Junart Kim Nieva
The ‘Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa’ was celebrated at the Philippine Embassy in London on 4th of August, organized by Minister Emma Sarne. The event was spearheaded by the London Filipino Center (LFC), a community interest company headed by Mr Ric Patriarca, along with other six directors. The main project of LFC is the weekend Filipino Language School-based in Kingston University and Ladbroke Grove. This is the first collaboration between the Philippine Embassy UK and LFC CIC.
The event showcased the students’ skills in singing and poetry reading, employing what they have learned at school. Ms Angeline Enriquez, the heritage class teacher, conducted the singing of the Philippine National Anthem, followed by welcome remarks by Ambassador Antonio Lagdameo. “Ang wika ay nanatiling buhay habang ito ay ginagamit ng isang pamayanan,” Mr Lagdameo said. “Kaya kasiyahan kong mabatid na ang mga mag-aaral ng wikang Filipino sa London ay magpapakitang-gilas sa gabing ito sa pamamagitan ng pagbigkas ng mga tula.”
With the theme “Filipino: Wikang Mapagbago”, language teacher Mr Junart Nieva gave a short talk about the nature of Filipino as ‘Wikang Pambansa’, with concepts commonly misunderstood or disregarded in today’s day and age explained.
With their own parents as part of the audience, the following students recited poems with enthusiasm: Fern and Rommel Dakay, Adrian Cerfelj, Jay Ryan Balitaan, Jaimie and Johan Guiret, Lucia-Belen Murray, Nadine Manalo, James Koch, John and Angeline Dakay, Sophia Quesada, Althea Talampas, and Chrys Rudio, who also rendered a Tagalog song, ‘May Bukas Pa’. The poems read were written by Philippine-based lawyer cum poet Atty Ernesto Abines.
One of the language teachers, Mrs Aurea Coloma, led by example by reciting the poem written by Philippine national hero Jose Rizal, ‘Sa Aking mga Kabata’. The event closed with the singing of patriotic song ‘Bayan Ko’ by all attendees. It was followed by a small salu-salo prepared by Roni Bandong and company of Maynila catering.
Among the attendees are some members of the Filipino community and staff from the Philippine Embassy, such as Consul General Senen Mangalile, Deputy Chief of Mission Mr Gilberto Asuque, Consul Rommel Romato, Cultural Attache Ms Maria Teresa Albano, among others.
One of the founding directors of LFC Mr Araial Ilustre was the Master of Ceremony.
LFC is set to open its doors once again on the 9th of September. For more information, please visit www.lonfilcenter.co.uk.
(Photos & video courtesy of Mr Chris Rudio)