'Motherhood Tales' at The Shang
() - June 12, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Mothers take top priority at the Shangri-La Plaza, with a selection of shops and restaurants that cater to them, their kids and hubbies, as well as events that nurture good values and enrich relationships between moms and their little ones.    

From the Children’s Concert featuring the Manila Symphony Orchestra, to the Suzuki Music Kids’ Sounds of Summer, the month of May was filled to the brim. All roads led to Grand Atrium for a round of literary pleasures as some of today’s well-known moms revealed their passion for reading and their book recommendations for kids at “Motherhood Tales.”

The event, which featured an exhibit and storytelling sessioin, reinforced The Shang’s role as a champion of culture and the arts, and allowed guests to enjoy hearing the insights of experienced moms as they talked about their love for books and the importance of sharing this with one’s children.

Participating were celebrity mothers Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan, Nina Daza Puyat, Audrey Tan-Zubiri, Cathy Babao, Xandra Ramos-Padilla, Ana Singson, Lyn Ching-Pascual, and Hindy Weber-Tantoco.

For the storytelling session, accomplished mother Marissa Ong, head of Gig and the Amazing Sampaguita Foundation, Inc. (GASFI), talked about her fondness for GASFI’s Gig Seafarer children’s books — choosing The First Day to read at the event.

“The First Day is a very amusing and entertaining book because snippets of Filipino culture are shared here,” Oca said.  “It shows how we respect our elders by saying ‘Mano po’ or how we regard our house helpers as part of the family.  It also shows how the long periods of absence of a family member working abroad affect others — and how in this generation of technology, communication is a vital ingredient for thriving family bonds.”

National Book Store’s Xandra Ramos-Padilla shared about her fondness for the written word as she was growing up.

“I’ve always loved reading. Growing up I got hooked on series like Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and Trixie Belden. It progressed to Sweet Valley High and then Danielle Steele and Judith Krantz. Now I’m into women’s fiction, and an important part of my life is my book club.”

Ramos, who believes that “the best way to impart your love of reading is to show that you also read voraciously,” advised parents to play a hands-on role in helping ignite a passion for reading in their kids. “If you want to give your kids a head start in their future success, you must start by helping them develop their love for books and reading skills. Surround them with lots of books. Make time to read with them everyday,” she said.

Oca stressed the benefits of reading together as a family. “It gets parents to know more about their kids through the exchange of thoughts and ideas,” she said. “Moreover, reading together at a particular time and place sets the tone for discussing positive and practical values for both the adult and the child.”

Ramos and Oca encouraged parents to establish regular reading sessions with their kids.

“Books transport us to other worlds, other realities; and at the same time, tell us truths about ourselves,” said Ramos. “This is an important message that we can impart to and share with our children—something that we can do by simply making the time to read with them.”

Oca also offered tips to parents on starting a reading habit with their children.

“Keep an open and positive attitude while reading to your kids.  Practice your own brand of creativity in ‘performing’ the story. Your enthusiasm will spark a lifelong love for reading and learning. Finally, never underestimate the power of even just 20 minutes of going through a book together — these short pockets of time may just be the most significantly memorable moments of your child’s life,” she added.

For inquiries, call 633-7851 loc.113 or visit www.shangrila-plaza.com.

ANA SINGSON AUDREY TAN-ZUBIRI BOBBSEY TWINS FIRST DAY KIDS READING XANDRA RAMOS-PADILLA
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