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Abakada – Filipino Alphabet

Ready to learn the Filipino alphabet with us? We have a fun and special challenge to help you learn more Filipino vocabulary, more about food, culture, and geography using each letter sound of the original Filipino alphabet, known as Abakada.

In collaboration with Filipino children’s book author, Joy Francisco (@littleyellowjeepney), and Filipino food vlogger, Jeanelle Castro (@Jeanelleats), we will be sharing words and phrases focusing on one letter of the Abakada each week. Make sure to hop on Instagram to follow our challenge, which starts the week of November 10 and will be going on for 20 weeks. 

We want this to be an enriching experience to learn from one another, so we welcome your participation. Whether you learn the words for yourselves, share the vocabulary with family and friends, comment on our posts with words you know that go along with that week’s featured letter, or share relevant content on your social media during each week’s challenge, there are many ways to partake in the #AbakadaChallenge. 

Here is our weekly plan for posting:

Mondays – @Jeanelleats

Tuesdays – @filamlearners

Fridays – @littleyellowjeepney

To go along with the challenge, I made a printable booklet for you (and/or your kids) to write down or draw the words that we share each week and any additional words you come up with or find from other resources. Feel free to take a picture of your completed pages each week or after the whole challenge and share it with us by using the hashtag #abakadachallenge or tagging @filamlearners @littleyellowjeepney and @jeanelleats so we can see all of the amazing words you are learning. 

Get your printable Abakada Booklet by doing 1 of the following below:

If you have already opted in to our Fil-Am Learners Free Resource Library of printables, you may proceed to get the activity booklet there.

If you have not yet signed up for our free resource library, sign up below to get the Abakada activity booklet along with many other printable freebies.

Other resources to learn the Filipino alphabet:

Want to learn the Abakada song? Click below to listen and watch the Abakada version from Robie317. 

Recommended Books to teach the Filipino alphabet:

A special thank you to Jeanelle & Joy for this wonderful collaboration and for the inspirational work they do.

Want to learn more Tagalog for yourself & your kids?

Check out our Tagalog membership/subscription for Parents.

Pan de Sal Saves the Day- Lesson Activities

Pan de Sal Saves the Day is a Filipino children’s story about a girl named, Pan de Sal, who starts off feeling self-conscious in comparison to her classmates and later discovers her talents and uniqueness as a person. As people, sometime in our lives, we go through moments of feeling not good enough or comparing what we look like or what we do with someone else. This book is a wonderful introduction to some aspects of Filipino culture while also bringing concepts of self-worth and pride to the forefront.

Pan de Sal Saves the Day is written by Norma Olizon-Chikiamco, illustrated by Mark Salvatus, and published by Tuttle Publishing. It is a bilingual book written both in English and Tagalog and a great picture book to add to your young child’s library.

To help you bring the book to life, we have created a unit of 6 activities that you can do with your child or student.

pandesal saves the day lesson activities

The activities include:

  • Book discussion questions
  • “What Makes You Special” picture and writing activity
  • Make a sipa craft
  • Bread/Pastries Comparison Activity
  • Pandesal recipe
  • Suggested music activity

Tagalog Plurals & the Use of “Po”

This post includes a chart of singular and plural pronouns for reference. In addition, there is the audio for some of the plural pronouns. If it is not noted, the phrases listed in the themes area are primarily directed to a single person or can be universally for both singular or plural. Any phrase you see with a (+2) indicates that the phrase is directed to 2 or more people when speaking to them. For many of the sentences, the singular pronoun can be swapped out for the plural phrases without changing the sentence structure. We also include any exceptions where the order of the words is moved within a sentence.

If this chart is overwhelming, don’t worry too much about it at this moment. For now, focus on hearing the recorded phrases and getting accustomed to how they sound, rather than overthinking rules.

(Next project for near future: I plan to color code the pronouns in the guides and flashcards so you can quickly know when you can swap out words to make them singular or plural).

You — Ikaw

You (+2) – Kayo

You — Ka

You (+2) – Kayo

You (I to you)– Kita

You (I to you) (+2) — Ko Kayo

Belongs to (person) — Kay

Belongs to (+2 people) — Kina

He/She— Siya

They (+2) — Sila

His/Her— Kaniya

Their (+2) — Kanila

Your – Mo

Your (+2) — Niyo

To you — Iyo

To you (+2) — Inyo

For you – Sa’yo

For you (+2) — Sa inyo

The words below indicate plural pronouns.

Us (You + I) — Tayo

We (Other people + I) — Kami

Our — Natin (including person who you are speaking to)

Our — Namin (excluding person who you are speaking to)

The use of “po” for respect

In Filipino culture, it is important to show respect when speaking to elders. It can be children and adolescents to their elders, and even adults speaking to their elders. One way to do this is to use “po” when addressing others formally and respectfully.

