(click image to enlarge)
Imagine a time when life was simple, and stories were told around a fire. With an open mind, let us listen to the voice of the elders, as they share of an ancient wisdom that was nurtured and handed down through the ages.
These stories talk about many things – about a day’s work, about grandparents who had gone ahead to the afterlife, about strange events. These timeless tales look to the past, but also strike a chord within us, though we live in modern times. These stories teach us to appreciate the gifts of nature, and discover simple things we can do to care for the earth, to care for others, and to give respect to the unseen spirits around us.
The storybook has seven chapters which focus on the following:
Our elders’ wisdom
A simple life
Sharing and caring
Living in community
Respect for the unseen spirits
Caring for the land that sustains us
Lessons on these themes are passed on through these stories, which are child-friendly and easy to understand.
We started working on this book in March of this year, and just like a baby in the womb of her mother, this book took nine months before being ready to be born. To come up with the stories, we did field visits, interviews, endless draft writing, reading, and critiquing. This was a learning process of each of us, as we shared and received comments on our latest drafts of each story. Our biggest challenge was how to speak in the language of children.
And now, may I introduce to you my colleagues who worked on this book, members of the project team:
Merci Dulawan, Vicky Macay, Maria Elena Regpala and Lucia Ruiz.
Our project team was lucky to have the guidance of the Maryknoll sisters Nora Maulawin and Lourdes Fernandez, and the support of the Mission Projects Funding of the Maryknoll Sisters of Saint Dominic.
The cover artwork and illustrations were competently done by Clemente Delim, resident artist of Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary; and Merci Dulawan. Lay-out was done by Paul Michael Nera. We would like to thank Valley Printing Specialist, especially Sanirose Comeda, for delivering the books in time for this book launch.
Now that the book is finally out, we hope it reaches the children for whom it is intended, and that through these stories, they begin to explore a world that is gentle, loving, and full of surprises.
Time will pass, and the children of today will soon grow to be the elders of tomorrow. Let these wise tales keep the fire burning for the storytellers of the future. Let these stories teach and nourish us with a sense of community and respect.
And let the wisdom live on in stories told, from elders to children.
December 8, 2016