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Pacquiao surprises kids in read-along

/ 03:26 AM August 01, 2011

Malapatan, Sarangani—It was the Pacman’s turn to enthrall young audiences, not with his fists but with his storytelling chops.

Eight-division world boxing title and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao graced an Inquirer Read-Along session here on Thursday, a side event to the launch of a poverty alleviation program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

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Pacquiao read the second half of the story “Dado,” taking over after Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman began the session before an audience of 50 pupils at Malapatan Central Elementary School.

The story, written by 21-year-old Albert Abuela and illustrated by Harvey Gerodias, is about the Muslim villager Ali who was intrigued by the farming methods in a Christian community.

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The children could only watch in awe as Pacquiao narrated his part of the tale—which he ended with a simple message to the kids: “Study hard.”

At one point, the People’s Champ even interpreted a Maguindanaoan greeting, Mapia malulum (Good afternoon).

Many of the listeners were still in disbelief when it was all over, having sat up close with the world sports idol.

“Manny’s presence was a boost to the children’s interest in reading,” said the children’s teacher, Melinda Esconde. “They appreciated storytelling as an important aspect of their academic development.”

Just seeing Pacquiao face to face could already inspire them since they had already heard many stories about his struggles as a boxer, she said.

The children were mostly from the B’laan tribe and the target beneficiaries of the DSWD antipoverty program Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-Cidds). Reports from Rosa May de Guzman-Maitem and Joselle R. Badilla, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Inquirer Read-Along, Malapatan, Malapatan Central Elementary School, Poverty-Alleviation Program, Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, storytelling
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