Ang Pilipino ay ako
After a week-long class program in mid-August, the Philippine Embassy and the United Federation of Fil-Am Educators (UNIFFIED) Maryland Chapter held the culmination program of “Silid Aralan sa Embahada 2021” at the Philippine Chancery Annex Building. The event was conducted in a hybrid format via Zoom and limited in-person attendance in consideration of health protocols and regulations.
With the theme, “Kulturang Makulay, Mayaman, at Matatag: Sandigan sa Paghilom at Pagbangon mula sa Pandemya,” a total of 61 Filipino-American kids and youth successfully completed the modules of this year’s program composed of topics on Philippine history and geography, national symbols, values education, arts and craft, folk songs and folk dances, Original Pinoy Music (OPM), Filipino traditional games and cuisine, national language, folktales and plays, and national costumes.
UNIFFIED Maryland president Malou Cadacio delivered the welcome message of the program followed by a slideshow presentation featuring the lessons and activities facilitated by the volunteer teachers and partner organizations for the whole week. Youth class participants Milo Lopez and Roxy Hodzic and UNIFFIED Maryland’s Luz Sumingwa served as the hosts of the program, while Filipino fast food chain Jollibee graciously provided refreshments for the children, parents, and volunteer teachers during the limited in-person event.
‘We hope that all of these experiences, lessons, knowledge, and traditions will not just be confined in the one-week program, and that you will carry them with you as you grow older.’
“We hope that all of these experiences, lessons, knowledge, and traditions will not just be confined in the one-week program, and that you will carry them with you as you grow older. There is no age limit to learning. You can explore and study on your own, practice what you have learned whenever you can, and always be proud of your unique Filipino heritage and identity,” said Philippine Embassy chargé d’affaires, Jaime Ramon Ascalon, Jr. during his inspirational message for the Filipino-American youth.
Dance performances by the UNIFFIED teachers, a storytelling segment by CDA Ascalon, poetry reading, balagtasan, cooking demonstrations, drama play, and folk singing and dancing by the kids and youth participants were featured as intermission numbers.
Participants like Athena Lannu of the Kids Class expressed her appreciation, in behalf of the students, for the program which helped her connect and understand her Filipino heritage. Kristine Remudaro, speaking on behalf of the parents, likewise expressed hope that the program will reach more Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in the future.