Translated to Filipino, Iloko, Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a, and Cebuano
Illustrations by Beaulah Pedregosa Taguiwalo
Published by Mother Tongue Publishing Inc.

First, what is Mother Tongue?

Mother Tongue is short for Mother Tongue Publishing Inc. (MTPI) , a new publishing company based in Manila, Philippines. It was founded in 2006 by Mario and Beaulah Taguiwalo. Their purpose is to publish books in as many languages and dialects as possible – especially the rarely published languages that children in different parts of the world first hear and speak soon after they are born.

Let’s take a look at you, for example. You read, write and speak in English now, but maybe you were born in the Philippines. Maybe the words that you first heard and spoke were Kinaray-a. Wouldn’t it be lovely if you had some beautifully illustrated books in Kinaray-a, your mother tongue? Well, we have one for you right now. And more! So please read on.

The Mountain That Loved A Bird

Mother Tongue’s first books are the Philippine editions of The Mountain That Loved A Bird, by Alice McLerran. This story was first published in the U.S. and Japan, with illustrations by Eric Carle. Since then, it has been translated to other languages and reillustrated by various artists in different parts of the world. And now, we have new versions for the Philippines, using totally new art drawn by Beaulah Pedregosa Taguiwalo. See if you can recognize some of the flowers and trees!

The Philippine editions available now are in Filipino, Iloko, Kinaray-a, Hiligaynon, and Binisaya (Cebuano). There will be more, soon.

About the author


Alice McLerran has been publishing internationally since her career began. The Mountain That Loved a Bird – her first picture book – appeared with the original art in Japanese, Finnish, Spanish, German and French translation, and with new art in Russia. More recently, it was reillustrated twice more: first in Pakistan, then in India. With the art developed for India it is now published also in Lebanon and Turkey. Her second picture book, Roxaboxen, received a Southwest Book Award and has been translated into Spanish, Japanese, Urdu, and Korean. Other titles have also received honors, and in 2005 Alice was chosen for the Judy Goddard Arizona Children’s Author Award.

Alice’s earlier background includes research and teaching in anthropology, and program evaluation in the mental health field. She now combines writing with sharing global travels with her husband, a physicist. When in the U.S., they enjoy homes on both coasts – one near the sea in New York, the other in the mountains of Oregon.

You are invited to learn more about Alice at

About the illustrator


Beaulah Pedregosa Taguiwalo is an illustrator and book designer. Her work in children’s books are in Sampaguita by Maria Elena Paterno, Junior Starfish and the Rainbow by Mirava Yuson and Alfred Yuson, Kuwentong Kalikasan Katha ng Kabataan, Ragamuffin Kid by Grace Chong, and The Christmas Fireflies by Girl Valencia which won as Best Book in Children’s Literature for 2004 in the Philippine National Book Awards. Her work is also in more than 30 published titles, including books by three Philippine National Artists: The Dances of the Emerald Isles by Leonor Orosa Goquingco, Patterns for the Filipino Dress (From the Traje de Mestiza to the Terno) by Salvador Bernal, and the 2004 edition of Culture and History by Nick Joaquin.

Beaulah is a founding member and former officer of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan, a former Chairman and member of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People, and a member and Regional Advisor of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her earlier background includes leaving home at age 11 to be among the first batch of government scholars at the Philippine Science High School, teaching Mathematics at the University of the Philippines, and working as Art Director and Manufacturing Manager at a monthly magazine for middle managers in Asia.

More about Beaulah at and

About the translations

Filipino : Ang Bundok Na Nagmahal Sa Ibon
Translated by Rene O. Villanueva


Rene O. Villanueva has published more than 60 storybooks for children for various publihers, including Aklat Adarna, Tahanan Books for Young Readers, Lampara, Cacho publishing and Anvil Juvenile. Among his popular works for children are Si Emang Engkantada at ang Tatlong Haragan, Barumbadong Bus, and Carancal. His latest publication is Sa Dako Pa Roon, a translation of stories by the Brothers Grimm. Rene was former head writer of Batibot, a pioneer in reasearch-based educational TV for children in the Philippines. For several years, he served on the board of Philippine Board on Books for Young People, representing writers. He is currently serving as associate professor at the College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines.

Iloko : Ti Bantay A Nagayat Iti Maysa A Billit
Translated by Herminio S. Beltran, Jr.


Herminio S. Beltran, Jr. began writing verses at age 9 and translating Iloko stories to English at 13. He is the author of two books of poetry in Filipino, Iloko and English: Bayambang (1991) and Lemlunay (2003). His essays in Filipino won the Gawad Alab ng Haraya given by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 2002. As head of the Literary Arts Division of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, he supervises the nationwide implementation of the Batang-Sining Creative Expression Workshop, which was cited by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People as one of the outstanding projects for children’s education in 2006.