Po

Featured Filipina: Roanne de Guia-Samuels

I am so inspired by this month’s Filipina feature — Roanne de Guia-Samuels and am so thrilled to be able to share more about her with our community! Roanne is a loving mom, dedicated psychotherapist, and creator of the blog, Kalamansi Juice. She is such a resourceful woman and shares beautiful insight on supporting mental health and happiness. Almost every post she shares on her blog and on social media has been so relatable to me as a Filipina mom. It is such a breath of fresh air hearing her perspective on well-being and parenting. Read on to find out more about Roanne. 

Q: Where do you currently live? Where are you from?

A: I live in the East Bay in California. I was born & raised in Manila, Philippines.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your cultural background. 

A: I come from an ethnically diverse background, my grandmother was Irish/Scottish who married my grandfather from mainland China. My mother grew up with the label-  ”mestizang intsik”. My father was born & raised in a province called Marinduque. He came from humble beginnings and sold coffee to help his family make ends meet. Both my parents still live in the Philippines. Together with my brother, I immigrated to the States to live at a relative’s home at the age of 23.

Q: What do you want others to know about the Fil-Am/Filipino culture? 

A: Filipino culture is like a song. The songs we know from the heart are not once we necessarily know the exact words to but ones whose hymn, rhythm, tone, and inflection reach the inner recesses of our soul. Filipinos communicate through their food, through their haplos (touch), through their pasalubongs, through the expression of their unique Pinoy Love Languages ( ex. Lambing, Tampo, etc). Filipinos are people whose heart will always speak louder than their voices. 

Q: What do you currently do or have you been doing in hopes to contribute to the Fil-Am/Filipino community? 

A: I am the creator of Kalamansi Juice, a platform that provides happiness tools that elicit self-awareness and practical tips for Filipino families living abroad. I am also a licensed Psychotherapist that has dedicated my clinical practice in only serving Filipino women, specifically Filipino moms. 

Many Filipino women living in America (and abroad) hold traditional cultural dialogues in their head that clash with the Western cultural norms. Through my creative work- my blog, my other writings and free resources, I hope to forge a new way of reflective thinking that reconcile the Western way of living  so that you can confidently decide what Filipino values to keep and what to leave behind, living your best life, tailored to you and your family.

Q: What or who is your inspiration behind what you do?

A: My parents were civic-minded people. In particular, my mom taught me the value of serving the community. I remember for 10 years during our Noche Buena, a time where both kids and adults flash their best bestida/baro(dress) and work the whole day towards creating a feast that can feed the entire  barangay, my siblings and I spend the day preparing food in styrofoams ala assembly-line style so that we can traverse under the bridge, along the dark alleys in Manila to give the neediest their taste of Noche Buena. This is a reflection of my mother’s and not mine, nevertheless, it gave the lessons of empathy and service beyond any book or class can ever teach. 

Since my mother fostered an environment that allowed me to hang out with people from different walks of life, I’ve realized at a young age, that riches lie in the mind. I’ve met both- the rich, happy man and the poor happy man, and conversely, the unhappy rich woman and the unhappy poor woman. True wealth is cultivated in the mind. I became a therapist because I believe in changing the world, by helping facilitate change, one mind at a time. I have the best job in the world because as a prerequisite, it holds me accountable with my own, so I’m always learning, always evolving. 

Helpful Resources from Roanne

For additional Happiness Tools including relaxation exercises for both Adults and kids and Mental Health handouts in Tagalog ( Ano Ang Stress? AND Simpleng Kalungkutan o Depression?) check out our Happiness Tools Page @ https://kalamansijuice.com/happiness-tools/

If you’re interested in online therapy, schedule a free 20-minute session here: https://kalamansijuice.com/contact/

We just launched our YouTube channel, and we would love for you to subscribe! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tlYsomNrJk

Thank you for those who support my work, you are my inspiration!

My Fate According to the Butterfly by Gail D. Villanueva

“If you see the Butterfly, somebody you know will die.  Or has already died. My dad wasn’t clear. He just said if the Butterfly lands on something of yours, you should expect Death to come knocking at your door.”

Whew! That opening immediately sent shivers down my spine when I first sat down to read My Fate According to the Butterfly by Gail D. Villanueva. Set in the Philippines, Villanueva brings to the forefront the significance of superstitions in the culture. Superstitions are deeply rooted and can greatly impact actions and reactions to situations in life. In this middle school contemporary novel, Villanueva embeds the superstition of the large black butterfly.

This chapter book is a tale of ten-year-old Sab (Sabrina) and her quest to reunite her broken family for her upcoming eleventh birthday.  Her older sister, Ate Nadine, has not spoken to her father in years and Sab does not know why. Her motivation to both discover and mend the roots of the family rift is heightened when she sees the giant black butterfly, which her father has taught her to be a death omen. Seeing it, she knows she has limited time to act upon her only wish to celebrate her birthday at her Lola’s resort with all of her family there.

Throughout the story, we follow Sab’s journey to uncover more about her Ate Nadine and why she dislikes her father so much. We watch each layer of truth slowly unfold and the emotional impact on each member of the family.

