P is for the Philippines

I grew up attending the same church congregation as one of the most amazing Filipino moms in all of Arizona, and true to her nature, she was eager to help when I asked for her time to get some answers and directions about what I should know about their beautiful country.  Not only is Mitzi an incredibly selfless woman, she is also an accomplished author, teacher, and a true professional in the topic of her country’s language and culture! It was such a privilege to be able to have such a well-versed source, and family friend, to point me to some interesting facts and topics.

With all my dreaming of traveling overseas to visit the island nation, I thought I had built up some pretty good expectations of the things I might witness in their hospitable land. Buuuuut when I started reading things like “monkey-eating eagle”, “Noche Buena”, and “Mano po” in the answers Mitzi sent to my questions, I realized that I am way undereducated in my fantasies, and it was such a privilege to get some things straight.

If you missed anything this month, don’t worry. I’ll throw in a few details or links throughout this to help you out too, because no matter how you use this information with your children, they are going to LOVE it. Honestly, the best part of what I learn happens as I try to simplify and enjoy it with my son. And this month, everything from the Philippines has had his stamp of approval so far! I mean, I did just mention monkey-eating eagles, right?

AND LOOK AT THIS VIEW BELOW! It’s really incredible, isn’t it?!

james-connolly-363036-unsplash.jpg
Photo by James Connolly on Unsplash

Animals.

So why not just start with re-mentioning the most straight-forward, yet eyebrow-raising name in the animal kingdom?

If you missed out earlier this month, the Philippine Eagle is from, well, the Philippines; and is often called the Monkey-eating eagle because, well, it eats monkeys! There! You’re all caught up!

Just kidding! There is so much more to these beautiful animals. If you didn’t guess by the name – “monkey-eating eagles” – these bad boys are huge, measuring in at a wingspan of about 6 feet wide! They are the largest species of eagles on the planet, and in my opinion, the cutest too. Check out my Monkey-Eating Eagle Activity to learn more about these awesome predators and even see a video of them in action!

But the most important thing to tell your kids, after all the fun stuff, is that these birds are endangered. Maybe you don’t live in a place where you will ever get an opportunity to see one in person, but there is still so much you and your little ones can do! Talk to them about what ideas they have for helping animals, who cannot survive with so many humans or natural predators around. I mean, where could a 6-foot eagle hide anyways?! What can we do to make it easier for these animals? You might be surprised at the brilliance that shines out of your child’s helpful little heart. You can always prod them with ideas of recycling. Recycling is an especially great chore for young toddlers just starting to help around the house! Pop tabs from soda cans, and cereal box tabs are other fun recyclable tasks that can see a more tangible reward!

Special Jobs.

Many countries have unique forms of transportation, and in the Philippines you might expect to find yourself traveling with the aid of a Jeepney driver! These drivers take kids to school, adults to work, and common people to anywhere else that might be on their route. Mitzi shares, “Jeepney is the most popular means of [public transportation]. They are known for their crowded seating and kitsch decorations which have become an ubiquitous symbol of Philippine culture and art.” You can see an example of such a Jeepney in the featured image on this post!

Maybe you’re thinking, mmm that’s great, but I want my child to aspire to be a doctor or teacher or something, and just talk about those types of careers. The reality of the world right now though, is that most people can’t even begin to hope to accomplish such a feat as becoming a doctor. You know who represents the face of a nation though? In the Philippines, it’s the Jeepney drivers! It’s the men and the women that have the least gratuitous jobs, yet help tons of people every day. Read Jhaira Grace Huervana’s personal thoughts on the respect she has for her father’s career as a Jeepney driver. I love what she had to say! So yes, inspire your children to reach for the stars, but also let them know about all the other important jobs that make the world go round too!

I think of the quote, “I was raised to respect the janitor the same as the CEO.” The Philippines not only believes this, but has absolutely integrated this level of respect into their culture with a beautiful tradition called “mano po” that you can learn about by clicking here. This is the kind of respect that makes people into leaders and such a great thing to show and start in our homes.

Traditional Games.

Mitzi listed a few traditional games to me, such as patintero, piko, and tumba preso. Whatever I try though, I need to be able to sort of involve my bouncy little ball of a son, who currently likes to jump over everything. So luksong tinik looked like the perfect option after some further research and explanation of how each game is played. Whether your child is just gaining interest in climbing rocks and pumping their legs for a big (or little) jump, or they’re heading to a middle school basketball practice this weekend, this Filipino game really is easy to keep a group of kids entertained and exercised anywhere at zero cost! All you need is something to jump over. Traditionally, a willing pair of friends or parents sits in as the thing to be jumped over. But if that sounds risky, you can pick up a stick and just play like it’s reverse limbo instead! This is wonderful physical activity for any kiddo, and easily tapered to fit any skill level.

