Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ang Munting Bituin

The annual Parol-Making Workshop held at Our Lady of Good Counsel has become a tradition to many Filipino-American children in the northern Virginia area.  Many have kept the parol, or star lanterns that they've created each year.  Others have given these parol kits to others as a way of sharing their Filipino culture to American friends.

Years from now, these children may remember that making a parol is part of their Advent preparation, together with attending Simbang Gabi and eating at a salu-salo every night for the nine days before Christmas.  Paaralang Pinoy is proud to contribute to their memories and help them discover ways to share their culture.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Bahay Kubo

This month, we learned about some of the Chinese and Spanish influences on Filipino culture by way of Bahay Kubo.  After all, singing helped them practice their short vowel sounds and introduced them to words like bawang, sibuyas and kamatis, the basic ingredients of many culinary creations.

There was little bit of history too as we displayed a Maria Clara outfit, common during the Spanish period, and a camisa chino, a shirt revised to fit the weather and needs of the Filipinos then.

In the Saling-pusa Station, our preschoolers continued to learn the rest of Bahay Kubo with a picture book, and color the Philippine flag using their new words: bughaw, pula, dilaw and puti

They also saw our three-part cards: picture cards with the corresponding labels in Filipino, cards with picture only, and cards with Filipino word label only.  They will have these available to play with, and with frequency, should help them remember the Filipino words.

Though we don't have a workshop scheduled in December, Paaralang Pinoy is co-sponsoring a Parol-making workshop on Sunday, November 30 at Our Lady of Good Counsel's De Sales Hall at 2:00 p.m.  Do join us and listen to Filipino carols sung by former students of Paaralang Pinoy as your children create their own parol.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Maligayang Bati!

Paaralang Pinoy opened this year's workshop series with a birthday party! Our theme was Maligayang Bati: Pinoy Etiquette and Manners but we were fortunate to have a new student celebrating her birthday and the class was able to sing for her, in Filipino!

You would have heard chants of A-E-I-O-U, spoken like true Filipinos, from our new group of kids.  There were also strains of Lupang Hinirang, which we will continue to learn and practice through all the workshop sessions.  The children also learned the correct way to display the Philippine flag, and a general idea of how the country's many islands look like.

Our Saling-Pusa kids colored the flag and traced the names of the islands.  But learning about manners and etiquette cannot be done with just pencil and paper! They got up to show respect to elders, touching hand to forehead and saying Mano po!  They also practiced those short vowel sounds in Magandang hapon po! and Paalam po!

But birthday parties aren't complete without frosted cupcakes so after singing Maligayang bati!, they sat down to a birthday snack to end their first workshop with Paaralang Pinoy.

Join us next month for Bahay Kubo: Pansit and Menudo in the Menu.

Sunday, November 16
3:30-5:00 p.m.
St. Joseph's Center
Our Lady of Good Counsel
8601 Wolftrap Road
Vienna, VA

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sali na Kayo!

A Slice of Pinoy: Workshops for Kids is back! You may now register your rising 1st to 5th graders via our Sign Up Genius button on the right.  We even have our Saling-Pusa Station available to your preschoolers.  Kaya sali na kayo!

October 19 Maligayang Bati: Pinoy Etiquette and Manners
November 16 Bahay Kubo: Pansit and Menudo in the Menu
January 18 Magtanim ay di Biro: Kanin o Bigas?
February 15 Isang Gabing Tahimik: Vintage Fashion
March 15 Pen Pen de Sarapen: Street Games
April 19 Itik-Itik: Barrio Fiesta

St. Joseph's Center
Our Lady of Good Counsel
8601 Wolftrap Road
Vienna, VA

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Fiesta Fun!

Colorful buntings transformed our generic space into fiesta central and set up the stage for teaching our kids about summer celebrations in the Philippines.  Tinikling was the first order of the day sans real bamboo poles.  Nevertheless, the kids still worked up a sweat as they pretended to keep their feet safe while dancing with grace and energy.

Our lovely young ladies tried their acting skills as they danced the Carinosa, which has simple steps but required expressive hands and faces.  One can tell how much fun it's been for them to perform for the parents.

Since many fiestas occur during the summer months, we simply had to introduce our kids to exotic summer fruits that they may not encounter at the local groceries: guyabano, atis, lansones.  They also learned how to address the many relatives they will meet at the fiestas.  You should have seen the pleased looks of our guests when a two-year-old boy called out to them: lolo! lola!


As a finale, the older kids remembered a song they were taught in previous years, and helped our new kid in class how to greet, kumusta!

Mamiyesta Tayo! ends our series of A Slice of Pinoy Workshops for the school year 2013-2014.  We look forward to seeing our old and new friends again next year for an exciting adventure in learning about all things Pinoy.  Many thanks to our teacher-volunteers, our excited parents, and for Ms. Senyk at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, our host site this year.

Join us for Mass on Saturday, May 17, 2014, 7:30-8:30 p.m. at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Springfield, sponsored by Paaralang Pinoy.  Bring a friend.  We will have information for volunteers, teachers, helpers, parents and students.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Game Time!

The kids in our Maglaro Tayo! Workshop were in for a treat with this one: a class where one gets to play!  Thanks to Kuya who served as assistant to Teacher Valerie, they learned the Filipino names for different parts of the face and body.