Along the way, we also get a taste of the culture of the Philippines, family dynamics, societal issues, and also the effects of our behaviors and mistakes on our family’s relationships.

My Favorite Quotes:

There were several quotes in the book that caught my attention and provided opportunities for reflection. Here are some I would like to share with you:

    1. “Dad described the Butterfly as being black as a starless night sky. It’s a giant compared to your garden-variety moth — probably even bigger than my hand. Its dark, mysterious vibe is beautiful and sinister at the same time.”

I think that although she is describing a believed “death omen” the description is just so captivating and mysterious — as black as a “starless night sky” and “beautiful and sinister at the same time.”

I love this quote because it is a good life lesson — to not just sit around waiting for death. To enjoy each day of your life and take action to enjoy your life the best way possible. Although Sab sees the black butterfly, her best friend, Pepper, encourages her to not waste time feeling bad for herself, but to change her mentality to spend her supposed “last days” fulfilling her wishes.

“Maybe it’s because she grew up in the United States, but Pepper would never understand why superstitions aren’t just superstitions. When your dad believes in it, and his own mom believes in it — it’s probably true.”

This statement displays the contrast between Filipinos and those who were raised in the U.S. Pepper, Sab’s friend, grew up in the U.S., where superstitions are not as strongly immersed in the culture. Pepper doesn’t fully understand the level of seriousness Sab feels from the superstition of the black butterfly. It reminds me of how my Titas and Titos from the Philippines bring up many more superstitions in the conversation than my family who was born and raised here in the U.S. I always wondered why they would see or hear certain things happening in the Philippines, but not here in the U.S. So, reading this part of the book was very relatable to my own relatives and their beliefs.


I appreciate how Gail Villanueva brings in real societal beliefs regarding skin color and definitions of “beauty.” It is a tough pill to swallow and a “truth” that is hard to admit, but to this day, there are people who still believe that — “white is beautiful, brown is not.” There are many who strongly disagree. But there still remains the belief in this throughout our populations and still communicated (whether overtly or subconsciously).

Age Appropriateness & Topics

My Fate According to the Butterfly is intended for ages 8 through 12 (grades 3 through 7). Although this is the target age range, it is recommended to read it prior to having your child or student read it to be fully prepared and comfortable with the discussed topics in the book. It is an honest storyline, bringing up real-life issues, which I really appreciate. There are several topics we tend to hide from our children due to fear or uncomfortableness, but it is good to bring those real topics to the forefront through age-appropriate conversations. The story shows a torn family due to a “mysterious” reason which Sab later uncovers.

The storyline includes relationship dynamics such as a separated marriage, a homosexual relationship, and brings up substance abuse.

While it does include these topics, Gail Villanueva weaves them in very respectfully while maintaining the depth of emotions that can be involved. It brings up true to life issues between family. It teaches valuable lessons about communication, appreciation for family, living your life without regrets, the importance of having faith in others, and the process of forgiveness.

There are some challenging truths and lots of big feelings for Sab and her Ate Nadine. The author takes the reader through the emotional struggle of the characters and brings it to a beautiful resolve in the end. You will have to read it to find out how it all comes together.

My Fate According to the Butterfly will be launching on July 30, 2019! Check out the book’s website to learn more about it and how to pre-order/purchase it.

Interview with the Author:

I wanted to learn more about the author and her inspiration behind the book, so I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to ask Gail Villanueva a few questions to share with you:

Q: When did you realize you wanted to be an author? 

A: I was writing short stories and making comic strips the moment I learned to read at age seven. I had a hard time learning how to. With my grandmother’s help, I eventually learned how to associate words with images.

But it was when I read To Kill A Mockingbird in fifth grade that I decided I wanted to become an author. I reached the end of the book with this question: Why did it have to be a white girl who tells the story of a black man? Like, couldn’t a black author tell their own story?

It was at that moment I resolved to one day write a book with a Filipino main character. A Filipino book by a Filipino writer. My book may never become a classic like Harper Lee’s (anyone can dream though haha), but I would write about Filipinos because I’m Filipino.

Q: What are your favorite genres to read? What are your favorite genres to write?

A: I read just about anything middle grade—except for horror. I scare easily, so reading horror books will give me nightmares for days. I really love writing real-life stories with a touch of magic in present-day settings and have dabbled with contemporary and historical fantasy.

Q: What inspired you to write My Fate According to the Butterfly?

A: I wrote My Fate According to the Butterfly when I was receiving rejection upon rejection for my first (and currently-shelved) book. It was inspired by my relationship with my own younger sister, Joyce. She’s very like Sab in many ways.

Q: Do you relate to any of the characters in My Fate According to the Butterfly?

