MANILA, Philippines—It was all about fathers at Saturday’s Inquirer Read-Along.
Stories about a father who works overseas and a hardworking dad with a remarkable talent were the highlights of the session held in advance celebration of Father’s Day, which will be observed worldwide next Sunday.
Attended by more than 80 children, the Read-Along featured actor-director Ricky Davao and teachers from Sophia School in Meycauayan, Bulacan.
Davao, a father of three, read Adarna’s “May Higante sa Aming Bahay (There’s a Giant in Our House),” about a son’s awkward encounter with his father who had just arrived from abroad after a long absence, written by Rhandee Garlitos.
“The story is very timely. A lot of children are growing up without parents because their mothers or fathers have to work abroad. I think the story is a nice way to show children that just because their parents are not around physically, it does not mean they are loved any less,” he said.
Sophia school teachers Nerry Denilla and Beth Casto together read Lampara’s “Taho, Taho, Taho … Tahoooieyy!” by Renato Vibiesca. It tells of a young girl’s fascination with the unique voice of her father, which he uses to sell foodstuff like “taho” and “balut.”
An experienced storyteller, Davao used different voices to tell the story, eliciting giggles from the children.
“I used to tell stories to my children when they were younger. I also get invited to tell stories to children confined in hospitals,” said Davao, who directs GMA 7’s “Makapiling Kang Muli.”
Promoting something good
After reading the story, Davao explained to the children how difficult it was for overseas working parents to be away from their families.
A busy actor, Davao said he tries to participate in activities like the Read-Along “whenever he has the time.”
“I’d like to think that I am using my ‘celebrity status’ to promote something good,” he said.
One of the fathers in the audience, Franco Oro, who accompanied his 10-year-old daughter Corinne, said Friday’s session “feels special.”
“It’s nice that the stories highlight the importance of parents, particularly the father. This will help them understand and feel more at ease with us,” he said.
Corinne, who described Oro as “caring,” said one of the lessons she learned from the session was to “always show your parents that you love them.”
Another father, Paolo Vallo, who came with his two sons, 10-year-old Sean Paulo and and 9-year-old Kurt Isaac, said the stories would help the children understand why their parents are not around sometimes.”
At Friday’s session, hosted by Libre editor in chief Chito de la Vega, a father himself, was held in cooperation with Marian Domingo of GMA and Sister Aleth Evangelista of Laura Vicuña Foundation Inc. Books donated by the Rotary Club of Makati were given away as prizes during the question-and-answer portion after each story. Schatzi Quodala and Marielle Medina, Inquirer Research