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Sabi Nila

Welcome to this new section which will feature comments and reactions -- violent or otherwise, to my Manila Girl articles.

*In this article, I share my experience at a "Filipino" dinner in San Francisco I also share insight about teaching my son to speak Filipino.

From Terry in Syracuse, NY
Hi Marcie,

How did you know how to sing this song?  It is a Cebuano song and I
presumed/assumed that you are a Manila born girl.  Anyway, it is very
interesting to hear/read about your gathering and people wanting to learn
Pilipino.  I teach Spanish and I teach my daughter Spanish, Tagalog and
Cebuano.  Her favorite expressions are "Ayaw lagi", "pastilan uy" and
"intawon pod anak ni Mama".  She knows how to count 1-10 in Tagalog and some
terms like "magandang gabi", and she can count up to 100 in Spanish.  My
husband Paul sent us to the Philippines last 1999 (the latest) and let us
stay for a month and our daughter to attend school in Bohol, so she could
learn the dialect.  His theory is... you can learn the language easy when
you stay with the local people who speak the language.  Which is really
true...I learned Hiligaynon (Ilonggo) when I worked as a Librarian in
Bacolod albeit I did not lose my Cebuano intonation.

Teach your kid the "pito pito ubod, kan-on pulos budbod. utan pulos utan,
sakpan garapan".  It is a game my daughter learned from my dad in Bohol.
You put your finger tip on somebody's open palm and after singing/reciting,
the person closes his /her palm to catch the finger.  You take turns.  Have
a good day and I always look forward to reading your articles.  Terry

From Marose Juan-Koster
Sydney, Australia
My son is now 3 months old and I've been singing "Bahay Kubo", "Magtanim ay di Biro" and "Leron, Leron, Sinta".  A Bahay Kubo, rice-planting and harvesting fruit is bound to pretty foreign to him but I want him to get used to our language. Later on, I intend to read him stories about "Malakas at Maganda", about how the Pinya got eyes, maybe even about the 'tiyanak', etc. And then, I want him to learn the language. I, too, never really spoke in tagalog and I remember being teased about my 'american accent' in college. My Australian husband can only say 'bola' , 'pangit' and 'sigue'. So I do hope my son will be able to pick up the language. But, one thing's for sure, I want him to know that he is half-Filipino. I want him to learn our values (i.e. respect for elders) and our culture. Then he'll know what a truly special person he is.