The Filipino Cultural Immersion Summer Camp That Aims to Inspire Children to Go Beyond Adobo and Lumpia
The children had lessons in how to speak Tagalog, Philippine history, music and story time, arts and crafts, dance, and cooking Filipino treats. They had enjoyable and extraordinary learning experiences that allowed them to know more about their culture. Even the art projects were varied to ensure that they appeal to different ages and interests of the students.
In her Welcome Speech, UPAASF Board Vice-Chair Letty Quizon recounted the history of the past successful seven (7) camps and how the first East Bay camp was born this year. Quizon reminded the campers the importance of looking back to their roots to reach their desired destination.
At the graduation ceremony, Deputy Consul General Raquel Solano of the Philippine Consulate General of San Francisco commended the UPAASF for continuing the cultural immersion program despite the pandemic.
Solano said that aside from teaching the campers about their roots, pushing through with the camp also “demonstrated to them firsthand, up close, and in person, the Filipino trait of resilience, of forging ahead amidst adversities, of adapting to ever changing situations, and of rising to the needs and challenges of the times.”
Solano reminded the students of the significance of learning about their heritage. “We hope that even after this program, you will continue to study how to speak the Filipino language, read Filipino history books, watch Filipino films, sing Filipino songs, create Filipino-inspired arts, patronize Filipino cuisine, and take part in events that promote Filipino customs and traditions. We hope too that your interest will go beyond your favorite Filipino foods: the adobo, lumpia, and Jollibee. We hope that your interest will grow into a genuine concern and care for your fellow Filipinos here in the U.S. and back home in the Philippines.”
Solano also thanked the parents and the volunteer teachers and staff for giving their time in shaping the minds and hearts of the children.
Eleven-year-old camp participant Diego Duldulao shared in his graduation speech that he was “very grateful to have the opportunity to participate in a camp that helps us connect ourselves to our Filipino roots.” He added that his favorite was the field trip to Little Manila in Stockton, and that “the best part was I had a lot of fun learning with my kaibigan (friend).”
In her closing remarks, UPAASF President Liza Gino underlined the importance of learning when she said that “Knowledge is not only power, but a responsibility. We, your teachers, can only hope that we planted the seeds of imagination and curiosity. May it thrive and bloom and move you to action. For you are our future, our legacy. Our stories, culture, and way of life are in your hands.”
The Summer Cultural Immersion Camp was made possible through UPAASF friends and partners: Ramar Scholarship Foundation, The Marketing Edge, My Favorite Bite, Evergreen Studio of Music & The Arts (ESOMA), UPAASF Board Member Sonia Delen, St. Raymond Church, the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) Museum, Stockton, and the Philippine Consulate General of San Francisco.
Camp Lead Teacher Candy Bandong (left) and the campers pose before the camp banner after their procession reenacting a town fiesta celebration. (Photo courtesy of Liza Gino)
The campers learn Tinikling, a traditional Philippine folk dance that involves bamboo poles and a great amount of coordination.
Campers hold up the advocate fist after a session with UP Alumna and Camp History Teacher Vivian Araullo (center) on the Filipino Labor Movement in the U.S. (Photo courtesy of Liza Gino)
(L-R) UPAASF Board Secretary Eric Golangco, UPAASF Secretary and Camp Director Tanya Miren Cruz with her daughter, UPAASF Board Vice Chair and Camp Co-Founder Letty Quizon, Deputy Consul General Raquel Solano, UPAASF President Liza Gino, Philippine Consulate Cultural Officer Ethel Castillo, UPAASF B