Philippine Daily Inquirer / 09:30 PM September 11, 2021
MANILA, Philippines — Stories about a nutritious diet and having a healthy lifestyle were the focus of the virtual Inquirer Read-Along session held Saturday, with around 60 children attending via Zoom platform.
Featuring actress and model Barbie Forteza and professional storyteller Ann Abacan, the session was sponsored by Herbalife Nutrition Philippines, led by Sridhar Rajagopalan, senior director and sub-regional general manager, and Anna Rubio, corporate communications manager.
Abacan opened the session with Russell Molina and Ariel Santillan’s “Hayan na si Kidlat,” a story about an active boy who learns about the importance of eating on time.
Forteza read “The Untold Story of SuperBoy,” written by Benjamin Mangubat and illustrated by John Kendrick Bautista, which tells the story of a boy who grows up with unhealthy eating habits but eventually realizes the need to eat nutritious food.
Highlighting the lesson of the story, Forteza said the main takeaway for her was that everything should be done in moderation, including eating.
“Too much of anything is bad. What I learned was that we need to watch what we eat and the nutrition that is in the food we eat. For me and for parents, it is our duty to watch and take care of what children eat,” she said.
Abacan, who is also a school principal and a nutritionist-dietician, said it is necessary for children to receive proper nourishment through breakfast, the most important meal of the day.
“I always make sure that our [students] receive proper nourishment. That means encouraging the parents to give healthy breakfasts. Eating a healthy breakfast would mean having more concentration when the children go to classes,” she said.
Herbalife’s Rajagopalan mentioned the value of storytelling in promoting love of reading and maintaining an active lifestyle and good nutrition.
“We definitely want to promote the love of reading among children and the best way to do that is through storytelling. The way you tell a story can convey the right message,” he said.
Forteza, a first time storyteller for Inquirer Read-Along, talked about the importance of reading to her daily life: “When I read aloud and I hear myself, I can retain the memory better—both with books and movie scripts. Reading has been very useful to me ever since I was a kid and now that I’m an adult,” she said.
Talking about the importance of staying healthy in the time of the pandemic, Forteza said it is important to keep healthy habits.
“What I do to maintain my health is to drink water and discipline myself to always drink water… and I make sure that we always have fruits—apples, oranges, pineapples—as these are natural sources of vitamins aside from the supplements we take,” she said.
Saturday’s session was hosted by Inquirer Lifestyle writing editor Ruth Navarra-Mayo. Guest students from Ilugin Elementary School, Diliman Preparatory School, and the Renato Lopez Elementary School and participants from the Inquirer Facebook page received kits and prizes from Herbalife.
Launched in 2007, the Inquirer Read-Along is a corporate social responsibility project of the company which aims to promote the love of reading among children. Arianne Suarez and Andi SyCip, Inquirer Intern