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The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco organized a visit by students, parents and teachers of Eskwela Natin to the Philippine Consulate on Saturday, 30 June 2016 for a familiarization tour.  The visit was part of the culminating activities of Eskwela Natin’s fourth summer session.

The 62-person delegation was headed by co-founders Perry and Dolores Diaz. Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon congratulated the teachers and parents for their dedication to immersing the young generation of Filipino-Americans into the richness and diversity of Philippine culture and heritage.  He encouraged the young students to continue learning about their culture and history, even after the program concludes.

Vice Consul Carlyn A. Monastrial explained the functions of a consulate to the delegation, emphasizing how the Consulate and Eskwela Natin shared the same goal of promoting Philippine culture to both Filipinos and foreigners alike.

Ethnohistorian MC Canlas recounted important points in Philippine history that intersected with the history of the United States, and gave a virtual tour of South of Market (SoMa), an area in San Francisco where many Filipinos reside to this day.  It may be recalled that the zoning for SoMa Pilipinas was approved by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors in April 2016, forming a cultural district that will increase the visibility and celebrate the contributions of the Filipino Community not just in San Francisco, but the greater Bay Area region.

The students recited salawikain and sang Filipino songs, to showcase what they learned during their summer session.

The Consulate coordinated with the California Academy of Sciences to provide students and some chaperones an opportunity to see the Philippine coral reefs featured by the Academy as part of their permanent display.  The children learned that the Philippines is the center of marine biodiversity, and how important it is to ensure that it is preserved.

The interactive, eight-week session familiarized the children with the most celebrated religious festivities, native games like Chinese garter and sipa, Philippine instruments, banig-making, Filipino food and taught them words and phrases in Filipino. END