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!