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A Global Trek: AFCC Showcases Asian Talents

This year, the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) aims to highlight Asian talents by showcasing children’s literature coming from countries in the region, focusing on Asian authors and illustrators in diaspora. The National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) hopes to make this an annual tradition as the Festival expands and celebrates the diversity of talents and multi-layered complexities of the cultural heritage that abound in the region.

The AFCC’s global trek begins with talent coming from the Philippines. This country is many-storied with a very diverse culture. Several panel discussions will focus on this diversity, such as the panel on Trajectories and Themes in Children’s Literature from the Philippines, which will explore both regional and global perspectives. Award-winning authors Russell Molina and Jomike Tejido, two of the most popular and respected Filipino author-illustrators, will discuss the various trends in the local industry, including reaching out to Filipino children in diaspora.

Internationally-recognised and awarded author Candy Gourlay and awarded illustrator Isabel Roxas, now based in London and New York respectively, will feature international perspectives. They will share themes in multicultural children’s literature as well as their own personal narratives and experiences as Filipinos living away from home, writing and illustrating within a Filipino perspective.

Blooey Singson, an active book blogger, who also publishes her book reviews in the Manila Bulletin, a leading newspaper in the Philippines, forms part of the panel The Art & Science of Writing Book Reviews: Online vs Print.

Tarie Sabido, English teacher, editor, and book blogger will facilitate a panel of Filipino authors and illustrators. Andrea Pasion-Flores, Executive Director of the National Book Development Board in the Philippines will be joining the Festival along with Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz a highly-esteemed children’s book writer, freelance journalist, teacher and book reviewer.

To further enhance the Festival spirit, award-winning Filipino folk singer-songwriter Noel Cabangon will serenade the Conference participants. Known for being passionate about his love of country, Noel’s music shares the narratives of the ordinary Filipino citizen and his hopes for a better world.

Dr. Myra Garces-Bacsal, who now presently resides as a teacher-educator/lecturer in Singapore with her family, is originally from the Philippines. She is the Programme Director of the Festival and will be handling a few sessions for the Preschool & Primary Teachers Congress: Picture Books as Portals to Enchantment and Imagination: Choosing Books that Challenge and Putting the I.T. Back in KidLIT: Using the World Wide Web as a Classroom Resource.


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