Adarna House storyteller performs ‘Si Pagong at si Matsing’ to celebrate Philippine language month overseas
Literature has a deep and positive effect on the overall development and reasoning skills of a child. Fantasy and factual content helps prepare the youth for environmental realities, making them more adaptive in life. It also aids them to recognize information through literary devices, pictures, and the inclusion of moral themes. Literature, likewise, has a therapeutic effect on the wellbeing of both kids and adults. Additionally, several studies reveal that stories facilitate better interpersonal skills and boosts self-esteem.
Si Pagong at si Matsing is a fable or panitikang bayan that was first documented by Jesuit priest Ignacio Alcina (1610-1674) in the Visayas. It has six different versions, the most famous of which is the one published by Jose Rizal in Trübner’s Oriental Record in July 1889.—Agno Almario
The Philippine Embassy in Vientiane had Adarna House senior storyteller Earle Figuracion do a reading of one of the most beloved children’s stories, “Si Pagong at si Matsing (The Turtle and the Monkey),” to Filipino kids in Laos, as part of their Buwan ng Wika (national language month) activities. The performance was done via video conference.
Before the read-along, Adarna House vice president Agno Almario explains the story behind the classic, whose more popular version can be traced back to Jose Rizal.
“Si Pagong at si Matsing is a fable or panitikang bayan that was first documented by Jesuit priest Ignacio Alcina (1610-1674) in the Visayas. It has six different versions, the most famous of which is the one published by Jose Rizal in Trübner’s Oriental Record in July 1889,” says Agno. “This is why we celebrate National Children’s Book Month in July because we consider the publication of Si Pagong at si Matsing as the beginning of Philippine children’s literature.”
The story is about Pagong and Matsing, a turtle and a monkey respectively, who get into an argument over which part of the banana tree would grow if planted. They cut the tree in half with Pagong getting the lower half and Matsing the upper half. While Pagong is able to grow his part of the tree eventually bearing fruit, Monkey tricks him by eating all the fruit. In the end, Pagong outsmarts Matsing.
The children’s reception of the story was positive. They were delighted by Earle’s storytelling. They also actively participated in the question and answer portion and were given copies of the book by the embassy.
As part of reading promotion in the Filipino language, Chargé d’affaires Rapunzel Acop invited the children to visit the Sentro Rizal at the Embassy or to read Filipino stories at www.buribooks.com.