There is a quote by our national hero Jose Rizal that goes like this: “Ang hindi lumingon sa pinaggalingan ay 'di makararating sa paroroonan" (He who does not look back where he came from will never get to where he is going.) Indeed, if you don’t know how to honor and love the place where you come from, i.e. your own homeland, it will be difficult for you to have a sense of purpose and direction.
Sadly, many Filipinos – especially young Filipinos – seem to find it difficult to do what Rizal encourages all of us to do: to have a sense of honor, love, respect, and pride for the Philippines.
As parents to the young people of our country, let’s not allow that to be the case. Let’s do our best to encourage a love of the Philippines in our children. Here are some books that can help us do so:
1. Bandila Written by Merci Melchor and illustrated by Auri Asuncion-Yambao
Bandila is a beautifully illustrated book from Tahanan Books that tells the story of the Philippine flag, and how it evolved through the years. It also includes words and music for Lupang Hinirang by Julian Felipe, and words for Panatang Makabayan.
2. Dalawang Bayani ng Bansa Written by Rene Villanueva and illustrated by Joel Chua
This book, published by Adarna House, narrates the lives of national heroes Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio side by side. Written in Filipino, it focuses on the parallels and intersections of their lives.
Available for P79 from Adarna House and in major bookstores.
3. From Manila With Love Written by Amy Luna Capelle and illustrated by Auri Asuncion Yambao
This new release from Tahanan Books tells the story of a little girl who accompanies her Filipina mother to Manila for the first time. Children and adults alike will enjoy reading about her unexpected, delightful discoveries. The story, told in rhyming verse accompanied by beautiful illustrations, perfectly captures the unique joy of the balikbayan experience.
4. EDSA Written by Russell Molina and illustrated by Sergio Bumatay III
This counting book is a simple yet symbolic way of commemorating the final days of the bloodless 1986 EDA People Power Revolution. Written in Filipino, it is a great way to teach children history, rhyme and counting.
Available for P95 from Adarna House and in most major bookstores.
5. Monumento ni Eman Written by Eugene Y. Evasco and illustrated by Jonathan Rañola
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This book, written in Filipino and published by Lampara Books, tells the story of Eman, who lives in a place where a monument is located. He asks his mother why monuments exist and she gamely explains to him the reasons. Eman and his friends are thus inspired to erect their own little “monuments.”
Available for P74.75 wherever Lampara Books are sold.
Do you have any books to add to our list? How do you encourage a love for country in your child? Let us know by leaving a comment below!