Saturday, September 29, 2007

Thank You for Traveling With Us

Nina, Sana and I, together with the rest of the ATD Fundraising Team and the Volunteers, want to say... Thank you! Maraming salamat! Merci beaucoup! Xie xie! Kamsa hamnida! Terima kasih! Danke! Gracie!

Thank you for coming to Travel Books for a Cause last Saturday and supporting ATD Fourth World. We were able to raise enough funds to send one ATD (All Together in Dignity) community member to celebrate October 17, the World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty, with the United Nations delegates in New York City.

Here's our little Oprah-esque interview-cum-talk show, with our very own Bing Manlapaz.
Here's a snapshot of the poster I prepared, highlighting my travels as well as that of my book. If you look closely at the map, you'll see that my paperclip (marked with the pink/purple spots) has travelled to more places than I have (marked with the green spots)! I put up my favorite paperclips from my collection as well (yes, I collect paperclips!). Thanks to Tisha for the cool yellow-and-red hanbok.
Visit my Multiply gallery to see more photos. More to follow from our team of photographers...

We'll do a take-two for Travel Books for a Cause in early November. Stay tuned for more details.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

An Invitation to "Travel Books for a Cause"

3 Titles. 3 friends and 3 volunteers. 1 Cause.

Nina's Travel Sketches features her beautiful watercolor sketches in three volumes: Philippines, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe and North America. Sana's Passport comes in four designs and is a travel journal/sketchbook/scrapbook, a handy companion for your next trip and perfect for organizing tickets, photos, flyers and other travel mementos. My children's story The Yellow Paperclip with Bright Purple Spots features a traveling paperclip on its way to self-discovery.

Please click the image to read the invitation. Nina, Sana and I look forward to your RSVPs. See you on Saturday, September 22!

What's the "cause"? Visit to find out more about All Together in Dignity or read previous posts here and here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Call for Entries: 2008 PBBY-Salanga Prize

The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) is now accepting entries for the 2008 PBBY-Salanga Prize. The deadline is on October 19, 2007.

The contest is co-sponsored by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and The National Library. The winner will be given a cash prize of P25,000.00, a gold medal, and an opportunity to be published with the help of the PBBY. Visit the official PBBY website for more details.

A Blue Paperclip in Cebu

It was a good omen: a blue paperclip right outside the blue Parklane Intenational Hotel as I walked towards the van that drove us to the Cebu City Country Club. I gave a presentation this afternoon on Creating a Service Culture upon the invitation of our good client Primary Structures. It was my first time to travel alone to Cebu for a DDI trip. I had butterflies in my belly and needed more sleep (I stayed up until 2 a.m. putting finishing touches to my PowerPoint!) so the blue paperclip was a welcome sight.

I also had a blue paperclip sighting this same time last year. Today's blue paperclip comes at just the right time (although this post is a couple of days late) because we won against DLSU again, and by just two points again! Wooohoooo! Go, Ateneo! One big fight!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Yellow Paperclip Goes to Delaware

Hooray! My book traveled safely across an ocean and a continent, and made it to Neil and Rebecca in Delaware. I got an email from him this morning to say the package arrived last Saturday...

It was so cool to see a real book with one of my friend's names on it!! Rebecca and I liked the story a lot, too.

Her sister's family just moved into town, and they happened to come over to our house for dessert Saturday night. When it was about time for them to leave, I told the two kids (2 and 5) that it was time for Uncle Neil to read them a bedtime story. So we sat down and read it together. They liked it a lot. They liked finding the paperclip on each page and various other things as well...

Before they left, my nephew (the 5-year-old) said to Rebecca: "I'm a yellow paperclip with polkadots. Where will you take me?" We laughed...

Aaaawww... I love hearing stories about how the paperclip "works" across cultures. The paperclip has got to be one of the most universal things on the planet, something to figuratively and literally link us all together.

And yes, the character Grandpa Neil in the story is based on real people, just like the other characters. Think of it like lots of Hidden Mickeys! If you only knew all the stories behind the story... Hee-hee. Well, my grandpa was named Cornelio (known as Lolo Eliong to us) and died of bone cancer, and Neil (short for Cornelius, Anglicized version of the Spanish Cornelio), a dear friend from Indonesia almost 15 years ago. He and I had this thing for the color purple too...

Coming soon: Paperclip stories from North Carolina and San Francisco!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Yellow Paperclip Gets Shot

... by an awesome photographer named Luis Cruz. We had so much fun, and got great photos for our Travel Books for a Cause fundraising project for ATD. Here's the Yellow Paperclip hanging out (it was literally hanging off the wall with a piece of BlueTac!) with its many friends. (Yes, I collect different kinds of paperclips. Now you know what you can give me for Christmas, my birthday and any other special occasion!)

Now you see my paperclip... now you don't!

My coolest pair of glasses...
Incidentally, I also met Luis at the Blog and Soul Movement blogger meet a few weeks earlier. Don't you just love it when worlds collide... Salamat, Luis - with you and your camera, we enjoy getting shot!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Travel Books for a Cause

What do Nina Yuson, Sana Sta. Ana and I have in common aside from our affiliation with ATD (and a great smile, of course)? Our passion for travel and for books... and soon, a shared book launch on our three travel books!

Travel Books for a Cause is a book launch/sale to raise awareness and funds for ATD communities and projects. Read a previous blogpost on ATD here. Nina will be launching her watercolor sketches from travels around the world. Sana will be launching Passport, her travel journal/scrapbook. So yes, the traveling Yellow Paperclip with Bright Purple Spots is in the great company of wonderful books. So friends and countrymen and countrywomen, block off your calendars: Saturday, September 22, 3PM at the Museo Pambata along Roxas Boulevard. Do send your RSVPs to me via

I spent the day in Nina's beautiful home for interviews, photo shoots and update meetings. I am equal parts humbled, amazed, excited and overwhelmed to be with Nina and Sana in this project. What started out as a simple brainstorming session for fundraising has evolved into an exciting can-this-really-be-true book event! More importantly, this project has brought about deeper relationships and new connections. Who would have thought I'd be in the company of three photographers today - and all of them have links to friends of mine? The world continues to grow wonderfully smaller and I'm thankful that the Yellow Paperclip helps make it happen.

Funds from Travel Books for a Cause will be used primarily to send community members to the United Nations in New York and the ATD Headquarters in Paris for October 17 events, to commemorate the World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty. Click HERE to see what you can do and how you can be counted!

Thank you for sharing your photos, Luis! Visit his gallery for more great shots.