Saturday, November 21, 2015

Immersing Ourselves in All Things Pinoy

Paaralang Pinoy welcomed autumn in Virginia with a series of Fall Classes for our local Filipino-American youth.  There was a little bit of everything each Sunday: some Filipino words and phrases, some video clips, books and music, and of course, a taste of Filipino and Asian snacks after all that work.

We always sing the Lupang Hinirang at the start of class, and even without knowing all the words, the children are now familiar with the melody.  They even learned of Julian Felipe's influences in composing the anthem, comparing portions of it to the national anthems of Spain and France, and to Verdi's famous opera, Aida.

Show-and-Tell allowed the children to bring souvenirs from their parents' and grandparents' stash, introducing the rest of the class to games, outfits, and decor made of capiz, wood, and other materials.


We got to move our bodies even in our short class, with some pretend- and role-play.  One day, we were farmers planting and pounding rice.  Another time, the boys were Maglalatik dancers.

Peek-a-boo obtained a new definition as we danced part of the Carinosa.  And our little saling-pusa kids quacked their way through the Itik-Itik.


One of our more creative classes made us into Filipino architects.  Using the book, What Kids Should Know About Philippine Architecture, we learned about homes, malls, even cemeteries, and created our version of a Gabaldon schoolhouse.

Kasaysayan, or history, that huge topic that we couldn't have covered in a year, much less in one lesson, was a quick view of Philippine independence.  After learning of the influences to our flag's design and looking at the coat of arms that King Phillip II granted to the city of Manila, we created our own coat of arms.

Christmas traditions will be our last lesson for the Fall Classes.  It promises to be another fun class with a little something to do, a little something to eat, and whole lot of immersing ourselves in Pinoy culture.

If you're interested in making your own traditional parol, join us on Sunday, November 29 at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Vienna, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.  You will be provided with a complete kit of tools for making your own Christmas Star.  A donation of $15 is requested.

Watch this space for registration information for Paaralang Pinoy's Spring Workshops in April 2016.  Sali na kayo!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Game ka na ba?

Paaralang Pinoy Classes and Workshops for Kids are back! 

The Fall Classes will have eight sessions from October 4 to November 22, 2015.  Each session will include an introduction to the Filipino language and a culture lesson.  The students will either work in class or take home worksheets that reinforce the lessons.  Next year, we will bring you our Slice of Pinoy Spring Workshops for Kids which will feature a short review of the relevant culture lessons learned in the fall followed by an activity such as cooking or dancing or creating crafts.

Our Ate and Kuya helpers will continue to lead our littlest students at our Saling-Pusa Station using the same topics but geared to our preschoolers.  If you register a preschooler, a parent or guardian is welcome to stay for the duration of the session.

All our classes and workshops will be held on Sundays from 3:30-5:00 p.m. at the St. Joseph's Center of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, 8601 Wolftrap Road, Vienna, VA.

Registration for our Fall Classes is now OPEN for your rising 1st to 5th graders.  Tuition for Fall Classes is $10 per student per class or if you choose to enroll for the entire series of Fall Classes, we offer a discounted tuition of $64 per student if paid in full on the first day of class.  Registration and other forms will be emailed after you sign up.

O, game ka na ba?  Click on our Sign Up Genius button on the right to register your children and to be counted for our OPEN HOUSE on October 4.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Teaching the Pinoy Beat

We at Paaralang Pinoy love to end the year with a party, and what better way to pass on the Pinoy way of celebrating than to hold a Fiesta Workshop! 

Some of our students have been with us since they were barely able to write their own names.  Attending year after year had given them an appreciation of their heritage, a repertoire of Filipino folk songs, and dance skills!  Those flapping arms imitate ducks quite well that the rest of the class easily pick up the steps.

For the Saling-Pusa kids, banging out the song and dance rhythms--from the beat of the northern mountain regions to the danza of the harana, and the fast and furious bamboo claps of the southern regions--is half the fun of celebrating.  And for the Paaralang Pinoy teachers, feeling the Pinoy rhythm is already half the lesson about being Pinoy.

We end another year of Paaralang Pinoy workshops, and of passing on bits of Pinoy stories and songs to our Filipino-American children. If you are interested in joining us for the school year 2015-2016, watch for announcements in this blog, or email us directly at paaaralang.pinoy at yahoo dot com.  We look forward to meeting you soon.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Jack en Poy!

The Street Games Workshop is the hands-down favorite of all the kids who've participated in Paaralang Pinoy's classes.  They get to take off their shoes, scream out, and at the end of all that fun, eat street food.  This year, we served them banana-cue!

The Saling-Pusa kids weren't left out of the fun either.  There were paper balls to use for sipa, tiny shells for sungka, and their own version of Chinese garter.


Tumbang-preso is the kind of game that lends itself to variations.  The kids get into it enough to modify it and come up with their own rules.

The gymnasts in our class were in the air literally, showing us the different ways to go over the elastic stretched across the room.  But Chinese garter required more dainty and accurate feet, to finish the patterns without missing a beat.  

Maybe years from now, when their gadgets' batteries are low and these kids are feeling bored, they might remember that it doesn't require much to have fun.  A 3-yard length of elastic can entertain them as well as any video game.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Palay, Bigas & Kanin

We introduced our workshop topic, Bigas o Kanin? with a popular tune, Magtanim ay di Biro.  But wouldn't you know it, the composer also created many other songs that our students knew!  So with the help of our student teachers, we had a belated caroling session singing the popular medley, Pasko na Naman and Noche Buena, both composed by prolific composer and National Artist, Felipe Padilla de Leon.

Yuko! and Ate happily obliged, showing our saling-pusa kids the action words from our song of the month.  Later, with the help of their noisemakers--little plastic eggs filled with (what else?) bigas, they demonstrated tayo! upo! and yuko! to the big kids in class.

We had puto for merienda, quite appropriately showing the many things made from rice to our kids.  But many lessons are remembered better when the hands are involved, and as a bonus, if these same hands make something edible and yummy.  Perhaps you can guess what we made and ate that afternoon?


Join us next month for our next workshop, Isang Gabing Tahimik: Vintage Fashion. Register via Sign-up Genius button on the right.  If you have questions, or need to update or cancel your registration, please email the Paaralang Pinoy Coordinator at

Sunday, February 15
3:30-5:00 p.m.
St. Joseph's Center
Our Lady of Good Counsel
8601 Wolftrap Road
Vienna, VA