Imagine you met an unusual, unique, and special creature. What did it look like? What was it wearing? In this activity, you will be creating a creature! Let your imagination soar. Think about what its name would be, how many eyes, ears, arms, legs does it have? What color is it?
The “My Creature” printable is a great way to review:
Feel free to also take the creature “beyond the page” and build the creature using other craft supplies such as construction paper, clay, paint, playdough, Playfoam, popsicle sticks, googly eyes. Here is an example below.
In this activity, you will be writing a postcard to a family or friend, pretending you are taking a vacation somewhere you have been (or would like to go). The introductory page teaches you sample Tagalog phrases to include in your postcard message. There are two versions included (One with pre-typed fill-in-the blank sentences and another with just a blank message for you to write your whole letter).
After reviewing the Introductory pages and Tagalog phrases, choose which type of postcard you will create first (whether it’s the blank one or the one with a pre-typed message). Cut out both rectangles.
Glue the back of the picture portion of the postcard to the back of the letter portion.
Now you have your postcard ready to write in and draw a beautiful picture of the location where you have “traveled”!
It’s summertime and many people are traveling and going on vacation. What a perfect time to learn Tagalog words all about traveling.
Activity: My “Maleta” (Suitcase)
This first activity teaches you the vocabulary words for items you possibly would pack in your suitcase. Here is a four-page printable for your child to learn the names of common items to pack, a suitcase to “pack” these items in, and two packing lists (one with English translation and the other is Tagalog only).
First, the child will decorate his/her suitcase (or “maleta” in Tagalog).
The next step is to color the items and cut them out. Review the English and Tagalog words for the travel supplies.
One by one, the travel supply will be placed in the suitcase and a dry erase marker can be used to check it off on the list. Once the child is comfortable, the Tagalog only Packing List can be used.
It can be printed on regular 8.5″ x 11″ paper. It will be more durable on cardstock or if the papers will be laminated. For repeated use, the packing lists can be slipped into one of these reusable dry-erase pocket sleeves.
Ready to take off with a fun activity to learn travel supplies in Tagalog?
Learn about the flag of the Philippines with this craft. This two-page printable has basic facts about the meaning of the colors and symbols of the flag. It includes a Philippine flag craft for the child to color, cut, and paste.
It’s February! There are several celebrations this month. One of the main holidays associated with February is Valentine’s Day on February 14. Following this holiday on February 17 is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. So, this month we are focusing on love and kindness.
One way to show someone you love them is to say, “I love you” or “mahal kita” in Tagalog. To say, “I love you very much” in Tagalog, you would say, “mahal na mahal kita.”
In honor of these celebrations, we have created a Tagalog/English Valentine’s card for your kids or you to share with someone special.
There are four different creatures included in the printable to choose from: a penguin, giraffe, turtle, and dinosaur.
There is space to write a thoughtful message and an area to draw a picture to show the recipient how much you care about him/her.
(A helpful hint for printing is to print on cardstock so it is durable OR if printing on printer paper, print the cover and inside on separate papers instead of double-sided. Then glue the two pages together to add thickness. This prevents the picture on the back being seen through the thin page).
One of the early basic concepts we teach children is colors. No matter what language your family speaks, color is such a universal concept because our world is surrounded by color. From the food we eat, to the toys they play with, to the color of their hair and clothes, colors are something that children interact with daily.
Because colors are easily found around us, it can easily be applied in daily conversation and apply the Tagalog vocabulary frequently.
Our featured Filipino children’s book is:
Oh My Kulay! is a vibrant, well-composed concept book that teaches Tagalog words for colors, fruits, and vegetables.
This adorable book was written by Dr. Jocelyn Francisco and illustrated by Jamie Lee Ortiz. The pages have easy-to-read and clear font for kids and bright pictures of fruits and vegetables. It is a wonderful concept book for little ones!
Caroline’s Color Dreams (written by Tanner Call and Joshua Timothy) is a bilingual book about a girl named Caroline who has a colorful dream and learns about the color wheel.
