801 Buwan ng Wika Celebration with Right Start

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Written by Board Member, Ate Charmain Tan

August is the National Language Month or Buwan ng Wika as they call it in the Philippines. The celebration is also in relation to the birthday of Manual Quezon, the Father of the National Language or Ama ng Wikang Pambansa. It used to be a week long celebration but in 1997, President Ramos signed a proclamation changing it to a month-long celebration. For the celebration, different schools would hold programs where the students could participate. The children would dress up in Filipino costumes and do performances like do Filipino dance, sing Filipino songs, and others. This year we celebrated with the children of Right Start in San Juan. Our partnership with Right Start started in 2011. The learning center provides supplementary classes for the children in the community. They provide academic classes and also arts and music.

The children were excited as they prepared for today’s performance. They have been rehearsing for the past few days. They all came in really cute Filipino costumes. They danced tinkling, played the guitar while singing popular Filipino songs, played the ukulele, and others. They also came up with a slogan to celebrate the event. As Kuya Harvard was hosting the event, it was a challenge for him to speak in straight Filipino. Every time he would say an English world the kids would all shout “Enlish Yan!” so he had to think of the correct Filipino word. The children were very alert as they called out Kuya Harvard every time he said something in English.

After the children’s performance we grouped the children and volunteers into five groups. We first played a math trivia game. We gave the groups several cones. Kuya Harvard gave mathematical equations where the groups had to solve for the answer. The members had to hold up the correct number of cones to show the correct answer. The second game we played was another Trivia Game. We gave categories and groups had to tell us how many items of that category they can name. The group that gave the highest number got a chance to name the items. Our categories included Filipino heroes, Filipino games, and others.

In line with the Buwan ng Wika Celebration the teachers of Right Start prepared Filipino street food which they put in straw baskets. They made Kwek Kwek (orange battered quail eggs), Kikiam (Chinese sausage), Fish Balls, Squid Balls, and others. They also prepared Sago at Gulaman (tapioca pearl and gelatin) for drinks. I had fun trying the snacks as I do not get to eat street food that often.

We then announced the winners of the program. We chose one girl and one boy for the Best in Costume category. They were so adorable as the little boy was wearing a Barong Tagalog while the little girl was wearing an Igorot costume complete with gold necklace and headpiece. We also picked the group for the Best Slogan Campaign. The children were given gifts wrapped in colorful papers. As we said our goodbyes we had our group photo taken. It was festive to see everyone in Filipinana costumes. This celebration reminds us to be nationalistic, not to forget where we came from and to love our own country.

U! Happy Events

U! Happy Events