Read-Along picks young storytellers
Twenty aspiring student storytellers from all over the country were chosen as semifinalists in the children’s categories of the coming Inquirer Read-Along Festival storytelling competition, to be held in November in Quezon City.
The semifinalists in the ages 7 to 9 category are Kevin Ron Uygongco (Assumption Iloilo), Rhian de Leon (Ateneo de Manila University), Mark Nowel Eleuterio (St. Anne Child Study Center), Christle Vizcayno (Nasah Center for Learning in Pampanga), Cindy Magadia (Nasah Center for Learning), Irish Lanting (St. Joseph Catholic School), Alyssa Trasporto (UCCP-Anabu Christian School in Cavite), Niña Reyes (St. Joseph Catholic School), Sophia Janelle Chua (Chiang Kai Shek College) and Bea Claire Antiporda (Chiang Kai Shek College).
Chosen in the ages 10-12 category are Trebor Aev Nervey Yambao (Nasah Center for Learning), Patrick Isaiah Patdu (Nasah Center for Learning), Jamila Condat (Maybunga Elementary School), Lovely Tamba (St. Joseph Catholic School), Kriztine Suzuki (St. Joseph Catholic School), Laila Rontos (St. Joseph Catholic School), Ma. Alexandra Lao (Isaac Lopez Integrated School), Joyce Heidi Ong (Chiang Kai Shek College), Charlene Imson (Optimus Center for Development Inc.) and Alessandra Balderas (Bagong Ilog Elementary School).
For the professional category, the five adult storytellers who made it to the finals are returning Read-Along Festival storytelling contestants Mario Noval Jr. of KMC MAG Solutions and Melanie Ramirez of the National Library of the Philippines; teachers Ceazar Gonzales of Maybunga Elementary School in Pasig City and Maira Quevedo of Statefields School Inc. in Bacoor, Cavite, and retired teacher Carmelita Ballesteros.
They bested 10 other adult storytellers who auditioned in the professionals category on Oct. 13. The judges were Inquirer Libre editor in chief and regular Read-Along host Chito de la Vega, Inquirer photographer and Read-Along storyteller Grig Montegrande and Sophia School founder Lorenzo Abacan.
The semifinalists for the children’s category were chosen after two qualifying rounds, which were held at the Inquirer main office on Oct. 13 and 20. Judges for the children’s category were Sophia School principal Ann Abacan, Adarna House storyteller Dyali Justo and Junior Inquirer editor Ruth Navarra, who screened more than 50 contestants.
Five finalists for each level will be chosen during the semifinals, which will be held in the afternoon of Nov. 10, following a briefing on storytelling basics in the morning.
The storytelling competition finals for all categories will be held on Nov. 27 at the Amphitheater of the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center.
This year’s Read-Along Festival, which will be held on Nov. 26-27, will feature a marathon of six storytelling sessions, including the final rounds of the competitions. With the theme “The Filipino Child and the Stories of the Earth,” the festival will present stories about biodiversity and the riches of the planet. Kate Pedroso, Inquirer Research
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