Here are some other suggested activities to teach and reinforce colors:
Sing songs about the colors in Tagalog
Here is a video that teaches colors and other educational concepts in Tagalog.
Below are two Fil-Am Learners original songs for individual colors.
More songs to come in the future …
Sort items by color
(e.g. sorting laundry, sorting toys, food, things out in nature, or anything that interests your child).
Here is a 14-page lesson activity reinforcing colors in Tagalog. It is geared for preschool through elementary age children and can be used to practice in class or at home. Click the image to get your printables.
Playing with playdough is an engaging sensory activity for kids. There are so many ways to use playdough to learn and use your creativity. Sign up below to get printables for each color that you can transform into playdough playmats. A tip is to print on cardstock and to laminate each page for multiple uses. On the playmats, the kids will be able to:
Shape the playdough to spell the color word in Tagalog.
Create an object of that color using the playdough.
Use their creativity to make their own playdough creation with the same color.
There are so many interactive ways to teach colors and a new language! What are some ways you incorporate teaching your children colors? Please share more ideas not included in this post or let us know if you’ve implemented any of the ones we shared.
Follow along her day to see how she celebrates it with opposite manners and actions.
The book includes both English and Tagalog so children can gain literacy skills in both languages.
The character is inspired by the author’s daughter, Sophia. His daughter’s birthday is April 24, so Jomike Tejido decided that April 24 would be the “Day of Opposites.”
He encourages Filipino children around the world to join in on the celebration and have a “day of opposites” or “araw ng kabaligtaran” on April 24.
Themed activities to go with this book
Play “Eye Spy Opposites” – As you’re reading along, have an “opposites hunt” and ask your child to look for opposites. Discuss the vocabulary. It is the perfect time to teach the words and see them used in the context of the story.
Have your own opposite day – Do opposite things during your daily routine. (Of course, make sure they are safe and responsible choices). Some examples include:
Eating dinner before dessert
Wearing your shirt backwards
Walking backwards a few steps to another room
Saying “Good morning” when it is night time and “Goodnight” when it is morning.
Tagalog “Opposites” Audio Glossary (to go with the Opposites flash cards)
Eat Tapsilog –
Although this isn’t an opposite activity, the book does show Sophia eating tapsilog, a popular Filipino breakfast composed of tapa (beef), sinangag (garlic rice), and itlog (egg). The word tapsilog combines a few letters from each element to form the full word. It would be a delicious pairing to share tapsilog with the family, whether you decide to go out for breakfast or cook it yourself. Here is a recipe from Panlasang Pinoy if you’re looking for one way to cook it.
We hope you enjoy Opposite Day (Araw ng kabaligtaran)! Feel free to comment below to share how you celebrate it.
We are excited to launch a blog series, “Featured Fil-Am,” in which we will highlight a Filipino/Filipina-American who is making an impact on our community. We will share our “interview” with each person in hopes to bring awareness of his/her amazing work.
Our first featured Fil-Am is blogger and writer, Deborah Francisco Douglas. She is widely known for her lifestyle blog, “Halo-Halo, Mix Mix” and has recently launched her own memoir, “Somewhere in the Middle.”
Let’s learn more about Deborah:
Q: Where do you currently live? Where are you from?
A: I currently live in San Diego, but grew up in Washington State.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your cultural background.
A: I’m half Filipino but was raised in a typical American/white household. My dad is Filipino and is from Iloilo City, Philippines. My mom is part Slovenian, Irish and French(?) and grew up in California. It definitely makes me a very unique mix of different cultures.
Growing up I had always longed to know more about my Filipino side and oftentimes had this feeling like I was missing out on the “Filipino American experience,” not even sure what that meant.
“My identity as a Filipino American had always felt ambiguous. It was definitely not something I felt I could claim as my own. Sure, I knew what lumpia—the Filipino version of an egg roll—tasted like. I had learned tinikling, a traditional Philippine dance, and I remembered loud parties at my relative’s house where singing karaoke was just as important as the overflowing pot of white rice. But what did it mean to be Filipino? I couldn’t answer that question.”
