Story Telling Experience: Nasaan ang Tsinelas Ko?

8:22:00 AM

I am quite new to the world of children's books. I fell in love with children's literature early this year because I was planning to offer a reading program in my tutorial center in Bataan. So I bought 30 children's books from Adarna House and started reading them. I have to check the books first before I suggest them to our students in my tutorial center. After reading several books, I fell in love with them. Primarily because I didn't experience reading a lot of children's books when I was a kid. 

I went to UP Creates' A day with Weaves of Magic yesterday, September 26, 2015. It was a workshop for writing, illustrating and telling stories. It was a free seminar. The only requirement for admission is to donate books for the Padyaklatan Project of the said organization. I am not very much familiar with the speakers. Since I am new to the world of children's literature, I still don't know all of the authors and illustrators. I was able to attend the talks of Kristine Canon, Russell Molina, Rommel Joson and Ray Sunga. They were all fantastic. I learned a lot from their experiences. Their talks were so insightful. I was really inspired to write my own children's story. It was Russell Molina who introduced Rene O. Villanueva to me. He mentioned about Villanueva's "Ang Unang Baboy sa Langit". After his talk I went at the Anvil's booth outside and checked on the works of Villanueva. I bought five of his books and the first book that I read was "Nasaan ang Tsinelas Ko?

Front Cover of "Nasaan ang Tsinelas Ko"

I did not read it on my own. I read it to my four-year old cousin ChaCha. She's in kindergarten now. She likes hearing stories. The first story that I read to her was "Naaay! Taaay!" by Kristine Canon. After reading the story, she doesn't want to let go of my copy of the book and she was asking me to repeat the story and read more stories to her. I made a promise to her that I will read her stories every time I go home in our province. I was so glad because she enjoyed the story. I try to ask her questions and she was able to answer. Im glad she understood the story and the lesson of the story. 

The story is about Tanya. She doesn't like to wear her slippers. Even when she's playing outside, she still doesn't wear her slippers. One day she lost her slippers, she can't find it. She asked for help from her parents but they could not find the slippers. At the end of the story, Tanya was able to find her lost slippers and she promised herself that she will always wear her slippers.

Why do we need to always wear slippers? One because there are a lot of microbes, viruses and parasites that can enter our body through our bare feet. Based on the data of UP National Institutes of Health, there is still a high incidence of helminthiasis (worm infection) in Filipinos. As of 2009, 8.8 million school children are still infected with worms ( One major risk factor for this is not wearing slippers. I guess we still need to increase the public awareness regarding diseases that can be acquired by not wearing slippers. Prevention is better than cure. We have to inform the public about the ways in which they can prevent diseases like soil-transmitted helminthiasis.

Another danger of not wearing slippers is stepping on glasses or any sharp objects on the ground. This can cause deep wounds on the feet of the children. In order to avoid all of these, children should always wear slippers. After the story, I asked my cousin ChaCha why is it important for her to wear slippers. And she answered "Baka pasukan ng bulate at saka baka masugatan ng bubug" ("Worms can infect my feet and my feet can get injured by broken glasses"). I am so happy because she understood the story and remembered the importance of wearing slippers. Because ChaCha always forgets where she puts her slippers. So I decided to read the story to her. After reading the story, she's still asking for more stories. I promised her, I will read her more stories when I returned because I have to leave for Manila because I have class Mondays to Fridays.

I realized that it is very important to read stories to children. Kids nowadays are very intelligent. They can easily understand stories. I promised myself that I will be an advocate of children's literature. I will do my best to promote reading to kids. I want them to appreciate reading. I want them to love reading. Because some children see reading as a burden. I will start with my cousins, I will encourage them to read more. I will read stories to them whenever I have time. And my I will give them children's books as gifts during their birthdays, graduation or Christmas.

I have to affirm Rene Villanueva. I hope I can meet him in person. His works are great and full of lessons. The book is simple. Some of the illustrations are black and white. I guess it was purposeful so that children can color the illustrations on their own. What's also good about this book is that it has guide questions in the insite front and back cover that can be asked to the children. I love this book because it is very simple. Also I bought it at a discounted price - 48 pesos.  I hope you can get a copy of this book.

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