Published on

Philippine Independence Day celebration at Meadows West School

     Photo 1 city hall
Kinder and Grade 1 students from the Filipino-Bilingual Program recently performed at Winnipeg City Hall

Meadows West is an inclusive and diverse school that embraces and celebrates all cultures. The Filipino community represents a large number of our students and staff. Our school is the home of the Filipino Bilingual Program in the Winnipeg School Division. The Filipino Bilingual Program provides opportunities for students to learn about Filipino language, heritage, history, and culture while ensuring that students are learning the Manitoba Education curriculum.

On June 12, 2024, Meadows West held a school assembly highlighting Filipino history and culture to celebrate Philippine Independence Day. The process involved in presenting this assembly allowed students to engage in learning and sharing aspects of the Filipino culture with others. In doing so, we acknowledged kapuwa – our shared identity and humanity.

The assembly began with a land acknowledgement in Filipino and English, and with our Kinder and Grade 1 students from the Filipino-Bilingual Program (who recently performed at the Manitoba Legislative Building, Flag Raising at the PCCM for PHCM, and the City Hall) singing O Canada in Filipino, and the Philippine National Anthem, Lupang Hinirang.

During the assembly, the hosts did a quick tutorial on how to say familiar greetings in Filipino to which the audience engaged in full participation. As part of this learning journey, students from Grade 6 researched the history of the Philippines and created a slideshow to share about the Philippines’ past, and why it is important to observe and celebrate Philippine Independence Day.

The K/1 students from the Filipino-Bilingual Program then danced Itik-Itik, which was a crowd favourite. This is a result of engaging students in learning through play, songs and dances.

The Grade 3 and 5 students recited a poem, Ang Po at Opo to emphasize the Filipino value of respecting elders. Through this process, students from diverse cultural backgrounds learned the Filipino language and the practice of pagmamano.

Students from Grades 5-8 showcased their creativity through an animation that was created in collaboration with Sisler’s Create Program. The animation included Filipino food, kamayan, pagmamano, sungka, karaoke, tinikling, family and religion.

The celebration ended with the Grade 8s dancing Tinikling, from which students learned the history of the dance as they were learning the dance steps.

The initiative of organizing this special assembly for our school community stemmed from recognizing that a number of Filipino students wanted to know more about their cultural heritage, the history of the Philippines, and expressed the loss of speaking the Filipino language. A team of Meadows West teachers saw this as an opportunity for students and staff to embark on a journey together to reconnect, discover and grow a stronger appreciation for the Filipino culture. The assembly was a perfect way to celebrate this learning journey in time for Philippine Independence Day.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

– by: Cabellero, D.; Florendo, G.; Genota, L.; Lumbera, J.; Pagtakhan, E.; Recuenco, A.; and Tabios, J.