Writing stories, obedience to folks Read-Along themes | Inquirer Lifestyle

Writing stories, obedience to folks Read-Along themes

MANILA, Philippines—Writing stories, a form of free expression, plays a crucial role in building society.


This was the theme of one of two stories read to kids in this year’s third Inquirer Read-Along session held on Sunday at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City.


Actor Mikael Daez, a returning storyteller, read Mary Ann Ordinario-Floresta’s “The Kingdom with No Stories,” which tells of a humble lady who kept writing stories despite it being unlawful in the kingdom she lived in.


“I thought the story was a bit deep for the group… I kind of had to explain it a bit from time to time… but either way, they enjoyed it, so it was OK,” said Daez, who is also National Peace Ambassador for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.


Before an unusually younger age bracket, Daez said he had to modify his storytelling to catch the attention of the children. The participants were members of the Jollibee Kids Club (JKC), aged 5 to 10 years old.


Easier to understand


“The way you read to each one can be different. With older kids, you can read to them in an in-depth way… with younger kids, you have to make it easier for them so they can understand,” said Daez, who can be seen on GMA 7’s “Adarna” and a food segment on “Saksi.”


“I’ve always liked the Read-Along. I am the second in a brood of eight so I understand reading to younger ones and helping them out,” Daez said, adding that interactive reading hones a child’s potential.


He was joined by regular reader Ann Abacan, teacher and principal of Sophia School in Meycuayan, Bulacan. Abacan read Victoria Añonuevo’s “Wako: Ang Kuwagong Pilyo,” which is about an owlet that learned to obey his parents.


Small happiness


A Read-Along storyteller for seven years, Abacan described how reading to a group of kids had become a source of “small happiness” to her.


“Love for reading is my advocacy. Whenever I notice a kid absorbing a story and see it in his eyes… my weariness goes away,” Abacan said.


She said the children were well-behaved and cooperative, proof that kids from the generation of iPhones and tablets “still want books.”


The session was among the different activities during the launch of this year’s JKC, which included face painting, video games, and arts and crafts. Around 20 kids still found the Read-Along booth fun and inviting.


Books from Vibal Publishing and toys from Jollibee were given away to the youngsters who were able to answer correctly story review questions from the guest readers.


Along with the prizes he got, Zedrick Arriola, 9, said he was happy to have been a part of the Inquirer Read-Along for the first time.


Niña Fernandez, 10, detailed the lessons she picked up from the two books: “Stories are important, and kids should be diligent in their studies.”


As members of the JKC, both kids, as well as the rest of the participants, are entitled to benefits and perks from Jollibee restaurants nationwide.—Kathleen de Villa, Inquirer Research

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