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21/11/2011: Rizal Storytelling at Paaralang Pinoy

21 November 2011, Washington, DC -   In commemoration of  Dr. Jose Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary, Paaralang Pinoy  organized a free storytelling and dance workshop for young Filipino-American students at the St. Bernadette Catholic School in Springfield, Virginia, on 20 November 2011.  The story “The Monkey & the Turtle”  written by the national hero and the Cariñoso folkdance, a popular dance, during Rizal’s time were taught to the students.

Paaralang Pinoy is a language and culture enrichment program designed for 1st grader to 5th grader Filipino-Americans.   The Culture School aims to help Filipino-American children gain a better understanding of the similarities and differences between Filipino and American cultures.

The young children enjoyed the storytelling session with Ms. Realista Rodriguez, Principal and Cultural Director of Paaralang Pinoy,  who told the story about  the foolish monkey and the wise turtle.  Ms. Rodriguez is a retired highschool principal in Fairfax, Virginia.  Descendants of Jose Rizal led by Ms. Anna Bantug-Herrera also briefed the children about the significance of Rizal and how her family continues to honor his greatness and legacy to his countrymen and the Philippines.  She also shared with the children photos of Rizal and a book entitled “Indio Bravo; The Story of Jose Rizal” written by a descendant of Narcisa Rizal, elder sister of Rizal.

The children took the opportunity to ask Ms. Bantug-Herrera interesting facts that the people do not know about Dr. Rizal.  Ms. Bantug-Herrera quoted a statement from her great great grandmother Narcisa saying that Rizal is not concerned about heroism.  All he wanted was for Filipinos to be given a chance to live a meaningful life.

The children actively participated in the dance and acting workshop as well.

More than 20 students participated in the workshop, which was planned in collaboration with the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. END

Teacher Realista “Rely” Rodriguez, Principal and Cultural Director of Paaralang Pinoy, tells the story, “The Monkey and the Turtle” written by Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

Ms. Anna Bantug-Herrera spoke about the greatness and legacy of Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

Paaralang Pinoy teacher volunteers teach the Cariñoso folkdance, a popular dance during Dr. Jose Rizal’s time, to the kids.