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Maitum young writer launches first children's book
MAITUM, Sarangani (January 30, 2023) – One day, while swimming, Bangsi sees a turtle who is bleeding from the nose because of a stuck object.
Bangsi helped the wounded turtle and asked him how did he get it. The turtle explained that he got it when he dove into the sea.
Because of the turtle's ability to swim in and out of the water, Bangsi was encouraged to venture beyond the sea.
This is the scene that Xaña Apolinar, 21, from Barangay Malalag in Maitum, established in her debut book, "Gusto Maglupad ni Bangsi."
"Gusto Maglupad ni Bangsi" is a fictional children’s book written to exhibit the origin of the bangsi or flying fish’s ability to glide over the sea.
Aside from the central theme of the book, which discusses the value of hard work in achieving one’s goals, it also has layers that introduce children to environmental protection.
Apolinar considered the book as a portrait of her life.
"Looking back, I always had a curious mind. Hindi ako makatalna (I was restless), as they say. I always want to explore things outside of my comfort zone, the same characteristic that Bangsi has," she explained.
"My biggest inspirations are my hometown and the children of Maitum. I wanted to write a story that represents them: productive, hardworking, ambitious, and burning with passion to fly," Apolinar added.
On January 27, Apolinar had her book launch at the municipal library, which was attended by some SOCCSKSARGEN writers, municipal staff, and Maitum locals, including some kids from the town’s coastal barangays.
When asked about her objective in writing the book, Apolinar said, "as cliche as it may sound, my goal is to touch lives."
"Literature and experiences molded me into who I am now, and I aim to inspire others in the same way through words, also, local literature shapes culture, which is why I believe that if we continue to support inclusive and progressive literature, it will also reflect our people and our place," Apolinar said.
The young writer expressed her gratitude for the success of her book launch: "I owe a lot of the success of this storybook to the Local Government Unit of Maitum, headed by our good Mayor Alexander Bryan Reganit."
"Their unending support for my reading advocacy proves how much Maitum places value on the education of our children. I would like to thank the Tourism Office and the Maitum Public Library for helping us organize the book launch. This story is for our kids. This story is for Maitum," she expressed.
And to Cherry Ramos, 8, and Maria Jazmine Ramos Sales, 7, Apolinar wrote in the autographed copies: “Chengkay, Jaz, huwag matakot na lumipad.”
Apolinar is a graduating student of Mindanao State University-General Santos, taking up Bachelor of Arts in English Language Studies.
She is also the chairperson of the Sarangani Writers League and the reigning Miss Maitum. (Joshua John S. Pantonial & photo by Martin Fernando E. Bernad Jr./SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)