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Cop joins story time

By: Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo July 13,2018 - 10:23 PM

Police Chief Inspector Verniño Bustillo Noserale (seated) read the book “Meet My Super Dad” with storytellers from Basadours Inc. Photo below, books and toys for Barangay Ward 3 in the town of Minglanilla and Outgoing Barangay Captain and current Barangay Councilor Anabelle Simene (below photo).

Unsa ang istorya sa inyong Mama basta magpabadlong mo?

‘Hala, pagminaldito ron kay tawgon nako ang police.’ Sakto? (What does your mother say when you are naughty? ’Go ahead, be hardheaded so I will call the police.’ Right?), Chief Inspector Verniño Bustillo Noserale joked before a group of children gathered at the village hall of Barangay Ward 3, in the town of Minglanilla, southern Cebu.

Noserale’s remarks drew laughter from the grown-ups gathered in the audience.

The 33-year-old chief of the Minglanilla Police Station wanted the children to know that cops are not scary people.


In fact, that Saturday in June, he was there to read them a story.

It was something that he had never done before in public — although at home, he reads to his two children Venice, and Gideon, .

That day, 25 children huddled together at the village hall and listened intently as Noserale spoke, proudly donning his police uniform.

He was the guest storyteller of a storytelling session organized by barangay officials and Basadours Inc., a non-profit organization.

As his name was called, the young police officer walked in front of the room and sat facing the children, most of them victims of a fire that hit the village last March 19.

He then invited them to visit the police station.

“You are not a bad person if you go to the police station,” he quipped.

“Police work hard to keep you safe so come by and say ‘hello’,” warmly added Noserale who hails from Lapu-Lapu City and whose assignment to his current post in Minglanilla began only last January 17.

Noserale, a graduate from the Philippine National Police Academy class of 2009, carefully took out a pair of reading glasses, wore them and presented the book “Meet My Super Dad” to his young listeners.

Noserale began to read the book written by Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan and illustrated by Isa Natividad; while members of Basadours, wearing colorful costumes, acted out the scenes.

Receiving the donations were Sangguniang Kabataan Chairperson Jevy Ann Uy .

The children gleefully watched and applauded the performance enjoying every bit of the story.

The storytelling session was held on June 16 and was organized with the help of former Barangay Captain and now Barangay Councilor Anabelle Simene.

“We have been doing this storytelling session in the last seven years and we have seen children grow year after year,” said Simene.

“ Some of them are not here today because they are teenagers now,” she added.

The village official hoped to have more of this kind of event in the future so that children could learn more from books and talks by adults.

After the storytelling session, the participants made greeting cards and thank you notes for their parents.

A book shelf and a set of colorful trays were also donated to the village hall by Basadours Inc. through the group’s Deputy Executive Director Jo Belle Marabiles.

Basadours had previously called for book and toy donations for children using the Cebu City Public Library as their drop off station.

Oregon-based Marem Flores, through Zonta Club of Cebu 1 past President Janette Nellie Chiu, also donated books for the barangay.

“We brought with us to Barangay Ward 3, not just stories, but also books and toys so they can have a functional reading corner that children can visit and enjoy,” said Marabiles.

The Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) of the village was tapped to serve as caretakers of the reading corner.

The SK members will be trained on how to organize and host storytelling sessions.

For Noserale, who observed the entire session, it may be time to revive a project he had envisioned which was meant to provide a space inside the police station to make books and toys available for children.

“I read to my children too so I have personal experience in witnessing the effects of books and storytelling on children,” he said.

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