For the last two months, Christine Bellen has been a visitor at SDSU’s National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. She hopes to create a similar center in the Philippines when she returns in December 2009.
Professor Bellen teaches in the Filipino Department at Ateneo de Manila University. Her field of specialization is Philippine Children’s Literature, especially the popular mid-century children’s stories of Filipino intellectual and playwright Severino Reyes.
But Christine is also a famous children’s writer in the Philippines. She has written nineteen picture books, two anthologies of children’s stories, an anthology of classroom plays, and three musical plays for children. A former story consultant for a children’s TV show, Christine has also been the writer for a children’s radio program and had three of her children’s stories staged as ballets by the Ballet Manila.
Christine met Alida Allison in India two years ago at the meeting of Children’s Literature Association of India and learned about SDSU’s National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. She hopes that Ateneo’s National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature will be launched in the Philippines in 2010 and that exchanges with the San Diego State University will continue.