The students, aged 3 to 15, rendered performances exhibiting what they learned during the summer Saturday sessions. Group 1, the youngest group, performed the song “Bahay Kubo” in their bee and flower costumes and danced the “Bubuyog at Bulaklak”. The second group performed the Francis M rap “Ito ang Gusto Ko”, while the oldest group did a declamation of “Huling Paalam” by Dr. Jose Rizal. Groups 2 and 3, with pupils aged 8 to 10 and 11 to 15, joined together to perform the popular Philippine folk dances “Bulaklakan” using floral arcs, “Maglalatik” with coconut shells, and the exciting “Sayaw sa Bangko”. The parents, who helped in preparing the costumes for their children and decorating the venue, also showed off their dancing talents with a rendition of “Sumaya Sumunod”.
Following the cultural show, Consul General Mario L. de Leon Jr. and representatives of the Association of Filipino Teachers in America (AFTA), co-organizer of PSK, handed Certificates of Participation to the 35 students, as well as medals to the three winners each of the “Tuklas Talino” Essay Writing Contest and Painting Contest. Loyalty Awards were also given to children who have attended the Paaralan sa Konsulado for three consecutive years. The Consul General also handed Certificates of Appreciation to all the resource speakers, teachers and volunteers.
A closing song titled “Kanta Pilipinas” was rendered by all the graduates and three alumni volunteers who represented Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao in their colorful costumes and head dress.
The program was hosted by two PSK students, Kyla Farinas and Matthew Friend. In his remarks, Consul General de Leon congratulated the children and thanked the parents for their commitment in bringing their children to attend PSK every Saturday during the summer. He also expressed his gratitude to the AFTA and its teacher volunteers who worked closely with the Consulate General in sustaining PSK and making it better every year.
AFTA’s Josefina Badana underlined the importance of PSK as a tool in reaching out to the young minds of the children born and being raised in the US. She encouraged parents to come back, and promised to collaborate again in the coming years to share their talents and expertise as teachers.
A favorite highlight of the PSK was a luncheon hosted by Madame Eleanor de Leon at the Kalayaan Hall on July 23 constituting the module on Philippine Food and Table Manners. The children enjoyed a sumptuous lunch of monggo soup, chicken adobo, rice and bibingka served by Cynthia and Tyrone Coshue of Somerville, a New Jersey-based Pinoy Filipino Restaurant. The restaurant participated in the Filipino Restaurant Week in May 2016. Prior to the luncheon, the children received a lesson on table manners and etiquette from Ms. Ave Pimo.
On the opening day, Mr. Kris Penas held an interactive discussion about the ideals and works of “Pambansang Bayani” Dr. Jose Rizal, which elicited many questions from the children. The discussion on “Pambansang Kasuotan” on July 9 was highlighted by an impromptu fashion show of the pupils in their Filipiniana garb. Resource speaker Mr. Erno Hormillosa brought several Barong Tagalogs made of different fabric designed by various Filipino couturiers as well as a fabulous terno created by renowned Filipino designer Rene Salud to serve as visual aids as he described the evolution of the Philippine national dress for men and women. The children also learned about regional folk dances in the Philippines from Mr. Lino Arca when he talked about “Pambansang Sayaw”.
Launched in 1999, Paaralan sa Konsulado is a flagship project of the Philippine Consulate General in partnership with AFTA aimed at propagating Filipino culture among Filipino children born and being raised in the US. It runs for 5 Saturdays, from end June to end July, consisting of formal classes from 9.00 am to 3.00 held at the Philippine Center New York. The curriculum covers conversational Filipino, Philippine culture, geography, history, traditions and values through music, arts and crafts, and games.