A Jolly Surprise

By: Lady Aleen Cruz-Bernido

Open books, open minds. This has been Pandoo Foundation’s motto. We encourage kids to read as many books as they can. The tradition we dubbed as the Read-a-thon Book Reading Contest has been observed regularly at the Pandoo Club.

Every time the kids finish reading a book, the Pandoo teachers ask them questions that checks their comprehension, their opinion on the story of the book, as well as their imagination. When the kids answer these questions, they get an entry for the monthly raffle draw for a chance to win one of the five slots for the prize. As they say, the more entries, the more chances of winning. 

In the past, the prize has been to go swimming in the pool. This time around, we wanted to vary the prize to keep the suspense and to get them more excited to join the contest. The Pandoo team decided to treat the kids at a fastfood chain that Filipinos love: Jollibee.

So, last August 20th, we booked the Pandoo jeepney for an adventure not very far from the Pandoo Community Center. Only three kids showed up on time, but we still decided to push through as scheduled.

We went to Jollibee F. Cabahug Street, which is just a few blocks away. To our Pandoo kids’ surprise, the Jollibee mascot was there. The kids and the staff got a chance to meet and greet Jollibee. To top it off, Jollibee agreed to pose with the Pandoo jeepney.

He even mimicked the jeepney conductors and started hailing passengers. Taking a picture of Jollibee hailing passengers would have been cute, but we have to stick by our rule not to allow hanging on the jeepney.

The kids left Jollibee with fun memories that they will share to their friends and families. We hope that this experience will encourage them to open more books.

The prize for this month? A jolly surprise.