The Buwan ng Wika this August is far from over! Because we want to celebrate our national language, we launched a special survey to all the “nanays” who share the same goal of teaching Filipino to their kids.
On Reading Filipino Storybooks
Reading aloud Filipino storybooks is a great bonding activity that can help develop literacy and language skills in a relaxed environment. It’s also a perfect opportunity to practice using our language and learn more about Filipino culture and tradition.
We asked some parents to share their favorite Filipino books to read aloud with their children and their tips on how to help their kids use and appreciate the Filipino language.
Book recommendation: The Girl Who Always Looked at People’s Shoes (Ang Batang Laging Tumitingin sa Sapatos ng mga Tao) by Liwliwa N. Malabed and Beth Parrocha Doctolero
Why: “It’s just a fun and simple read”
Make it a game: “We actually play a game before sleeping. Zeeka mentions an English word and I say it in Filipino.”
Book recommendation: May Giyera sa Katawan ni Mark by Luis Gatmaitan.
Why: “It’s a good mix of practical science, values & kooky elements that children love.”
Be a role model: “It’s in the doing. Parents should force themselves to use Filipino with pride. Don’t just say “Filipino is great” then proceed to only talk to the help or drivers in Filipino then solely English to you children. Kailangan nilang makita sa iyong pananalita na may halaga sa iyo ang paggamit ng Filipino.
Book recommendation: Dee the Bee by Anne Ferry
Sing songs: “Singing to them in Tagalog helps peak their curiosity.”
Book recommendations: “My son’s favorites are Ang Barumbadong Bus (Rene O. Villanueva) and Si Ching na Takot sa Dilim (Aleli Dew Batnag).”
Engage them in conversations: “We use Filipino as our primary language at home so that my kids would be able to communicate with people from all walks of life including our community helpers (e.g. security guard, janitor). This also helps develop their vocabulary of the language as they grow up.”
Since my son first learned how to read in English, we got him dual language books from Adarna so he can appreciate and be encouraged to read in Filipino as well.”
Book recommendations: Pilandok series (Virgilio S. Almario) and any storybook about Muslims.
Why: My daughter is fascinated with the colors and the jewels in the stories.
Speak in Filipino regularly: Use it everyday. Use po and opo.
Book recommendation: “We enjoyed reading Sampung mga Daliri when my baby was little. It helped us both learn simple body parts together.”
Use music to teach words: “Music! The easiest way is through singing songs with common words the children will use in their daily lives. To be honest, it is usually my son teaching me songs in Tagalog that he learned at school.”
Book recommendation: Halu-halo Espesyal by Yvette Fernandez
Involve all five senses: “We use it with food! Kain, subo, masarap, maasim etc. the sensory experience helps them remember the vocabulary especially my kids are English speakers primarily”
Book recommendations: “We enjoy reading Filipino storybooks with funny and unique characters like the rowdy and tough Kas of Barumbadong Bus, the fierce and kind boy Adel who loves anything pink of Ang Bonggang Bonggang Batang Beki and the lazy and playful Tipaklong of Si Langgam at si Tipaklong.”
Why: “We love reading these storybooks because we can discuss a lot of topics and even important life lessons just by reading them. Adel, for example, teaches my little boy to respect everyone and avoid teasing his playmates just because they like something different.”
Show pride in our language: “Talk to them in Filipino. Introduce our country to your kids by sharing about our history, heroes, provinces and culture. We should try our best to explain the connection of the Filipino language to their identity as a Filipino. Using the Filipino language is one way of showing your love to your country.”
Book recommendations: “Stories from my childhood like Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang. Some other titles we enjoyed reading together were Ang Pambihirang Buhok ni Raquel by Luis Gatmaitan, Chenelyn Chenelyn by Rhandee Garlitos, Xilef by Augie Rivera, and Ang Lumang Aparador ni Lola by Genaro R. Gojo Cruz”
Why: “Filipino storybooks have a very interesting way of imparting values that is very Filipino – mostly done with our brand of humor and drama, making them very relatable.”
Encourage them to choose Filipino books: “Just go to a bookstore, bring them over to the Filipino story book section, and have them pick the book. It is a hard sell but what we did was for every English storybook she wants to get, she would also need to get a Filipino storybook.”
How about you moms and dads? What’s your favorite Filipino storybook that you share to your kids? Tell us in the comments!
For more choices in Filipino storybooks, visit the National Book Store online store.
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