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    How do moms abroad teach Filipino to their children?
    “Language is part of our kids’ identities as Filipinos. Knowing how to speak the language will help them relate better with our families in the Philippines. To teach them, we speak Filipino at home. We occasionally have a drill game with Yumi to check if she understands a specific Pinoy word; she then translates it into English. For example, we ask her ‘What is kain?’ She answers, ‘Eat.’ It is fun for her, and we are amazed at how much she understands.” - Noriko Yamamoto-Nadres, raising Yumi Sakura, 7, Tsuyoshi, 5, and Hiroshi, 3, in Australia

    “I speak with my kids in Filipino whenever possible. Being able to speak the language will make them more attuned to the culture and more confident in their dealings with people in the country. There is a sense of belonging, and it opens varied windows of opportunities -- whether it is to start a friendship, develop a career, or bargain in local markets.” - Grace Luna-Figovc, raising Bianca, 8, and Isaac, 4, in India

    “We try to use Filipino words in our daily conversations with the kids, hoping that they will absorb them and use them in the future. Sometimes, we do a word a day: They think of an English word, and we translate it for them in Filipino. Ariana also discovered a Filipino-English translator online; she loves plugging in words to see what they are in Filipino. I also pray with them in Filipino: I have them repeat after me, just so they are able to say the words even if they don’t memorize them or know what they are saying. I think having them say certain Pinoy words from time to time keeps the language alive in their speech.” - Cecile Borromeo, raising Lorenzo, 15, Enrico, 12, and Ariana, 7, in New Jersey, U.S.A.

    Watch it
    According to Encomienda-Lazaro, parents should be careful not to express their own dislike or negative notion about the Filipino language. “Turn your own aversion, if any, into a welcoming attitude,” she says. Rise to the challenge: Teach (and learn) the Filipino language with excitement! Developing a love for our language begins in knowing and accepting who we are and where we come from.

    Fine reads
    These Pinoy-authored bilingual books by Adarna house encourage kids to listen to stories in Filipino while also having access to the English language.

    Sampung Magkakaibigan


    Sampung Magkakaibigan by Kristine V. Canon
    Karlo loves to tease and bully his friends, so he slowly loses them. This story helps your child learn about friendships and proper social interaction.

    Araw sa Palengke

    Araw sa Palengke by May Tobias-Papa
    A little girl joins her mom at the market and finds all sorts of colorful produce. When they get home, she “works” in the kitchen, too! A book that encourages your child to help out at home.


    Related stories: 15 Minutes with Pinoy Authors Tintin Babao, Yevtte Fernandez, and Annie Pacana-Lumbao


    Bru-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, Bru-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi by Ma. Corazon Remigio
    This award-winning book is about a little girl’s assumption that her neighbor, Mrs. Magalit, is a witch. It teaches kids not to judge a book by its cover.

    papa's house mama's house


    Papa’s House, Mama’s House by Jean Patindol
    Another award-winning story that recounts a child’s memories of living in two residences, one for each estranged parent. A great read for kids of separated parents.

    Photo by Ocs Alvarez

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