MANILA, Philippines — The 11th Inquirer Read-Along Festival kicked off Saturday with stories of gratitude to frontliners who have kept communities and families safe and in high spirits during the pandemic.
It also sought to give inspiration and hope to children who have been affected by extended lockdowns.
This year’s two-day festival, which carries the theme, “Celebrating Everyday Heroes,” was held online, live-streamed on Facebook for the second straight year as face-to-face activities and gatherings are still restricted.
The session was held in partnership with Metrobank Foundation Inc.
“I hope tonight the stories that you will hear will give you inspiration and gratitude for the everyday heroes who have made our lives bearable during these difficult times,” said Philippine Daily Inquirer associate publisher Juliet Labog-Javellana, who opened the first day of the festival.
“Through these stories, may you also find the hero in you so that you can also be a gift and a blessing to others,” Javellana added.
Saturday’s program featured actor and Read-Along ambassador Mon Confiado, Metrobank’s outstanding Filipino awardee and public school teacher Sabrina Ongkiko, and professional storyteller and school principal Ann Abacan.
“This is the 5th year that Metrobank Foundation has partnered with the Inquirer [Read-Along Festival] not just to give an opportunity for our awardees to share their talent and stories, but because education is close to our hearts,” said Dyan Tee, Metrobank senior program manager, in her opening remarks.
The second day of the festival, which will also be broadcast live on Inquirer’s Facebook pages, will be on Nov. 27 with a new set of storytellers, including Read-Along ambassador and TV host Kim Atienza.
Launched in 2007, the Inquirer Read-Along is a corporate social responsibility project of the newspaper company that aims to promote a love of reading among children.