Read-Along session promotes good health and safe practices
November 20, 2020

Students from different schools join the second online storytelling session of the 10th Inquirer Read-Along Festival.

MANILA, Philippines — Even illnesses and calamities can be overcome with a little hope and a lot of help from the community.

This was the takeaway from the 10th Inquirer Read-Along Festival’s second online storytelling session held on Saturday with around 70 children attending via the Zoom meeting platform.

Aired live on Inquirer’s Facebook pages, the second day of the reading festival featured TV host and Miss Philippines Earth 2019 Janelle Lazo Tee and professional storytellers Dyali Justo and Rich Rodriguez.

It was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) TB Platforms Project—which was being implemented by the University Research Company—with the theme “Reading for Health and Healing” to promote good health and safe practices amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tee read “Tibay ng Dibdib,” a true-to-life story about two young sisters who survived TB or tuberculosis. The book was published by USAID to increase public awareness on the contagious disease.

Michelle Lang-Alli, USAID Philippines Office of Health director, said the story exemplified the strength of Filipinos.

“[Filipinos] have been resilient to the many challenges they have faced through the years—environmental devastation, economic recession and even national health issues, including COVID-19 and TB,” she said.

Tee, an #EndTB ambassador of USAID’s TB Platforms, said the story served as an inspiration to patients of TB as well as other illnesses.

“This inspiring story taught us that TB is infectious, but it is also treatable. So we shouldn’t be afraid when we get infected because there is help available,” she added.

Justo of Adarna House and Rodriguez of Ang Pinoy Storytellers read “Making Paperboats with Papa,” written by May Tobias-Papa and illustrated by Beth Parrocha-Doctolero.

The story told of a child who learns how to enjoy activities at home, including making a paper boat, during a storm.

Erika Herrera, a student of St. Alphonsus Liguori Integrated School, said she liked “Tibay ng Dibdib” because it taught her that with the help of family and God, she could overcome any problem.

Elizabeth Catibog, a teacher from Renato R. Lopez Elementary School, said the online read-along sessions were a good activity for children during the “new normal.” —Arianne Suarez, Inquire Research INQ