Kids learn about Filipino culture at PH Embassy ‘Silid Aralan’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After three consecutive Saturday classes this month, the United Federation of Fil-Am Educators DC/ Maryland chapters and the Philippine Embassy held the commencement program of “Silid Aralan sa Embahada 2019” at the Philippine Chancery Annex Building on August 19.
Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez, together with UNIFFIED DC President Rey Dacul and UNIFFIED MD President Malou Cadacio, awarded certificates of participation to the students as well as certificates of appreciation to UNIFFIED’s volunteer teachers.
The commencement program incorporated special messages and dances by students, parents and the teachers, who performed Philippine folk dances “Cariñosa” and “Tinkling,” and the Southern Philippine dance “Kapa Malong.”. The Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC) extended its support to the success of each special dance through its choreographer, Dennis Michael Hona-Hansingerr.
“I truly believe that this is a great program because it teaches young Filipino-Americans like me about our heritage and the country where our parents came from,” Ellyce Butuyan said in her message of gratitude on behalf of the students.
She added: “Silid Aralan has taught me even more about the culture of the Philippines, and the aspects that make the Philippines the country that it is today. We have learned about the various symbols of the Philippines, the history of the Philippines, and multiple native games as well. We even tried playing some, such as luksong tinik, patintero, and tumbang preso, the games that my parents played as children. We all had a lot of fun, even the teachers.”
Cadacio gave the opening remarks and introduced Ambassador Romualdez, who reiterated the importance of education and of inculcating to the young Fil-Am kids their Filipino values, language, and heritage.
“We have enjoyed getting to know your families and hope that the program gave you the opportunity to bond and immerse yourselves in Filipino culture. More importantly, we hope that you will continue to practice what you have learned and work to add to your knowledge. In this regard, you may avail yourselves of the programs that Sentro Rizal Washington DC runs throughout the year,” Romualdez said.
Vince Carino gave a message on behalf of the parents, and UNIFFIED DC Vice President for Operations Liberty Oyzon-Acebo performed a heartfelt rendition of Ako ay Pilipino.
Dacul officially closed Silid Aralan sa Embahada 2019. UNIFFIED MD Vice President for Operations Luz Rebecca Sumingwa and Director Stephen Manangan served as emcees.
Acebo led the book launch of “Sandangaw”, a Waray tale from Sari-Sari Storybooks. During the book launch, Manahan and Dacul read the tale of Sandangaw to the students in the English and Waray languages, respectively.
August is also celebrated in the Philippines as Buwan ng Wika (Language month) and Waray is a regional language native to Eastern Visayas.