|Christine Bersola-Babao inspires kids to read and learn|
Get Caught Reading Campaign is happy to have multi-talented Christine Bersola-Babao among its celebrity reading advocates. “I fell in love with the children’s book of dolls of the world which Mama bought,” Tintin shares, her eyes shine with delight. “I enjoyed looking at the dolls in various colorful costumes and ever since books of various colors and sizes became my companions.”
From children’s books, she giggles as she recalls how she enjoyed reading youth-oriented books “Sweet Valley High,” “Nancy Drew,” Choose Your Own Adventure,” “Hardy Boys,” and the “Amelia Peabody” series, which she describes as “delicious and fun read.” She also enjoyed and made business out of Archie Comics. “After reading Archie, I lent it to my classmates for a small fee. Nag-enjoy na ako sa pagbabasa, nabawi ko pa yung cost ng comic book,” she shares laughing.
As an adult, she enjoyed reading Joel Osteen’s books and Mitch Albom’s books especially “Tuesdays with Morrie” (Doubleday, 1997) and “For One more Day” (Hyperion, 2006) because they teach her to treasure every moment of life. “I read and re-read verses of the Bible every night. I follow a schedule, or readings for the day… my favorites are Psalms and Proverbs, The Book of Job, Corinthians. I also read ‘My Daily Bread.’ When we have problems dapat ngiti lang ng ngiti because they all add up to our storehouse of precious memories.”
Tintin draws lessons from the lives of prominent personalities like Audrey Hepburn’s biography, Ken Lawrence’s “The World According to Oprah” (Andrews McMeel, 2005), and recently Dolphy’s memoir “Hindi Ko Ito Narating Mag-Isa” (Kaizz Ventures, 2008).
She reads various Travel books especially Angelina Jolie’s “Notes from My Travels” (Pocket, 2003) and books on the Environment.
She finds entertainment in reading Lily Prior’s books especially “Nectar” (Harper Perennial, 2003) and Laura Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate” (Anchor, 1995).
She confesses, “I always have fun reading all kinds of children's books.” Her friend KC Concepcion presented her with a copy of the precious children’s book “Les Contes de Perrault” (The Tales of Perrault).
With her marriage to Julius Babao and the birth of their daughter Antonia Sofia Julia, Tintin penned children’s books to leave a lasting legacy to Anya and her future siblings.
Her first book “Bryan Learns His Lesson” (2004), written when Anya was still in her womb and illustrated by Julius, tells of the story of the boy who realized how lucky he is the hard way. “Basura Monster” (2005), illustrated by Cedric Ryan de Guzman, educates the youth to care for the environment. “The Story of Christine” (2006) reflects Tintin’s own experiences in finding her identity and how she coped with her insecurities as a young girl. For this book, she received a special citation from the 30th Catholic Mass Media Awards.
Her latest book “Bakit Siya Meron? Bakit Ako, Wala?” (2008) brings the message of the Christ-Child to its young readers by going beyond material things and learning to count life’s blessings. Tintin’s children’s books are published by Katha, the publishing arm of Goodwill Bookstore.
Tintin and Julius take turns in reading children’s books to Anya. To introduce Anya to the world of words, Tintin shares that she posted labels on furniture and appliances in their home. Anya now loves children’s books and regularly asks to be taken “to the library,” which is how she calls a bookstore.
“Parents should surround the child with appropriate books. They should become active role models by showing they enjoy books and love reading,” Tintin confides. Anya enjoys listening to and learning from Tintin as she reads Dr. Luis Gatmaitan's “Ayan Na si Bolet Bulate” and “Ngiii! Ang Kati ng Ulo Ko!” (OMF Literature, 2007). Adarna House’s books abound in her home like Rene O. Villanueva’s “Ang Barumbadong Bus” and “Si Emang Enkantada at ang Tatlong Haragan,” Susan de la Rosa Aragon’s “Nang Magkakulay ang Nayon,” Kristine V. Canon’s “Bakit Matagal ang Sundo Ko?” Mike Bigornia’s “Kain, Kumain, Kinain,” and Rebecca Añonuevo’s “Ang Bisikleta ni Momon.”
As GCR celebrity endorser and children’s book author, Tintin will leave a legacy to generations of kids who will grow to become book lovers and readers. As the early morning news broadcast fade with dusk, the kids she inspired to learn and read will surely remember her, the way Anya and her future siblings will cherish her.
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