The game is played best with a group of people. Two children, or adults, sit on the ground facing each other, soles of their feet pushed together. This is the first level. Everyone who is able to jump (or step) over the legs laid flat on the ground, gets to progress to the second level, where they have to jump over the feet raised one on top of the other. In level three, the hands are placed above the feet, and then every level finds a way to make the others jump higher and higher over the bridge. Watch these kids give a demonstration of this super easy game that you can play anywhere!

Holiday Celebrations.

If you know me well, you know that I would rather set up my Christmas tree than go trick-or-treating on Halloween. I’ve also been known to leave it up almost just as long after the holiday has ended! For example, it’s almost April, but the chalkboard in my entryway still has a Christmas scripture written across it. I just love Christmas. And so do Filipinos.

Imagine how I felt when Mitzi explained, “Filipinos start Christmas songs and decorations as early as September (when the month ends in -ber-) and end January 6 in celebration of the Three Kings. Children go caroling house to house and [expect] to receive money from the owner of the house [where] they sang carols.” It was like I’d found my people! (I’ll keep you all posted on whether this helps me win any sort of battle to set up my tree in September later this year.)

They also practice something called “Noche Buena”, in which families have a midnight meal together. It feels to me like New Years, but in celebration of the Christmas events the next morning will bring. As much as I love Christmas bedtime is sacred time in this sleep-deprived house, so I probably won’t be trying this any time soon. If you decide to celebrate into late hours of the evening and serve up a Filipino national dish for Christmas this year though, I would love to see and hear about it!! You can check out the recipe for the traditional Chicken Adobo right here.

Let’s Connect

As always, I hope that you and your family can use this information and the activity ideas this month to open your hearts and perspectives to every corner of the world, and every type of people! Sign up below to get monthly freebies, updates on where else in the world is discussed, and opportunities to share your own cultural experiences and styles! You can also scroll down to the bottom of this page to follow along and see what’s happening on my social media accounts!

Filipino Chicken Adobo – A National Dish and Dinner Discussion

Sometimes the most nerve-racking part of experiencing another culture, is being introduced to new foods and cooking styles. But sometimes, you run into some serious soul food.

I think that’s how I’d classify the national dish of the Philippines – soul food.

I’ve actually been putting off cooking this adobo because I’ve had things like Philly cheesesteaks, chimichangas, and chicken curry calling to my palate. When we went to D.C. this past summer, I remember commenting at every meal about how they managed to add a hint of vinegar into everything we ate! Even the Five Guys we stopped at had a vinegar-y taste going on in the sauce! It was just so bizarre to me! Not bad at all, because vinegar is great, but bizarre that things I had never eaten with vinegar suddenly had it. So, when I saw that this recipe called for vinegar, I think that I misread my own memories and was put off a bit by the idea of it. But now that I have made it, I wish we would have tried sooner!

It was SO GOOD, y’all! I loved the flavor, and it was simple enough for my son to eat and enjoy too. And we just went easy and threw in a bag of frozen veggies on the side, added some rice like we seem to do to every meal, and voila! A delicious dinner, and tasty left-overs too! You can also try this recipe with pork instead of chicken.

And what better time to sit down with your kids and talk than at dinner time!? Growing up, I think the most common question at dinner time from my parents was, “What did you learn/do at school today?” Cooking meals from foreign countries is a wonderful and fun opportunity to let your kids share what they know about a particular country! If they don’t know anything, then tell them what you’ve learned, or share a story about someone you met from that place. You could even designate this meal to be eaten on a special holiday, like their Independence Day – June 12th – and share a little about someone like Andres Bonifacio! Bonfacio, among others, played an extremely important role in Filipino history and their revolution against Spain, and became an honored leader in the Philippines. You might even use one of these great videos about the hero that I found on YouTube to learn about him:

If the video doesn’t work, click here to go to it.

Now back to the food. There are so many adventurous foods from the Philippines that I just am not skilled or brave enough to try cooking at home at the moment, but if you find one you like, please share! I hope you enjoy this one!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (3 pound) chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, quartered and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf (or 3 oz spinach leafs)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Tip: I cut up my chicken into cubes before cooking – partly because I have a toddler, and partly because that’s just how this not-so-sous-chef cooks. And also, it speeds up the process.
  2. Begin cooking your rice according to packaging instructions.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet and cook the chicken to a golden brown. This can be done on Medium-High heat.
  4. Add in the garlic and onion. Cook in until the onion is soft and brown.
  5. Add in soy sauce, garlic powder, vinegar, black pepper and spinach/bay leaf. (I used spinach because that’s what we usually have in our fridge anyway.)
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat back to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15-30 minutes. (Most recipes call for a longer time simmering, but with a hungry toddler, I gave it about 15 minutes and started serving him. It was still delicious.)
  7. Voila! Ready to serve.

If you try this out, let me know what you think! What other Philippine dishes have you tried? Which would you recommend? I would love to hear!

