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Why English picture books work. When a child opens a book, no matter what language it’s written in, she opens a window to a different world.

Woods and Books is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization based in Iloilo city, Philippines.

Our vision is to be a premier Ilonggo organization that safeguards, promotes, and develops Ilonggo children’s physical, social, cultural, intellectual, and spiritual development.

Iloilo City, Philippines

When Iloilo City celebrated its 75th Charter Day on August 25, 2012, the city government and its proud citizens organized a 40-day schedule of commemorative events and activities. Part of its theme was: “More than the sights are stories to tell.”

Like any long-standing community, Iloilo City is indeed fertile ground for stories of dramatic turnarounds and quiet revolutions. Home to national heroes and famous personalities, it grew from a swampy fishing settlement hundreds of years ago to a highly urbanized city with a population of 425,619 (2010 Census).

Once hailed as “The Most Noble City” by the Queen Regent of Spain in 1889, Iloilo City is now considered by the Philippine Department of Science and Technology as a “next wave city”–a city with the infrastructure, networks, accessibility, security, and safety necessary to host information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) companies. Most of all, outside of the more popular and established hubs in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Clark, Iloilo City has the talent or the human resources to support this 21st century industry.

Iloilo City is home to eight universities, more than two dozen colleges, and hundreds of public and private preschools, elementary schools, and high schools. It is host to a large number of youthful transient residents—students from the towns of the province of Iloilo and the nearby provinces of Western and Eastern Visayas, as well as the Mindanao region. Aside from being the political, economic, and cultural center of Panay Island, Iloilo City is also its educational center.

Iloilo City is also home to almost all of the pioneering volunteers behind Woods and Books. Although some of us now live and work in other parts of the country and the world, we still constantly look toward it with concern and hope.

We are concerned about the direction that its leaders are taking in the name of progress and development. Yet, we are hopeful that despite the challenges posed by distance and differences in perspectives and priorities, our team will succeed in creating a natural niche for Ilonggo children and those who strongly believe that there should be a sacred time and place for little ones to play and read.

A free learning and playing haven for children

Woods and Books seeks to promote, develop, and preserve green space for children to experience nature through unstructured play.

It also provides venues, opportunities, and materials for children to have free access to developmentally appropriate literature, didactic materials, and activities that enhance their life skills.


C&NNWoods and Books is a member of the Children and Nature Network (C&NN), a movement created to encourage and support the people and organizations working to reconnect children with nature.


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