Latest Stories

Read-Along at 6 picks celebs as ambassadors

MANILA, Philippines—The Inquirer Read-Along on Saturday marked its sixth year by training master storytellers and honoring celebrity readers in a daylong affair that gathered children ages 7 to 12 at the Inquirer office in Makati City.

The celebration’s main event was twofold: coaching the first batch of “champions” to become Read-Along storytellers and organizers in their communities; and introducing the program’s first “ambassadors”— celebrity readers who have regaled children in the past with their engaging storytelling.

The activity started with a training session on interactive storytelling facilitated by Read-Along veterans Rich Rodriguez and Posh Develos, followed by a reading session featuring actress Camille Prats, Rodriguez and outstanding workshop participants Ikko Esporna and John Rey Roxas.

The celebration was highlighted with the launching of the Read-Along Ambassadors led by Inquirer chair Marixi Prieto, representing Inquirer president and CEO Sandy Prieto-Romualdez. The first batch of these Read-Along official representatives are Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2007 Anna Theresa Licaros, Miss Earth executive director Cathy Untalan, actress Jasmine Curtis, news anchors Karen Davila and Kim Atienza and singer Nikki Gil.

Launched in May 2007 by the Inquirer Research department and Junior Inquirer, the Read-Along program brings together children for story-reading sessions with celebrities, famous role models for the youth and achievers in their respective fields. Since then, the team has conducted more than 250 sessions with more than 16,000 children and over 300 celebrity readers.

Volunteers from Tuloy sa Don Bosco, Hands On Manila, Makati Sporting Association and San Leonardians of Nueva Ecija joined the morning workshop for the “champions” program.

In the afternoon, Prats read the book “The Gift” by Gidget Roceles Jimenez, which is part of the Great Men and Women of Asia-Children’s Series published by Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. It tells the story of Ramon Magsaysay awardee for public service Prateep Ungsongtham-Hata, who was cited in 1978 for bringing the gift of reading, learning, better health and hope to impoverished children in Thailand.

Rodriguez read “The Kingdom of No Stories” by Mary Ann Ordinario-Floresta, published by ABC Educational Development Center, which tells about a king who bans stories in his kingdom and about a young girl who bravely writes stories and helps bring about change.

Roxas and Esporna read “Ang Magkaibigan” by Angelita Aragon, a story about the friendship of a dove and an ant.

“I really enjoyed reading to the kids, and the story I read was inspiring. I am happy that the kids seemed to enjoy the storytelling, and I hope that they were inspired by it as well,” said Prats, who appears on GMA shows “Mars” and “Bukod Kang Pinagpala.”

The mother to 5-year-old son Nathan explained that while it was her first time to read to kids “in this kind of venue,” she has already some storytelling experience with children.

“I read to my son most of the time and as a school owner, I also get an opportunity to read to children,” said Prats, who opened Divine Angels Montessori in Cainta in 2008.

“I think education is very important that is why I support projects like the Read-Along. I think the best gift anyone can give to someone is education and not everyone is given that opportunity,” the actress said.

Both neophyte storytellers, 20-year-old Esporna and 18-year-old Roxas said they were “shocked” to hear that they would be the top participants of the workshop.

READ-ALONG Read-Along Ambassadors read their oath. They are (from left) 2007 Bb. Pilipinas Anna Theresa Licaros, actress Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Miss Earth official Cathy Untalan, broadcasters Karen Davila and Kim Atienza, Inquirer chair Marixi Prieto and singer Nikki Gil. ARNOLD ALMACEN

“I don’t really have any experience in this kind of activity before, but maybe my training as a part of a theater group helped me in the workshop,” Esporna said.

Roxas, meanwhile, said both of them were used to working with children through their parish’s youth ministry.

The newly trained storytellers, who traveled all the way from Nueva Ecija, said they would use what they have learned from the workshop in their work in outreach programs.

One of the kids in the audience, Marisol Blancaflor, said her favorite story was “Ang Magkaibigan,” where she learned about the value of lending a helping hand.

Twelve-year-old Camille Medrano said she loved the story “Kingdom with No Stories” because the protagonist of the story was inspirational. “I learned that reading is very important if we want to achieve our dreams,” she added.

Like Medrano, Noel Olorosa’s favorite story was also “Kingdom with No Stories.” “I admired the girl in the story because she wanted other children to learn how to read, too,” he said.

Saturday’s session was hosted by Inquirer Libre editor Chito dela Vega, with the cooperation of GMA-7’s Jhops Cruz. With reports from Kate Pedroso, Schatzi Quodala and Marielle Medina, Inquirer Research


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Arts & Books , Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2007 Anna Theresa Licaros , Inquirer Read-Along , Jasmine Curtis , Karen Davila , Kim Atienza , Miss Earth executive director Cathy Untalan , singer Nikki Gil , story-reading sessions

  • bauninam

    kagaling na nilang magsibasa,,pwede na sila sa call center..

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  5. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  6. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  5. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  6. South Koreans crave Asia’s smelliest fish
  7. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Ex-Givenchy model fights for ‘Yolanda’ survivors


  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Gunmen attack Iraq military base, kill 10 soldiers
  • South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  • Classmates celebrating 60th birthday among missing in ferry sinking
  • Sports

  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Business

  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • DFA: 2 Filipinos survive Korean ferry disaster
  • PH asks airline passengers to check for MERS
  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council