Washington, DC — After three consecutive Saturday classes in August, the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the United Federation of Fil-Am Educators (UNIFIED) DC and Maryland Chapters held the commencement program of “Silid Aralan sa Embahada 2019” at the Embassy Chancery Annex Building on August 19, 2019.
Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez reiterated in his remarks as guest speaker the importance of education and of inculcating to the Filipino-American kids the Filipino values, language, and heritage.
From Philippine languages to games, arts and crafts, and values, the sessions of the Silid Aralan encompassed a wide range of educational and entertaining experiences. “We have enjoyed getting to know your families and hope that the program gave you the opportunity to bond and immerse yourselves in Filipino culture. More importantly, we hope that you will continue to practice what you have learned and work to add to your knowledge. In this regard, you may avail yourselves of the programs that Sentro Rizal Washington DC runs throughout the year”, Ambassador Romualdez said.
The Ambassador, together with UNIFFIED DC president Rey Dacul and UNIFFIED Maryland president Malou Cadacio, also awarded certificates of participation to the students as well as certificates of appreciation to UNIFFIED’s volunteer teachers.
The commencement program incorporated special messages and folk dances such as “Cariñosa”, “Tinkling” and “Kapa Malong” by students, parents and teachers.
“I truly believe that this is a great program because it teaches young Filipino-Americans like me about our heritage and the country where our parents came from. Silid Aralan has taught me even more about the culture of the Philippines, and the aspects that make the Philippines the country that it is today. We have learned about the various symbols of the Philippines, the history of the Philippines, and multiple native games as well. We even tried playing some, such as luksong tinik, patintero, and tumbang preso, the games that my parents played as children. We all had a lot of fun, even the teachers,” Ellyce Butuyan said in her message of gratitude on behalf of the students.
Prior to the commencement program, a book launch of “Sandangaw”, a Waray tale from Sari-Sari Storybooks, was held. The tale of Sandangaw was also read to the students in the English and Waray languages.
August is also celebrated in the Philippines as Buwan ng Wika (Language month) and Waray is a regional language native to Eastern Visayas in the Philippines.