‘Silid Aralan’ at embassy in DC teaches Fil-Am kids PH history, culture
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A week-long program schooled 61 Filipino American kids and youth on Philippine history and culture via a hybrid Zoom and limited in-person attendance in compliance with health protocols.
“Silid Aralan sa Embahada 2021” on Aug. 9 to 13 at the Philippine Chancery Annex Building was hosted by the Philippine Embassy and the United Federation of Fil-Am Educators (UNIFFIED) Maryland Chapter.
With the theme “Kulturang Makulay, Mayaman, at Matatag: Sandigan sa Paghilom at Pagbangon mula sa Pandemya” (A Colorful, Rich and Resilient Culture: The Foundation of Healing and Recovery from the Pandemic), used modules on “Philippine history & geography, national symbols, values education, arts & craft, folk songs & folk dances, Original Pinoy Music (OPM), Filipino traditional games & cuisine, national language, folktales & plays, and national costumes.”
UNIFFIED Maryland President Malou Cadacio welcomed participants, followed by a slideshow featuring the lessons and activities facilitated by the volunteer teachers and partner organizations for the whole week.
Youth class participants Milo Lopez and Roxy Hodzic and UNIFFIED Maryland’s Ms. Luz Sumingwa served as the hosts, while Filipino fast food chain Jollibee provided refreshments for the children, parents and volunteer teachers during the limited in-person event.
“We hope that all of these experiences, lessons, knowledge, and traditions will not just be confined in the one-week program, and that you will carry them with you as you grow older.” said Philippine Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Jaime Ramon Ascalon, Jr. “There is no age limit to learning. You can explore and study on your own, practice what you have learned whenever you can, and always be proud of your unique Filipino heritage and identity.”
The hybrid program was made more exciting by several intermission numbers including dance performances by the UNIFFIED teachers, a storytelling segment by CDA Ascalon, poetry reading, balagtasan, cooking demonstrations, drama play, and folk singing and dancing by the kids and youth participants.
“The Silid Aralan sa Embahada is a wonderful event for Filipino children to learn about our Philippine history, culture, and traditions. Although it is only a week, I had a great learning experience about Filipino martial arts, arnis, singing, and reciting Filipino folk songs and poems, and cooking Filipino food pinakbet. Maraming salamat po,” said Athena Lannu of the Kids class.
“I hope that this will continue to be available in person and online so it can reach more Filipinos and Filipino Americans,” said Kristine Remudaro on behalf of the parents.
Silid Aralan sa Embahada is an annual partnership between the Philippine Embassy and UNIFFIED Maryland Chapter in preserving Filipino culture and tradition and celebrating Buwan ng Wika (Language Month).
This year’s program was made possible with the support of the Filipino American Cancer Care (FACC), The Filipino Class of Baltimore, Pinakatay Arnis Sigidas, Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC), and Jollibee USA.