How will you celebrate National Children's Book Day?

Monday, June 24, 2013

July 16 is National Children's Book Day in the Philippines! How will you celebrate? Please let me know! Share your celebration plans in the comments section below, or send an email to asiaintheheart@yahoo.com. Your celebration plans will be shared on the official Philippine Board on Books for Young People Facebook page and that way we can all connect and inspire one another for National Children's Book Day. :o)

How will *I* be celebrating National Children's Book Day? I think the easiest, simplest, and perhaps best way to celebrate is to read Philippine children's and YA books. When was the last time you read a Philippine picture book to your child before bedtime? Have you read the latest Philippine YA novels? I have a towering, intimidating to-be-read pile of such books and I promise to read as many of them as possible for National Children's Book Day. I, of course, will be blogging about my reading experience! 

This blog is about Asian children's and YA books, but for the month of July expect a special focus on Philippine children's and YA books. Expect reviews, interviews, a giveaway or two, and of course, the exchange of celebration ideas. :o)

My Favorite Session at the 2013 AFCC


{Steph Su delivering her keynote speech at the 2013 AFCC}

Last month, I was in Singapore for the 2013 Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC). I hope to share more blog posts (and other social media posts) about my time there, but I would like to start with my favorite session: "Getting the Most Out of Blogging" by very popular blogger Steph Su.

This was the first year the AFCC had a day dedicated to AFCC Seminars, and there was a blogging track in it, which my fellow blogger Liyana Othman and I helped put together. "Getting the Most Out of Blogging" was Steph Su's keynote speech for the blogging track. She shared her blogging journey and the many insights she has picked up along the way, focusing on blogging and the self, blogging and friends, and blogging and professional success.

{me and fellow blogger Liyana Othman}


Maintaining my blogs isn't easy: One, it takes a lot of time and effort, especially because I try to produce quality posts. Two, I don't make any money from blogging, in fact I spend money on blogging. I don't have advertisements on my blogs and I am not interested in sponsored posts. I spend money on books so that I can give them away to my blog readers. I spend money to attend events (like conferences) so that I can blog about the events or so that I can learn more about children's and YA books to better blog about them. Three, I unfairly get pressured about what to blog and when to blog. Blogging is my hobby and yet some try to dictate the content of my blog or the schedule of my blogging.   

Steph's moving speech reminded me why I started blogging in the first place, and why I continue to blog: Blogging allows me to express my passion for children's and YA books, and connects me with others who have the same passion. It's a platform for me as a fangirl, me as a cheerleader. I shouldn't be afraid to blog about what I want to blog about, when I want to blog about it. I shouldn't be afraid or ashamed to take long breaks from blogging. And I can change the content and focus of my blog if I want to. If I force myself to blog about what I don't want to blog about, or if I force myself to blog when I don't want to blog, the quality of my blog posts will suffer or I will get tired of blogging altogether.

Steph taught me that, while the blogosphere is super saturated and highly competitive, blogging isn't about your number of followers, it's about the number of followers you can see yourself being friends with outside of blogging. I have to admit that I got teary-eyed during this part of her speech. I may not have high visitor stats, but I have made many beautiful and incredible friends from all over the world through my blogs.

 {Liyana moderated Steph's session}

Thank you, Steph, for accepting the invitation to be part of the 2013 AFCC and sharing your blogging wisdom. Thank you for inspiring me and helping me regain perspective. I have wanted to meet you in person for a long time and hearing your speech came at the right time in my own blogging journey.

Thank you to the 2013 AFCC team, especially Rama Ramachandran, Ken Quek, and Stephanie Tanizar, for recognizing the value of blogging in the children's and YA book industry and dedicating several AFCC sessions to it. Thank you to Liyana for her hard work as an organizer!!!

 {me, Steph, and fellow blogger Chachic Fernandez}