Latest Stories

200 street children regaled by stories on women leaders


Guest readers regaled some 200 street children with stories about strong women leaders at a special Inquirer Read-Along session on Friday at the Tuloy sa Don Bosco Streetchildren Village in Alabang, Muntinlupa.

Singer-actress Nikki Gil read “Ang Alamat ng Papaya” (The Legend of the Papaya) by Rene Villanueva, a story about how a good queen took care of her people and how the people rewarded her with undying loyalty.

Alitaptap storytellers Posh Develos and Ray Escasinas entertained the children with a joint reading of “Ang Pambihirang Buhok ni Lola” (Grandma’s Magical Hair), a story also written by Villanueva about an old woman who saved her town from destruction.

Gil, who majored in English literature at Ateneo de Manila University, said she was used to interacting with children as she had worked as a Sunday school teacher and a sponsor for World Vision.

Gil, who brought her mother to the reading, said her mother taught her to love books and reading. “We grew up around books,” she said, adding that most of her summer vacations were spent at home reading.

A 2009 Ateneo graduate, Gil wrote her thesis on children’s literature and is a former member of the National Book Development Board.

“I think the kids saw the story I read as a reflection of themselves—of how they were a tribe in need of help, how they came here to Tuloy sa Don Bosco, and how Tuloy sa Don Bosco took them in and cared for them,” she said.

Tuloy sa Don Bosco is run by Tuloy Foundation Inc., which provides support for poor, orphaned, abused or abandoned children. Friday’s read-along was part of the school’s celebration of women’s month.

“Our children were brought here by policemen, pastors, parish priests and some well-meaning citizens,” explained Fr. Rocky Evangelista, president and founder of Tuloy sa Don Bosco.

The idea of putting up a street children’s village came to him in a dream, Evangelista said.

“I dreamt one night that I was walking with a few kids from the streets—hungry, dirty, malnourished. Then, in that dream we saw a gate. When we peeked through that gate, we found a village. And one of the children said, “Father, it’s too beautiful; it’s not for us’,” he said.

Evangelista woke up crying, struck by the child’s idea that something beautiful could not be for him.

The village, which stands on a 4.5-hectare property in Alabang, has a school building, a gym and gardens.

“We want the poor kids to dream. We want them to know that even though they are poor, they still have hope,” Evangelista said.

Some 15,000 children have been served by the foundation since 1993, while more then 2,500 children have graduated from the school’s basic and functional literacy programs.

“These kids are not really into reading, but it’s good that we can encourage them to read and love books. This is a good way to get them into the habit of reading. They were very participative during the session,” said Jose M. Perez III, the  Tuloy sa Don Bosco principal. With reports from Kate Pedroso, Inquirer Research and Jackieh 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: Inquirer Read-Along , Nikki Gil , Rene Villanueva , Street children , “Ang Alamat ng Papaya”

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