Peace, unity must reign amid conflict | Inquirer News

Peace, unity must reign amid conflict

/ 01:38 AM May 29, 2017

Inquirer Read-Along celebrated its 10th anniversary on Saturday with candidates of Miss Earth Philippines 2017, Cathy Untalan-Vital, Miggs Cuaderno, Marc Justine Alvarez,Micko Laurente and Rich Rodriguez as the storytellers for the month ofMay. —JOHN PAUL R.AUTOR

Inquirer Read-Along celebrated its 10th anniversary on Saturday with candidates of Miss Earth Philippines 2017, Cathy Untalan-Vital, Miggs Cuaderno, Marc Justine Alvarez,Micko Laurente and Rich Rodriguez as the storytellers for the month ofMay. —JOHN PAUL R.AUTOR

Amid conflicts and differences, peace and unity must prevail.

This was the message of the tales told to some 70 kids during the second special storytelling session that celebrated Inquirer Read-Along’s 10th anniversary on May 27.


With the civil unrest in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur province, which has displaced and killed some locals due to the crossfire between military troops and rebels, young actors Miggs Cuaderno, Micko Laurente and Marc Justine Alvarez, who were the day’s celebrity storytellers, urged everyone to give peace a chance.

Innocent children

Cuaderno, Alvarez and Laurente are cast in the upcoming Cinemalaya film “Ang Guro Kong ’Di Marunong Magbasa” in August.

“There are innocent children caught in the middle of the firefight and peace must be restored as soon as possible,” Laurente said.

“They need peace there so children, who are unaware of what is happening, can return to schools,” Alvarez said.

Cuaderno said the ongoing gunfight might tarnish the country’s international reputation and could discourage tourists from visiting the country.

“We need world peace now because turmoil has happened in other countries as well,” Cuaderno said.

Cuaderno, Laurente and Alvarez read Jojie Wong’s “Peter and Ahmed,” a story about two young boys who become best friends despite the former being a Christian and the latter a Muslim.


Veteran storyteller Rich Rodriguez of Ang Pinoy Storytellers read Rene O. Villanueva’s “Ang Dalawang Haring Siga,” about two kings of rival kingdoms who reconciled after being inspired by their innocent grandchildren who become best friends.

Rodriguez said the grandchildren of the two rival kings represented every innocent child’s desire to make all people get along regardless of where they lived and who they were.

Fresh start

“Children represent a fresh start and they remind elders to always reconcile and to move forward for the welfare of the young ones,” Rodriguez said.

Other featured storytellers were Miss Philippines-Earth 2017 candidates Pamela Grace Janson (Mati City), Lea Audrey Laano (Tayabas City), Anne Krishia Antonio (Porac, Pampanga), Sofia Jane Panapanaan (Parañaque) and Cheysen Capuno (Dauin, Negros Oriental).

They retold Villanueva’s story “Ang Zimbragatzee ng Planeta Zing,” about the Zimbragatzee creatures who, after losing their unique noses due to extreme pollution, learn to rehabilitate their planet in order to bring their noses back.

Inquirer Read-Along ambassador and TV broadcaster Cathy Untalan-Vital read Villanueva’s “Si Emang Engkantada at ang Tatlong Haragan,” about three stubborn children who learn to care for nature.

Cumulative actions

To make environmental conservation effective, Vital said it should be embodied, instead of merely advocating it, to influence more people to adopt the same cause.

“Cumulative actions can make a big difference later on,” said Vital, who was executive director of Miss Earth Foundation after she was crowned Miss Philippines-Earth and won the international title Miss Earth-Water in 2006.

Capuno, an environment operations engineer, said it was important that kids learn to value nature while they were young as “preserving the environment would also lead to maintaining good health.”

But environmental awareness must be taught in a way that could be easily understood by children.

“Storytelling is one way of inculcating in their minds the values behind why we should take care of our environment,” said Janson, a grade school teacher.

Panapanaan, a secondary education graduate, emphasized the importance of reading at a young age. “It does not only open one’s mind to what’s happening now but it also develops one’s wellbeing.”

Interest in reading

Laano, a flight attendant, said that while kids could also learn something educational from their gadgets, they should also visit libraries to develop further their interest in reading.

For the past decade, the Inquirer Read-Along program has been joined by over 20,000 children ages 7 to 13 from more than 50 cities nationwide, and has featured over 400 celebrities and role models as storytellers.

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Hosted by Junior Inquirer editor Ruth Navarra-Mayo, Saturday’s session at the Inquirer main office in Makati City was held in cooperation with Sed Genecera of Miss Earth Foundation and Marinel Cruz of Inquirer Entertainment. —WITH A REPORT FROM MARY BEATRICE PONCE


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