Happy Birthday Pilipinas: Anong Gift mo sa Pilipinas?

On June 12, our country is celebrating its jolly 117th birthday. Jollibee wants to express our love for our country by answering the question:  Anong gift mo sa Pilipinas?

Para sa akin, simple lang. Ang gift ko sa Pilipinas, ang ibahagi at itaguyod ang kulturang Filipino. To show that we, Filipinos, have a very rich culture and traditions and to pass it to the young generation.
Ang aking regalo sa Pilipinas ay ang mga sumusunod;
1.  To keep the love of Tagalog (honey-coated as Filipino) language alive in my child by teaching her to read more Filipino books and by helping her speak in Filipino fluently.

Obviously, English language is the more dominant language used in most schools today but we must also teach them the importance of our native language. Our mother tongue, which is the heart of our heritage, that became a foreign language for kids nowadays.  At home, I try to speak to my daughter in Tagalog as much as possible. She understands and answers back in English, sometimes Taglish. Because we're in a westernized country with the boom of new technology like TV and gadgets, she's more (and constantly) exposed to the English language, and she also grew up surrounded by classmates, family and friends who speak English fluently.

Still, I believe it is still important for us to instill the Filipino culture to our kids and to keep the Filipino language alive. So by reading Filipino books and speaking to her more in Tagalog, at least, she'll be exposed to the language and be immersed in it.

2. Sing and listen to Filipino songs

Whatever happened to Bahay Kubo, El Bimbo and other OPM hit songs by world-famous Filipino talents? Sa totoo lang, mas masarap pakinggan ang kanta sa wikang Filipino. Even the foreign artist, Idina Menzel, sang the popular song "Let it go" in Filipino and it's the best version I've heard so far. More than anything else, let's sing our national anthem with all our heart and soul. Haranahin natin ang Pilipinas.

3. Play traditional Filipino games

I played with my daughter and her playmates today as I teach them how to pick the "IT" or "taya" in a traditional way. They put aside their iPads and played Maiba Taya then Tagu-Taguan. I seriously felt like a kid again. Seeing their happy faces brings back all my childhood memories. Nostalgic, really.

Maiba... Taya!!!
I grew up with the traditional Filipino games or larong Pinoy and those were the days when sticks and stones are as precious as our kid's iPad or PSP today. In a society that is highly becoming digital by the minute, I bet kids do not know how fun it is to enjoy real play for real. I remembered I was even singing with my siblings in front of our electric fan just to get that auto-tune or robot voice.  My childhood was filled with happy memories, imagination and a bunch of cuts and bruises from playing outside.

Noon, hindi naman kailangan ng gadgets at computer, kasi simpleng bagay lang gaya ng lata't tsinelas, masaya na. I've been wanting to teach my kid some of the games of our generation that I used to play when I was her age. Here are some of the games that I want to teach her;

step no, step yes
Sasara ang bulaklak
monkey monkey annabel
holen/ jolens
piko (pinoy version of hopscotch)
chinese garter
langit, lupa, impyerno
luksong baka/ luksong tinik
Pen pen de sarapen de kutsilyo de almasen
Jackstone (Around the world!)

May naalala ka ba? Kung meron man, alam na. Malamang batang 80s or 90s ka! :)

These games are absolutely better than apps, video games and even the likes you get on Facebook. I'm glad I've experienced all of these games before technology took over. Yung maglaro sa labas ng bahay, umakyat sa puno ng aratiles at maligo sa ulan. Compared to iPad, it costs no more than a cent too!

Sadly, you'll seldom see these traditional Filipino games these days. They don't even have any idea how to play them. I wish kids could still play these games more often, more than their handheld tabs. By playing these games, they will be more exposed to more Filipino words. And even with the presence of technology and gadgets, I'll see to it that my kid will experience how it's like to play for real, the way I experienced before.

4. Eat Filipino food.

Sa June 12, pupunta ako sa Jollibee, ang pambansang fast food ng Pinas, kasama ang buong pamilya para kumain ng paborito naming palabok, spaghetti at Chickenjoy. Jollibee is the country's very own homegrown Filipino-owned fastfood chain na may pusong Pinoy. Kapag may umuuwing kapamilya galing sa ibang bansa, ito ang pinakaunang lugar naming dinadayo. Such a well-loved brand and a proudly Filipino one at that.

5. Pagtangkilik sa mga produkto na gawang Pinoy ( Made in the Philippines)

I believe some of these locally-made, indigenous products that are 'Made in the Philippines' is worth buying. Kung bibili ako ng regalo, ang bibilhin ko yung gawang Pinoy. That way, I can make my loved ones happy, and I can also help the local communities.

6. Mag-travel sa Pinas

Known for its awe-inspiring mountains, hills, rustic and centuries-old churches, and of course, the never-ending smiles and hospitable culture of its people, our country boasts of having some of the best white-sand beaches in the world like those in Panglao, Palawan and Boracay.  Indeed, it's more fun in the Philippines. Hindi ko pinangarap ang tumira o mag-travel sa Paris or Amerika kasi naniniwala ako na wala ng mas gaganda pa sa Pilipinas.

Nakalimutan na yata ng iba ang kulturang Pinoy, lalo na ang mga kabataan ngayon. Pero sabi nga nila, "Those who are lost need someone to to show them the way." Being Filipino is something we should always be proud of. Turuan natin ang mga kabataan ngayon na maalalang mahalin at tangkilikin ang kulturang Filipino.

My gift to my country is the gift of pride and heritage. As a Filipino, this gift is also yours if you choose to take it. Ikaw, anong gift mo sa Pilipinas?

If you're a Filipino, there's no reason why you can't participate. Kung proud Pinoy ka, sagot na! Share your gift at: http://happybdaypilipinas.com/

Don't forget to use the hashtag #HappyBdayPilipinas 
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