Real-life heroes inspire kids to be like them at Read-Along | Inquirer News

Real-life heroes inspire kids to be like them at Read-Along

By: - Research Section Head / @Inq_Researchers
/ 03:08 AM September 01, 2013

Stories of heroism as told by real-life heroes took center stage at Saturday morning’s Inquirer Read-Along session at the main office in Makati to celebrate National Heroes Day.

An outstanding teacher, a soldier, a police officer and a storyteller took turns regaling around 50 children from St. Anthony of Makati Montessori School and the Makati Sporting Association with stories about a kind queen and her loyal subjects, a man who braved the floods to save people during “Sendong,” a hardworking cop, and the bloodless Edsa revolution in 1986.


Cherry Vinluan, Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Teacher awardee, read Rene O. Villanueva’s “Alamat ng Papaya” by Adarna House, a story of how a generous queen saves her people and how her people repay her kindness with their loyalty.

Outstanding Soldier awardee M/Sgt. Alberto Pesebre read “Ang Lalaki sa Baha,” a story from the Kids for Peace Foundation’s Big Book Project written by Cyril L. Valero and illustrated by Jerome Gali. The story, part of the Sendong Stories series, is about a man who risked his life to save people during the floods wrought by Tropical Storm “Sendong” in December 2011. The book was published by Save the Children, Kids for Peace and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.


Hardworking cop

Outstanding Police Officer awardee SPO1 Raquel Aniwasal read Adarna’s “Patrolman Ngiyaw” by Rene O. Villanueva, a story about a hardworking cop named Patrolman Meow who eventually gets recognized for his dedication to the service.

Capping the session was veteran Read-Along storyteller Rich Rodriguez, who read Adarna’s “Edsa” by Russell Molina and illustrated by Sergio Bumatay III.

Vinluan, Pesebre and Aniwasal will be feted alongside other winners of Metrobank Foundation’s Search for Outstanding Filipinos as one of the highlights of Metrobank’s anniversary celebration on Sept. 5 at the Metrobank Plaza in Makati City. Among the judges in the search for this year’s outstanding police officers was Inquirer president Sandy Prieto-Romualdez, while Inquirer columnist Rina Jimenez-David was among the judges in the search for outstanding teachers.

“It was a very fulfilling experience,” said Vinluan, a teacher of 22 years at Guagua Elementary School in Pampanga, who was cited for her creative methods in teaching and for establishing a reading center in her school.

“I believe that teaching does not end inside the classroom,” she told the kids after her segment, adding that during weekends she also gathers kids for storytelling sessions.

“I’m very happy to be a part of this kind of activity,” said Pesebre, who has been in the Philippine Air Force for 26 years. “In my years in the military, this is my first time to experience a storytelling session with kids. If given the chance, I would like to do it again.”


For Pesebre, being a hero is simple: “You just have to do your responsibilities correctly and with passion,” he said. “Everything else follows.”

Aniwasal, who currently serves at the Balayan Municipal Police Station in Batangas, was cited for her work in protecting women and children through establishing women’s desks in schools and barangays. “Reading to the children was a nice experience. I saw how they all had different personalities—some liked answering questions, while the others liked to listen more.”

A police officer for the past 14 years, Aniwasal said reading to the children was similar to the work she does with the children she rescues from abuse in her hometown. “Sometimes, I ask them if they want me to tell them a story first,” she said, adding that this helps her establish rapport with the children. A mother of four, Aniwasal added that storytelling was also among her bonding activities with her own children.


Reading as educational tool

Around 30 Education students from the Laguna State Polytechnic University also attended the session. The observers, who are taking up elementary education courses and developmental reading classes, were accompanied by their professor and regular Read-Along attendee Osnel Melodillar.

“I have attended numerous read-along sessions and I find that the strategies that the storytellers use to interact with the children would be very helpful to aspiring teachers,” he said, adding that he brings his students to the read-along because it teaches them that “reading can be used as a very enjoyable educational tool.” Students from LSPU have been observing the read-along since 2008.

One of his students, Ana Alexa Perez, agreed, saying that she liked how “the storytellers deliver the story in a child-friendly way without dumbing the stories down.”

“Personally, I felt that I gained a lot of tips from the storytellers. I also can’t help but admire programs like the read-along. It is nice that children are given a venue to enjoy reading outside the classroom,” Aira May Maligalig said.

“I like how the read-along also gives importance to values,” Caselyn Escultor said.

Lyn Foronda, 11, said she enjoyed all the stories, adding that in the future, she would want her teachers to read to her. “I enjoy reading stories,” she added.

Elisa May Salite, 10, said her favorite storyteller was “Ma’am Raquel” and would like to listen to more stories from her in the future. She also enjoyed the story “Ang Lalaki sa Baha.”

Saturday’s session was hosted by Junior Inquirer editor Ruth Navarra in cooperation with Metrobank Foundation and Alyssa Garcia. With a report from Schatzi Quodala, Inquirer Research

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TAGS: Education, Inquirer Read-Along, Makati Sporting Association, National Heroes Day, St. Anthony of Makati Montessori School
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