Latest Stories

Inquirer Visayas

Storytelling group gives life to books


Members of the Basadours come from diverse backgrounds but they share the common desire to spread the love of reading. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Nicolo Nasol, a copy editor of a publishing firm, had thought the Basadours was another group of people who simply loved reading books.

The group actually goes beyond reading and gives life to books, he learned after meeting some members and joining their activities.

“The group was beyond what I expected. I joined storytelling sessions initiated by the Basadours and I felt very happy that I wouldn’t be reading to myself anymore but also for children, who really are our future,” said Nasol, 23, of Tate Publishing.

“From there, it was like changing the world one story at a time,” he said.

The Basadours was organized in February 2012 by 15 individuals who saw the need for a group that would promote the love of reading through storytelling.

“All of us had some sort of relationship with the Cebu City Public Library (CCPL), which was in danger of closing down in 2008. It was logical that we promote the love of reading through storytelling in partnership with the CCPL,” said their chairperson, lawyer Melvin Legaspi.

Legaspi spent afternoons at the library while reviewing for the bar examinations in 2010 after finishing his law studies at the University of San Carlos.

“We barely knew each other when we started the Basadours. We came from diverse backgrounds. There were lawyers, filmmakers, nurses, students, librarians and  journalists. Nobody really knows how the group will turn out,” he said.

“But we have one thing in common—we love books and we want that the children love them, too.”

Rosario Chua, CCPL chief librarian, said she was excited when she learned about the idea to form a group. As it was initiated mostly by young professionals, she said she was hopeful about the sustainability of the advocacy and confident about the passion of its members.

“It was inspiring to see them meeting almost every other day and discussing what they needed to do to spread the love of reading. We are blessed that they choose the library to be their partner because they contribute in making this place alive,” she said.

Edsa launching

The Basadours launched the “I Love to Read Project Year 1” on Feb. 25, 2012, during the commemoration of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution to emphasize reading as its contribution to nation-building.

Volunteers were trained for storytelling. Storytelling sessions were organized with nongovernment organizations, schools, barangays and businesses, and these included activities involving the children and legal aid forums for their parents.

The group also ensured that the children had a holistic experience, so arts and crafts activities, story writing and games were incorporated in the program.

“Wherever and whenever there was an invitation for us to tell stories, we grab it. We went to the mountains, to the urban barangays, to schools. We take leaves from our jobs to organize these sessions. We see to it that these children go home remembering their experience,” Legaspi said.

Legaspi said the group started organizing trademark Basadour events like “Istorya-Basa sa Library” (Storytelling at the Library), “Istorya-Basa sa Barrio” (Storytelling in the Villages) and “Storython” (A Storytelling Marathon).

Another initiative, “Story Hours,” was implemented in partnership with Banilad Town Center and the Philippine Daily Inquirer. It brought together children from private and public schools to participate in an afternoon of fun and learning, as well as a book drive, storytelling and story writing.

The partnership among the three institutions started in August 2012 after the signing of a memorandum of agreement. Since then, 10 Story Hours sessions have taken place, reaching out to close to 600 children from 15 schools, one barangay and two Gawad Kalinga’s Sibol Schools.

Each session can accommodate  at most 60 children. Storytellers were invited to read to them, while the Basadours facilitated the story writing.

Children’s stories

From August 2012 to this June, a total of 28 stories were written by the children themselves and are now in book form titled “Our Stories: A Compilation of Stories Written by Children During the Story Hours.” Eight artists rendered the illustrations.

The book will be presented to the children today in time for the Story Hours’ culmination activity.

“This is really what I love about the Basadours. We started out small but we were never afraid to partner with groups so we can make an even bigger impact,” Nasol said.

Nasol found himself volunteering in one storytelling session after the other, and devoting time in preparing for each session to better share stories with the children.

“It’s amazing how much the children remember me because I was the one who told the story to them in one session. I become a positive influence to them and that is something to me,” he said.

“I feel less and less alone in trying to make a difference. I know there’s still a lot out there with the same burning passion to effect change,” he added.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

More from this Column:

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: Basadours , Books , Cebu City Public Library , Children , Nicolo Nasol , Philippines , 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. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  3. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  4. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  9. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  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. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  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. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • No tsunami to hit PH after 6.9 quake jolts Solomon Islands–Phivolcs
  • Search resumes for bodies in Everest avalanche
  • 6.6-quake hits off PNG’s Bougainville – USGS
  • Bus passengers foil bombing in Sultan Kudarat
  • Traffic from provinces to Manila light on Black Saturday
  • Sports

  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • 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

  • 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

  • We treasure our Sierra Madre
  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Marketplace