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FILIPINO YOUTH DAY IN CHARLOTTE!
by Aleth Cababa
Almost 20 Filipino youth in Charlotte gathered at the Asian Library last Sunday, April 25, to
meet with other Filipino youth and learn about the Philippine culture. The Filipino-American
Association Community of the Carolinas, Inc. (FACC) Youth Coordinators, Del Amor and Rose
Hughes with the help of Cultural Education Coordinator Aleth Cababa, brainstormed on a fun
but educational approach for the youth to come together on a regular basis to learn about the
Filipino culture and traditions. These series of cultural activities will help mold our youth to be
better individuals who will understand where they came from and from this, instill Filipino
values to build their character, become better youth empowering other youth in the community,
and turn into leaders of the community in the future. The “Pinoy Youth Day” (pinoy- demonym
referring to Filipino people), launches the series of Filipino youth gatherings to realize this
The fun started when the youth participants received their name tags where their names were
written with baybayin scripts (Alibata) which is an ancient Filipino system of writing. Learning
more about baybayin will be one of the cultural education series for the youth in future. While
the facilitators, Ate Aleth with Ate Aloo Errazo and Kuya Marlon Errazo, introduce themselves,
the concept of affixing words of respect when addressing older people such as Kuya (big brother)
or Ate (big sister), and Tito (older man) or Tita (older woman) were emphasized as an integral
part of the Filipino culture. To start off, the participants were given “Pinoy Ako!” (I am Fiipino!)
Authograph Sheets containing a chart with different Filipino youth interests. Examples of
interest fields were: loves to eat Lumpia (Filipino spring rolls), watched a Pacquiao (Pinoy
boxing champion) fight, or visited the Philippines etc. The object of the activity was for them to
complete 16 signatures from different youth participants. An icebreaker followed with “Hep,
Hep, Hooray!” which was adapted from popular Filipino Game Show-Wowowee. While each kid
clapped at the sound of “Hep, Hep!” and raised both hands at sound of “Hooray!” the Filipino
parents can’t help but get excited watching their kids play this game.
“Maria goes to Market” a fun relay with a twist of learning an important form of respect known
as “Mano po!”, was played next by splitting the group into two teams. Mano is a Filipino gesture
when greeting an older person where you take the hand of the elder and bring it to your forehead
to show respect and to ask for blessing. Each participant dress up in a duster (loose clothing) and
hold a bayong (Filipino basket for going to the market) while sashaying (like a lady). Upon
reaching the elders, they would need to perform the “Mano po!”, an then sashay back to her
group to pass on the dress and basket. Even though this game was thrilling, you will still see the
youth do the “Mano” with reverence when they reach the volunteer elder. Everyone relaxed after
this game while two volunteers were asked to play Pinoy Henyo (Filipino Genius), a game where
one player was asked to guess the word that was placed on his own forehead. Since he cannot see
the mystery word, he can only asked the other youth participant questions answerable only by
“OO” (yes) or “HINDI (no). The group where then divided to two teams and was asked to do the
“Pinoy Spelling Bee”. In this activity, the task is for each team to develop teamwork as they were
given Filipino words (with English translations) which they need to spell using the first letter of
any objects that can be found in the room. Some words were Maganda (beautiful), Sarap (taste
good), Kumusta (how are you?) etc. Not only did these activities and games develop camaraderie
among the youth but also started an urge for the youth who grew up here in the United States to
learn more about the Filipino culture.
To close the event, the youth participants were divided into groups and were asked to write down
their ideas and activities for the FACC youth group. Among ideas of the youth were outreach
programs to elderly people, conducting a talent show for a cause, planning fund raisers such as
car wash, Cooking 101 where they learn to cook Filipino food, Cultural education camps where
they can learn to speak the Filipino language, learn Filipino songs, dances and games, Cultural
Fashion shows, Youth Sports fest, and Youth fieldtrips etc. Some of the Adult coordinators
listened and interacted with the youth as they were impressed with the young people’s ideas.
After the Youth Coordinators presented the youth events that will happen in the next few
months, a big poster of the “Youth Commitment Tree” was placed in the middle of the circle.
Each youth participant was asked write down on leaves their commitment to the FACC Youth
Group and attached their leaves to the tree. As the youth participants commit to participate in
future youth activities and invite more friends to join the youth group, this will be a good start to
realize the objectives of the FACC for the Filipino youth. Although the turn out of the event was
good, all the Filipino youth in Charlotte were not represented in the youth day. It was a good
start for the FACC Youth Group, and we are looking forward to attract more youth to join the
FACC Youth group to realize their vision in the future.
For more information about the group, please join the FACC Youth Group in Facebook! We
have uploaded pictures for the Youth day for public viewing. This group is open to all Filipino-
American youth or any youth who wants to learn our culture.
Caption for picture: Pinoy Youth Day Participants had a fun-filled experience getting to
know other youth and learning about the Filipino Culture.
From Top left to right: Genevieve Cordery, Patrick Gamboa, Caryll Orejola
Sitting Left to right: Earvin Orejola, Bianca Ramos, Nikki Montesclaros, Alyson Cordery,
Christina Petzke, Ron Dela Pena
Floor Left to right: Leigh Bagood, Kevin Montesclaros, Tasha Ramos, Kyle Lorenzo,
Migs Amigo-Lavarro, Raine Antonio
Kids in front left to right: Nina, Simon Oliveros, Leila Ramos