Saturday, July 1, 2017



The number one song on The Edge Philippines for four four weeks as of June 15, 2017 as heard on Positively Pinoy HERE.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Teaching Filipino or Learning Tagalog Chronicle # 2

Today, Matt and I started on reviewing and learning vocabulary words for the weather.

Tagaloglang - Describing the Weather

I was also able to add what root words are, such as "araw" and "ulap", then you add "ma-" to make it into an adjective. We also reviewed that these root words were "pangngalan" or "noun." We had to look up the Filipino translation of "adjective" (because we keep forgetting). I then said "pang-uri" comes from the root word "uri" or "kind." So, to make it easier, "what kind of weather are we having?" becomes "anong uri ng panahon ang meron tayo?"

Then, we reviewed directions, simple sentences for medical emergencies, and the section on listening.

Tagaloglang - Giving Directions

Tagaloglang - Medical Emergency

Tagaloglang - Listen To Me Speak Tagalog

Then we reviewed the section on dates and that's when we ran into trouble.

Tagaloglang - Dates: Month and Day

It helps to sing the nursery songs of the months and days of the week with this. We do a shortcut and fast version of "Lubi-Lubi" just to remember the months of the year. And we have to practice counting in Filipino too.

Then we proceeded to review his basic Filipino greetings. We didn't actually go through the entire video HERE. I just wanted to add to "magandang umaga" ("good morning") with "sa iyo" ("to you"), "sa inyong lahat" ("to you all"), and "magandang umaga sa iyo, kamusta" ("good morning to you, how are you?", informal) vs. "magandang umaga sa inyo, kamusta po kayo" ("good morning to you, how are you, respectful, usually to someone older or to a person of authority).

We also went through this page of affixes (unlapi, gitlapi, hulapi or affix in the beginning, middle of the word, or suffix or the end of the word respectively.) We used this page HERE.

Then we took a break for dinner.

We then did this page on "naman" HERE and my blog post HERE.

Then we did the first part of this video HERE. We stopped at around 4:25 into the video.

Then we wrapped up with this video of Heart of Gold by the Perkins Twins HERE. Yes, it's in English but I wanted Matt to be able to see a music video that was proudly Philippine-made, even if the singers are Filipino-American. (Of course, if you had just a tiny Filipino blood in you, we'd still call you Filipino anyway.)

We had a rather awkward and intimate teen talk but I'll keep the details of that private since it's just a talk between us.

To God be the glory!

Family Talk: A song for teens

Parents, are you tired of pop songs that play on the radio that talk about nothing but sex and how hot girls are, or, more precisely, how big their booties are?

I heard this song on Positively Pinoy. I was happy to discover that you can download the app and also listen from their website HERE.

Heart of Gold - Perkins Twins

By the way, I was happy to see that their background in the video is the building of Christ's Commission Fellowship (CCF) along C-5. Do check out their site HERE.

The reason I bring up CCF is because I recently came across this video from them:

If you don't have time to watch the video, what particularly struck me about the talk was that Pastor Bong said there is no such thing as "teens." As soon as they hit 13, they're already young adults and they're already looking around for their possible marriage partner.

You may or may not agree with him, but it's a truth that the headache that comes with puberty is that teens do start searching for boyfriends or girlfriends. Regardless if their intention is marriage or just fooling around, it might be a good idea to sit down and talk with them regarding what they should look for in a partner.

I think the song "Heart of Gold" by the Perkins Twins is a good reminder of what teens should look for in others and what they should seek to aspire to for themselves. We all want to have a heart of gold.

And if the person you're in a relationship with DOES NOT have a heart of gold, maybe you should also love yourself enough to realize what your true worth is. Under God's eyes, you are very much loved. Does he or she love you that a heavenly Father would want for you?

Tagalog Mini-Lesson: Naman


"Naman" is one of those Tagalog words that's really hard to translate. It actually changes meaning depending on how you use it. has a useful page HERE which explains some of its uses. According to the site, the word "naman" can be used to contrast, to soften requests, or to give emphasis."

Matt and I just came from this lesson about answering the question "Kamusta ka?" In the video HERE, the answer provided is "Mabuti naman po." In this context, "naman" becomes "too."

Here are some more uses of "naman" from the top of my head:

Ikaw na naman! = You again!

Naman! (street slang, shorcut of "oo naman!") = Of course! Or, more precisely, "Was there any doubt?"

Adding another idea from AR:

naman eh = when you're getting "pikon" (sige nga, hanap ka ng translation) or when expressing disappointment *P. S. Sorry for the conyo-sounding post


Little brother ("bunso" = youngest brother) = Ate, penge ng candy. (Older sister, give me candy.)

Older sister ("ate") = Wala na eh. (There's no more.)

Little brother (expressing disappointment) = Naman eh. (Still have no idea how to actually translate this.)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Teaching Filipino or Learning Tagalog Chronicle #1

I think the best way to approach learning a language is to learn it by the things you're interested in. My son Matt happens to play the drums and I personally love OPM or Original Pilipino Music that is played by Pinoy rock bands. So I found a way to make teaching/learning Tagalog/Filipino a little less painful.

By the way, the official national language of the Philippines is "Filipino." But because of the Manila-centric government and history of the Philippines, it is controversial how Filipino, which is based on the Tagalog dialect, was chosen as a national language. For instance, the Visayans would prefer the national language to be Bisaya. People from places like Davao would probably agree.
But, for better or worse, Tagalog or Filipino is the national language. I just like referring to it as Tagalog to place importance that it is the Tagalog dialect and that there are a whole lot of other dialects we have in the Philippines.

