MANILA, Philippines–The 9th Inquirer Read-Along Festival opens with a message of power and hope to the kids with the theme, “Children Rising,” held at the Inquirer office in Makati City on Friday.
Philippine Daily Inquirer president and CEO Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez kicked off the festivities with an interactive reading of Super Ningning” written by Liwliwa Malabed and illustrated by Kara Dandan-Albano. The story tells of a girl who fought bullies in school by making new friends and being kind to people.
“If there is a superpower that the kids have, it’s that sense of wonder, sense of determination and being 100 percent focused on seeing what can be achieved, rather than seeing what the barriers and hurdles are towards that goal,” Romualdez, who has been a staunch advocate of reading, said.
Romualdez added that “reading is something that we need to invest in. I love that this is our 9th festival and I just wanna thank all the Inquirer volunteers, school partners, foundation partners and sponsors who have been there from the very beginning and have carried on the advocacy of reading.”
Also guest readers were professional storytellers Rich Rodriguez and Posh Develos of Ang Pinoy Storytellers, who read to some 108 kids from three schools and two foundations.
Rodriguez and Develos did an animated reading of “Ang Mahiyaing Manok” written by Rebecca T. Añonuevo and illustrated by Ruben de Jesus. The story is about a shy rooster who learned to come out of the shadows and remain confident.
Sophia, 12, of Caniogan Elementary School said her favorite part of the session was reading about the story “Bagong Planeta,” where she learned that anyone, regardless of age, can help change the world.
Rodriguez also read “Sa Bagong Planeta” written by Feny de los Angeles-Bautista and Elmer Gatchalian and illustrated by John D. Crisostomo.
Students from from Maybunga Elementrary School, Caniogan Elementary School, Palatiw Elementary School, Child Hope Asia Philippines and Verlaie Foundation joined the first day festival session.
The morning session is the first of the four Inquirer Read-Along Festival sessions, the highlight of which would be the crowning of the Festival Queen or King.
Among the festival’s sponsors were Metrobank Foundation, Smart Communications, McDonald’s, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Pridez Food Services Inc., Adarna House and Anvil Publishing Inc.