Among all the uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping our country, one thing remains unquestionable: education never stops. Here's to the teachers who now have to battle the difficulty of having students show up for online lessons — and keeping them interested enough to actually learn.
Local indie songs you can use when teaching Filipino: Part 1
We offer this list of local indie songs, not only to the Filipino language teachers who need to impart knowledge from the four nonexistent corners of a virtual classroom, but also to tutors and parents of tweens aged 10-12 who want to help their children out in continuously learning about our very own language:
1. 'Panaderyuhh,' Pure Mind Quiet Heart (prod. by Cobrash Beats)
Lesson hits: Mga salawikain o kasabihan (proverbs), mga pangngalang pagkain (food nouns), pakikinig (listening comprehension)
Evident in his choice of titles (his EPs are Trapsilog and Miryenda Deluxe, while his album is Dinner Hour), Pure Mind Quiet Heart or PMQH has always spat lines about the rich and delicious Filipino cuisine. Another nod to Filipino culture is the way Pixel Collective's resident food meme rapper dishes out (pun sort of intended) his own version of Filipino proverbs (salawikain), such as 'Kapag binato ka ng bato, batuhin mo ng pan de coco' (If someone throws you a stone, throw coconut bread back).
Prepare for: Cebuano to Tagalog translations for this part of the rap:
Unsa bai? (Ano, kaibigan? / What's up, my friend?)
Naa ko'y tinapay. (Meron akong tinapay. / I have bread.)
Relax jud usahay. (Relaks din paminsan-minsan. / You have to relax sometimes.)
Kadugay sa akong tinapay. (Ang tagal naman ng aking tinapay. / The bread I bought is taking too long.)
Dad-a to sa balay. (Paki dala ito sa bahay. / Please bring it to my house.)
Palihog jud, dad-a dad-a to sa balay. (Pakisuyo, paki dala 'to sa bahay. / Please, please bring it to my house.)
Remember to explain in Filipino first before explaining in English.
Lesson tip: Ask the students to identify the different food nouns (pangngalang pagkain) in the song, like adobo (dish of chicken or pork in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and bay leaves), keyk (cake; take note of how it is spelled), ice cream (remind them of its Filipino translation: sorbetes), sinaing (steamed rice), and more. After doing so, ask them, 'Alin sa mga nabanggit ang nakain niyo habang tayo ay naka-community quarantine? Ano pang ibang potahe o kaya'y meryenda ang nakain niyo na?' (Which of the food items discussed have you eaten while in quarantine? What other dishes or snacks have you eaten at home?). For older students, you may also ask for other examples of Filipino proverbs.
One more tip: Gamit ang mga unang linya ng koro ng awit, talakayin kung bakit mahalagang alalahanin ang wastong pamantayan ng pakikipag-usap sa Internet kapag nagbibigay-opinyon ukol sa kinalalagyan ng ating bansa ngayon. (Using the first few lines of the song chorus as a springboard, discuss why it is important to uphold proper online etiquette when expressing opinions about the circumstances our country is facing.)
Listen to 'Panaderyuhh' here:
2. 'Marilag,' Munimuni
Lesson hits: Mga aspekto ng pandiwa (verb tenses), salitang magkakasingkahulugan at magkakasalungat (synonyms and antonyms), talasalitaan (vocabulary)
With the band defining their own genre as makata (poetic) pop, it's no longer a surprise that the music and lyrics of Munimuni has found its way on this list. But what others might fail to realize is how their songs — particularly 'Marilag' — presents the opportunity to reinforce students' knowledge on aspekto ng pandiwa, which may have been previously introduced to them using other local indie songs.
Prepare for: Mga katanungan tungkol sa kahulugan ng mga bagong salita, tulad ng 'marilag,' 'bangketa,' at 'maikukubli' (questions about the meaning of new words, such as 'gorgeous,' 'sidewalk' and 'to be hidden').
Lesson tip: Discuss antonyms (mga salitang magkasalungat) from the song: 'itim' at 'puti' (white and black), 'lungkot' at 'tuwa' (sadness and joy), 'lamig' at 'init' (cold and hot), and 'gabi' at 'araw' (night and day). Let the students think of more examples as well. Ask them to make a mind map (mapang pangkaisipan) to think of synonyms (mga salitang kasingkahulugan) for 'marilag': 'maganda' (beautiful), 'marikit' (pretty), 'kaibig-ibig' (loveable), 'kaakit-akit' (attractive).
