He only wanted to be the lead in their school play. But to play as Andres Bonifacio, Filemon needed to be fit and healthy to get through the long and grueling practices.
Filemon’s obesity, however, kept him tired all the time, making it difficult for him to move and last during practices. So what was Filemon to do to reach his dream to play the lead?
“Filemon Mamon”, a story written by Christine S. Bellen, tells us of the lead character’s journey towards wellness while emphasizing the importance of taking care of one’s health. This was one of the main lessons imparted to some 60 children from the Erda Foundation, Virlanie Foundation, and La Paz Elementary School during a special
Read-Along session held by Medicard Philippines Inc. and Inquirer Property last May 18.
“This story tells us that it’s important to be healthy. But I also want to point out that not all who are thin are healthy while not all who are fat are unhealthy,” said Medicard Philippines Dr. Nicanor S. Montoya.
Merits of reading
Dr. Montoya, a first-time guest reader at the Inquirer Read-Along session, lauded this storytelling activity as he believes in the merits of reading.
It is widely believed that stories and storytelling can spark a sense of wonder, passion, and curiousity, especially in young minds. Stories can widen their knowledge, stir their imagination, and more importantly, play a crucial role in children’s education and development.
This is why Dr. Montoya has instilled the habit of reading among his six children, noting that if one wants to be more aware and be more knowledgeable, one cannot rely only on the internet. Reading books, he stressed, is still the best form of education that one can have.
“I like the idea of education. I think what the country needs is (for) more people to be educated,” Dr. Montoya said.
In this day and age of the “instant”, people are increasingly drawn to watching videos that are just a few minutes long on the internet and social media to get their information. But Dr. Montoya believes that
reading, an activity that takes a certain kind of training and discipline, educates and inculcates values in people in a different manner.
“Reading is a lifestyle. If you read enough, you will learn, you will know, and you will be able to manage things better. And when one is better, the community is better, and then the nation is better,” Dr.
Healthy mind and body
This advocacy on education does not deviate too far from Medicard’s goal of ensuring the health and wellness of more Filipinos. This is why Medicard partnered with Inquirer Property to host last week’s Read-Along session, as part of the health maintenance organization’s 32nd-anniversary celebration.
“At the end of the day, it’s all part of health and wellness—having a healthy mind and a healthy body,” Dr. Montoya said. “When you encourage reading when you encourage education, a person will learn,
will become more broad-minded and open. If we were all more educated, we would know how to take risks and manage it and we would be more aware of what’s happening around us.”
And being educated, broad-minded and open would be critical to ensuring the health and wellness of more Filipinos.
“Having an insurance or Medicard is a (form of) financial literacy. If you’re financially literate, you would understand why you need it, why you need insurance, why you need HMO, why you need healthcare. That’s
why I believe that it all starts with education,” he concluded.