Storytelling {and Mother’s Day Giveaways!}

I know that the ideal, and usual practice of families is to read storybooks before bedtime or during nap times. But for us, it hasn’t been the practice. Not that I don’t want to read books to our children, but to our three-year old tot, he doesn’t have any particular favorite among our collection of children’s books, and also, because of the physical limitations brought by my illness, it hasn’t been convenient for me to grab a book and settle with my kids and read until sweet slumber takes over them.

But what I do, I believe, is more meaningful and exciting. I tell them stories from memory. Well, mostly to Tim, the three-year old. Hannah, at ten, reads by her own, and I’m glad that she loves to read.

When Tim comes to me and snuggles for a nap, he requests me, “Tell a story, Mommy. About butterflies…” He often requests the butterfly story which I have told several times.

The stories I tell him are from my childhood. I do have a trove of them! I am so blessed to have a rich, and I can say unique, childhood, far different from my children’s, and for most children today.

I grew up in a little town in the province. It’s so small a town that everybody knows everyone in the town proper. I grew up at a time when butterflies, dragonflies, fireflies, and friendly, gray beetles (salagubang in Tagalog, abal-abal in Ilocano) were the most fascinating pursuits for a child. I was great at catching dragonflies by their tails! And all these lovely insects swarmed almost everywhere. There were abundance of them then.    

During summer, when the town was asleep after lunch (siesta in Spanish), my friend Elena and I would sneak out to the hills to pick blackberries (duhat in Tagalog) from the blackberry tree. Or gather carabao dung from the summer-dry fields, put them in sacks and sell them to the nursery for compost. These crusty carabao dung dotted the wide, empty ricefields like huge hotcakes. They were everywhere!

Or catch mudfish and catfish with my cousins when the fields overflowed during rainy season and grill them over burning coals. Hmmm… I could still imagine how we savored those freshly-grilled freshwater fish.

And there are so much more!

So I tell my kids these stories and I see how they marvel at each one, listening in wonderment. These endearing stories of my childhood are so much different from what they have experienced and are experiencing growing up in a suburb east of Metro Manila.

If our idea then of amusement was to play “chinese garter”, “jackstone”, “stone hunting”, and other games that required no expense in a vacant lot or in the yard, my kids’ would be to go to Fun Ranch (an amusement place for families in the heart of the city) or Worlds of Fun (an amusement place inside the mall).

So I tell them about the thousands of fireflies that lit the guava tree one summer night; or how Elena fell from a broken branch of the blackberry tree straight into a thorny, giant maguey plant, but unhurt; or how my father and my uncles went out at midnight to catch frogs in the rain-flooded fields that were teeming with these fleshy, edible amphibians, and how in the morning the whole family (except my mother!) would be enjoying a big panful of steaming frog legs cooked in rich coconut milk.

Telling my kids stories of my adventure-rich childhood not only brings them pure enjoyment, but I am also thankful that I’m able to describe to them a time, a place, and experiences they haven’t known and seen. In a way, I’m imparting to them a part of my life that would stay in their hearts and memories as they are growing up, and I hope, even to their old age.

Just as reading storybooks lull kids to sweet slumber, telling my son stories from memory with gentle caresses is just as effective.

How about you? Do you tell childhood stories to your kids? I hope you’d share them with us. We’d love to hear them!

To read my other Homemaking articles, please click here.





Native, woven bag made of buntal, with inner lining and snap closure; extra-large. (Proudly Philippine-made).



Giveaway #1: "Love" pretty ceramic mug with Scripture cards. (Imported from USA).


Giveaway #2: Desktop daily devotional for mothers and daughters. (Imported from USA).


  • Leave your comments on this post.
  • Winners will be chosen (not drawn) based on the comments submitted.
  • Three winners will be chosen: one from USA/CANADA, two from Philippines.
  • Giveaways close on May 11, 2011, 6PM Phil. time.

Thank you for your friendship!

Linking to Time-warp Wife, Domestically Divine, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Spiritual Sundays

In Christ,


13 comments on “Storytelling {and Mother’s Day Giveaways!}

  1. Lory says:

    Praise the Lord!!!

    Wow! Thanks for sharing that wonderful story.

    I don’t have a baby yet.. harhar but when i was a child my uncles loved to tell us the stores of ” Si Pedro at Si Juan”. it’s actually a funny stories.

    Tim will surely pass your stories to his children someday^_^

    I hope you get well soon so that you can encourage your children and we can read more blogs and be inspired by it.