If you want to follow along and try more foods from around the world, then sign up below for my monthly newsletter where I’ll keep you updated on some of my most recent culinary pursuits along with other fun cultural activities!

What Kind of Philippine “Monkey-Eating” Eagle Project Can I Do With the Kids Today?

I’m sure at least one of you woke up this morning asking yourself this question, right? Your brain was just repeating “Monkey-eating eagles. Monkey-eating eagles….” And then you shook your head and thought, “What the heck? Eagles that eat monkeys?? ” Yup! You got it! Also more formally known as the Philippine Eagle. Less formally known as me 😉 (Scroll below to see how you can give a poor, but entertaining, imitation of these huge birds like I did for my son.) I really went “all in” learning about these birds as soon as I saw their name mentioned by a friend from the Philippines, and hope that you appreciate them too!

A sneak peak at this wonderful specimen. PC: Harrybalais

So let’s go back to the beginning. Do these eagles really eat monkeys? And how big are these monkeys that the eagles are eating? What exactly is happening over there in the Philippines? Excellent questions.

YES! They really do eat monkeys, and not just the itty-bitty spider monkeys either. We’re talking about eating 2-ft tall macaque monkeys and lemurs, along with island snakes and lizards! Yikes! As you are probably wondering now, these are indeed the largest eagle species in the world (although not necessarily the bulkiest), with a wingspan of about 6 feet! Look out, monkeys! These magnificent birds are truly huge and exceptionally gorgeous! Sadly, they are nearly extinct! If you have an animal activist in your home, talk with them about how they think they can help animals like the monkey-eating eagle. Do they want to go help do some yard work, and pick up any litter in the street? Can they help take out the recycling, or start a recycling movement in your house? Plant some flowers, a tree, or other plants that can help your local environment. Maybe they want to see if their zoo has a volunteer program, which typically applies to teenagers. If all your children are too young to volunteer, why not spark an interest and plan for it early with a trip to the zoo now?!

And if its too rainy, windy, or snowy to go to the zoo this season, then the good ol’ internet still has your back! National Geographic was able to capture some amazing footage of these fluffy-headed predators raising an infant! It’s actually pretty amazing.

An amazingly rare opportunity by National Geographic.

I mean, come on, did you see how big that fledgling was?! For the future zoologists, who might want to understand exactly how big this bird is, try this little demonstration at home:

Materials

A Lot of Paper, or poster board/cardboard, or newspaper

Tape

Ribbon or Yarn

Sticks or Hangers

Scissors

You can see in the picture above that I’m not suggesting anything fancy. You’re at the wrong place for fancy art today, sorry. But I got your back if you’re looking for easy and entertaining!

Spread out some newspaper, or unroll a giant roll of paper, maybe even use poster board. (My personal preference was obviously newspaper, because I don’t mind wasting it on art projects when it would otherwise waste on the street.) You want to make sure you have enough to make a 6ft long eagle. Depending on your chosen material, you may need to tape or glue pieces to hold it together as one. Your child doesn’t need it to be perfect and last forever. It just needs to be fun for the afternoon. And if you’re little one is too little to wear 6 foot long wings around the house, I personally think that’s even more fun! Scroll down to see how I was the one wearing the eagle wings!

If they are big enough to sport some heavy feathers, have him or her lay down on the chosen material while you trace the outline of their arms and hands. Once their upper body is traced, you can draw some giant wings around your child’s outline and cut it out. Or just skip straight to the wings. Or don’t even worry about the shape at all! (I didn’t.) The rest is like building a kite. If you’re a real go-getter, maybe that’s exactly what you’ll do – make a kite out of this! Tape down sticks or hangers to each wing to give it a bit of a skeleton, maybe hang some ribbons on it for decor, or just tie a small loop around your little one’s arms and the hanger for an easy way to flap their wings! Is your child suddenly looking like a monkey swallowed up by a massive eagle with huge wings? If so, you’ve done a good job on this art project. Now, go teach your little Philippine eagle to fly and see what they hunt down in your backyard!

Here is a short clip we caught of me pretending to be an eagle, swooping in to catch my little monkey! Seriously, can you believe how huge those wings are?! That’s a 6-ft wing span I’m wearing, and I’m about 5’7″!

That monkey had fun running around, trying not to keep out of reach of “the eagle” (sometimes running straight to me to be flapped at) and eating all those snacks you see on the kitchen table haha

I would love to see pictures and videos of how you made your monkey-eating eagle! You can find me on FB, Insta, and Twitter! Just search for ColorMeCC! Or leave it in the comments below!

If you and your little one thought that the monkey-eating eagle was amazing, then use your local library, Google, or a local zoo to learn more about other Filipino animals,  like the Kalabaw and the mouse deer! Teaching our children to turn to the right people, like zoo keepers and librarians, when we have questions is not only a vital skill to set apart successful people, but also opportunity for such great memories!