A: I relate to Nadine, being an older sister myself. I was also part of my school paper in college. But I’m similar to Pepper the most. She may be a white American, but her personality is kind of like mine. I love strategizing, coming up with solutions to problems, and playing puzzle games. I don’t like kwek-kwek as much as Pepper does, but I do have the tendency to become a bit uncomfortable when family and friends go all feel-y on me.

Q: What do you hope your readers will take away from My Fate According to the Butterfly?

A: I wrote My Fate According to the Butterfly with Filipino representation in mind. I grew up not seeing myself in the books I read and I wanted to change that. But I would love for this book to become a mirror to anyone (Filipino or not) who needed one. Because seeing yourself represented is very empowering. It tells you, the reader, that you can be anything you want to be. At the same time, I would love for my book to become a window to our culture and encourage empathy in kids—especially privileged kids—since I strongly believe that empathy helps us become better human beings.

Bio:

Gail D. Villanueva is a Filipino author born and based in the Philippines. She’s also a web designer, an entrepreneur, and a graphic artist. She loves pineapple pizza, seafood, and chocolate, but not in a single dish together (eww). Gail and her husband live in the outskirts of Manila with their dogs, ducks, turtles, cats, and one friendly but lonesome chicken. Her debut novel, My Fate According to the Butterfly, is coming from Scholastic Press on July 30, 2019

Book links:

Website — https://butterflynovel.com

Amazon —https://www.amazon.com/Fate-According-Butterfly-Gail-Villanueva/dp/133831050X

Goodreads —https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39884772-my-fate-according-to-the-butterfly

Author links:

Author website — https://gaildvillanueva.com/

Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392229.Gail_D_Villanueva

Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/gaildvillanueva/

Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/gaildvillanueva/

Twitter — https://twitter.com/gaildvillanueva

Pinterest — https://www.pinterest.com/gaildvillanueva/

Numbers in Tagalog (mga bilang)

Counting Numbers 1 to 10 in Tagalog

Counting is a basic skill that children learn at a very young age. It is very easy to apply in our daily conversation as we count items around them such as toys, snacks, people, cars we see on the road, etc.

We have a few resources to share below to teach numbers 1 – 10 in Tagalog.

Books

Tagu-Taguan: A Counting Book in Filipino

Tagu-Taguan: A Counting Book in Filipino, written and illustrated by Jomike Tejido, is a Tagalog book that teaches numbers one through 10 and also various insects.

Throughout the book, it shows 10 different insects hiding in nature, and counts from 10 to 1.

Tagu-Taguan is completely in Tagalog and a great way to introduce lots of vocabulary.

Francesca: Isa, Dalawa, Sorpresa!

Francesca: Isa, Dalawa, Sorpresa!, written by Cel Tria and illustrated by Gel Relova, is a charming book about a girl, Francesca, celebrating her birthday. This is a bilingual book (English & Tagalog) that introduces learning concepts including colors, numbers, and birthday party elements. It too counts down from 10 to 1 as we learn a new element for the party. (We did a whole review of the book & e-Book of Francesca in another blog post. Read our full review here).

Tagalog numbers

Isa, Dalawa, Tatlo … Ito Ay Obalo!: Numbers and Shapes in Filipino

Isa, Dalawa, Tatlo … Ito Ay Obalo!: Numbers and Shapes in Filipino  is a Filipino children’s book that is part of a series by Joy Francisco. This particular book was illustrated by Jamie Lee Ortiz.

The pages have a clean look of vibrant colors and basic shapes with the Tagalog and English words for the numbers and shapes.

Joy Francisco continues to add on to her developing series of books to introduce basic learning concepts and Tagalog vocabulary. You can learn more about her and the other books she has produced on her website, Little Yellow Jeepney.

Printable Coloring Activity

To reinforce learning, we created a printable coloring booklet to teach numbers 1 through 10 in Tagalog.

Get the Mga Bilang printable in our Free Tagalog Printables Resource library. Click here to login OR sign up here to subscribe for free.

In addition, my kids came up with and recorded an original Fil-Am Learners song to practice singing numbers 1 through 10 in Tagalog.

 

Do you have any resources to teach Tagalog numbers? Feel free to share with us! We love learning the wonderful assortment of resources available to enrich our language and culture.

Francesca: Isa, Dalawa, Sorpresa! Book Review and Interview with the Author & Illustrator

About the Book & Why We Love it:

Francesca: Isa, Dalawa, Sorpresa! is a charming children’s picture book about a birthday party for a young girl named Francesca. It is translated in both English and Tagalog and introduces the concepts of numbers 1-10, colors, some clothing pieces, and Filipino party traditions.

Author, Cel Tria, and illustrator Gel Relova, did a beautiful job of creating a bright, joyful book to teach children basic Tagalog vocabulary with a theme that is so relatable to children.

Not only is this adorable book available in softcover, but you can also get an interactive e-Book version of Francesca: Isa, Dalawa, Sorpresa! Philip & Ana Publishing took it a step further and made it possible for children to listen to the narration of the story (by Nikki Gil-Albert) in both English and Tagalog, but to also have the capability of interacting with the words and pictures on mobile devices. Having the touchscreen capability and hearing repetition of the words in English and Tagalog strongly reinforces learning and the retention of the words. This is such an innovative Filipino children’s book! How many Filipino children’s books can you name out there that currently do this?