– Somewhere in the Middle
A few years after college I was coincidentally assigned to the Philippines as a Peace Corps Volunteer and found myself on a journey of self-discovery with a unique opportunity to learn more about my roots and identity as a Filipino. Living in the Philippines for three years as a volunteer was such a transformational experience that I wrote a memoir about it called Somewhere in the Middle: A journey to the Philippines in search of roots, belonging, and identity. In the book, I reflect on my struggle to identify with both cultures at the same time, feeling caught in the middle between two very different worlds.
Q: What do you want others to know about the Fil-Am/Filipino culture?
A: Filipinos are one of the most hospitable people I have ever encountered. In the Philippines, I’d get invited to random people’s houses for coffee or to share a meal, or a random stranger would volunteer to accompany me to my destination if I was lost. Everyone would go out of their way to welcome me into their homes and share whatever they had. And I loved the smiles of the people on the street as I passed by. They’d give you a big smile, wave, and say hi and I always marveled at how easy it was for them to be so friendly to strangers.
In terms of Filipino American culture, I have come to realize that Filipino American identity is actually a much more diverse experience than people realize – and that’s a good thing! I grew up thinking there was only one type of Filipino American and that if you didn’t experience the same things or weren’t able to relate to that one type, it meant you weren’t really Filipino American. But my experience of living in the Philippines, as well as reading/writing about Filipino American identity over the past few years, has taught me that the term “Filipino American” can mean a lot of different things. One’s perspective of Filipino American identity can be shaped by various factors such as where you grew up, the friends and family you were surrounded with, your economic background, the demographics of your hometown, or even how you saw yourself in relation to others. Even depending on whether you’re a 1st generation immigrant, a 2nd or 3rd generation, or even what some now define themselves as a millennial Filipino American can affect how you identify yourself and how you view Filipino American culture. Some feel much more connected to their Filipino side and some much more connected to their American side, and most are somewhere in-between. It’s important to recognize that we all have diverse experiences and that each is valid and at the same time we can still be connected through our common Filipino roots.
Q: What do you currently do or have you been doing in hopes to contribute to the Fil-Am/Filipino community?
A: One of my passion projects is running a Filipino American lifestyle blog called Halo-Halo, Mix-Mix: Discovering the Filipino American Identity. I chose the subtitle to include the word “discovering” because I have come to understand that my identity of being Filipino American is an ongoing learning experience and I wanted to reflect that fluidity in the title. The original purpose of the blog was to share more about Filipino culture for those who want to connect more with their roots and heritage. But in the last year or so I have come across so many Filipino entrepreneurs that are doing amazing things and I love helping to promote these businesses and improve their visibility. The best part about this has been developing an awesome community of friends all over the world from Australia to Canada to the Philippines and all across the U.S.
Having now published my memoir, I hope to be able to inspire others who are searching for their roots to seek out their own journey of discovery and hopefully write and share their stories. Each of our stories matters and if we don’t tell our own stories, the world will be missing out on something great. In the future, I would love to be able to host memoir writing workshops to help others craft their story in a creative and fun environment.
Q: What or who is your inspiration behind what you do?
A: I feel very inspired by the Entrepinay community which is a group of Filipina entrepreneurs who connect with one another for networking, collaboration, and sisterhood. Just seeing all the amazing things they have accomplished inspires me to keep on pursuing my own dreams.
Q: Tell us anything else about where to find samples of your work.
A. Be sure to check out my book Somewhere in the Middle, and let me know what you think about it! It’s available on Amazon in both the paperback and Kindle version. You can also purchase it at any major online retailers such as Barnes and Noble or Apple Books.
Feel free to also check out my blog for posts on Filipino culture, food, travel, books, and identity. You can also read about my journey in the article “What are You?” featured on the Filipino American Voices series.
