The entire month of August, we celebrated language.
Each homeroom had posted at its entrance the greetings of the various languages of the country’s regions that the section was assigned. Like other schools, we had a day for enjoying Pinoy games.
The day for the native wear was full of color and creativity. Of course all the prayers were said in the local languages: the morning prayers, the Rosary, the Angelus, the 3 o’clock Prayer and Oratio Imperata.
But since in August we had our founder’s day with Our Lady’s Assumption, we had the Linggo ng Wika culminating activity in September.
Halad was actually as Mary Rose Villacastin-Maghuyop, one the program’s emcees, declared: “A Triple Treat: a birthday celebration for Mother Mary, a tribute to beloved grandparents, and a selection of Philippine Music, Movements and Mores, Isang Pagpupugay sa ating Pagka Pilipino.”
Held in SM Consolacion, the organizers were optimistic enough to view as a historical, sociocultural learning experience not only for the students, their families and the school staff but also for the mall-goers. Another emcee, Jayson James Alvarez, introduced Mary Rose’s prayer dance, “Maghimaya ka Maria” with, “Sa sulod sa usa ka Filipino, sa iyang hunahuna, sa iyang kasingkasing adunay mga tima-ilhan sa iyang pagka-Filipino.
Sa kasaysayan ng ating bansa makikita ang tagumpay ng Filipino ay nakasalalay sa ating pagka maka-Diyos at pagiging madasalin. The Spanish brought the faith which Filipinos embraced with a fervor that continues to amaze the world. Our model is the Blessed Mother Mary, who selflessly said yes to God. To Her, we give our thanks especially on her birthday.”
Dances and songs were preceded with historical reminders such as: “Even before the Europeans came, our ancestors had been trading with our Asian neighbors and visitors from the Orient. Remnants of Arab merchants and lasting Chinese and Spanish influences — all these have come together to define the Filipino and allow us to see our uniqueness as a people and proudly say: Ako ay Filipino.”
Love was the value promoted in the month of August; responsibility has been the theme for September.
Both come together in nationalism.
Andres Bonifacio’s “Pag-Ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa” was recited in a spoken chorus by grade 8 with appropriate passion and discipline. With feelings, Mary Rose introduced the performance with, “Our lives are shaped by the community we live in, but our community is also shaped by how we live our lives.
To live only for ourselves gives little meaning to our lives. It is when we live for others that the true meaning of life is relished. We must live for our country, our identity! Tayo ay Fiipino!”
Love of place as in devotion to the locality was expressed with the heartfelt singing by grade 9 of the Consolacion Hymn which includes: “Mibidlisiw ang adlaw sa sidlikan, ang mga kabulahanan, mga kahigayonan nia na sa atong tugkaran, mga Consolacionan!” Then grade 10 danced (dance fusion) and sang with dynamism “Padayon Sugbuanon”
Those involved with learning realized that a two-hour presentation involves a whole lot of preparation. What I especially appreciated about “Halad” was that it highlighted the sense of community in the school.
The coming presentation triggered a sense of excitement among the students for past presentations have always made them feel good — boosting their self-confidence and inviting their ingenuity as they prepared costumes, accessories and props. Bobby Bargamento, a MAPE (Music, Art, and Physical Education) teacher who was always for authenticity, did research and at the same time went into innovation — introducing live accompaniment of bamboo.
Flora and Racel of the office prepared beautiful accessories. Several of the OLJ staff had children or grandchildren in the school and they all displayed a deep sense of commitment to the activity.
Flora lovingly prepared her grandson’s bird costume for “Pipit.”
Shawn Leander Elviña’s grandma, Rony, gamely consented to dance with glamour and grace the Kuracha with Bobby to represent the grandparents. All the warm cooperation, the dedication, and joy — wonderful spirit to start the month of peace.