Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008


From the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Aga, Charlene anchor one of two Read-Along sessions

By Kate V. Pedroso, Schatzi Quodala
First Posted 02:22:00 09/28/2008


Almost 300 children attended back-to-back Read-Along sessions held yesterday at the Inquirer office in Makati and on Friday at the St. Alphonsus Liguori Integrated School (Salis) in Bacoor, Cavite.

Celebrity couple Aga Muhlach and Charlene Gonzales top-billed yesterday’s session with their tandem-reading of Ramon Sunico’s “Two Friends, One World” before an audience of 130 children. On Friday, Pinoy Dream Academy third-placer Miguel Mendoza read Iris Gem Li’s “The Boy Who Touched Heaven” during a special Read-Along session before 140 students of Salis.

x x x

Mendoza, Pinoy Dream Academy third placer, said he was actually more nervous reading to the kids than when he was on the singing competition.

“Maybe it’s because I’m more used to singing than storytelling,” he said. He read Li’s book which had won the Elias Dakila Storywriting Competition on Environment and Culture (of CANVAS).

To read the whole article, click here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Here's a quick run-down of our upcoming activities for the last quarter of what is already a very eventful year!

Looking for Juan
Opens with cocktails at 630pm on October 21, 2008 at the Ayala Museum.

Seven visual artists: Plet Bolipata, Elmer Borlongan, Alfredo Esquillo, Karen Flores, Manny Garibay, Winner Jumalon and Mark Justiniani

Collaborate and interact with

Seven rock bands: Dong Abay, Cynthia Alexander, Joey Ayala, Noel Cabangon, Loquy, Peryodiko and Up Dharma Down

To produce

Fourteen original paintings and rock songs all on the theme of What It Means to Be Filipino.

The Star Thrower
The first one-woman show of artist Liza Flores
Opens with cocktails on October 27, 2008 at 1/of Gallery, Shops at Serendra, Global City

Based on a popular environmental story, Liza Flores paints large and playful acrylic on archival paper works - made even more whimsical through the creative use of glow-in-the-dark paint - that will be used as illustrations for CANVAS' book of three very short ecofables for children to be launched in February 2009.

Message in the Sand
A major art exhibition and children's book launch
Opens with cocktails at 630pm on November 27, 2008 at the Ayala Museum

Our latest environmental children's book, written especially for CANVAS by international bestseller Charmaine Aserappa, and rendered as large scale acrylic on canvas works in his signature naif style by Roel Obemio, Message in the Sand tells a timely tale of the power of an individual - even a young child - to make a difference.

You are all invited to these very exciting events! See you there!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Role of Design in Technology

Here's something to think about courtesy of Esquire Magazine quoting John Maeda, 41 year old President of the Rhode Island School of Design:

I love my iPhone, but the feeling isn't always mutual. Sometimes it just sits there, frozen, doing nothing, completely unresponsive to my touch. I wonder, Did I do something wrong? Is it me? As an MIT-trained technologist, it gives me only cold comfort to know that it's not.

The gleaming devices that surround us are intrinsically different from designed objects of the past. They simply don't work all the time, nor do we expect them to. We're obsessed with the potential of our gadgets, yet we constantly bump into this kind of turbulence. Bottom line: Technology is outpacing our ability to use it. And it's the job of designers to restore balance to this equation.

Technological advances have always been driven more by a mind-set of "I can" than "I should," and never more so than today. Technologists love to cram maximum functionality into their products. That's "I can" thinking, which is driven by peer competition and market forces. (It's easier to sell a device with ten features than one.) But this approach ignores the far more important question of how the consumer will actually use the device.

This is a big reason I left MIT to become the new president of RISD, where clay pots are still thrown and decorated in tune with the ancients. Many who don't know me believe that I've been brought to RISD to "computerize" the college. Quite the contrary. When I welcome my first incoming class this fall, I plan to focus on how RISD's core ideals of art and design can humanize our advancing technologies. Or, put another way, to focus on what we should be doing, not just what we can.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


CANVAS is pleased to announce that Rocky Tirona has won our storywriting competition for young children for her story, My Big Sister Can See Dragons.

You can read her story, as well as Kelly Sonnack's very thoughtful review and feedback on it by going to our Tales from the Canvas blog.

The other great stories that made the final shortlist are still posted there:

Daisy Chain by Becky Bravo

Tala, the Star that Could Not Sleep by Augie Rivera

Why the Sea is Blue and Salty by Agay Llanera

The Comet, the Cloud and the Rainbow by Raissa Rivera-Falgui

Congratulations to all the writers! The process of this unique competition was an amazing learning experience for all of us, and we look forward to doing this again next year!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


We've just found out that two of our children's books last year:
are finalists in this year's National Book Awards!

This, coming on the heels of the success of The Rocking Horse (by Becky Bravo; artworks by Elmer Borlongan)...

We can't help but be so proud!

Congratulations to all of us - especially to the great writers and artists with whom we have so far been privileged to work! :-)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Philippines Rules Social Media Networks!

The media agency Universal McCann released a free 80-page whitepaper on the impact of social media. The company interviewed 17,000 Internet users in 29 countries, making it "the world’s most detailed survey of the Social Media revolution."

It's an interesting read, particularly when you find out that the Philippines is:

#5 in podcast downloads, with 61.8% of active Internet users in the country having downloaded a podcast;

#4 in writing blogs (65.8%)

#2 in reading blogs (90.3%)

#2 in uploading videos (60.5%)

#1 in watching videos (a whopping 98.6%) and

#1 in creating a profile in a new social network like Facebook, Multiply and Friendster (83.1%).

Looking at these numbers, clearly, the future is here and now in the Philippines.

Less clearly, the numbers are still positive, but more of us like to read and watch than to write and create, it seems. (Although we didn't really check - our guess is that this is true for most if not all countries anyway.)

And we clearly are a highly social people.

There's a lot to be gleaned from just browsing through the paper, for us as we pursue our mission, and we suspect for everyone else out there who just wants to understand a bit more what's going on with the Internet and social media and how it all is affecting us right now.

Read the report. You can click through the pages above, or else download it yourself - did we say for free?! - here.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Where the Hell is Matt?

Some might question if this video fits the theme of this blog, but what the hell... let's just say that we put it in because the Philippines is featured. And it shows how we truly are part of one global community. Which means that we might be better Filipinos if we explored, got exposed to and learned more about people and places abroad. So there.

And really, it seems like just a fun project that we wish we had thought to do ourselves.


Thursday, September 4, 2008


We just got word that our book, "The Rocking Horse," won the prestigious Gintong Aklat ("Golden Book") Award in the Children's Book category.

Established in 1981, the Awards are given out every other year to outstanding book publishers based on the quality of the books they produce year after year. It is managed by the Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP), and the Awards are meant to recognize excellence in bookmaking in the country's book industry.

Contest entries are divided over several subject categories—literature, social science, religion, the arts, natural science, trade, textbook and children's book.

Book entries are judged for all-around excellence, and are subjected to close scrutiny by three professional panels in book manufacture and design, writing and editing. Entries must merit an excellent rating in each aspect of bookmaking in order to qualify for the award. A book winner of the Gintong Aklat therefore will have been judged not only on its contents but on its totality as a book.

All together now... Wooohooooo! :-)