National Children’s Book Awards 2014

Yesterday was the 3rd National Children’s Book Awards, the extra happy and colorful event to contrast the moody weather. The NCBA is an event of the National Book Development Board, and the Philippine Board on Books for Young People, and it happens every other year. This year’s ceremony was held at the GT Toyota Asian Cultural Center in UP Diliman, and I attended with my fellow illustrators / fellow members of Ang INK.

Here are the winners~

NCBA 2014 Best Reads for Kids

What Kids Should Know about Andres and the Katipunan
written by Weng Cahiles
illustrated by Isa Natividad
published by Adarna House

The Little Girl in a Box
written by Felinda Bagas
illustrated by Aldy Aguirre
published by Adarna House

Ngumiti si Andoy
written by Xi Zuq
illustrated by Domz Agsaway
published by Adarna House

Hating Kapatid
written by Raissa Rivera Falgui
illustrated by Fran Alvarez (!!! HELLO)
published by Adarna House

Kids’ Choice Award
The Day of Darkness
written by Gutch Gutierrez and Zig Marasigan
illustrated by Gutch Gutierrez
published by The Bookmark Inc.

McDonald’s Save the Children Award
for books for 0-4 y.o.

Bahay Kubo
illustrated by Pergylene Acuña
published by Adarna House

Hooray! Congratulations one and all!

I posted a long thank you note on Facebook haha. Here it is if you want to read it~



So I’m not sure I can properly articulate my thankfulness and happiness just yet but I’m going to try my best. I’m still in this strange daze.

Yesterday afternoon, my only big concerns were 1) how to go about the day because of the weather, 2) how to take decent photos of and with the winners because I wasn’t going to bring a proper camera, and 3) how many brownies I can have during the event without going against all the principles of etiquette and poise. So when the second NCBA winner was being described and the presenter started talking about ants, I was stunned. And then it started sinking in, and all the things I wanted to say insisted they leave my body through my eyes as salty water, instead of coming out of my mouth as coherent sentences that actually make sense. #sorrynotsorry#perosorryparin

I’ve always thought that if there was anything I was really good at, it’s being a big fan. Of people and things and everything in between. Before being anything, I am that: a fangirl. I stalk people’s blogs. I am the creeper who adds them on all their social media accounts. I write them random emails. I Like pictures of their art and their dogs and their lunches and their children. I attend talks and workshops just so I could see them in person and watch how they work. And so because even though this status is getting super long and I still have your attention, I would like to say that the award isn’t just mine. It’s also for all the people and things who have inspired me to try and create and make something for myself, and then share my work with everyone else. It’s superkaduper humbling to be given this honor when I feel like so many other names should be written on the trophy too. I don’t think I would know how to do anything or if I could see the world in a crazy beautiful light if it weren’t for all the people who’ve inspired me, whether they know it or not, whether they like it or not (nyaha).

We would be reading on Facebook until the next NCBA if I were to list down everything and everyone who I think have inspired me to be who I am now, an Honestly Still Starting and Still Quite Stunned illustrator. So! For now, I would like to send my love and thanks to the NBDB, the PBBY, all the NCBA judges, to Raissa Rivera Falgui for writing such a lovely story, to Adarna House for turning it into a book that can travel far and wide to kids and kids at heart, for giving me this opportunity to share my work, and for being so patient with me, to my wonderful friends in Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan who deserve a separate super long thank you status, especially to the ones who supported my work when I could barely paint at all, Studio Dialogo: Liza, Abi, and Rommel who I wouldn’t be able to thank enough for all the advice and cheer and cake and priceless support through the years (neks nemen), to all my friends and homies and fellow fans who believed in my fangirl dreams and in my potential haha, also to all the people who don’t believe in me and who keep telling me to do something else, because I have learned that one of the greatest motivators in life is to have at least one person tell you you can’t do something, to my loving family who has no idea what illustration is about so I’m so happy they’re starting to know what it is now haha (and for constantly reminding me not to pull off all-nighters when working on projects), to my one and only kapatid Kate who I would give more than my half of sapin-sapin and of everything else to, and to God, who is as real and gracious and forgiving now more than ever.

Group hug! And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, yesterday’s speech that should have been, instead of all the tears and laughter onstage haha. Maraming salamat! Congratulations to all the winners and the finalists! Yehey!


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