Next week you can enter the giveaway of an autographed copy of Somewhere in the Middle, hosted by This Filipino American Life Podcast on April 10-14. Check out the Instagram accounts @tfalpodcast and @halohalo_mixmix for details.
In June, Deborah will be speaking at an author event hosted at Philippine Expressions Bookshop in San Pedro, CA on June 29 from 3-6pm. Please come say hi if you are in the area!
Deborah Francisco Douglas is a writer, blogger, dreamer, and adventurer. She served three years in the Philippines as a Peace Corps volunteer (2011-2014) working on community development and youth outreach programs. As a Filipino American, Deborah’s volunteer experience abroad connected her to a culture she had long desired to understand. When she returned to the United States, Deborah created the blog Halo-Halo, Mix-Mix – Discovering the Filipino American Identity, as a way to share her love of Filipino culture.
Deborah lives in sunny San Diego and loves hiking, reading, walks on the bay, and lazy mornings drinking coffee. Somewhere in the Middle is her debut memoir.
Another year has gone. For most, it is filled with many successes and challenges alike. For sure, many memories have been shared throughout the past 12 months. New Year’s Eve is a way to commemorate the year, to celebrate with loved ones, to reflect, and to wish for a prosperous new year.
New Year’s celebrations tend to be festive, joyful, and filled with unique traditions. Growing up, my Filipino family’s New Year’s festivities included the following traditions:
Family-centered: It was a tradition that the family stays together on New Year’s Eve. Whether with immediate or extended, our New Year’s Eve celebrations are traditionally centered around family.
Having a Clean Home: We necessarily don’t like to keep a dirty home generally but for New Year’s it is imperative to do a more thorough clean of the home and start the new year fresh. Sweeping, mopping, decluttering and having fresh towels and linens.
12 lucky round fruits: My mom emphasized the importance of displaying 12 fruits (especially round fruits) on our table. She explained to me that for New Year’s, the round shape is good luck and represents good wealth and fortune. The number 12 represents the 12 months of the year.
Jingle coins in your pocket: During the last minute counting down to midnight, each person would jingle piggy banks or put coins in their pockets to jingle. When the clock strikes midnight, coins would be tossed to the ground for others to gather.
Jump at the stroke of midnight to get taller: Another tradition at midnight is to jump as high as possible. It was said that jumping as high as we can help us grow taller. (Being that I’ve been 5 foot tall since I reached adolescence, I know jumping has not realistically been helping me grow, but we still continue this fun tradition to jump for joy at midnight.
Noisemakers: With our voices as noisemakers, party horns, pots and spoons, and jingling piggy banks our family gets loud! We cheer for the new year and the family’s volume sure is contagious.
Food: For all Filipino celebrations in general, food is one of the main highlights. For New Year’s Eve there are several circular foods offered. Some of the ones our family would serve are:
Ginataang bilo bilo- a sweet coconut milk stew of sticky rice balls, jackfruit, sweet potatoes, and plantains).
Puto- a Filipino steamed sweet cake)
Arroz caldo- a gingery rice soup with chicken and hardboiled eggs.
Sopas – a milky chicken macaroni noodle soup with quail eggs
Pansit or sotanghon- Not a round food dish, but the Filipino noodles represent long life. (Pansit is also traditionally served on birthdays)
Wearing polka dots: As mentioned, circles mean good fortune, so with that, Filipinos will wear clothes with polka-dots to wish for prosperity in the new year.
These traditions are some of the greatest memories I have with my family during this holiday. I hope to continue sharing many of them with our younger generations and to make new traditions as well.
What does New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day look like for your family? Feel free to share your traditions in our comment section or on social media.
We have also created a printable activity for your child to do. It teaches how to say Happy New Year in Tagalog and to practice writing it. It also includes a second page for your child to illustrate and color what New Year’s looks like for your family.
It is a great activity to have a discussion on your family’s traditions and also a wonderful keepsake to save for the future and look back on what the New Year’s celebration looked like through the eyes of your child/children during that year. The pages can be printed in the future years too if you want to date it and see the progression of the illustrations and memories.