Human Library 7.0: an Eye-Opener

The Integrated School Libraries at the DLSU Manila Laguna Campus hosted the seventh session of the Human Library on 03 March 2017, from 8:00AM-11:00AM. This session covered human books on the following subjects:​Martial Law victim, LGBT representative, Catholic lay person, tattoo artist, person with ADHD, professional squatter, jobless person, person with tattoo, human rights activist and reformed drug addict.

This specific session targeted students from the DLSU Integrated School, specifically Grade 10 and Grade 11 students.  What sets this session apart from the previous sessions is that, sessions were held in the classrooms and with 25 readers per human book.  Separate sessions were given to each grade level.  Introduction of the books were given by the Teacher Advisers per class.

The Human Books

Martial Law: Never Again. Ms. Nilda Lagman-Sevilla is the sister of disappeared human rights and labor lawyer Hermon C. Lagman. She has been a human rights advocate who staunchly opposed the death penalty since her student days in the University of the Philippines Diliman from where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree major in Political Science.  Before joining the government, she taught English, political science, and allied social sciences, and was active in the teachers’ movement.   Working in the House of the Representative with her brother, Cong. Edcel Lagman, she collaborated with him in the drafting up to the bicameral conference on RA 10353, which is the first anti-disappearance law in Asia, as well as other pieces of human rights legislation: RA 9346 prohibiting the death penalty, RA 9745 penalizing torture, and RA 10368 recognizing and granting reparation to the martial law human rights violations victims.  She was also the Resource speaker as representative of families of victims of enforced disappearance spearheaded by the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Manila Hotel, July 16, 2007.  In June 2006, she delivered oral intervention on enforced disappearance before the U.N. Human Rights Council at its first session in Geneva, Switzerland, June 2006.

Child of God: From Lesbian to Female with Same Sex Attraction (SSA)Ms. Virginia Perpetua “Bopeep” Espiritu is a freelance writer/photographer and a Roman Catholic since birth.
She is a lesbian. Her quest for meaning had unknowingly led her to dabble into the occult, meaningless pursuits and utter restlessness.  She recorded her journey in her blog to hopefully show people of a powerful God who alone could save us and help us reclaim the territories which the enemy had set foot in our lives. She believes that in all things, God may be glorified.

Choices. Mr. Manolito R. Santos is an elder of the  Kawan ng Mabuting Pastol Charismatic Community and a member, Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) Facilitators Team of the Mother of Good Counsel Parish (Chrysanthemum Village). Now retired, he previously worked for various banks as department head of Internal Audit.  He holds a Masters degree in Management and a Bachelors degree in Business Administration.

No RegretsMr. Venchen Gaticales is the owner/tattoo artist of Inkmaiden 2.0: The Collection in Las Pinas City.  His expertise include a mastery on computer application with exposure to web graphic designing, conversion of design to web pages, and creation of e-learning modules using interactive multimedia.  He has won various awards as tattoo artist during the Utol Patattooka On the Spot Tattoo and Rockatatz 2 On the Spot Tattoo contests.

Pen and Paper. Mr. Francis Decena is currently the Senior Sales Manager for NCR of 8990 Holdings Inc. He is an Accredited Real-Estate Broker with Premier and High Caliber Real-Estate Developers in the Philippines.  He has various professional expertise: Business Process Outsourcing; Real-Estate Sales & Marketing; Property & Land Development; Banking and Finance; Telecommunication; Pre-Need Plans; Resort & Hospitality Industry; Music and The Performing Arts.

Hope in Slums. Mr. Audie Miclat is currently the Finance Manager of 8990 Holdings Inc. He holds a bachelors degree in economics from Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Work Less, Works More. Ms. Emerue Anne Sarmiento is married with two kids. She holds a bachelors degree on Electronics & Communications Engineering from Mapua Institute of Technology.  From 2006-2012 she lived in Saudi Arabia and Dubai, UAE where her husband is working and architect.

Tinta. Mr. Christoper Sarmiento is currently the Operatios Manager of Slumberland Furniture and Services. He holds a degree in Architecture from Mapua Institute of Technology. He previously worked for companies in Saudi Arabia and Dubai, UAE.  He is married with two kids.

Walang Hanggang PaghahanapMr. Ron de Vera is a development worker, LGBT rights activist, educator, writer, photographer, poet, and sports fanatic.  He is currently the Philippine Project Coordinator of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances. Ron is an educator at heart. He served as the Coordinator of the Human Rights Education Program of Amnesty International Philippines before teaching English and Business Communication at Asia Pacific College. Before turning 30, he finally decided to face questions about the disappearance of his father and the torture of his mother during martial law. Answering these questions and coming to terms with his sexuality all contributed to a life-changing decision to leave the corporate world and enter development work on a full time basis.

Nothing is Impossible. Mr. Gilbert Anonuevo is a resident of Las PiƱas City, married with three children.  He is an active member of Church of God, Alabang Chapter.

An Eye-Opener

Reading thru the articles written by the students published in their official school papers, it is evident that the session provided them eye-opening situations of people who are prejudiced because of their background.  They wrote insights which provided more information about the human books and their situation.  Indeed this Human Library session provided these young Lasallian minds the opportunity the sensibility and the sensitivity towards social issues. A total of 516 readers attended the session.