One more tip: Talakayin ang konsepto ng karilagan o kagandahan. Gamit ang mapang pangkaisipan, ipatala sa mga mag-aaral kung anu-ano at sinu-sino ang marilag sa kanilang opinyon. Pag-uriin ang kanilang sagot batay sa tao, lugar, pangyayari, hayop, at iba pa. (Discuss the concept of beauty. Using a mind map, let students make a table of what and who are beautiful in their opinion. Categorize their answers: people, places, events or situations, animals, etc.)
Listen to 'Marilag' here:
3. 'Dear Kuya,' Ebe Dancel
Lesson hits: Panghalip pamatlig (demonstrative pronouns), tulad ng 'diyan,' 'dito,' 'iyon,' 'nandito' (Filipino variations of 'there' and 'here'), pakikinig (listening comprehension), pagsusulat ng liham (writing a letter)
His wide music catalog (marked by his 20 years of music) is one of the reasons why we keep including his songs on our lists of lesson materials; his use of words as lyrics is another. When Ebe Dancel wrote 'Dear Kuya,' his brother really was abroad, which emphasizes how far his kuya's 'diyan' (there) is from his 'dito' (here). This emotional depth creates the perfect jump-off point to introduce demonstrative pronouns (panghalip pamatlig).
Prepare to: give more examples, as the song only lists a few. However, the song is very easy to understand so the teacher will have more than enough time to talk not just about other examples, but even the different types and cases of these pronouns (uri at kaukulan ng panghalip pamatlig).
Lesson tip: Introduce the proper way of writing a letter (tamang pagsulat ng liham). Identify the different parts of a letter (bahagi ng liham) and ask the students to rewrite the song, following the proper format (wastong ayos). Let them add the missing parts themselves, like the closing (bating pangwakas) and the signature (lagda).
One more tip: Para sa mas nakatatandang mga mag-aaral, pag-usapan sa klase ang isa sa mga pinakamahirap na hamon ng pagiging isang OFW: ang kalungkutang dala ng pagkawalay sa pamilya. Tanungin ang mga bata kung bakit mahalaga ang pakikipag-usap at pakikisalamuha sa mga kapamilya at kaibigan. Ihalintulad ito sa kahalagahan ng pakikipag-ugnayan nating sa panahon ng community quarantine. (For the older students, discuss one of the most difficult challenges of being an OFW: the loneliness brought by being away from family. Ask the kids why it is important to continuously keep in touch with family and friends. Relate this to the importance of the way we socialize in the midst of community quarantine.)
Listen to the newly released version of 'Dear Kuya' here:
4. 'Buhol Buhol,' Sandwich
Lesson hits: Tugma (rhyme), pakikinig (listening comprehension), pagbabasa (reading comprehension), pagsasagawa ng panayam (conducting an interview)
What makes Sandwich's latest offering the perfect teaching material is its social and academic relevance. It is the perfect reminder of what everyday life is (was) for the Filipino, and it was written with a good number of mga salitang magkatugma (rhyming words) that the teacher can actually flesh it out to include more technical aspects of this lesson, like types of rhyme (uri ng tugma -- ganap at di-ganap).
Prepare for: mga katanungan tungkol sa "gimik ni Panelo." Ibatay ang talakayan sa katotohanan. Gamitin ang pagkakataon para sa mapanuring pag-iisip. Gabayan ang mga bata; h'wag igiit ang sariling opinyon. (questions about "Panelo's gimmicks." Remember to be factual. Use the opportunity for the students to exercise critical thinking. Guide; don't impose.)
Lesson tip: Let the kids watch the song's lyric video. Ask them to write down rhyming pairs (pares ng salitang magkatugma). Later on, as them to categorize the rhymes based on its type (uri ng tugma -- ganap, tulad ng 'higad' at 'hagad,' at 'busina' at 'opisina,' at di-ganap, tulad ng 'buhol' at 'naghahabol,' at 'balbas' at 'todas').
One more tip: Gawing higit na interaktibo ang aralin. Atasan ang mga mag-aaral na kapanayamin o iinterbyu ang kanilang mga magulang, ate at kuya, o sinupamang matandang nasa bahay ukol sa mensahe ng awit. Ipalista ang mga tanong para sa panayam. Kung gugustuhin, maaaring gawing "live" ang panayam ng mga mag-aaral sa pamamagitan ng "video conference" habang nanonood ang klase. (Make the lesson more interactive. Instruct the students to interview their parents, older siblings, or any adult in the household about the message of the song. Ask them to list the questions down. The students' interviews may also be done live via video conference while the rest of the class watches.
Watch the lyric video for 'Buhol Buhol' here: