Mang Nanie: More Than Just a Book Caretaker - Life is so full of tae!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mang Nanie: More Than Just a Book Caretaker

What can I say about a man who turned his home into a free reading library? A book caretaker? A street librarian?

Hernando "Nanie" Guanlao, a man with an overwhelming passion for books set up a little library - encouraging little kids, students, young adults, and adults to read. It started some time in year 2000 with his own books of no more than a hundred. Placed it outside his house by the door to see if people will be interested to borrow them, and they did. Some are even returning with more books to add to his collection. Thus, the birth of his public library, or simply he calls it, Reading Club 2000.

It is a library with no strict rules, the only rule is to enjoy reading to your heart's content. Readers can take home as many books as they want and they can keep it for long without having to worry about overdue fees, they can even keep it permanently. For the many years that he was running his public library, rather than having a dwindling number of books, his collection seems to grow amazingly that it has already taken over his house as more and more people donate to his cause (Bless you angels!) This just proves that despite the instability of our economy and the redonk rise of prices, some of the best things in life remain free. :)

His goal to share the joy of reading to local communities didn't stop there. To be able to reach out and help the marginalized communities in Manila, he travels with a big pile of books in his "book-bike". He also sends boxes of books for different public schools, barrios, remote areas and island provinces. He devotes himself distributing the books that were donated by kind-hearted donors and he has already contributed a lot for the literacy of many people. I do believe that this man really deserves a recognition more than this blog post, more than the written articles, more than the TV guestings.

I've heard of Mang Nanie last October 2012 when I was given a web design project. I was moved by his deed. And since then, he became my inspiration. Mang Nanie is from Barangay La Paz, Makati and I am from Davao. But despite the distance between us, I feel like we're already connected. I am a book lover and I love reading books, that's one. Two, I am honored to design the official Reading Club 2000 website and logo.
It is so far the simplest design I've ever created for a website, but it's the project I feel the most honored. I'm telling you about this because I am so proud of what I did. :)

I and the rest of the team (the company I worked with) are happy to be a part (at least) of his advocacy. That even in our very own little way, we helped in spreading his act of kindness through the internet. That through his website, we'd be able to reach out to more people throughout the country and worldwide. To let people realize the importance of reading. To inspire other people to help those who are not given the privilege to read. To reach out to you, to us, the more fortunate class. We are so lucky that we were given the opportunity to learn, to read. And we have brothers and sisters out there who have not even held a book yet their entire life. I know that we, even in our own little way can help.

I really admire Mang Nanie. He's more than just a book caretaker or a street librarian. He's a modern day hero. An inspiration to everyone who loves to read and those who want to learn to read. He's someone to look up to. Someone who has shown that you really don't need money or great influence to be able to help. I wish I'd be able to visit his place one of these days with a pile of my old school books. I'd be very honored to meet a man who has inspired and helped many. I love his pledge to help people gain easy and free access to literature and education. Not everyone in the Philippines is privileged to own a book or two, or worse, read. But if there were other Mang Nanies around, our country would definitely be a better place.

"You don't do justice to these books if you put them in a cabinet or a box. A book should be used and reused. It has a life, it has a message. As a book caretaker, you become a full man." -Nanie Guanlao

Mabuhay ka Mang Nanie! Saludo kami sayo!


  1. Cool ni Mang Nanie. While I want some of my books to be taken away because it takes huge space, he was there taking care of the books. :)

  2. This is an inspiring story of a book taker. I feel that we should not just take these people for granted because they offer great and kind-hearted services to the public. :)

  3. I admire him for his passion of reading and promoting books. With the collection growing by the minute just proves he is inspiring people to read books.

  4. Hands down to Mang Nanie! Met him a month ago, ang bait nya. Shy type lang lalo na kung picture taking na. hehehe

  5. galing ni Mang Nanie! :)