Latest Stories

Initiative, gratitude themes of Read-Along session


YOUNG actress Jasmine Curtis is swamped by her fans at Calvario Elementary School in Meycauayan, Bulacan, where she was a featured reader at the INQUIRER Read-Along. RODEL ROTONI

More than 800 students joined this year’s first Inquirer Read-Along session outside the newspaper’s offices on Friday at Calvario Elementary School in Meycauayan, Bulacan. It was one of the biggest Read-Along audiences since the program began in 2007.

TV5 actress Jasmine Curtis read, “Ang Batang Natutong Magkusa sa Paggawa (The Child Who Took the Initiative)” by Rene Villanueva, which is about a prince who learns the importance of doing things on his own, while veteran Read-Along storytellers from Sophia School regaled the crowd with their retelling of “Beybi Bibi” by Leoncio Ricarte, about a duckling’s quest to learn how to quack.

The special session, which revolved around the theme, “Salamat Po: Gratitude for Life’s Blessings,” was the culminating activity of Sophia School’s six-month outreach program in Calvario.

Weekly storytelling


Since August, Sophia had been holding weekly storytelling and feeding sessions for Calvario students and seminars for their teachers. It was also part of Sophia School’s monthlong 18th anniversary celebration.

Apart from the storytelling segments, the children were treated to dance numbers performed by Sophia students—“Biyaya” and “Lukso, Lukso.”

Sophia teachers opened the event with an energetic dance to the song, “Pag-ibig Tulad ng Batis,” all the while encouraging the kids to mimic their moves.

“It was nice to see the students listening. They were so lively and full of energy despite the noontime heat. I loved seeing their smiles,” said Curtis, whose entrance was greeted with shrieks from both the children and adults in the audience.

Sister’s encouragement


Curtis said it was her elder sister Anne, another popular actress-singer, who encouraged her to read. “I wasn’t a book lover to begin with,” she said. “I only learned to love reading through my sister.”

“Sophia School has helped our school and our students a lot with their outreach program. They have been with us since last year and for that we are thankful,” said Calvario principal Jerry Camacho.

“Our students learned many things from today’s Read-Along session,” he added.

For fourth grader Shaira Andaya, 10, “Ate Jasmine” was her favorite storyteller.

“I was really happy during Ate Jasmine’s storytelling,” she said. “I learned that I should do some things on my own and not ask others to always do them for me. I also learned to be more obedient to my parents.”

Learning a lot


Jefferson Banaag, 13, also liked Curtis’ reading segment. “I’m happy to have been able to listen to Ate Jasmine read,” he said. “I learned a lot, especially about good manners.”

For 9-year-old Grade 2 pupil Princess Sarah Sapin, the Sophia School teachers’ retelling of “Beybi Bibi” was her favorite. “I enjoyed the story because their storytelling was beautiful,” she said.

Sophia high school students helped by acting as marshals and distributing the food and giveaways after the program. “I’m just glad to be able to help students who are younger than I am,” said freshman Tyrone Joseph Sillano.

“Their number almost overwhelmed us,” admitted his classmate Patricia Anne Martin. “But in the end, we were just really happy to be able to help our fellow students.”

Dominique Gabrielle Sarza, 16 and a senior, has been with Read-Along since the sixth grade. She was among the student leaders of the Friday event.

Tiring but worth it


“It was tiring, but it was all worth it,” she said. “Whenever we saw the kids smile, it really warmed our hearts.”

Sarza was among the senior students who had been participating in the weekly storytelling and feeding program since August.

After the session, the kids were treated to veggie burgers courtesy of the Sophia School students and their parents and healthy juice from Max’s. Prizes for the question and answer portions were courtesy of Adarna House, Vibal Publishing, Metrobank (Meycauayan-Malhakan branch) and Globe Telecom.


Calvario students also received giveaways courtesy of National Book Store, the United States Agency for International Development and the Rotary Club of Makati.

Friday’s session, hosted by Junior Inquirer editor Ruth Navarra and Sophia School principal Ann Abacan, was conducted in cooperation with Jaja Castro and Apple Maglinte of TV5, Rio Brigino and Batch Marasigan of Vibal, and Ergoe Tinio of Adarna. With reports from Kate Pedroso, Inquirer Research, and Odeng Orolaza and Jacqueline Cobrador, Inquirer Library

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: Children , Education , Inquirer Read-Along , Reading

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. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  6. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  7. Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  8. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  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’


  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Gunmen attack Iraq military base, kill 10 soldiers
  • South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  • Classmates celebrating 60th birthday among missing in ferry sinking
  • Sports

  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • 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

  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Business

  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the 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

  • DFA: 2 Filipinos survive Korean ferry disaster
  • PH asks airline passengers to check for MERS
  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • Marketplace