Latest Stories
Inquirer Southern Luzon

Boxes of dreams, inspiration for children in read-along


GRADE 1 pupils of Buraguis Elementary School in Legazpi City receive boxes of school supplies collected from donors by the Junior Chamber International-Legazpi chapter and the Mayon Photography Club Inc. PATRICK ENCINAREAL/CONTRIBUTOR

It was a morning filled with dreams, ambitions and inspiration. Gathered in three classrooms converted into one big hall, almost a hundred children, with their teachers and parents seated at the back, shared what they aspired to become in the future.

Some wanted to be a policeman, while others chose to be a doctor, nurse or engineer, or simply get rich.

The Grade 1 pupils of Buraguis Elementary School shared their wishes in the Inquirer Read-Along held in Legazpi City on Nov. 9, in partnership with the Junior Chamber International (JCI) chapter in Legazpi and the Mayon Photography Club Inc. (MPCI).

It was the culminating activity of the two groups’ “Trick or Treat” Project. Children were asked to draw their dreams and ambitions on papers and pasted these on a box. The boxes were sent to donors on Halloween Night to fill them up with a year’s basic school supplies.

John Glenn Lee, project chair, said the groups hoped to reduce the dropout rate of students in Buraguis, which was ranked by the Department of Education (DepEd) as one of the city schools with the biggest number of students not being able to graduate.

According to the DepEd’s 2007 records, the cohort survival rate (CSR) of Buraguis Elementary School was 45.05 percent. The CSR is the percentage of students who enrolled in Grade 1 and those who finished elementary education.


One of the reasons for the dismal performance is economics. Parents could not afford to send their children to school, Lee said. “We want to help address this by giving them some of their basic school needs.”

Nilo Berjuega, the school principal, said programs were being undertaken to address the problem.

To inspire the children to pursue their dreams, Generosa Deocariza, a dentist and dentistry teacher who graduated from the school, was invited to read for them.

POLICE Officer Charmaine Balete reads “Si Tiktaktok at Pikpakbum” in the Inquirer Read-Along held in the school.

She gamely interacted with the young listeners as she read “Si Pilong Patago-tago” (Pilong Who Loved to Hide), a story of a mischievous boy who loved to play hide and seek. The story was written by Kristine Canon.

Ferdinand Mallorca, 6, said he didn’t like Pilong because “he’s very naughty and doesn’t follow what his mother says.” In the story, Pilong got lost inside a department store while hiding from his mother.

Mallorca said he wanted to be a doctor someday. His mother Anna, 47, works as a part-time laundry woman while her husband is a carpenter.

Despite the hardships, Anna said she would try to support her son.

Jeremy Sabalboro, 6, was one of the many children who wanted to become policemen. He listened intently when Police Officer Charmaine Balete of the human resources of Legazpi police, narrated the story of “Tiktaktok at Pikpakbum,” written by Rene Villanueva.

The story tells of two brothers who often fought but remained friends in the end, when Tiktaktok saved his brother Pikpakbum after eating poisoned meat.

“Like Ate Charmaine, I also want to be a policeman because I want to protect and defend the people,” Sabalboro said.

Berjuega said “we saw how happy the children were and we hope it would inspire them to finish their studies.”

At the end of the reading session, members of the JCI and MPCI distributed boxes filled with notebooks, pencils, crayons, glue, erasers and pad paper, among other school items.

Lee said he hoped that the project, to be called “Box of Dreams,” could help reduce the dropout rate of students in the city and encourage them to read, study and pursue their dreams.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Education , News , Read-along , Regions

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  5. State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  6. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  7. Estrada: I will pray for my detractors
  8. Miraculous image makes Gapan City top site for pilgrimage in Central Luzon
  9. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  10. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • 20 killed as Islamic extremists rampage in Nigeria
  • Drug firm Novartis to help Leyte firefighter
  • Fears grow for hundreds missing in South Korea ferry capsize
  • Robot sub makes first complete search for plane
  • uFly fires flight simulator who appeared on CNN
  • Sports

  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Power Pinoys settle for 7th place
  • Successful coaches to get raise
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Jealousy is kid stuff
  • Business

  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Gov’t subsidies to state firms fell in first 2 months
  • Technology

  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Milpitas, California kids wrap up a successful run of ‘The Wiz’
  • Marketplace