International School Manila 12th grader Alexis Lopez launched a new children’s book, “Jodie’s Journey,” at the White Cross Orphanage a few days before Christmas last year.
The bilingual book is meant for young readers and tells the story of a child who would soon be adopted by foster parents based overseas. The story was illustrated by Ray Sunga, an award-winning Filipino illustrator and art director currently residing in Singapore.
"I had seen Ray Sunga’s work on other children’s books and reached out to him to see whether he was interested in illustrating the book. I was prompted to write the story after working with the kids in White Cross. It took me around three weeks to write it. I translated it to Filipino,” Lopez says.
Lopez, who started volunteering at the orphanage when she was in eighth grade, is making her self-published book available to children at several orphanages—White Cross, Hospicio de San Jose, Virlanie, Kalipay Negrense and St. Rita. “I am in the process of distributing more copies to orphanages and children’s homes around the Philippines.”
A lover of literature and the arts, she published an earlier book about her teacher when she was in eighth grade. She has finished yet another one, “Tata’s Once Upon a Time.” In this third book, she focuses on “three of my Tata’s (grandfather’s) experiences that, I think, will inspire children never to give up, especially in times of difficulty.”
Lopez’s parents are Jay and Georgina Lopez. Her grandparents are Lopez Group chairman emeritus Oscar M. Lopez and Consuelo RufinoLopez, who has been president of White Cross since 1981.