Want to see inside the book?  I made a video walk-through of the e-Book and softcover.  Get a closer look at the features of Francesa  on our IGTV video post here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BzTmCqRggi7/

Interview with the Author – Cel Tria

Q: Where did the inspiration come from to create Francesca?

A: “Francesca is a work of fiction but I’ve drawn from our various experiences as a family.  I was inspired by both our daughters and also by the people we’ve met along the way.

I loved how Gel, the illustrator, captured the multiculturalism of the guests.  I described the ethnicity of each character and they all turned out so well!  Regarding the games, I remember the first piñata with strings that I bought, and I thought that it might not be as exciting, but it is definitely safer!  We never had pabitin in any of our kids’ parties yet, but both my husband and I recall having participated in them as children.  

And look at this photo, notice the similarities with the balloons page.  We had a celebration with just 3 guests because the table for the tea party only had 4 matching chairs!  But it was fabulous anyway and the kids had fun and they became best friends.

This table setting served as an inspiration for Francesca’s celebration.

The spread on the food table is what you would typically find in Filipino celebrations everywhere. 

Friends of Philip & Ana Publishing enjoyed replicating the first page of Francesca for this book event.

Q: What other work have you written?

A: “I’ve written the next book in this Francesca series.  (Yes, it’s a series!) I’m excited about that and the creative process.  We’re about to start the illustrations.   It’s so much fun imagining the scenes, communicating those visions to Gel and then seeing her wonderful interpretations.”

Q: When did you realize you wanted to be an author? 

A: “Originally, when we were living in the States, I was hoping to import books and make them available to the Filipino community because we ourselves found it difficult to access this kind of materials for our children.  Then when the iPhone/iPad came out, I thought that would be a good medium too, with sound and interactive features.  I encountered setbacks in trying to bring in existing content in either format though.

One day my husband suggested that I could make my own, that maybe I should write a book.  It took a while for this to sink in, but when it did I thought it was a marvelous idea. I loved reading since I was a kid and had been writing for school papers.  The possibilities of creative writing were delightful!  That was around 2013 when I started, and by then, we have moved to Australia. ” 

Q: What are your favorite genres of books?

a) To read: “When it comes to adult genres, I am now more inclined to read non-fiction.  Recently, I really liked books by Gretchen Rubin and Malcolm Gladwell, I appreciate the fascinating information presented based on lots of research.  I’m happy to admit though that I love children’s fiction and still read them! (For research, wink, wink!)”

b) To create: “So far, I’ve only written children’s picture books, but I’d like to try my hand at chapter books as well, and adult fiction and non-fiction.  However, I think I’ll always love the process of creating picture books because it’s so great to see imagined scenes manifested in lovely illustrations.”

Q: Will you tell us more about Philip & Ana Publishing Company? (How it came to be and what you hope to do?)

A: It is a publishing company registered in the Philippines, started in 2016 by 5 Filipina founding directors, including myself.  We mostly communicate online because of our locations, 3 different regions in the Philippines, Japan and Australia.  The goal is to promote the love of reading and learning, create content that celebrate the Philippine languages and culture and other cultures of the world, and give back to the community.  We dream of many more Filipinos enjoying the habit of reading, wherever they are in the Philippines or in the world.  We want to help children who are not so privileged get access to books and find joy in them.  We hope you can support us by purchasing our books.  Give them as gifts!  Tell your family and friends! 

(Available on: iBooks and Amazon)

Q: Any upcoming projects and/or events that people can look out for?

A: “There are two projects that we’re working on right now, one is by a Filipino author who lives in New Zealand, about the best friend that a kid could ever have and the other one is the second book in the Francesca series.  Both are being illustrated by Gel too.  Watch out for them!” 

Q: Where can people learn more about you? 

A: “You can find us on Instagram @philipandanapublishing, or on our FaceBook page “Philip & Ana.”  We also have a website, www.philipandana.com .”

Interview with the Illustrator: Gel Relova

Q: Where did the inspiration come when creating the illustrations for Francesca? 

A: “When I started working on this book, I researched traditional Filipino birthday parties here in the Philippines. I remembered some of the games that we played when I was young, the colorful piñata and toys inside small plastic bags (like yo-yo’s and jackstones!) which were strung on 4 by 4 wood called Pabitin. I tried capturing those fun memories and imagined how it would be for Francesca.”

Q: What other work have you illustrated?

A: “I have been illustrating for various Philippine companies and publishing houses for a few years now. They’re mostly for books, magazines, print ads, and other materials. I also collaborate with other illustrators for exhibits here in Manila. You can view some of them on our org’s website at ang-ink.org.”

Q: When did you realize you wanted to be an illustrator?

