Latest Stories

Tales of health, friendship at Read-Along


MANILA, Philippines—In celebration of Nutrition Month and National Children’s Book Day, around 130 children attended back-to-back Inquirer Read-Along sessions at the paper’s main office in Makati City on Saturday.

In the morning session, veteran read-along storytellers Rich Rodriguez and Posh Develos, musician RJ Jimenez and actress Max Collins read tales on the importance of friendship, sharing and gratefulness to around 30 kids from SOS Children’s Village Manila.

In the afternoon session, Junior Masterchef champion Kyle Imao and Sophia School principal Ann Abacan gave life to tales on the importance of good nutrition and taking good care of one’s body to some 100 kids.

First-time reader Collins kicked off the morning session with “Maia’s Birthday Party” by Yvette Fernandez and published by Adarna, a story about the love parents have for an adopted child.

Jimenez, a returning read-along celebrity guest, read “Gaya’s Gift” by Jenny Evans and published by OMF Literature, the story of a carabao who realizes her “special gift.”

Rodriguez and Develos capped the morning session with an energetic reading of Angelita Aragon’s classic tale, “Ang Magkaibigan,” about the friendship between an ant and a dove. The two were also the main sponsors of the morning session as part of their joint birthday celebration.

In the afternoon, kiddie chef Kyle Imao read “The Untold Story of Super Boy” by Benjamin Mangubat, the story of how a young boy beat obesity by eating well and exercising.

Abacan read “Ang Alamat ng Ampalaya” by Augie D. Rivera and illustrated by Kora D. Albano, the story of a selfish ampalaya who stole all the taste, color and nutrients of other vegetables. After her segment, Abacan, with help from Imao, made a “green smoothie” for the kids—a nutritious drink of camote tops, jute leaves (saluyot), banana, soy milk and honey.

“It was an unforgettable experience,” said Collins, a GMA-7 actress and model. “Seeing the kids enjoying themselves as I read to them was priceless.”

UP AND coming young actress Max Collins read “Maia’s Birthday Party” to a rapt audience at the INQUIRER Read-Along last weekend. RODEL ROTONI

Jimenez, who is busy producing musicals for kids, said his reading experience this time around was different from the last time in 2008. “I felt like a kid again,” he said. “The kids today were very focused and participative. I really enjoyed today’s session.”

Thirteen-year-old Imao, who dreams of becoming a chef and owning a restaurant, said he enjoyed his first-time reading to other children.

“It was so fun telling stories to the kids. They were really listening and actively answering all my questions. Every minute was exciting,” he said. “When you read something you always learn something new. It’s also applicable to cooking in that you always have to push yourself and keep learning new and more things.”

Imao also stressed the importance of good nutrition. “I wish that kids would try to eat healthier and stop drinking soft drinks. When I was a kid, my parents taught me not to drink soft drinks. It really helps if we try to eat healthy always because when we grow up it is us who’ll benefit from it,” he said.

Sharon Barzaga, a social worker for SOS Children’s Village, said the read-along was one of the better activities their children had attended. “The read-along is really a good exercise. I think our kids really have to learn how to love reading,” she said.

Ayalyn Buenaventura, 11, one of the kids from SOS, was all smiles after the morning session. “It was fun, we laughed a lot. Thank you for having us,” she said.

Her favorite story was “Ang Magkaibigan,” she added. “It taught me the importance of always helping each other.”

Jhonelyn Taylo, 11, also an SOS ward, said she could not pick a favorite storyteller. “I liked them all, especially Ate Max and Kuya RJ,” she said.

Paul Lester Distrito, a student at St. Anthony of Makati Montessori, said the afternoon session was “great, it reminded me to eat vegetables to keep our bodies healthy.”

Thirteen-year-old Nicole Ann Marquez agreed: “We need to eat nutritious food like vegetables so we can be healthy. I am really happy today because I learned a lot of new things.”

“I was impressed by Teacher Ann’s prepared drink and healthy lifestyle. She is a vegetarian and I think it’s the healthy thing to do,” said Demitre Vaughn D. Sevilla, also from St. Anthony.

Saturday’s sessions, hosted by Libre editor in chief Chito de la Vega and Junior Inquirer editor Ruth Navarra, were held in cooperation with GMA 7’s Marian Domingo-Antonio, SOS Children’s Village, St. Anthony of Makati Montessori, Makati Sporting Association, F. Benitez Elementary School and Laura Vicuña Foundation.

Develos, Rodriguez and their friends also provided snacks, prizes and giveaways in the morning session.—With reports from Kate Pedroso and Marielle Medina, Inquirer Research; Roxanne Abad and Jackie Sabian, 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 , Food , Health , Inquirer Read-Along , Nutrition , Philippines

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. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  2. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  3. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  4. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  5. Solons seek ample protection for bank depositors
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Tragedies at sea: The Sewol and the Costa Concordia
  10. Santiago: Gigi Reyes is Enrile’s fall guy
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Aquino: ‘Doubting Thomases’ now contributing to PH recovery
  • Fire engulfs apartments in Sampaloc
  • Messy warehouse belongs to Unicef, WFP, says Soliman
  • Suspected Abu Sayyaf rebels release hostage
  • New meaning of Easter in Samar
  • Sports

  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace