In line with the Philippines’ celebration of Linggo ng Wika every month of August, our group the Bacolod Homeschoolers also held a modified version–Araw ng Wika. This is our second outing as a group and we are very thankful for the lovely turnout–nine homeschooling in Bacolod families from the first four that we had during our Nutrition Week celebration. While I did organize the event, I am very happy that it became a cooperative effort among the parents. So thankful to everyone that I was actually overwhelmed with emotion because of the turnout of homeschooling families that were brought together by technology–thanks Facebook!
Our unspoken theme for our gathering is Pinoy fiesta. So here are our loose “requirements”:
1. The families were asked to bring their kids in national costumes representing any of the regions of the Philippines.
2. The kids had to prepare a special number, whether to read a prose in Filipino, to sing a Filipino song, to memorize a Filipino poem, or any number that they can deliver according to their strengths.
3. One of the moms prepared buntings made out of newspaper to complete the festive mood.
4. The event would be held in a Filipino restaurant where native foods were to be served.
5. To learn a Filipino game.
Since my daughter’s talent is in singing, she rendered Leah Salonga’s song “Tagumpay”. Watch her video below:
We were so happy to have a high turn out for our Araw ng Wika. We held our event at the Tita Beth’s Pancit Malabon House here in Bacolod City, a native restaurant located at Lacson Street, Mandalagan specializing in pancit malabon and other native dishes. They were very accommodating and served our orders in native palayoks and bilaos lined with banana leaves. We had pancit malabon, kare-kare in a palayok, pork barbecue, bistek Tagalog, maja blanca, sapin-sapin, and cassava cake. Quan Native Delicacies also gave us some colorful suman. We had a hearty lunch! With the newspaper buntings made by one of the moms, it was a fun, fiesta atmosphere in the function room that looked like your average grandma’s living room, complete with collectibles that are often seen in Filipino homes. Everything is so native Filipino!
One of the moms brought their family’s sungkaan set and she had a short session teaching the kids how to play sungka, a native Filipino game using a wooden board and seashells. The paradox of the sungka is that it’s a long game but rather quiet simple. But in order to win it, you also need to count and strategize. The kids had so much fun–so much actually that my kids begged for a sungkaan set and we continued to play it at home days after the event.
One of the “weaknesses” of some homeschoolers is the Filipino language. And I guess it is safe to say that most kids nowadays lack the appreciation of Filipino culture. Through this event, we hoped to give our children a practical application of their Filipino subject as well as a better appreciation of our native culture–even if it’s just a glimpse. Next year, we hope to have a bigger event, something that’s more organized and with more research involved so that the kids can better look into the history and rich culture of the Philippines.
Even if we are not always together, the kids got along very well. After the program, they played together and talked like they were a big barkada. They didn’t seem to mind that we only have two boys in the group. I think these kids are pretty well-adjusted, if I may say. And that makes us parents really happy.