A: “My childhood consisted of Disney animated movies, cable TV cartoons and Japanese manga. As a kid, I was always trying to draw and copy them.  My sketchbook was filled with drawings of Ariel and Jasmine, Lisa Franks, and the whole sailor squad. When I became a teenager and I still had the same passion that I’ve had for drawing when I was little, I then decided that I wanted to create my own artworks for a living.”

Q: Where can people learn more about you? 

A: “You can see some of my works at fisheecalamari.carbonmade.com or you can follow me on Tumblr.”

Cel & Gel were chatting, talking and collaborating over the internet for almost two years before they met up in person. This photo was taken during that first meeting, a few months after all the illustrations for Francesca were completed.

Giveaway Time!

In honor of my daughter’s recent birthday in June, we have partnered with Philip & Ana Publishing to host a giveaway of the Francesca: Isa, Dalawa, Sorpresa e-Book. Because my daughter turned 9, Philip & Ana Publishing will generously award the interactive e-Book to 9 (yes, nine) winners!

Head over to our Instagram profiles to find the giveaway posts: @filamlearners & @philipandanapublishing 

GOOD LUCK!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. MAKING A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. (READ MORE ABOUT NO PURCHASE NECESSARY)

1.  PROMOTION DESCRIPTION: Francesca: Isa, Dalawa, Sorpresa! Giveaway begins on June 27, 2019 at 12:00 a.m. and ends on July 10, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. PST

   The sponsor of this Sweepstakes is Fil-Am Learners. By participating in the Sweepstakes, each Entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the Sweepstakes. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Sweepstakes. Sponsor may be reached by email at hello(at)filamlearners.com during the Promotion Period.

2.  ELIGIBILITY: Open to legal residents of the United States, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom who are 18 years or older. The promo code can be sent to the winners in any of these countries, as long as. they have an iTunes account. Winners need to provide an e-mail address (but not necessarily the same one associated with their iTunes account). This Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited or restricted by law.

3. PRIZES:

9 Winners will receive the promo code to redeem a free e-Book children’s book,  Francesca: Isa, Dalawa, Sorpresa!

4. HOW TO ENTER: Enter the Sweepstakes during the Promotion Period online by visiting this post on Instagram.

   Automated or robotic Entries submitted by individuals or organizations will be disqualified. Internet entry must be made by the Entrant. Any attempt by Entrant to obtain more than the stated number of Entries by using multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations, logins or any other methods, including, but not limited to, commercial contest/sweepstakes subscription notification and/or entering services, will void Entrant’s Entries and that Entrant may be disqualified. Final eligibility for the award of any prize is subject to eligibility verification as set forth below. All Entries must be posted by the end of the Promotion Period in order to participate. Sponsor’s database clock will be the official timekeeper for this Sweepstakes.

5. WINNER SELECTION: The Winner(s) of the Sweepstakes will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. The random drawing will be conducted about 1 day after the Promotion Period by Fil-Am Learners or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible Entries received.

6. WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winner will be notified by direct message on Instagram provided in the Entry Information approximately 1-2 days after the random drawing. Potential Winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 5 days of notification. Sponsor is not responsible for any delay or failure to receive notification for any reason, including inactive email account(s), technical difficulties associated therewith, or Winner’s failure to adequately monitor any email account.

   Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively \”the Prize Claim Documents\”). No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.

7. PRIVACY: Any personal information supplied by you will be subject to the privacy policy of the Fil-Am Learners. By entering the Sweepstakes, you grant Sponsor permission to share your email address and any other personally identifiable information with the other Sweepstakes Entities for the purpose of administration and prize fulfillment, including use in a publicly available Winners list.

8. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: Sponsor assumes no responsibility or liability for (a) any incorrect or inaccurate entry information, or for any faulty or failed electronic data transmissions; (b) any unauthorized access to, or theft, destruction or alteration of entries at any point in the operation of this Sweepstakes; (c) any technical malfunction, failure, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or communications line failure, regardless of cause, with regard to any equipment, systems, networks, lines, satellites, servers, camera, computers or providers utilized in any aspect of the operation of the Sweepstakes; (d) inaccessibility or unavailability of any network or wireless service, the Internet or website or any combination thereof; (e) suspended or discontinued Internet, wireless or landline phone service; or (f) any injury or damage to participant’s or to any other person’s computer or mobile device which may be related to or resulting from any attempt to participate in the Sweepstakes or download of any materials in the Sweepstakes.

   If, for any reason, the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned for reasons which may include without limitation, infection by computer virus, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which may corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Sweepstakes, the Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes in whole or in part. In such event, Sponsor shall immediately suspend all drawings and prize awards, and Sponsor reserves the right to award any remaining prizes (up to the total ARV as set forth in these Official Rules) in a manner deemed fair and equitable by Sponsor. Sponsor and Released Parties shall not have any further liability to any participant in connection with the Sweepstakes.

