MANILA, Philippines—To mark Earth Day on Monday, stories about caring for the planet and making the right choices to protect it highlighted Saturday’s Inquirer Read-Along session that featured Miss Philippines-Earth 2013 candidates and Sophia School teachers as readers.
Some 50 children sat attentive to Sophia School teachers Elie Carable and Doray Carable, who are sisters and who read Christine Bersola-Babao’s “Si Kontra, Si Bida, at si Big Boy Buwaya” published by Katha Publishing Co. and Basa Center for Family Ministries Foundation Inc.
It is a story of how a group of animals banded together to change the leadership ways of Big Boy Buwaya, whose abusive manner had led to the destruction of the forest and other natural disasters.
Miss Earth hopefuls Miss Makati City Crisalda Catipay, Miss Marilao Canielle Faith Santos, Miss Misamis Occidental Kristel Suizo and Miss Sogod-Cebu Lucena Rose Magdadaro read “Ang Lumba-Lumba (The Dolphin)” by Kchessk Dimaano, a story of how a community realizes the importance of protecting the “lumba-lumba” after they save a fisherman from drowning.
Santos said it was the first time she read to kids other than her nephews and nieces. “I saw that they were very eager and attentive, so even if we were anxious I felt encouraged by the attention they were giving us. I wish we were able to impart to them the idea that even if they are just kids, there are things they can do for Mother Earth.”
“Through storytelling, we can instill in them values and turn them into advocates in the future,” said Magdadaro, an avid reader who tries to squeeze in some reading time despite her hectic schedule.
“My recent favorite book is ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell, which is about how small changes can make a huge difference. I can relate it to my experience being in the pageant because it is only now that I understand that even the little things we do can make a difference. Sometimes people tend to ignore us despite our advocacies, but I know in the end this journey will be worth it,” she said.
Suizo, on the other hand, said she wanted to share the read-along experience when she returns to her hometown in Misamis Occidental. “Through storytelling, the kids can learn a lot and broaden their perspective on what is really happening to our world,” she said, adding that the experience also taught her how to better communicate with children.
For Catipay, “storytelling is one way to educate kids. We are glad to have been able to touch their hearts and their minds.”
The children and their parents who attended Saturday’s session held at the Inquirer main office in Makati City said they learned a lot from the stories.
Ten-year-old Jayzel Vargas said: “We should care for dolphins because they can help us in saving lives during accidents in the seas too.”
Evelyn Sanchez, a parent, praised the storytellers. “They delivered the stories in such a way that they were interesting to the kids. The stories were also connected to the theme which is the celebration of Earth Day, so I think the children will value their surroundings more now.”
The Miss Philippines-Earth pageant for this year has for its theme “Celebrating the International Year of Water Cooperation.” Earth Day has been celebrated worldwide on April 22 since 1970. The Miss Philippines-Earth coronation night is on May 19 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Saturday’s session, hosted by Ruth Navarra of Junior Inquirer, was held in cooperation with Cathy Untalan of Miss Earth Foundation, Virlanie Foundation, Meriam Baniaga, F. Benitez Elementary School, Ana Marie Tan and the Laura Vicuña Foundation. Marielle Medina, Inquirer Research, with Jackieh Cobrador, Roxanne Abad and Odeng Orolaza, Inquirer Library