7 young storytellers make it as PDI Read-Along finalists
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 04:47 AM October 26, 2014
MANILA, Philippines—Seven young storytellers emerged as finalists in this year’s Philippine Daily Inquirer Read-Along Festival Storytelling Competition after the semifinal round held on Saturday at the Inquirer main office in Makati.
The festival is an annual event held in November, when the country marks National Reading Month.
The finalists are: Aron Claude Perez, Optimus Center for Development; Christian Manuel Fronda, Optimus Center for Development; Sophia Janelle Chua, Chiang Kai Shek College; Ralph Matthew Villafuerte, Optimus Center for Development; Darwin Alexander Co, Chiang Kai Shek College; Noah Roa, Optimus Center for Development, and Eine Vuycankiat, School of St. Anthony.
The seven will compete in the final round during the Read-Along Festival on Nov. 13 at 3 p.m. at the main lobby of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
A highlight of the event will be the crowning of the Festival Queen or King, the champion of the Festival Storytelling Competition for students aged 10 to 12. The event will also feature a book fair by Read-Along partners Adarna House, Anvil Publishing and Vibal Publishing.
The contestants and their coaches attended a workshop on the basics of book-based interactive storytelling led by regular Read-Along storyteller Rich Rodriguez on Oct. 4.
The semifinalists were asked to read Christine Bellen’s “Ang Mahiwagang Biyulin.”
Finalist Chua said she was very happy she made it to the final round. “I will just practice enough to prepare for the finals. I also think I should not overdo my practices because that is usually the problem when you overdo your storytelling.”
A bit nervous Co said he was surprised he got into the final round. “I think I should start practicing to get the better result. I felt a bit nervous but I’m used to reading in front of an audience so I was able to relax quickly.”
Fronda said he felt nervous the whole time because the other contestants were really very good. “I will just do my best and have fun in the final round,” he said.
Perez said he was nervous too. “I initially felt nervous but after a few minutes I felt blessed to have an unbelievable experience. I just enjoyed it the best way I could and always smiled so I could perform well. I will work hard for the final round and just keep reading the stories until I know them by heart,” he said.
“I feel very happy because even at an early age we get to experience this. Before my turn, when I was still in the hallway, I felt very nervous. But as soon as I entered the room and saw the judges and the audience, I felt it disappear,” Roa said.
“I feel great. I am happy about it and I want to thank my parents for allowing me to join the contest,” Vuycankiat said.
When asked how he would prepare for the final round, Villafuerte said he will “practice harder and of course pray to God.”
Junior Inquirer editor and regular Read-Along host Ruth Navarra, Inquirer photographer and Read-Along storyteller Grig Montegrande and professional storyteller Ray Escasinas served as judges for both the elimination and semifinal rounds.
This year’s Read-Along Festival, copresented with the CCP, will showcase the old and new favorite Filipino stories for children aged 7 to 12.
Now on its fourth year, the two-day marathon of storytelling sessions will feature Read-Along Ambassadors Inquirer president Alexandra Prieto Romualdez, beauty queen Catherine Untalan-Vital, TV personalities Kim Atienza, Jasmine Curtis and Nikki Gil, professional cager Ranidel de Ocampo, Miss Earth 2013 Alyz Henrich, actor Mark Neumann, Ang Pinoy storytellers Rich Rodriguez, Posh Develos and Ray Escasinas, Adarna House storyteller Dyali Justo and Ann Abacan and Sophia School.
Parties interested in the festival sessions may call Ellen at 8978808 ext. 329. Limited slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.