12 teachers
333 elementary students
333 dreams

Goal: Books for the schoolchildren


These clouds of thoughts have been haunting me for the past years. Like a thought balloon that pops up while on a MRT ride, or upon waking up to a beautiful summer morning, or while crossing a street along with some lovely schoolchildren. I've thought of ways on how to push through with the plan, but for some reason, I just couldn't figure out how to make it into something doable, something real.

Then over cups of coffee or unhurried lunch dates, I started expressing these thoughts to some of my closest friends. You see, I'm lucky to be around some of the coolest people on earth. My friends didn't just like the whole idea of the book drive, they started pitching in suggestions on how to go about with the plan. Then over some more cups of coffees and some more unhurried lunch dates, "BOOKSAIL: Braving Philippine Seas for Literary" was born.




The issues on poverty and literacy are two things that I get to see firsthand from my travels around the country. Behind the amazing sights, beautiful churches, immaculate sand beaches and colorful festivals is the multifaceted Philippines. But of all the ugly and rugged faces that lie hidden in most of my travel snapshots, the plight of the underprivileged children warms my bones the most. I thought that if we could put books on those tiny hands and get them inspired to read, understand and explore the idea that there is more to than just their daily scarcities in life, maybe there could be hope to pluck this country out of this tragedy called poverty.

I feel fortunate to have been raised by parents who think that pens and books are more important than fancy clothes and shoes. Books and education propelled my consciousness to the many wonders around me. And I wish that these same wonders will be read, understood and explored by many children in this country. If books are something that these children can't be had, maybe with everyone's help it would be possible.




I'm inviting you to this worthwhile cause. Be part of a community who finds fun in traveling, reading, sharing of ideas and volunteerism. Above all, be part of a group of people who advocates literacy for schoolchildren from far flung islands in this country. Join BookSail!

This is going to be a long-term project. We plan to reach out to as many children as we can especially in islands where there is scarcity in libraries and books.

For now, our pilot  book drive will focus on the children from Palumbanes Elementary School. Located in Palumbanes Island, Caramoran, Catanduanes, this school has 333 enrolled pupils from Kindergarten to Grade 6 as of this school year. It's staffed with 12 teachers and as of this writing, they do not have a working library in there.

This island can be reached two ways:  first is from Virac, you can take a 4-5 hours bus ride going to Caramoran. From Caramoran, hire a boat going to Palumbanes Island. Another option is to hire a boat from San Andres going to Palumbanes Island (traveltime takes about 4 hours). As an island village, most families have fishing and farming as their livelihood.

Map of Catanduanes and location of Palumbanes Island
Palumbanes Island on a clear day 


What they need:
Story and picture books (English and Filipino)
Elementary books (Math, Science, English, Filipino)
Coloring books
Science laboratory materials
School kits - pad papers, pencils, crayons, etc

How to help:

Join our series of events: 
c/o Ja Bobis -0915-265-4115
Plate for Books
Coffee for Books
Cakes for Books
Kick-off Party

In-kind Donations:
c/o Ephraim Aguilar
Ship donations to: 5B7 Francesca Towers
EDSA Cor. Scout Borromeo
South Triangle, Diliman
Quezon City

Cash Donations:
Bank: BDO
Account Name: Cherryl B. Gurrobat
Account Number: 6810014917

For more information:
Che Gurrobat: 0917-745-4538
Eph Aguilar: 0917-506-1814

Like our Facebook page - www.facebook.com/ProjectBookSail
Follow us on Twitter - www.twitter.com/BookSail | #booksail
Visit: www.backpackingpilipinas.com


We would love to hear from you. Let's meet and talk about BookSail.

Thank you!

Truly yours,

Che Gurrobat
Travel Blogger | www.backpackingpilipinas.com

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BookSail UPDATE:
January 31, 2013

Hi BookSailers! Registration for our benefit dinner officially starts. It will be held on February 23, 7pm at Saint Honore' Clubhouse and Cafe. If you want to register, kindly message us your name, nickname, and mobile number. Ticket costs P350 only.

Thank you!

-Che-


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26 comments:

  1. Hi Che! May scheduled date na? :) Excited!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. May, the book drive will run until May or June. Apart from the cash and in-kind donations, we'll be doing series of events for the cause. We'll keep you updated through our Facebook/Twitter page. Join us ha! We plan to go to Palumbanes by May/June, just in time for the opening of classes. See you!!! :))

      Delete
  2. PAYBACK time! :) Hoping for the best. Godbless!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Salamat bek! Thank you in advance for bringing in UPSCA and UPCAT on board. *pressure* hehehe

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    2. Welcome Bek! :D

      I can still organize the fund run. Join ako sa meeting to present the mechanics. :))

      Delete
  3. Wow! Sounds like an exciting project! I'm curious - how do you know of and select the areas for the project? This is the first I've heard of Palumbanes - cool!

    Where in Manila do we give or drop off the books for donation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Claire! I've been to Palumbanes island many times and saw the situation there myself. I thought that social media could help, somehow. :) We're focused on Palumbanes for now, but we'll be doing further research and site visits for our future projects. :)

      In-kind Donations could be shipped to this address:
      c/o Ephraim Aguilar
      5B7 Francesca Towers
      EDSA Cor. Scout Borromeo
      South Triangle, Diliman
      Quezon City

      But we also do meet-ups within Manila. My number is: 0917-745-4538. I'll be glad to meet you in person and discuss the project with you.

      Or you could also join our benefit dinner on Feb 23 at Saint Honore Clubhouse, Scout Borromeo, Quezon City.

      Hope to see you, Claire! :)

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  4. Sino ang coordinator ninyo sa Catanduanes for this project?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Since kami po ni Ate Che ay galing sa Catanduanes and we know a lot of people from Palumbanes island, kami na po ang nagsisilbing coordinator. Bakit po nila naitanong? Salamat! :)

      Delete
  5. Plates for books was very successful last Saturday. I'm very excited for coffee for books and cakes for books. Good job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gusto ko yung cakes for books. :)

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    2. How about Kidd's idea? Bingo for books? :-)

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    3. I'm thinking of "Laro ng Lahi for Books" The games will be held sa Sunken Garden one weekend. Participants could bring books to register. :)

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  6. Interesting! I am happy to learn that there are some people who are willing to go through too much trouble just to bring these kids the gem of literacy. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Missy! Hope you could join us in this project. :)

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  7. How can I help, Che? Ma share man ako.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!

      What they need:
      Story and picture books (English and Filipino)
      Elementary books (Math, Science, English, Filipino)
      Coloring books
      Science laboratory materials
      School kits - pad papers, pencils, crayons, etc

      Here's how to help:


      In-kind Donations:
      c/o Ephraim Aguilar
      Ship donations to: 5B7 Francesca Towers
      EDSA Cor. Scout Borromeo
      South Triangle, Diliman
      Quezon City

      Cash Donations:
      Bank: BDO
      Account Name: Cherryl B. Gurrobat
      Account Number: 6810014917

      Delete
  8. this piece is wonderfully written. kudos, Che!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Replies
    1. Thanks Anchi! You've shared a huge part to the success of the project! :)

      Delete

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