It's a school on the edge of a lake, with a blue mountain in the distance, and the lucky recipient of another library built by the Sambat Trust with the local community and civic organizations. The library wasn't quite ready for ribbon cutting but when I arrived with Sambat's super librarian Zarah Gagatiga, the children - aged 7 to 11 - were waiting quietly on the floor of a covered basketball court.
We were slightly late, but there was no sign of disgruntlement in the peaceful rows of children. We quickly fashioned a makeshift screen for our Powerpoint projector. I was terribly nervous because I hadn't been in the Philippines long enough to warm up my Tagalog (this province is famous for the richness and depth of its language) but Zarah assured me she would provide me with back up.
I came with a tall stack of books generously donated by Anvil Books (who distribute Tall Story in schools), as well as some picture books blagged from the Asian Festival of Chldren's Content in Singapore.
As I told my story to the children I handed out books for correct answers and sweets for wrong answers - yes, I was intent on buying some popularity - but I was thrilled to see the excited looks on their faces and the pleasure with which they accepted the books.
Nobody criticized my clumsy Tagalog and a massive rainstorm kindly waited until the event was over before it thundered down on our heads. A wonderful day - thank you to the teachers, the children, the Sambat Trust, Zarah Gagatiga and Gwenn Galvez of Anvil.