English-Waray storybook now available in Tagalog version

– Maya and Her Loyal Friends, an original English-Waray illustrated storybook published by J. E. Mondejar Publishing House (JEMPH) here, now has a Tagalog version as it aims to produce more copies in other dialects in support of the Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) program of the Department of Education (DepEd).

Actor Diether Ocampo translated the latest edition, including the second book of the series, Adventures of Maya: The Lost Fields of Palale, said Minerva Mondejar-Steinar, JEMPH chief executive officer.

“We are proud to work with Mr. Ocampo on this project. He attracts a global audience to our series, which is integral to our mission,” she said in a statement on Tuesday.

Steiner said her older sister, Bernadette Mondejar-Schlueter, came up with the illustrated storybook that has English text translated into Waray to help address the lack of books in the region that can be used for the MTB-MLE program.

The program is a feature of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 which mandates the use of the language that students are familiar with as a medium of instruction to allow them to grasp basic concepts easily.

Last December, the Mondejar family, through J. E. Mondejar Computer College (JEMCC) here, and the DepEd Tacloban division signed a memorandum of agreement for the donation of the storybook series to 43 public elementary schools here.

Steiner said they will also donate English-Tagalog version of the book to public elementary schools in Cavite and Bicol.

Just like the English-Waray book, she said the latest edition is also made available for children worldwide, though Kindle, Google Books, and paperback on the Amazon website. The second book is coming out on Amazon next week.

The books can also be purchased at JEMCC in Naga-Naga village or customers can call 0953-832-3023 for inquiry.

“More editions in other local dialects or languages, as well as in some foreign languages are in the offing, too. We like to reach as many Filipinos with Waray heritage as much as possible,” Schlueter said in a separate statement.

For the original English-Waray book, she worked “virtually” with Northern Samar-based poet Ardeen Tuballas Capate to comply with the MTB-MLE program.

The one who served as a publishing consultant and book designer was Aaron Almadro, an editor-in-chief of a regional magazine, she added.

On the other hand, renowned Tacloban artist Ed Rompal provided the illustrations, from the cover to every page of the storybook, as well as for the other forthcoming storybooks of the Maya series.

Besides being colorful and interesting to kindergarten and primary school pupils, Schlueter said the Maya series has unique features depicting Waray culture, arts, games, and tradition that must be preserved and appreciated by the present and future generation.

Among the Waray games in the story integrated by Joel Alfarero and Crescencio Mejarito are “moro-moro,” “palpagay,” “latik-latik,” “tamban-tamban,” and “krus ni Magellan” — which is aimed to draw interest from most children who may no longer play or unfamiliar with these.

“My siblings Arlene, Tipo, and Don also provided insights based on our memories of Tacloban life while my sister Minerva created the website www.thewarayproject.org for the book’s social media exposure,” Schlueter said.

She further described the book as a medium to caution children on spending “too much time with technology at the expense of real human relationships; something we can all relate to”.

The international education expert, now based in England, said she is hoping that, with the book, “parents will encourage children to be physically active, enjoy the environment, and preserve these games as part of our cultural identity,” on top of the “cognitive benefits of computer games”

Source: Philippines News agency

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