Lola Basyang – Imparting Kids the Art of Storytelling

Storytelling has existed since the beginning of time, even before and during the time of the Son of God. It is done to talk and buzz about social, cultural and natural things that transpire around us, especially extraordinary things. It usually takes place between two people, between two communities, and among countries, and it still happens in the history of the whole wide world.

In my paradise-like home country which is the Philippines, there was a famous icon in storytelling. She was called “Lola Basyang”, a grandmother who loves to narrate tales and other adventures, including history, sci-fiction, horror, and other cultural beliefs and traditions. By the way, “Lola” in Filipino means a “grandmother”. “Basyang” is a nickname for “Gervacia”.

Actually, Lola Basyang was only a writer’s name of Severino Reyes who was then the founder and editor of the once popular “Liwayway” magazine. Severino’s stories in that magazine have been adapted as books and have been televised and produced into films.

The well-liked Lola Basyang became a household name among the Filipinos for whoever would like to narrate and share a story. Nowadays, a Lola Basyang can be parents, not only grandparents; commonly school teachers act as one, and they are brilliant at emulating her. Well, even children can be Lola Basyang as long as they imitate her oldie and throaty voice and narrates or re-tells the story in gentle, relaxed and conversational ways.

In this connection, kids can be great in impersonating a Lola Basyang role. That can be really impressive and inspiring! However, kids can also be as natural as they are! No need to copy the styles of Lola Basyang. Just be sure they do the storytelling techniques comfortably and calmy.

No need to memorize the entire story because kids can do it by reading aloud the texts of the story they would love to share with their friends, classmates, and family. This is a definite and successful way to instill the love of reading, listening, speaking, and eventually writing their own stories. Just what I did!

To note, a Lola Basyang or a storyteller uses hand gestures, facial expressions and change their voice depending on the characters. They can sit, stand or move around. They can vary their movements. They can use costumes or props to attract attention. They have to use appropriate language and to teach vocabularies but not too much of them. Define the hard ones. There should be an active and creative interaction.

To be a Lola Basyang is engaging and fun. Try it, kids! Your parents would love to support you for sure in this delightful activity.

Written by Lucy Lobos. Author of Children’s Books and More !

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