When I was a child, there were not many things that had vied for my attention. In my neighborhood, there were only TV, betamax, radio, and outdoor games. I was lousy at outdoor games. We didn’t have betamax, although there was a kid in our street whose family owned one and we would sometimes watch with them. We didn’t even get another TV set after the old one had conked out until I was in fourth grade. We had AM radio, from which I listened to afternoon dramas like Zimatar and the nighttime horror episodic show(?) Gabi ng Lagim. So what was left for me to do?
Read, that’s what I did. But as a child, I didn’t really had any children’s books. There were other reading materials at home like my Lola’s komiks–Hiwaga, Pilipino Klasiks, and Wakasan–and my Lolo’s newspaper (Balita and People’s Tonight). When my older siblings had started going to school, they were lent textbooks, and I remember reading from their books that interested me. I would read some science and math, a number of short stories in Filipino, some poetry in English. These were my earliest memories of reading, and I feel fortunate to have been exposed, although unintentionally, to the printed word. I’d say that I have loved print even before I could really read.
In the age of Nintendo DS and other handheld game consoles, dramarama sa hapon, telebabad sa gabi, and all these social networking sites (my nephew has started an fb account long before I had our Internet reconnected), my hope for developing love for reading books among my kids seems daunting. I have bought children’s books in Filipino and in English. So far I have very limited success for getting my kids to read books. Only two out of seven have initiated reading books without any
nagging egging from me. But I am pressing on. In fact I have just bought more books from Adarna House.
Do you also want to develop love for reading among kids? You may want to volunteer at an Aklatang Pambata this summer. I will post the details here soon.