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A Facebook and/or Instagram account may be required to enter. If you don’t already have a Facebook and/or Instagram account, visit www.facebook.com or www.instagram.com to create one. It is free to create an account. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook and Instagram. You understand that you are providing your information to the Sponsor and not to Facebook and Instagram. By participating via the Facebook platform, participants are also subject to Facebook’s data policy and terms of use, which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy and https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms/update.

10. WINNER LIST: For accessing a Winner List online, come back to this post or head over to our Instagram and Facebook profile when we share the winner. The winner list will be posted after winner confirmation is complete.

The Quarreling Kites

Summary

The Quarreling Kites, the Palanca-award winning children’s book, was written by Lin Acacio-Flores and illustrated by Hermes Alegre. It is a tale of a father and a son flying two kites, a big one, and a small one. It starts off describing the rivalry and competitiveness between the two kites. Bigger and stronger versus smaller and faster.

We see the push to be better than the other:

“I’m better than you are. I’m bigger and stronger.”

“That doesn’t mean anything. I’m smaller and faster.”

“Hah! You call that flying?”

It goes on to show the gradual transformation from the competitive spirit and rivalry into encouragement and friendship between the kites.

“C’mon, little brother … You can do it!”

Alongside these two characters are the father and son bonding through flying the kites. Kite flying is a beautiful activity to share with someone.

It is an interesting way to show a parallel between two pairs of characters whose stories intertwine throughout the book.

The Quarreling Kites is overall a beautifully illustrated story showing the rural landscapes of the Philippines and a tale showing the development of appreciation and respect for others.

About the Author & Illustrator

Lin Acacio-Flores has written several articles and other books, including A Child’s Treasury of Philippine Christmas Stories,  When I Cross the Street … (Kapag Tumatawid Ako Ng Kalsada …), and Modern Heroes for the Filipino Youth. She shares her passion for children’s literature as a member of the association, KUTING.

Hermes Alegre loved spending his days flying kites with his father as a child, so the story of The Quarreling Kites is near and dear to his childhood. He illustrated other children’s literature including Bahay Kubo and The Mats, which earned the 1995 National Book Award for Children’s Literature. In addition to books, Mr. Alegre has featured paintings of Filipino maidens and golden landscapes in many gallery exhibits.

Activities

A fun extension activity is to make and fly a kite. There are so many different types of kites to make, from different types of materials to different kite styles.

Below are a couple of links to helpful websites showing how to make various kinds of kites:

Learn Kite-themed Tagalog words

Reading about kite flying is a great way to introduce Tagalog vocabulary for kites and sky-related words.

We created a one-page printable that introduces five sky & kite-themed words in Tagalog. Your child can draw a picture using the suggested Tagalog/English vocabulary words. Depending on their ability, they can trace the word (if you pre-write it for them), copy the words, cut out and glue the words. Then practice saying the words aloud while pointing to the pictures.

Get this printable for FREE in our subscriber-only Tagalog Printable Resource Library.  If you haven’t signed up yet, head over here to sign up for our newsletter to get access to these printables along with many other free printables.

If you are already a subscriber, log in to the Tagalog Printable Resource Library here.

Featured Fil-Am: Ria Pretekin

This month, we are featuring the amazing Ria Pretekin – educator, counselor and coach. She is a Filipina American mom of two, originally from Los Angeles and currently lives in the city of Chicago. Ria’s passion is to create community through cultural awareness. She is helping her children discover their Filipino American identities through adventures and storytelling.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your cultural background. 

A: I am a Filipina American. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, the first few years of my life in HiFi (historic Filipinotown).   Both my parents were born and raised in the Philippines and came to California in the late ’70s. 

Q: What do you want others to know about the Fil-Am/Filipino culture? 

A: That there is so much beauty and richness to our culture. To be Filipino is to almost be a mystery because we don’t really fit into any category. We are Asian Americans but our culture is so heavily influenced by the 300 years of Spanish colonization. I read the book the “Latinos of Asia” by Anthony Christian Ocampo and that book helped me understand how Filipinos are the invisible Asians.

Q: What do you currently do or have you been doing in hopes to contribute to the Fil-Am/Filipino community?

A: I started a blog and Instagram (@urbanohana) to begin documenting my family’s adventures. I want to help educate others on what it means to be Filipino American and to help shift the narrative of American history to include the many amazing contributions of Filipinos to this country. I want to share the beauty of our culture through my stories and through the family programming I am hosting. 

Q: What or who is your inspiration behind what you do?

A:  My children and my parents. I want my children to know that they are Filipino American as well as half Jewish/white. I believe it is my responsibility as their mother to help pass along the stories of their ancestors down to them so that they may understand their roots. It is also just as much about my parents and honoring their legacy, who they are, and the country that they came from.

Q: Any other additional thoughts you want to share that we didn’t ask you yet?