Hiligaynon : Ang Bukid Nga Nagpalangga Sang Pispis
Translated by Genevieve L. Asenjo


Kinaray-a : Ang Bukid Nga Nagpalangga Kang Pispis
Translated by Genevieve L. Asenjo


Genevieve L. Asenjo is a poet, fictionist, researcher, translator, cultural worker, and Assistant Professor at De La Salle University-Manila. She is the author of Pula ang Kulay ng Text Message (University of San Agustin Press, 2006), a poetry collection in Kinaray-a and Filipino, and taga-uma@manila kag iba pa nga pakipagsapalaran (NCCA, 2005), a collection of stories in Kinaray-a. She is a three-time Don Carlos Palanca awardee for her stories in Hiligaynon and two-time Home Life Magazine awardee for her poems in Filipino. She is a member of Philippine International-PEN, Philippine Studies Association, and the NCCA Translation Committee. She has published in national anthologies, magazines, and journals. She has earned writing fellowships and served as panelist in writing workshops. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and is now completing her Ph.D. in Literature at DLSU. She is from Tobias Fornier, Antique and has studied at UP in the Visayas in Miag-ao, Iloilo. Know more about Genevieve at

Cebuano (Binisaya) : Ang Bukid Nga Nahigugma Sa Langgam
Translated by Grace Monte de Ramos


Grace R. Monte de Ramos is a poet whose works have been published in the literary journals Caracoa, Ani, Sands and Coral, Likhaan, and Philippine Studies. Her poems have also appeared in textbooks and anthologies of Philippine literature and feminist poetry. In 2003, her poem “Brave Woman” was chosen for inclusion in the book Poets Against the War, a collection of the best anti-war poems from among 13,000 submissions by writers opposed to the war with Iraq. Grace earned her degree in Creative Writing at Silliman University, where she studied under the guidance of the country’s most distinguished literary couple, Edilberto K. Tiempo and Edith L. Tiempo. She first taught literature at Silliman. She worked at the Cultural Center of the Philippines before deciding to be a hands-on mother. When she is not taking care of her children, their father, and the house cat, she writes, reads, edits other writers’ manuscripts, and tries to solve Su Doku puzzles.

How to buy the book

THE MOUNTAIN THAT LOVED A BIRD (Philippine editions)
8.5 x 11 inches, 28 pages saddle-stitch, color cover and inside pages

Story by Alice McLerran
Illustrations by Beaulah Pedregosa Taguiwalo
Translated to Filipino by Rene O. Villanueva
Translated to Iloko by Herminio S. Beltran, Jr.
Translated to Hiligaynon by Genevieve L. Asenjo
Translated to Kinaray-a by Genevieve L. Asenjo
Translated to Cebuano (Binisaya) by Grace Monte de Ramos

Published by Mother Tongue Publishing Inc.
Cellphone: 0917-787-4956 in Manila

To order, contact the publisher.
The price is PhP280 per copy / PhP800 for a set of any 3.
Please add cost of shipping and handling.

More about Mother Tongue

More about Mother Tongue
Mother Tongue in the Philippine Daily Inquirer
Mother Tongue in Wikipedia
Mother Tongue in ABS-CBN Interactive


Watch this space for news about Mother Tongue news and features.

Mother Tongue events

December 27, 2006

Watch this space for news about Mother Tongue events.

Mother Tongue Publishing Inc. (MTPI) is a new publishing company based in Manila, Philippines. It was founded in 2006 by Mario and Beaulah Taguiwalo. Their purpose is to publish books in as many languages and dialects as possible – especially the rarely published languages that children in different parts of the world first hear and speak soon after they are born.

The inspiration for MTPI are the words of science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin: “Literature takes shape and life in the body, in the wombs of the mother tongue.” As neuro-scientist Elkhonon Goldberg puts it, mother tongues are an “an extremely adaptive and powerful device for modeling not only what is, but also what will be, what could be, and what we want and do not want to be.”

The founders want to help realize these great expectations by making more published materials available, not only to Filipino children in their mother tongue but to children all over the world so that they may learn reading and writing in the first language that they hear, speak, and are immersed in from birth.

As for their native country, the Philippines, MTPI’s founders have a special mission. They point out that while they themselves communicate to others in English, they were born and raised like most Filipinos in homes and communities where more than 170 distinct living languages are spoken, including the most widely spoken regional languages. They believe that these Philippine mother tongues are the key instruments of each Filipino child for first knowing, understanding, and learning about the world.

By making more books available in as many Philippine languages as possible, the founders hope that more Filipinos will become even more literate in their mother tongue, more adept at mastering other languages and cultures, and better equipped to engage with an increasingly globalized world.

Mother Tongue’s very first children’s books
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Call or text Mother Tongue : Cellphone No. 0917-787-4956 in Manila

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