one year after ondoy.
a year after ondoy, what have you learned or realized?
last september 11 (which happens to be another important date in world history) i along with gina sales and pam pagunsan of unicef philippines participated in a special inquirer read along session in liberato damian elementary school in pasig, one of the school heavily affected by typhoon ondoy and the floods last year.
on a non-school day, 25 kids from the fifth and sixth grade gamely went to school to listen to two stories. first was "si carancal laban sa hangin" by rene o. villanueva, read by teachers from sophia school. and second was "si bituin at ang malaking baha" by ma. ceres p. doyo, read by me.
i love storytelling and reading books to kids but this story was a whole different challenge! it was not your regular happy story. it was about the difficult experience of bituin during typhoon ondoy and the floods. i didn't want the kids to feel uncomfortable as i read a story that would bring back sad memories, i just tried to make it as lively and light as possible. i was in awe though because when i asked what their reaction was to the story, they chose to remember the positive things about the tragedy. how they as a family were happy to be back home after, how they helped their friends and neighbors clean up.. its so inspiring to see these kids choose to remember the good things ondoy brought, instead of the bad. that is what these kids learned and realized one year after ondoy!
i would like to personally thank the philippine daily inquirer for inviting unicef to be a part of their read along project. and a big, big, big thank you to mcdonald's for sooo generously providing food for the kids! and kids at heart! haha! they sent over one piece chicken with rice, burger mcdo, and juice. all i was asking for was a discount for us to feed the kids and they went all out and just gave food for the kids! thank you, thank you, thank you mcdonalds!!!! you're the best! :)