Traveling Tales Proves Literature Isn’t Only for the ‘Burgis’

By glory moralidad

Have you ever sat by your grandmother’s or grandfather’s side and listened to their tales of lore? Or how about being told fairy tales from Hans Christian Andersen or the Brothers Grimm?

Good times, right?

Lately, storytelling is beginning to lose its magic as many parents or guardians find little time to spend with children as the hustle and bustle of life requests them to answer the needs of living.

This is an unfortunate fact we have to face today: many think books, like cars, are luxuries. However, we believe books should be treated as though they are necessities. Through storytelling, books can produce improvements in the children’s’ reading behavior and skills. Would easier access to books play an important role in motivating kids to read books?

Traveling Tales - Project Iloilo

We don’t know the exact answer to this question, but we believe providing access is an important step to encouraging literacy. It is thought that families without books lack interest in reading. But that’s not entirely true; with the number of families living in poverty on the rise, any meager income they can earn for the day can’t certainly be spent on books.

Books and Brood

This is what compelled us—a small group of people who grew up with the “traditional” style of storytelling—to go out and inculcate the power of this wonderful medium to today’s kids. A single day with the children is all we need to let everyone see the various ways in which storytelling can help children grow.

This is where the concept for Traveling Tales was formed. Comprised of individuals whose primary mission is to create stories for children and bring these original tales to different communities around the city of Iloilo, the group promotes storytelling in all its forms by hosting activities that encourages children to participate and let them develop awareness for literature

Last April 20, Traveling Tales has partnered with LOOB (Love Our Own Brethren) Inc. to share the power of stories by placing books directly into the hands of the children. The group chose Brgy. Calajunan in Mandurriao as the maiden site for our first set of activities. For those who may be unaware of the fact, Brgy. Calajunan is the area which serves as the city’s “dump site” for many years already.

Traveling Tales - Project Iloilo

The children of the barangay’s ‘waste pickers’ listened to original Ilonggo tales which were spun by local Ilonggo writers. The one- and-a-half hour program included storytelling, games and discussion between the storytellers and the children.

Games were also laid out and prizes were given accordingly to children from the group. The rights and responsibilities of children were then shared and explained in an adapted version from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. At the end of the activity, a storybook was handed for each child to keep.

Traveling Tales - Project Iloilo

If anything, the storytelling activity at Calajunan proved to us that there is indeed a place for storytelling to propagate in this day and age. Each child’s eyes lit up when they were given a storybook that they can proudly call their own. They would open the covers, do their best to read the contents and then they would come back to the storytellers to ask for another one—or even have their copies exchanged, for that matter!

We are now in the midst of planning future activities for Traveling Tales. If you want to donate books or host a storytelling activity, just go to and PM us your message or contact yours truly at 0927-9252-734.

Photos by Xtian Lozañes and Martin Espino

Glory Moralidad founded Bata Ako Ph, which aims to bring back the lost art of storytelling to children. She has also been nominated and awarded for her work on various children's books.