For the little ones in our Saling-Pusa Station, mommy and daddy helped write the big words: buhok, tainga, and bibig, and remembered the body parts through traditional songs, Sampung mga Daliri and Paa-Tuhod-Balikat-Ulo!

But the big kids learned more than the names for parts of the body.  They got to move those body parts to learn about sipa and tumbang preso, though keeping a regular crocheted hacky sack off the ground seemed much easier than with this straw-covered heavy washer!


The kids had a bit of rest between strenuous games with a game of marbles, called holen.  Those daliri found new skills in them, and a few of the kids were naturals!  We could have moved on to a game of teks after that workout.

But tumbang preso truly captured their interest.  With the help of a few tsinelas, a tin can, and their good pitching arms, the kids learned how to have fun with these simple items just like their counterparts in the home country.

It's summertime in the Philippines right now and many are celebrating their patron saints' feast days with Flores de Mayo and Santacruzan processions.  Most homes are busy with cooking and baking, and doors are wide open for visitors.  At street corners, there are temporary wooden stages for talent shows and performances.  We won't have that here in cold and wet Virginia but through our A Slice of Pinoy workshop series, which ends in April with Mamiyesta Tayo!, a Fiesta Workshop, the kids will learn how the Filipinos prepare to party.

Join us on Sunday, April 27 at OLCG from 3:30-5:00 p.m.  Click on the registration link on the right.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Halo-Halo Colors

Can you imagine attending a cooking workshop and learning about colors at the same time?

At Paaralang Pinoy's Magluto Tayo! Workshop, we learned Filipino words for different colors by adding layers of green nata de coco, purple ube, and red beans in a cup to make halo-halo.  Teacher Valerie also prepared white pastillas to roll in sugar, and Teacher Riza cooked multi-colored pichi-pichi to dunk in shredded coconut.  What fun!

 To challenge the gamers, we had dominoes--color dominoes! to test their memories.  Is kahel the color orange to match that picture of an orange fruit?  Is itim the color black to match that picture of a pilgrim's hat?  Hmm...

For our beginning readers and writers, we had worksheets to help them remember their new words.  For the older kids, we even gave them more than one word for some colors: green is berde or lunti, blue is asul or bughaw.  And our beautiful skin color is a nice, long word: kayumanggi.

Learn along with us!  In our next workshop, Maglaro Tayo!, we will play some street games and learn the Filipino words for the parts of the body that skip, run, and tag.  Join us on Sunday, March 16 at OLGC from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.  Register using this link or click on the registration button on the right.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Slice of Pinoy: Workshops for Kids

One of the ways we teach in Paaralang Pinoy is through workshops where kids can actually try out an  activity--perhaps molding pastillas or playing patintero, tasting the rich tsokolate é or dancing the tinikling, or singing the Batibot show theme song.

With the help of Sign Up Genius, a free online sign up form, you will be able to register for upcoming workshops this spring.  To register your children, go to, click on Find A Sign Up and access our workshops using our email address,  You will be able to sign up for all our workshops!  Indicate the number of children who will participate, and include their ages. (Or click the Sign Up Genius button on the right--it will bring you to our workshop registration page directly!)

Here's a sneak peek at the February 9 workshop, Magluto Tayo!  This Cooking Workshop will introduce your children to sweet treats from the Philippines.  They will put together a yummy glass of halo-halo, slice some gulaman for samalamig, and taste some colorful pichi-pichi.  We will also learn Filipino words for different foods and colors, and take home recipes to help mom and dad recreate these treats at home.

Kaya sali na kayo!  Join us and experience a slice of Pinoy.  All workshops will be held at the St. Joseph Center of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, 8601 Wolftrap Road, Vienna, VA, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

February 9
Magluto Tayo! (A Cooking Workshop)

March 16
Maglaro Tayo! (A Street Games Workshop)

April 27
Mamista Tayo! (A Fiesta Workshop)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Simbang Gabi 2013

Sa puso ng lahing Pilipino
Siyam na gabi kaming gumigising
Sa tugtog ng kampanang walang tigil

For the first time in its existence, Paaralang Pinoy sponsored a Simbang Gabi, the Filipino Advent Novena Mass in cooperation with the various communities of the Filipino Ministry of Northern Virginia and the Diocese of Arlington's Office of Multicultural Ministries.  It was a wonderful time to show our Fil-Am youth one of the enduring traditions that their parents have brought with them.

For our particular Mass, the Friends of BLD provided familiar Filipino hymns--nothing beats singing the Ama Namin, the Lord's Prayer in Tagalog!  One of our students proclaimed a reading in Tagalog, two of our young boys served in the Mass, and one of our PP families brought up the bread and wine.  Fr. Andrew Fisher, pastor of St. Ambrose Catholic Church and former Director of Liturgy at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC celebrated our Mass.

As folks walked out the door, they were serenaded with a medley of Filipino carols and handed a slice of bibingka for their drive home.  Our kids may not have had to wake up to church bells calling them to Mass at four o'clock in the morning but with a little bit of imagination, they were transported to a Catholic church somewhere in the Philippines for the familiar celebration that helped them prepare for Christmas.