PDI Read-Along tackles importance of good choices
STORIES about making good choices and wise decisions were the focus of the special Inquirer Read-Along session on Saturday, which was held at the SOS Children’s Village in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
The event featured Rosalio “Bong” Valenzuela, general manager of Herbalife in the Philippines and professional storyteller Dyali Justo.
Justo opened the session with Rene O. Villanueva and Lem Garcellano’s “Si Inggolok at ang Planeta Pakaskas,” a story about an edible planet and an individual’s move to raise awareness against abuse and gluttony to save the planet from deterioration.
Valenzuela read Doreen Cronin’s “Vote for Duck,” a story that narrates the political ambitions of a duck who gets tired of his position in the farm and eventually seeks higher office, but does not possess the needed requirements to handle bigger challenges.
“It was an exciting experience for me because it’s my first time to read to kids,” Valenzuela said. “I felt pressured because I wasn’t sure if the children were listening but I learned, too, that this is how it feels to teach.”
Valenzuela said the book he read for the session was timely and relevant.
“I hope they learned the importance of a good leader. Sometimes we think that leaders are privileged and powerful people. But the reality is that leaders should be people who are responsible. I hope the kids learned how important it is choosing the right leaders and if they want to be leaders themselves in the future, I hope they learned the importance of being responsible, of being ready for the headaches and sacrifices in order to make wise choices.”
Herbalife commemorates the legacy and dream of its founder Mark Hughes every February through community work for children. For many years, the Herbalife Family Foundation in the Philippines has annually provided care and charity to the SOS Children’s Village.
The SOS Children’s Village houses orphaned, abandoned and neglected children and those living in extreme difficult circumstances.
“This year, instead of just holding a simple program to make the children happy through sports activities or giving food, we wanted to have a project that is more educational. That is how we reached out to the Inquirer,” Valenzuela shared.
“We often go here but this time it’s different and the children experienced new things like storytelling that I think they enjoyed and learned a lot from. It’s good if they will be encouraged to go back to reading books and not just spend their time surfing the Internet or on their phones,” he said.
Asked about what story she liked the most, 13-year-old Amalyn chose “Si Inggolok at ang Planeta Pakaskas.”
“I learned that we should take good care of our planet and protect it from harm,” she said.
She also said she enjoyed the experience “because many children were listening and participating in the storytelling.”
Another participant, Ronalyn, said she liked “Vote for Duck” the best.
“I learned that one does not need to be a leader to show what he can do. We just need to help others in the best way we can. Even if we are young, we can still create change,” she said.
She said she enjoyed the activity because she saw her siblings having fun and participating actively in the storytelling.
After the session, the kids played games and were served healthy food by the staff and volunteers of Herbalife.
Saturday’s session, hosted by Inquirer editorial administrative assistant Louie Rivera, was held in cooperation with Barbs Soliven and Alain Vegamora of Herbalife Philippines and SOS Children’s Village. With a report from Louie Rivera
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