Kids learn to protect country’s flora, fauna
MANILA, Philippines — About 50 children from different schools and foundations learned on Saturday the practice of appreciating and protecting the country’s flora and fauna through tales on environment conservation during a special Inquirer Read-Along session featuring Miss Earth Water Valeria Ayos from Colombia and returning storyteller and Inquirer Read-Along partner Ann Abacan.
Ayos read “Waling-waling” by Lolo Bentot and Mang Teban, a story about finding a rare orchid, the “waling-waling,” which is only found in the forests of Mindanao. She said awareness should be raised in protecting the environment.
“I think society and the environment are suffering because we are ignorant. And we can’t be ignorant anymore. Because this is the only planet we have and we have to take care of it,” she said.
Ayos, who was raised on an island, said “I have witnessed the change in the oceans because that is the place where I was raised. I have been diving since I was really young. So my advocacy is always to protect our oceans and marine species—from pollution, from ourselves. Because we are the main threat to every ecosystem.”
Abacan, principal of Sophia School, read the story “When Flowers Bloom,” by Grace Chong about a sleepy town that learned the value of using time wisely and taking care of their environment.
“I think it’s really important to encourage young kids to read and to study. They are the future so they must learn these skills to succeed in life and have the tools to improve the society they live in.”
Ayos said she was nervous at first, but later on gained confidence after seeing the children’s reception.
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