Mr. Rey Bufi is the new board member of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) representing storytellers. He is the founder of the The Storytelling Project, a non-government organization that sets up reading centers and promote storytelling as a means to develop a lifelong love for books and reading. Get to know him more in this interview.
1. Why tell stories?
I tell stories to help children see the joy of reading and to help them create a habit of reading. By incorporating fun with learning in telling stories, children realize that reading is not just an academic activity but rather an enjoyable task. I also believe that telling or sharing stories woul help to inspire people.
2. When did you realize that storytelling is something you need to do?
I started to realize this when I became a volunteer of an employee organization in my previous work. It was a decade ago when I started as a volunteer of that organization and I saw how happy the kids were during our storytelling activities. Children love stories and making each activity a fun learning experience is a great way to educate children.
3. What is your favorite story to tell?
I have several favorite children stories but my choice always depends on my audience. Ang Pambihirang Sobrero ni Mia by Mike Tejido is a favorite when i have a huge crowd of small children. Papel de Liha by Ompong Remigio is also a classic favorite. I use it when the audience is a mix of children who are in the middle grades, young adults and even adults. Another one of my favorites is Super Labandera by Jim Mark Carolino and Mary Grace Soriano. It is a story about his mother who does laundry to help their family. Jim Mark is one of our learners in The Storytelling Project. I tell this story when I am invited to share TSP's story and I find that it inspires people to know that a child was able to create his own story and see it published.
I choose stories based on the profile of my audience. I always ask for information from the people who invite me such as who my audience are, their age, the crowd size, the venue setup, the event theme, the goal of the storytelling session among other things. These will help me determine the story to choose. When i have a book in mind, I ask myself if that book would be relatable for the intended audience. In case the organizer has chosen a book for the storytelling session and it doesn't fit the considerations, then I just have to find ways to make it relatable to my audience through other strategies.
5. What defines a successful storytelling session?
A successful storytelling session for me is when the audience is happy and engaged during the session and when the audience could retell the story.
For more information on The Storytelling Project, visit their FB page https://www.facebook.com/TheStorytellingProject/ or get in touch with Rey Bufi via this email, firstname.lastname@example.org.