    Reading your blogs is truly a blessing for me.
    One day i am feeling down as in depressed i don’t know what to do to get moving.. then i saw your blog about the eagle it inspired me again and many more things.

    So whenever i’m lonely, i just take a look on your blogs and reading it all over again^_^ Thanks po.

    God bless you. Have a wonderful day.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Dear Sis. Lory,

      Everyday, I thank the Lord Jesus for answering one of my fervent prayers: to be a light and inspiration to others. Oh, I’m so humbled by His goodness in my life! It amply compensates for the suffering I’m going through – my whole being just overflows with thanksgiving!

      Thank you for your loving comments that encourage and inspire me in return.

      God bless you!

  2. Terry says:

    I really enjoy your blog.

  3. margot diaz says:

    Hello Rina,
    Thank you for another wonderful and delightful writing. I’m also fascinated by your childhood story. But what excites me more is that you said, you’re from East of Manila and you know where Fun Ranch is!
    Yikes! I just live right across that amusement park in Pasig.
    I’m sorry, I think I’m missing out the context of your today’s entry. Hihi
    My kids aren’t really fond of listening to stories for they’d rather watch movies with their dad before going to sleep.
    I think I missed that mommy part but I’m happy that my boys bonded so well, I could not even get inside their world when they began hitting their force field.
    One thing I remembered,when Mico is still our only son, my husband would tell to him our love story in the most hilarious way. And so he grew up teasing me and having fun on how I ended up with his dad. It’s always a laughter to remember. I thank God for that. It’s all worth it. Hearing my son laugh so hard makes everything a wonderful music to my ears.
    God bless you more and inspire us even more.


    • RinaPeru says:

      Hi Margot!

      Well, however we “entertain” our kids as long as they’re nurtured well, happy, and could laugh out loud for clean fun, it’s all worth the effort and it’s something to be thankful for.

      We live just about 30-min. drive from Fun Ranch and my daughter attends school near it, on the other side of Ortigas. Overall, we’re so very grateful for the Lord’s grace in our family.

      Thank you for sharing a bit about your family life – much appreciated!

      Pleasant day!

  4. Deanne M says:

    Rina, I so enjoyed your article. Just from reading your words, I could imagine that I was there and could see, feel, smell and well almost taste right there with you. (I’d say I would have to pass on the frog legs though) lol. I don’t have many stories from my childhood. I don’t remember too much. I think I blocked them out?? But I do remember that I lived most my life with my Grandmother and she was the sweetest lady. Never got mad at me. Just loved me unconditionally and she is the only person that I can truly say I never argued with or got mad at. I miss her so very much:( Well back to your post. I truly enjoyed it as I do all your posts. I love hearing your stories, it takes me to a different place, a different world. As you may know, I’m from Canada “eh”. Blessings to you and your family! 😉

    • RinaPeru says:

      Dear Deanne,

      I so enjoyed reading your comment! The frog legs thing – lol! But, all you wrote about your grandmother, I could say exactly the same about mine: never got mad at me or scolded me, but just loved me dearly, and all that. We’ve the same gene of a grandmother! 🙂 Those stories about butterflies and dragonflies, etc. were mostly the days I spent with my Grandma. Spending wonder years with grandmas are the richest and most endearing memories, don’t you think so?

      Blessings to you and your whole family, too!

      • Deanne M says:

        Lots of great memories, I do think so :). I sure miss my Nanna a lot! Thanks for letting me share your story. I think this is the one I want to use “Story Telling”. Once I have it set up, I will send you a copy before I publish it. Can you send me an email so I’ll have yours on file Thanks! Oh and can I use your profile pic beside your name? Have a great evening! or is it day there? LOL It’s 11:50PM here. Time for some zzzzz’s.

  5. Charlotte says:

    What wonderful stories to tell your children. I’m glad you told us a few of them too. Reading books is good but I think telling stories is better. And what nice Mother’s Day giveaways.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Dear Charlotte,

      Thank you for all these lovely messages from you. And I haven’t formally thanked you and Ginger for hosting Spiritual Sundays – such a blessed place to share our hearts!


  6. What a beautiful treasure you share with your children.

    Happy Mother’s Day, Debbie

  7. Ginger says:

    Telling stories are so important,thank-you for sharing them with us. Your stories are, I can just see all the fireflies on the fruit tree. What great memories.
    God Bless,

  8. Deanne M says:

    Hi Rina,

    I received my beautiful bag today! So exciting! I am so grateful for such a gift! Many thanks! Have a wonderful weekend! {{{Hugs}}}


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