Dear Dianne: A letter to my dear friend, Dianne de las Casas

Dear Dianne: A letter to my dear friend, Dianne de las Casas

August 21, 2020

By Zarah C. Gagatiga, Teacher Librarian, Author, Blogger, and Storyteller

Dear Dianne,

It has been three years since you moved on. I miss you. I miss everything about you––the chats on Messenger on anything under the sun, your tips for a successful Author Visit, swapping ideas for book projects, kikay stuff, the work we do for Picture Book Monthand plans for a visit to the Philippines as frequently as possible. 

I want to continue our literacy projects but it is not just the same without you. That is the open-ended statement I cannot find closure to. I think that is how some things are in life. There are events, objects, and moments that are left unfinished. On the other hand, I take it as a door left ajar. I can still go into the next room or out unto another world and figure how to work things out. Mistakes will be plenty but the room is big enough for improvements. There will be critics and naysayers, but the world is always ready to see something different and unique. I learned this all from you, Dianne. This is how I will always remember our relationship. 

Open to possibilities like our jump into Tales of the 7,000 Isles. Adventurous like the trip we had in Sagada. Daringly creative like the new strategies and techniques, we cook up for storytelling events. Hopeful like a stroll on the beach at sunset. Bubbly like a glass of champagne. 

I can never thank you enough for the trust and confidence you have given me. But I promise you this, I will carry on with the mentoring and the guidance I received from you by being a mentor and guide to others. 

You are my Big Sister, Dianne. I love you!



Dianne de las Casas, a beloved children's book author and Zarah Gagatiga's dear friend, passed away on August 21, 2017. Her stories and words live on in her books, which you may check out here on Dear Books:

Zarah is our Dear Guest Reader for the month of August, celebrating Buwan ng Wika with us here on Dear Books by highlighting local writers and illustrators.

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