Featured Author: Jomike Tejido

white fillerI first learned about Jomike Tejido when Mariel introduced me to one of his books, “Ang Pambihirang Sombrero”. This is one of our  favorite Filipino read-alouds and we have used it for storytelling in various occasions, complete with a Pambihirang Sombrero prop!  In fact, we love it so much that we made a free unit study that you can download here.


Jomike during his 8th solo exhibit

Two weeks ago, we attended Jomike’s 8th Solo Exhibit at the Olive Creek Gallery in Makati. We spent about an hour ooh-ing and aah-ing at his beautiful banig (woven mats) art featuring children in a traditional Filipino carnival. His paintings depict the joy and magic brought by the carousel, the cotton candy, and the other sights and sounds in a perya. It definitely brought back memories of the Fiesta Carnival and Payanig sa Pasig days of my youth! I stared long and hard at Mahika, a painting of a little girl on a unicorn, and thought how the Energizer Bunny would love that picture in particular, with its purple and pink hues. Magical, indeed. Sigh. Someday, I will definitely own a Jomike Tejido painting!



In the meantime, I am gladly hoarding all his wonderfully-illustrated children’s books, the latest of which is Ma-Me-Mi-Mumu. Launched at the recent Manila International Book Fair and published by our ultimate favorite Tahanan Books, Jomike’s latest work is about a girl named Sophia who tries to overcome her fear of monsters with the help of her endearing lolo (grandfather). The book features Filipino mythical creatures and puts them in a good light (a less darker light, perhaps) and Lolo Nanding’s suggestions are absolutely hilarious:

Pag may kumatok na tikbalang
huwag magulantang.
Sa halip, bigyan ng damo at tsaa
para bumango naman ang hininga.

My three-year-old does not get it yet as she refuses to read anything dark and scary (remember the Un-Princess Princess Book List?) but our friend Tina’s 7-year old son refused to let go of the book the first time we saw it at the MIBF! I recently used it for storytelling in our village Halloween Party and was thrilled to see the children fascinated by the story, too! The bilingual book features Jomike’s wonderful poetry in Filipino and Fran Ng’s equally engaging English translation. Older kids will love the gallery of Philippine supernatural creatures at the end of the book.


We got Jomike to answer a few more questions about the book which he gamely answered. Read on!


What inspired you to write Ma Me Mi MuMu?

 The inspiration was my own fear of the dark. I knew about the feeling of being scared of your own house and I didn’t want the same to happen to my own kid. I have also been interested in Philippine lower mythology and how I can modernize it and introduce it to the next generation of Filipino kids who are not as exposed to these things as much as we were back in the 80’s. I remember doing school visits to exclusive schools in the mid 2000’s and when I asked basic Pinoy monsters, they didn’t have a clue what they were. This may be one of the incidents that sparked my interest to make a such a story.


Which comes first – the pictures or the words?

The words came first for this book. Since the creatures were already pre-determined, the challenge of building a story around them was my utmost concern. It is basically a roster of what to do when something comes, so with a basic framework like that, I had to dress it up with lyrical verses that makes you want to see the next creature.


There’s a Mumu in your house. What would it be and what would you do?

A mumu is a guardian and will most likely not cause you harm, especially if its a home your  family has lived in for ages, such as the house in the book suggests.


You’re a Mumu. Which one are you and why?

I would most likely be an aswang because I like how things can be of multiple uses. In my research, the aswang can turn into other forms and not just dogs. I’d like to fly using another form – without getting my body severed in half!


Want to learn more? View this teaser that Jomike made before the launch of Ma-Me-Mi-MuMu.

Or better yet, join our giveaway! We will be giving away a signed copy of Ma-Me-Mi-MuMu and Dindo Pundido, one of Jomike’s earlier works, to one lucky winner! Both books are signed by the author.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Have fun!



Currently reading: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart, The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori
Currently reading-aloud: Big Anthony and the Magic Ring by Tomie dePaola, Mr. Putter and Tabby Spin the Yarn by Cynthia Rylant, And So My Garden Grows illustrated by Peter Spier, Is That You, Wolf? by Steve Cox, Tallulah’s Tutu by Marilyn Singer
Read All About It is Sanne’s bi-weekly column. Read her welcome post here.
  • Sheena Mamaril Malate

    If I we’re a mumu, I would be a white lady!

    • http://www.thelearningbasket.com/ Mariel @ The Learning Basket

      Oo nga! Love the white lady stories haha!

  • CarloRoxanne Feliciano-Bornill

    If I were a mumu, I’d be a tikbalang. I wanna be tall! Hahaha.

    • sanne_tlb

      Put it that way, I think I’d want to be a tikbalang too! Haha

  • Theresa Cruz-Escaros

    A vampire, so I can be forever young. I’m old now, so, I guess, forever old, haha.

  • Phoebe

    If I were a mumu, I’d be a kapre! I’d love to be able to see and observe things in the dark without being seen! (Minus the cigarette) haha

  • Bedalyn Aguas

    I want to be a white lady!! para cute lang for me d masyado scary!!

  • Sally Yu

    I want to be Casper, the friendly ghost! I want to be friends with many people. Hehe! :)

    • http://www.thelearningbasket.com/ Mariel @ The Learning Basket

      Well you’re friendly, and fair-skinned… so pwede na haha!

  • joyps

    I want to be an aswang. The shape-shifting skills are most definitely a plus. 😀 Is there a vegetarian aswang? I’s like to be the first. I wouldn’t want to eat humans. 😀

    • http://www.thelearningbasket.com/ Mariel @ The Learning Basket

      Yes shape-shifting… or for me, figure-shifting haha!

  • Ibeth Yap

    I want to be a Vampire, I want to be awake 24 hours

  • Bev Chua

    Werewolf, at least i have to deal with the transformation only once a month, hope i’d be a cuddly fruitarian though.

  • caryn morales

    if i’m a mumu, i’d be a vampire. awake at night, asleep during the day.. that’s what my mom call me anyway.. hehehe.. i’m nocturnal and i like to work at night..

  • JoeEnn Tsen

    i’d be a tyanak..kunwari cute lang pero mabangis pala.

  • http://www.mum-writes.com/ jared’s mum

    i think i’d be a ghost, so i can still be around + observe the people i love without intimidating or frightening them….