The Department of Education Puerto Princesa (City DepEd), in partnership with the Rotary Club of Makati Olympia, launched the ‘Hanging Library’, also tagged as “Cocoon of Knowledge”, on Sunday, October 2 at Sittio Tuod, Bgy. Montible. The said library, which featured a reading area hoisted on treetops, was made to mainly benefit members of the Tagbanua tribe, out-of-school youth (OSY) and other students of Alternative Learning System (ALS) in the area, all with ages ranging from 12 to 62 years old.
Ferlison Moore Yanson, a mobile and ALS teacher, said the concept started in 2013 but construction only started May this year.
“Pinagsama namin ang edukasyon at kalikasan. Yung puno kumakatawan sa kalikasan, hindi natin sisiraain, aalagaan. Tapos nilagyan natin ng library sa ibabaw,” Yanson shared. He admitted that funding the first phase of construction came from his personal pocket, until the concept was adopted and supported by the DepEd under its ALS program.
“Ang nag-inspire talaga sa akin [ay] si former chieftain Melino Baquiao. Ang sabi n’ya sa akin, matututo lang ako bumasa at sumulat masaya na ako. Kumpleto na ang buhay ko. So, mas lalo ako na-inspire, nagsikap na talagang gawin ang hanging library na yan,” Yanson explained.
The Indigenous group, along with the other students, will take charge in managing and maintaining the area. The hanging library is for free; visitors will only be asked for some donations for maintenance and sustainability of the project.
The Rotary Club of Makati Olympia donated books and instructional materials for the said hanging library.
The PTA Federation of Puerto Princesa also extended support to the Hanging Library. According to Felisa Acosta, PTA Federation President, “Ang mga IPs po talagang nangangailangan ng tulong. Nakita ko na dapat magkaroon sila ng identification. Kaya nag-offer po ako, kami po ay magbibigay ng mga uniform.”
According to Mariflor Musa, Regional Office Chief of ALS Program, the DepEd already have many mobile libraries but the concept of a hanging library is unique. That’s why on the next National Literacy Award under “Literacy Program”, the hanging library of Puerto Princesa will be the official entry of the MIMAROPA Region.
Yanson is 2015 MIMAROPA regional awardee for Best ALS/Mobile teacher.