I received a phone call from my editor-friend, Beng Alba, two weeks ago. She said that she recommended me to fill in for her as a storyteller for a book table event of OMF Lit Pergola. I was surprised that she would even think of me, gosh! I would only read stories to my kids but I never imagined doing it “professionally” (naks). I was hesitant but Beng showed that she had faith in me and so I said yes.
A few days later, another call came from Gracia, the bookstore manager, who confirmed the gig. Again, I hesitated and shared with her that I was really nervous since it’s going to be my first time and I doubted if I could pull it off. But Gracia, patiently listened to my whining and still insisted I get the job.
|The Boy Who Doesn’t Like to Take a Bath by Beng Alba|
The book, “The Boy Who Doesn’t Like to Take a Bath”, which was written by Beng, was given to me so I could study it. It was a funny story so I immediately read it to my kids and it was my preparation for the actual storytelling session. I had to project my voice and use varying tones to highlight the different characters in the story. Both Coby and Jianne enjoyed the story and begged that I read it again — for the next several days.
Friday came, my storytelling day! I was a nervous wreck! I changed outfits maybe three or four times. I had to pick the right clothes, you know. It had to be something colorful so the kids would pay attention (that’s my personal theory, right there). So after asking God to be with me that day and my kids in tow, we headed to the preschool before 9:30 A.M.
The bookstore staff were already there because they had set up their book table. Gracia, with her contagious smile, gave me final instructions before the host/teacher called on me to start. With hands shaking and heart pounding like a jackhammer, I got hold of the mic and introduced myself to the little people. Taking my kids along really gave me a confidence boost because I know no matter what happens, they will support Mama.
Storytelling went well during the morning session. It was fun to hear the kids’ reactions while I was narrating and some were even predicting what’s going to happen next in the story. I guess some of the questions I prepared were a bit complicated for the 3 to 5 year-old’s, so with the help of the other teacher, I modified them so the kids could answer. And the kids who answered correctly (all of them did) received a prize from OMF Pergoal c/o Gracia.
The afternoon session was different. The confidence kicked in and I was not distracted by the tantrums of one toddler. At the end of the session, I was surprised to receive a token and a Certificate of Appreciation from the school! I had it displayed on top of our bookshelf at home.
|With Teacher Gina and Ms. Mara|
As we headed back home, Coby asked me. “Mama, what do you call yourself now?” he inquired. “I mean, what you did there in that school?” he continued. “Oh, storytelling and I was a storyteller”, I replied. “Now you’re a storyteller. You sure have a lot of jobs, Mama,” he concluded. And I just laughed in agreement.