Inquirer Read-Along: Kids as heroes, apathy as foe | Inquirer News

Inquirer Read-Along: Kids as heroes, apathy as foe

/ 07:16 AM August 12, 2018

SELFIE WITH FUTURE HEROES Host-singer Kakai Bautista poses with students of Nueve de Febrero Elementary School after the Inquirer Read-Along session on Saturday. —ALEXIS CORPUZ

Heroism knows no age and size, and can manifest in everyday acts of kindness.

This was the message that some 60 children, aged 7 to 9, gathered from several stories during the Inquirer Read-Along session on Saturday.


The session, which celebrated both the National Language Month of August and National Heroes’ Day on Aug. 27,  featured host, singer and comedian Kakai Bautista, Inquirer columnist and former Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manuel “Manolo” Quezon III, and veteran storyteller Ann Abacan of Sophia School.

Bautista read “Si Carancal Laban sa Bongbongeros” by Rene Villanueva, which tells of how a pint-sized boy led the townsfolk in driving away fishermen who were using dynamite and destroying marine life.


“The story reminds us of the apathy of some Filipinos who tend to act on a problem only after being reprimanded about it.  Worse, others would only do something after the problem had gotten worse,” Bautista said.

Terms of endearment

Quezon read a retelling of Lapu-Lapu’s Battle of Mactan, as seen through the eyes of a brave boy in “Si Makisig” by Lamberto Antonio.

Abacan narrated Michael Coroza’s “Ang mga Lambing ni Lolo Ding,” the story of a grandfather whose terms of endearment became seeds of character that later manifested itself in enduring acts of kindness that may also be considered as everyday heroism.

“I think the session was less about the stories and more about how kids, even at the Grade 3 level, understand that heroism is possible for everyone, even [children] their age,” said Quezon, a first-time Inquirer Read-Along storyteller.

“Being a good citizen is in itself a noteworthy commitment and the children understand this, so it’s encouraging because at a time when we hear that people have become apathetic, you encounter alert, curious and concerned kids,” Quezon added.

One doesn’t need to be a superhero to be emulated by kids, Bautista said. What is important is that the acts children see or hear about are good, because they tend to imitate those.


Like a sponge

“Children’s consciousness are like a sponge that absorbs everything, whether good and bad. If you let them absorb all the good deeds, they will carry those values as they grow,” Bautista added.

Through the stories, the Grade 3 pupils from Nueve de Febrero Elementary School, Mandaluyong City, learned that doing small meaningful acts translates into heroism as well.

For Christal Mae San Andres, 7, Lolo Ding’s story taught her the importance of listening to elders for the knowledge and wisdom they could impart that would enable her to help others in the future.

Helping others and defending those in need can be considered acts of heroism, said Radiance Herman, 8, whose favorite story at the session was Carancal’s act of courage.

The session was hosted by Inquirer Research’s Rafael Antonio, and was held in cooperation with Rotary Club of Mandaluyong West District led by its president, Joel Reña, and past president, Paolo Rivera. —Reports from Ana Roa and Rafael Antonio / Inquirer Research

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TAGS: Ann Abacan, Inquirer Read-Along, Kakai Bautista, kids as heroes, Manuel Quezon III, National Heroes Day, National Language Month
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