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Alpabeto ng Kalikasan Inspires Filipinos to Protect Nature

“You can’t protect something you don’t love, and you can’t love something you don’t know.”
IMAGE ANYA S. UY
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“You can’t protect something you don’t love, and you can’t love something you don’t know,” Anya Uy tells her readers. 

Alpabeto ng Kalikasan is a Filipino alphabet book that features endangered Philippine flora and fauna from A to Z.

According to Uy, she was inspired to create the picture book when her one-year-old son began pointing at pictures of animals on his diaper: “Elephant!” he would say. 

“Or his wind-up toy that was a giraffe! Lion, tiger, zebra, rhino, hippo, he could name it!” says Uy. 

That’s when it hit her. “He should  also learn about the tamaraw, dugong, butanding. But how, when there are hardly any materials with those animals on them?”

Photo by Anya Uy.

Alpabeto ng Kalikasan was born. But it wasn’t easy. The Filipino alphabet has 28 letters. 

“If I can name at least 20 of the needed 28 species for each letter of the Filipino alphabet, I can do this!”

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The hardest part was filling the eight remaining letters. 

“The 8 remaining letters took longer than I expected because the current Filipino alphabet uses Latin letters that are hardly used in our native language,” says Uy in her website. With numerous consultations with Haribon Foundation, biologists, and friends, she was able to complete the list in March 2020, and launched her book five months later. 

In celebration of Buwan ng Wika, Alpabeto ng Kalikasan goes on sale for P299 until August 31. The book is written by Anya S. Uy and illustrated by Jay Javier.

Photo by Anya Uy.
Photo by Anya Uy.
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Photo by Anya Uy.
Photo by Anya Uy.
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Photo by Anya Uy.
Photo by Anya Uy.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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