A: My family is a multi-generational, multicultural, interfaith family. I am trying to ensure that my children are exposed to both the Catholic faith, Jewish faith, and Filipino culture. I am so fortunate to have my parents living with us, which is very nontraditional in American norms but common for Filipinos. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

(Related post: Latkes & Lumpia – Learn more about how Ria celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas with her family, for a beautiful blend as an interfaith celebration). 

Upcoming Special Event

June 27 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Conversations & Cocktails (at Storefront Events in Chicago, IL):

Join Ria Pretekin & WE Events to discuss Raising Cultural Awareness in Families. An amazing panelist of women in Chicago will share stories and start the conversation about race, culture, and raising cultural awareness with intentionality. Their hope is to build a positive awareness of diversity in the community. If you are interested in an evening of discussion, journaling, and cocktails, find out more about the Conversations & Cocktails event here.

Follow Along & Learn More about Ria:

Featured Fil-Am: Sunday Garcia

We are honored to become acquainted with Sunday “Sunny” Garcia, who is making a name for herself blogging about Filipino American culture and soon to be releasing a Filipino and Filipino American apparel line. 

Q: What is the story behind your name?

A: My name is Sunday Garcia. My great grandmother was named Domingo, and since I was born on a Sunday, my mother named me after her. My nickname is Sunny.

Q: Where do you currently live? Where are you from?

I live in Yuma, AZ, born and raised. My husband and I were living in the Phoenix valley recently for over 12 years but just moved back to our hometown to be closer to our family.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your cultural background. 

A: My mom is Filipina. Her side of the family is from Angeles City and we are Pampangan. My father is French, German, Scandinavian mix and he was an American airman on Clark Airbase in the Philippines. That’s how he and my mother met. My parents moved to the states after following friends, in which they moved to small town Yuma, Arizona taking my then 4-year-old sister. My mother, second eldest of nine children, was the first to move to the states in her family. She later helped some of her immediate family members obtain their U.S. citizenship and make a life here in the U.S. through family sponsorship.

Growing up, we spent many holidays and family vacations with our Filipino side of the family in California (the San Bernardino area) mostly gathering around the table, eating pancit, lumpia, shrimp, tilapia, sinigang, lechon, adobo, and many other cultural foods depending on the celebration.

Locally, my mother was one of the first members of the Filipino-American Association in Yuma, and helped build the organization to what it is today with over 300 members.

Through the years, I participated in the local cultural events such as the Annual Santo Niño Fiesta! I had the opportunity to visit the Philippines when I was 7, but left early because Mount Pinatubo erupted (circa 1991), and I have not been able to make a return trip since. My only regret about my culture is not knowing the language. While visiting the Philippines when I was young, I learned a few words to get by running my grandmother’s candy shop based out of her home in which kids would come buy candies and treats after school. I still remember this experience quite clearly, almost 30 years ago! 

Q: What do you want others to know about the Fil-Am/Filipino culture? 

A: I am an avid learner of our culture, and I want people to know that the Filipino culture is rich and vibrant, as many other cultures are, as well as unique in its own right. I want people to respect our culture by acknowledging and understanding the special intricacies of the many islands, languages, history, food, cooking, traditional dress, and the kind nature of Filipino people in general.

Q: What do you currently do or have you been doing in hopes to contribute to the Fil-Am/Filipino community?

A: In hopes of contributing to the Filipino American culture, I have been writing and storing a collection of personal blogs on experience and culture over the past 10 years – primarily focusing on Filipino American culture and my personal/family’s experiences. These blogs are intended to bring and inspire cultural awareness to others. With the help of social media, I use my personal blog via WordPress.com and also often post photos relating to our culture on my Instagram profile from Filipino food, traditional events such as the Santo Niño Fiesta held in my town each year, and sometimes Filipino news, facts, history, etc.

And, more recently, I am in the process of launching a t-shirt and apparel line promoting Filipino and Filipino American culture. The t-shirts are geared towards women for now, but I plan to later have apparel for kids and men. The t-shirts are digitally printed designs that I have designed myself and consist of symbols of our culture such as the sampaguita and the Filipino flag sun. I am also including a print design for people of mixed race, “mestizos”, which is the reason for the name: “MestizCo Apparel”—hoping to officially launch within the next 30 days!

Q: What or who is your inspiration behind what you do?

A:  My inspiration comes from many spaces. First, my mother and the Filipino side of my family has inspired me to discover more about our culture, which is why I pursued a minor in Asian Pacific American Studies during my baccalaureate degree program. While in the program, several of my professors inspired me to continue to study our culture and demonstrate the importance of understanding positive promotion of culture through reading, writing, speaking, and bringing awareness. I would say that is where most of my inspiration lies.

 I try to blog every few months on culture. But my t-shirt line, MestizCo Apparel, is set to launch end of June! 

Follow Along & Learn More about Sunday:

Blogs/Facebook/Instagram/Website information:

Cultural Blog Site: Pinay Sunday in the City

MestizCo Apparel (officially launching soon)