Inquirer Read-Along: Kids learn about health, gratitude | Inquirer News
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Inquirer Read-Along: Kids learn about health, gratitude

/ 07:21 AM May 20, 2019

STORYTELLERS ALL: (From left) Dr. Nicanor Montoya, actress Marika Sasaki and Dyali Justo. —PHOTOS BY JAM STA. ROSA

MANILA, Philippines — How do you teach children the importance of being healthy and showing gratitude? By reading them a story.

Some 60 children from Erda Foundation, Virlanie Foundation and La Paz Elementary School were treated to a special Inquirer Read-Along session on Saturday at the Inquirer office in Makati City, featuring stories about staying healthy and being grateful.

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Medicard Philippines Inc. sponsored the special session as part of its 32nd anniversary celebration.

Guest readers included Dr. Nicanor Montoya, Medicard president, GMA actress Marika Sasaki, and Adarna House veteran storyteller Dyali Justo.

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Healthy nation

An educated nation is a healthy nation, Montoya said, reading “Filemon Mamon” by Christine Bellen, a story about an aspiring young actor whose dream of portraying Andres Bonifacio in a school play is hindered by his obesity.

“I like the idea of education. I think what the country needs is more people to be educated. So this idea of reading helps. I have six kids, from 11 years old to 22 years old, and I encourage them to read because I think it’s important,” he said.

“Filemon Mamon,” Montoya said, helped emphasize that it’s important to be healthy.

“I also want to point out the particular stereotype. Not all people who are thin are healthy, the same way not all people who are fat are unhealthy,” he said.

Montoya said promoting the love for reading was also part of the health and wellness advocacy.

He said there was a lot to gain from learning the discipline to read, as it also encouraged and trained the reader to sustain his focus.

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Good health care

“A healthy mind is a healthy body. If you nurture someone, you make them aware, you encourage education, then this person will most likely learn to be more broad-minded. If we are all more educated, we would know how to take risks and manage it. We would be more aware of the importance of good health care,” Montoya said.

Sasaki read Robert Magnuson’s “Mister Beetle’s Many Rooms,” about Beetle’s house—a small tree—that later became home to other insects, while Justo read “Tiktaktok and Pikpakbum,” a story about two dog brothers who learned the value of sharing.

Saturday’s read-along session, hosted by Inquirer Lifestyle writing editor Ruth Navarra-Mayo, was held in cooperation with Medicard Philippines, GMA Artist Center, Inquirer Property and Inquirer Marketing. —Marielle Median, Inquirer Research

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TAGS: being grateful, being healthy, Dyali Justo, gratitude, Health, Inquirer Read-Along, Marika Sasaki, Nicanor Montoya
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