The event was also one way for the newspaper to celebrate its partnership with families of newsboys in their localities. Their sons and daughters attended in all the session areas, except for Marinduque.
A perennial guest brought his family to Naga City’s Read-Along, which he believed was the reason his children excelled in school.
One of the many Inquirer newsboys in the Camarines Sur city for the past 20 years, Bert Cayonte and his wife took along their six children at SM City Naga for an encounter with “Mr. Beetle’s Many Rooms,” written by Robert Magnuson, and Christine Bellen’s “Felimon Mamon.”
They joined some 50 pupils of Trianggulo Elementary School in listening to Sonia Roco, widow of the late Bicolano Sen. Raul S. Roco, who imparted the importance of sharing and generosity in the story of Mr. Beetle.
Once reluctant to have as neighbors such insects as fireflies and crickets in a tree where he found a room to stay, Mr. Beetle later learned to value his newfound friends.
Vic Nierva, writer, photographer and educator shared how Filemon Mamon, an obese boy, learned the value of proper diet and exercise.
Partners in the Read-Along were SM City Naga, McDonald’s, Shell, Raul S. Roco Library, Triangulo Elementary School, Vibal Publishing and Ramon Sia.
The session in Albay’s capital, Legazpi, drew some 150 pupils, including children of newsstand operators. Their enthusiasm for reading was fanned by school owner Aveline Averilla-Jung and beauty titleholder Yvethe Marie Santiago.
Also called “Teacher Bey,” Averilla-Jung of PiaMont Science Oriented School for Kids in Daraga town echoed the benefits of being sensitive to others in the story “Mr. Beetle’s Many Rooms.”
Santiago, 17, who won Best in National Costume in the 22nd World Miss University in Seoul, read Richard Reynante’s “Ang Huling Puno,” which tells of the last huge shady tree in the middle of a fast-developing city and how it is threatened to be cut down to give way to the construction of a huge building.
Sponsors were Junior Chamber International Daraga and Legazpi chapters; Playland at Embarcadero de Legazpi; newspaper dealers Cathy Sendin, Vivian Galvan and Benito Chan; Jebson; Justin Naron; Vibal Publishing; and McDonald’s.
Sta. Rosa City
Children of parents who were mostly overseas Filipino workers listened to stories of sharing and how to conquer fear at SM Sta. Rosa in Laguna.
Around 80 children, mostly those of members of Athika, an organization of OFWs based in Laguna, gathered around Cory Quirino, Inquirer columnist and natural health and beauty advocate, who asked them to sing some songs before starting to narrate the story of Mr. Beetle.
Theater artist and host Tony Yanza got them glued to the story of Aleli Dew Batnag’s “Si Ching na Takot sa Dilim.”
Others participants were pupils from Sta. Rosa and the towns of San Pedro and Biñan, who were tapped by Athika through the local government units.
Session partners were SM City Sta. Rosa, McDonald’s, Shell, Atikha, Vibal Publishing and newspaper dealer Benny Agnazata.
Some 170 children in Lucena and the nearby town of Tayabas in Quezon found two worthy causes to embrace during the Inquirer Read-Along session—the joy and wisdom of reading and protection of Mother Earth.
Lawyer Asis G. Perez, chair of Tanggol Kalikasan (Defense of Nature), a public interest environmental law office, engaged the young audience gathered at SM City-Lucena activity center, with his reading of “Ang Huling Puno.”
Annabelle Malvar, a mountaineer and teacher of Tayabas East Central School 2, and her two daughters, Marianne and Ma. Denise, read a story about a local environmental landmark, Mount Banahaw.
The youngsters were all ears as the mother and daughters alternately read “SSBB (Samut-Saring Buhay sa Banahaw),” a comic book story with mountain animals as characters who faced risks due to man’s continuous destruction of their natural habitat.
The story was written by Carmen Cabling-Alcala, an ardent protector of the mystical mountain.
The session here was supported by SM City Lucena, Team Energy, Tanggol Kalikasan, Tayabas Mountaineers, Lucena Public Information Office, Tayabas East 8 Central School, McDonald’s, Shell, Vibal Publishing and newspaper dealers Frank Anggulo and Nonie Macandile.
The public library of Sta. Cruz town in Marinduque became a beehive of sorts, teeming with 80 pupils and teachers of Santa Cruz South Central Elementary School and members of Marinduque Youth Volunteers Corps.
Panchito Labay, an environmental science professor of Marinduque State College (MSC) and deemed the country’s Professor Butterfly with his researches and studies on the insect, was the celebrity storyteller.
He, however, did not talk about butterflies but the endangered pawikan (sea turtles). He read “Pilandok sa Pulo ng Pawikan” by Victoria Añonuevo.
Interactive storyteller Arianne Kaye Sager, an AB English student of MSC, read “Ang Huling Puno” in front of thrilled students.
The Read-Along was realized with help coming from the municipal government of Santa Cruz, Junior Chamber International-Marinduque Morion chapter, Marinduque Youth Volunteers Corps, Vibal Publishing and Jacquelyn Alandy Guevarra. Rey M. Nasol, Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Shiena M. Barrameda, Pau John F. Barrosa, Juan Escandor Jr., Karen Lapitan and Gerald Gene R. Querubin