So, anyway, on to the lesson.

Matt is enrolled in the School of Rock in Greenhills and one of his jam sessions was to play the Eraserheads' song "El Bimbo." 

So I took the time to play the song for him. My husband AR and I sang along to it while Matt listened. Then I found a lyrics only video and translated the song line by line.

P. S. Since Matt is 13, I told him about the "adult jokes" within the song, such as the line "Tumitigas ang aking... katawan" and the line "Dahan-dahang dumudulas ang aking kamay sa makinis mong braso." 

If you are teaching a smaller child Filipino/Tagalog, I suggest to go with the nursery songs, such as "Paa, Tuhod, Balikat, Ulo", "Ako ay May Lobo", etc.

Then I proceeded with two lessons on basic pronunciation of Filipino letters and sounds. Some of these he knew already so I skipped the basic pronunciations of the consonants and the vowels. I just paused to emphasize that we pronounce "ll" as "ly", such as in Villegas (Vilyegas). Some vowels have a different sound when pronouncing, such as when "lalaki" is pronounced as "lalake."

We took a break at this point, had dinner, then I proceeded to show him two YouTube videos.

Since Matt already knows the basics of the greetings, I skipped forward a lot through the video and just paused to emphasize that when speaking to an older person or as a show of respect, we add "po" and "opo" and rather than use "ikaw" or "you" (informal), we use "kayo" or "you" (plural, or, formally, when showing respect to an older person or person of authority).

I also paused the video to let him listen to why "naman" was used in a sentence. In the context, "Mabuti po naman," it means "I am fine too." So, here, "naman" is translated into "too." But Matt and I quickly agreed that there really isn't any literal translation to "naman."

The last video was this one:

Although of course, we prefer Matt to speak in straight Tagalog, it doesn't hurt for him to use a quick Taglish phrase when needed. 

Hopefully, we will be able to continue this pace and he will feel comfortable enough to actually speak Filipino at the end of these chronicles. I guess he really won't have any choice once he starts going to high school.

Oh and while eating dinner, we watched a telenovela on TV. And, to close, we watched this video for fun, since it's on the Top 10 MYX OPM Countdown.

To God be the glory!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A lifeline

When you're feeling lost and alone, or if you're just feeling down and need a warm hug or a little inspiration, there's this awesome site and app that I just found and I just wanted to share it.

Check out Positively Pinoy on the Google Play Store and check out their website here. Inspirational Christian music and positivity for a refreshing change. Also proudly Pinoy.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Teaching Filipino or Learning Tagalog

When my son Matt was six, I knew we weren't making much progress in Filipino. He was homeschooled since he was 4 and his homeschool curriculum was in English. My husband AR and I were used to speaking to Matt in English. Matt was raised on Sesame Street educational CDs and Playhouse Disney. We rarely watched local channels, if at all.

Thankfully, when he was six, we were able to afford to enroll him in a summer Filipino class offered by a school nearby. Maybe it was a waste of money but I saw that the lessons were pretty much just a review of what Matt learned when he was in toddler school. Well, I shrugged, at least he had fun having a summer being just a normal kid enrolled in a school and he was happy he had kids the same age as him to play with.

Fast forward to the present. It's 2017. The little six-year-old boy who was actually ahead of his Filipino summer class is now a teenager. He still loves Lego, Star Wars now (before he said he preferred Star Trek), and, sadly, still has trouble with speaking Filipino.

I know it's our fault. We should have been more firm in speaking Filipino and more strict in making him speak it. 

But kids are funny. When you bank on the fact that they don't understand you, and speak about adult matters or other things in Filipino so he won't understand, that's when your kid is sure to be listening.

Sure enough, through the years, Matt has picked up some Filipino here and there. And he says it's because he hears AR and me speaking it.

Matt also has the most patient Filipino teacher in his old school, Blended Learning Center. And even though I've literally burst into tears trying to figure out how to get Matt to learn Filipino, he has gotten by. He somehow passes quizzes and even managed to pass the PEPT government test to place him in Grade 7 this coming school year.

As much as I wish I could just give up and just hand him over to his new teachers for them to deal with, I am bidding one last try to teach him Filipino. I am sharing the links I found from a quick Google search on "how to teach to speak Filipino fluently" and hope that it helps someone else who is struggling with this problem as we are.

Sadly, more and more kids are forgetting how wonderful it is to speak in our own language. And, yes, although the parents, including us, are to blame, it really is an evolving world that is becoming more global. The kids nowadays are more comfortable talking about their computer games, gadgets, and the latest technology in English. (And, sorry, but those English movies dubbed in Filipino are just horrible.)

But, anyway, wish us luck. And if you're struggling through this yourself, good luck to you too.



If this is all overwhelming for you, trust me, it's the same for me.

Please note that I am attempting to teach a 13-year-old kid so you might want to screen the links I gave if you are teaching a smaller child.

I suggest taking bite-sized pieces for lessons. And start with the YouTube videos. You, the parent or teacher, might want to read through the dull grammar stuff in order to understand and explain these ahead of time. (Ugh. Yeah, I know.)

Like, for example, I'm thinking this would make a good first lesson.

Also, please note that my son can understand some basic Filipino and can even speak some of it (he just refuses to speak it). So you might have to adapt the lesson to a lower level or give lesser information than what I've recommended.

Please know that I am not a Filipino teacher, just an ordinary parent who once homeschooled their child.

Good luck and God bless you and your family.

Oh and P. S. If anyone requests for me to post the Filipino stuff we used when Matt was younger, please let me know. I can write another blog post for teaching Filipino to a smaller child.