MANILA, Philippines — Some 60 children from three elementary schools listened to tales about different forms of heroism and honoring modern-day heroes during the virtual Inquirer Read-Along session on Thursday, Oct. 20.
The session was held in partnership with Metrobank Foundation and featured actress Nikki Valdez and Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino awardees Col. Stephen L. Cabanlet and teacher Christine Joy Dr. Aguila.
The program, aired live on Inquirer and Metrobank’s Facebook pages, kicked off with an opening message from Kristal T. Batino, senior program officer of the Excellence Awards Unit of the Metrobank Foundation.
Aguila read Rene O. Villanueva’s “Ayokong Pumasok sa Paaralan,” a story about a bee who initially refuses to go to school and his mother who convinces him that he can have the most fun in life in school.
Aguila, a Filipino teacher at the main campus of Philippine Science High School in Quezon City, came from a family of teachers. She has dedicated nearly half of her life to championing the Filipino language and culture in education.
Cabanlet read the life story of Private First Class (PFC) Nestor Acero, a Marine who died in 1972 during a battle with Muslim outlaws in Sibalo Hill, Punay village, Sulu and was awarded a medal of valor (posthumous) for sacrificing his life to take care of his wounded comrades and to cover the withdrawal of the rest of the troops.
“Ang Kabayanihan ni PFC Nestor Acero” was published by the Philippine Marine Corps.
Cabanlet, a decorated Marine himself, has given 29 years of his life in military service and has helped promote peace and prosperity in war-stricken Sulu Island and neighboring towns. He served as assistant chief of the Unified Command Staff for Operations in the Western Command in Puerto Princesa, Palawan and is now detailed at the Office of the President duty NTF-ELCAC as the Director for Stakeholders Engagement.
Valdez read Ompong Remigio’s “Yaya niya, Nanay ko,” a story of a child’s love for her mother who works as a nanny for another child.
Valdez juggles being a mother to her 14-year old daughter with her busy acting career and her cake shop business where she bakes and sells her own sweet cake creations.
Thursday’s session was hosted by Inquirer Lifestyle writing editor Ruth Navarra-Mayo and was held in cooperation with Doña Pilar C. Gonzaga Elementary School, Good Shepherd Montessori School, and Manggahan Elementary School.
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.