IN CELEBRATION of the National Children's Book Month, Sarangani Writers League (SWL), together with different organizations, is conducting the 1st Akale Kitam Istori: Virtual Storytelling Sessions.
"Akale kitam istori" is the Sinama translation for "Let us listen to stories." This is in lieu with SWL's mission to make literature accessible to Sarangans, using our local languages. This year’s theme centers on: “Magkaiba? Magkaisa! Magbasa.”
“Celebrating National Children's Book Month highlights the importance of reading at a very young age. We believe that a generation who got an early introduction to literature will develop to be deep thinkers and appreciate the gradual evolution of literature as they mature,” said SWL Chairperson Xaña Angel Eve Apolinar.
On July 20, SWL formally launched the virtual event. The first storytelling episode will be on July 22 entitled The Opposite Jars: Posi and Nega written by Mary Ann Ordinario. The second storytelling episode will be on July 25 entitled Bisita ma Sangom by Ursula Nafula (A Sinama children’s story). The third storytelling episode will be on July 28 entitled Sai Nakura’ Daing? By Kauman Sama (A Sinama children’s story). The last episode will be on July 30 entitled Ang Misteryo sa Patong-Patong na Damit ni Hulyan by Bernadette Villanueva Neri. These storytelling sessions will be broadcasted via Sarangani Writers League’s Facebook page.
“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the local literary community was affected, and it is indeed a great challenge to conduct storytelling events since it is usually a face-to-face event. However, through this project, we aim to adapt and use the platform offered by social media to take our storytelling ventures virtually,” said Xaña.
The said children’s stories are thoroughly chosen. SWL wants to promote inclusivity and diversity in children's literature. In conducting the virtual storytelling event, SWL is committed to continue their advocacy to promote and propagate the homegrown literature to the Sarangan youth through the internet.
“It is a challenging task, but we are collaborating with various organizations that have the same passion and philosophy as us,” she said.
In this advocacy, SWL is collaborating with various organizations, namely: Aklat Alamid, ABC Educational Development Center Children’s Books, Project GenZine, Writer's Sheet, Project Verified, and Zero Hunger Alabel.
This project was also made possible through the help of the following sponsors: Kauman Sama Online, Sarangani Local Youth Development Council, PENtakasi, Kuku Notes, MSU-Gensan Valoraex Book Readers Club, and Yadu Karu/YK Media.
“We stand together and honor the philosophy behind the National Children's Book Month. Let us propagate the joys of reading, one story at a time,” she said. (Genory Vanz Alfasain)