Miss Earth-Philippines 2017 Karen Ibasco, Miss Earth 2016 Katherine Espin and Miss Earth-Air Michelle Gomez. Inquirer Read Along Festival at the PDI main office in Makati City. INQUIRER PHOTO / LEO M. SABANGAN II
In this crazy, unpredictable world, hope is what motivates us to keep doing good.
This was the theme of this year’s 7th Read-Along Festival, which kicked off Friday at the Inquirer main office in Makati.
Held in cooperation with Smart Telecommunications, this year’s Festival carries the theme, “Hope for the children, Hope for the country.”
The festival is also sponsored by McDonalds, Unilab, RiteMed for Kids, USAid, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Adarna, Anvil and Vibal.
Inquirer Central Desk chief Juliet Javellana, together with morning readers Inquirer president and chief executive officer Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez, Miss Earth 2016 Katherine Espin of Ecuador, Miss Earth-Air 2016 Michelle Gomez of Colombia, and Miss Earth Philippines 2017 Karen Ibasco, formally opened the ceremonies by unveiling the Festival 2017 backdrop.
A special performance by Inquirer’s official mascot Guyito and Smart’s pro-environment mascot Flora, who helps promote disaster preparedness among kids, served as an energizer to the kids.
Romualdez, who is also a Read-Along ambassador, read “Ang Huling Puno” by Richard Reynante. Complete with the costume and props, Romualdez emphasized the importance of taking care of our environment and being responsible in how we take care of Mother Nature.
For the short question and answer segment with the children, Romualdez also gave small potted plants to encourage children to continue their good practices of caring for the environment.
The Miss Earth beauties read Sa Bakawan (In the Mangrove Forest),” a story about the threats mangroves face from pollution and mishandled solid waste. The story was authored by Miss Earth Foundation executive director Cathy Untalan.
Professional storytellers Rich Rodriguez and Posh Develos of Ang Pinoy Storytellers closed Friday morning’s exciting session by reading in tandem Rene Villanueva’s “The Zimbragatzees of the Planet Zing,” a story about the Zimbragatzee creatures who, after losing their unique noses due to extreme pollution, learn to rehabilitate their planet in order to bring their noses back.
Around 50 students from Palatiw Elementary School, Precious Gem Academy, F. Ma. Guerrero Elementary School and St. Gabriel Academy joined the first session hosted by Read-Along regular hosts Ruth Navarra-Mayo and Chito Dela Vega. Another session is taking place starting at 2 in the afternoon with readers multi-awarded actress Cherry Pie Picache and veteran storyteller Dyali Justo of Adarna House. The second day of the festival on Saturday will also include the finals of the Storytelling Competition.