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Freeman Cebu Business

Love Reading

BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Garces - The Freeman

Many may have had the opportunity to travel all over the world, whether it be for business or pleasure. And travel as we know is one of the best educators. We learn a lot about other cultures, their history, their way of doing things. Even our own country has various endemic cultures that are as colorful as our varied dialects and tonalities.

It is a fact that not all of us have the chance to physically travel the world. But that should not restrict us from learning about the universe. My late Tita Leonor Serfino-Cruz was an avid reader. And I would catch her with a book or a newspaper voraciously digesting the pages. She used to tell me that one need not spend money to go places. “You can take any trip you want by just reading.” She used to say.

My dad also had the same habits, and so does my sister Nanette. They read anything.  And I guess it has become a family trait to take something to read or write on wherever we go.  Thankfully there are gadgets that lessen the load of our carry-alls although I still love the feel of paper.

So what am I getting at? I am saddened by the fact that there are still many students who have reached the higher years of high school and still read like children. I would understand the diction difficulties at times because English is just a second language. But syllabicating as one goes along a paragraph in high school is deplorable. As I watch a student struggle with the phonetics, I wonder what is happening with their comprehension as well. 

In 2021, our country is said to have recorded a high literacy rate of 99.27 (GlobalData) with a functional literacy record in 2020 of 91.6 as noted by the Philippine Statistics Authority.  Although it is true that most of us know how to read, write and do basic math, I would want to explore our quality of thinking. Are we comprehensive, critical and concerned? What type of literature do we feed our minds with? How do we practice our “education”? Do the accolades we receive reflect in our character?

What do we read and how to we make use of them? Are we analytical? In-depth in our concepts? How do we make use of social media to share a thought? Are we argumentative and aggressive or assertive and progressive? When we react, do we think things over or do we succumb to knee-jerk comments and regret our tongue or finger-flick later? Are we nurturing or combative? Do the materials we read shape us? Do we read at all?

Reading is a good companion. It brings in new views and expands our horizons.  Knowing how to read is like giving more spice to life. It brings us knowledge and keeps us safe and informed. It is my hope that parents and teachers encourage this habit among the young so that they can mature well rounded and deep thinking. It also my dream that the young are taught how to love reading at an early age. This can be derived by starting them with bedtime stories that are read from a book. Doing so does not limit the imagination of the child. It makes them creative and adventurous.

Having reading clubs and story-telling sessions as outreach programs in the communities can help support the Department of Education’s efforts to deepen the education of the children in the barangays. Perhaps you can make this your business after business and start with your neighbors. Help them love to read.

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