AKO’Y ISANG MABUTING PILIPINO became one of the most significant OPM songs in 2010 when Noel Cabangon sang it during the inauguration of newly elected Philippine President Noynoy Aquino. The song listed the various values that have to be cultivated in order to become a truly good Filipino and I remember Noel encouraging all the elected officials present as well as everyone watching the event to sing the song with him like an oath. The song became an instant classic after that.
Last February 23 at the activity area of National Bookstore in Glorietta, Noel Cabangon launched his book AKO’Y ISANG MABUTING PILIPINO published under LAMPARA BOOKS, publisher of award-winning children stories from some of the greatest authors and illustrators in the country.
This is the first time that LAMPARA has ever published a picture book that was inspired by a musical composition. Also in the project is another award-winning figure in the publication and arts industry, illustrator-writer Jomike Tejido, whose body of work includes Si Dindo Pundido (Golden Book Award 2002) Ang Pambihirang Sombrero, and The Foldabots Toy Books and Tagu-taguan (2010 Best Reads). He has also held exhibits in Manila and Singapore, where he established himself as one of the premiere artists specializing in acrylic painting on hand-woven mats (banig paintings).
Ako’y Isang Mabuting Pilipino was written way back in 2006 by Noel while travelling the stretch of commonwealth and reflecting on the current situation of the country. Noel, over the years, has established himself as a supporter of various advocacies. In fact, he was recently named as Peace Ambassador of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. He also supports various organizations that promote development and understanding in the society.
He hopes that the book would inspire a lot of people to embrace the values that it dictates and spark some positive change in the country. Through the book, Noel also plans to tie-up with DepEd and various schools and organizations in spreading the message of the song and maybe incorporate the song during the morning ceremony of schools.
It is just timely that the book be launched now that we are about to elect, once again, a new set of public servants who will be instrumental in improving the welfare of the people. If you ask me, I think it’s a good idea to supply all our public officials with copies of Noel Cabangon’s Ako’y Isang Mabuting Pilipino. It’s a picture book designed for kids so I guess they will be able to appreciate it more and a Study Guide so they can easily pick out all the values written on it hehe. The book also includes the chords to the song Ako’y Isang Mabuting Pilipino.
Here’s my copy of that book in limited hardbound form. Award-winning publication house, award-winning singer-author and award-winning writer-illustrator. And I got all their signatures in this book! This one’s going to my personal collection.. oh no wait, this is going to my kids’ library first. Both my kids are book readers and knowing them, this book will probably be their new favorite this year. So I guess preservation plans will have to wait.