Mastering the art of storytelling

January 31,2016

Ma. Lorna Eguia considers storytelling as her inspiration.

Eguia, 43, a librarian at the University of San Carlos (USC) American Corner and the School of Business and Economics said storytelling is a learning tool that encourages people, especially young children, to explore their creativity.

Eguia engaged students in storytelling when she was assistant librarian at the USC South Campus for eight years.

Through research and practice, Eguia slowly mastered the art of storytelling.

“Those children who are not exposed to reading books only lack attention from adults. If you give quality time to be with them and read them stories, they will acknowledge the power of books,” she said.

In 2008, her friend decided to spend her birthday sharing stories with the street children at Parian Fire Station grounds in Cebu City. “I saw how happy the children were when we read them stories. Most of them didn’t have the privilege to go to school and read books,” she shared.

Eguia and her husband, also a teacher-librarian, initiated in 2010 the Library on Wheels: A Bookmobile Project for Cebu City.

Along with the volunteers, they read Bible stories, children’s books, fables and other value-laden reading materials to young children.

They also conducted storytelling seminar-workshops with the members of Cebu Librarians’ Association Inc. (CLAI), 125 teacher-librarians of the Department of Education Cebu City Division, the Basadours and public librarians in the province.

During summer vacation, Eguia brought along volunteer teacher-storytellers to five different mountain areas of barangays Guadalupe and Sapangdaku in Cebu City.

Around 150 children attended the month-long class, which shared the “Bugsay” principle of businessman and philanthropist Roberto “Bobby” Aboitiz based on the book Akong Bugsay, a children’s book written by Amaya Aboitiz and published by the Ramon Abotiz Foundation Inc.

“The book speaks a lot of what I intend to impart to the people. Just like young Andoy in the story, we all have paddles (bugsay) that will help us achieve our goals in life. It is time to paddle and achieve these dreams,” she said.

Last year, Eguia was named among the “2015 Movers and Shakers” in the library industry by Library Journal, an international publication.

One of her plans is to initiate a storytelling festival. She also hopes to see more books in public school libraries.

“There is no better equipment to capture our imaginations than a book. We need to revive the craft of storytelling that has been with us since we were young,” she said.

At present, Eguia is busy with speaking engagements in Cebu. She will also be holding trainings on goal-setting, leadership, moral recovery programs, “blended librarianship,” among others. /Contributor Chrisley Ann Hinayas

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