If books can talk, they will have a lot to say.

Since books cannot do the talking, book clubs came to be. Book clubs whose members share the same love for reading by sharing stories about their favorite reads.

One book club that I discovered does more than reading books. They help send students to college.

Ex Libris Philippines, is a nonstock, nonprofit organization for book enthusiasts. The group believes that the nobility of ideals and great vision should not just exist in the pages of books or in the minds of authors long-dead and gone, but in reality. Their Scholarship Project helps send deserving but financially challenged U.P. students to school. Their past four fundraisers have helped fund the education of 22 scholars, some of whom have graduated with honors already.



Gabriela Francisco, the valedictorian of our music graduating batch in 2008 and fellow voice degree graduate, talks more about her book club and NGO, Ex Libris Philippines. 

Touringkitty (TK): When did you start Ex Libris Philippines, and what is the club’s purpose and goal?

Gabriela Francisco (Gabi): Ex Libris Philippines began in 2007 as a book club, but one with a mission: to live out the ideals we read about in books, in daily life.

TK: Who started it? Your backgrounds? How did you come up with this organization?

Gabi: The founders are from UP Diliman. Natasha Francisco, the Founding President, also founded the college org, Ex Libris U.P. Most of Ex Libris Philippines’ members are also from UP. (Natasha is Gabi’s twin sister–TK)

TK: What projects do you have? What are your plans for this year and for the next years?

Gabi: Currently we have annual fundraisers for our Scholarship project, but in time we hope to have several more. We were also in the last event of National Book Development Board (NBDB) held at High Street, Bonifacio Global City. We had a book swap booth.

TK: Who are your scholars? How do you choose them? Are they all from UP? Will you open to other universities as well?

Gabi: Right now we can’t afford to help those in other universities like Ateneo because their tuition fees are too expensive. So we aim to help those who REALLY need help. Ours is more of a need-based scholarship, than a merit-based one. But of course, grades DO matter. And so we have several scholarship grant recipients who graduated with honors already.

TK: What does your organization champion? Who are you in service of?

Gabi: We are a book club with a mission, a conscience. Sure, we meet and discuss books like all other book clubs. But it’s not enough, for us. We need to LIVE OUT what we read about. We exist to help others. In the end, that’s what literature is all about: loving words, and living out that love with concrete acts.

And this is one of their projects we could all support.


Ex Libris Philippines will have a blocked screening of X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST on May 24, 2014, Saturday, 7:45 pm, at Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati.

Watch the movie (I know you’ve been waiting for it!), and give a helping hand to deserving UP students.

~ Touringkitty

For more information about the blocked screening and the NGO:
Gabi Francisco 0920-9470835 gabitwin@gmail.com

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