If you want to learn more about the Philippines, check out my description of their amazing tradition of respect and learn how you can apply it in your home by clicking here.

And don’t forget to sign up for my monthly newsletter to get updates on the most recent freebies, interesting world news, and other fun facts I’ve learned but maybe didn’t have time to share in a blog post! I’d love to hear back from you too about what people you’re meeting around the world!

How Are Different Cultural Influences Affecting Your Language?

I recently mentioned a conversation I had with one of my grandmas about why I have this blog. (If you missed it, you can check it out by clicking here.) In the same lunch conversation, she also got me questioning this – how are different cultural influences affecting my language? I really need to talk to my grandmas more! Aren’t they the best?

Anyways, it all started with my mom and I sharing a long-standing family joke with Grandma. You see, I’ve known my husband since just before our senior year of high school – almost ten years now! And like any good cliche, it was only after we got married that he started to realize some weird things about me. Like how I wouldn’t pick up a bar of soap if it fell in the sink while washing my hands. Or how I always bought wayyyy more vegetables than meat (crazy, right? haha). But the most deeply ingrained thing that has remained throughout our marriage, and I really can’t stop, is my apparently “make-believe” vocabulary.

And now that I’m writing about this, of course, my husband and I can’t think of any of the tons of words or phrases I’ve said that he’s made me stop to explain, except for the two that came up when I was talking to my grandma. Maybe that means he’s finally getting used to them?

So let me rewind a bit and just share the gist of the conversation for some context:

Me: Grandma, do you know what I mean when I say “kiki”? Is that something you say, or where did we get that word from?

*Mom laughs, knowing where this is going, which raised Grandma’s eyebrows.*

Grandma: Yeah, of course. *looks confused as to why I’d ask such a dumb question.”

Mom *jumping in to help explain*: Apparently a lot of the words we say aren’t normal words, and Tyler doesn’t understand them. We tell Tyler that we’re going to make him a Smith Dictionary.

*Grandma still seems skeptical that anyone would not know what “kiki” means, and repeats the word out loud to herself multiple times*

Grandma: Well, then, it must be a Native American word! Maybe Navajo or Hopi. You know Grandpa spoke so many different languages, I can’t keep track!

This was a better response than I could have ever imagined – “it must be a Native American word” – and I immediately knew that I was stealing that as my excuse for the rest of my life! Oh, sorry. That didn’t make sense? It must be one of my great-grandfather’s Navajo terms the family just uses now. Who could even call my bluff?! (Okay, yeah, a few of my friends might be reading this who actually could call my bluff, but still.)

For further context, “kiki” means (in my family) gross/dirty, as in, “Don’t touch that! It’s kiki!” And my great-grandfather was one of the very earliest traders to mingle and trade with many Native American tribes, like the Navajo and Hopi. So my grandma’s statement isn’t at all far fetched, and there really are quite a few things that have passed down through the family because of him. However, I haven’t been able to figure out if he is the actual source of why our family uses this word.

As my mom, grandma and I joked about what had just been said and tried to think of other examples of things we say that people outside our family don’t understand, my mom brought up that everyone looks at her funny when she offers to “tend [their] kids”. That made me look at her funny. Now I was the one confused as to why anyone would think that was a weird saying. I thought it was totally normal to say. So I came home and asked Tyler about it. Sure enough, he asked me, “Well, it depends. Are you a shepherd? You tend a flock, not a child.” And I guess a “kid” is technically a baby goat, so it does make sense that way, but that’s not how my mom has taught me to use the phrase.

Again, I learned who to blame for my messed up vocabulary – this time my Scottish granny, who came to America with her own basket full of fun phrases. My mom explained that she knew it was something Granny had always said, but that she’d just never realized until adulthood that it wasn’t a very American thing to say. And another generation later, here she has been leading me to believe it’s a normal thing to say too! One of these days maybe we’ll actually publish the “Smith Family Dictionary” and detail exactly where all of our seemingly out-of-place sayings come from.

The Answer

So that was a really long story all to set the scene and let you know why I was even pondering such a question. But does my question – how do different cultural influences affect our language? – actually have an answer that I can just cut to already? Yes, it actually has quite a few. But first, I’d like to take one more detour and share my favorite resource as I was perusing the internet for ideas I may have missed in relation to answering this question, and hope that if you watch it, you’ll better appreciate what answer I offer next. TED talks. Yup, ted.com has a whole playlist on their website dedicated to speakers who have addressed the evolution of language. Check it out here:

TED talks about the evolution of language

Or just skip below to my very favorite one by the dictionary-maker, Erin McKean:

There are so many things that affect our language! What I have illustrated above in my story is what Erin describes as “robbing”. Technically, as she explains, people usually say that we “borrow” words from other languages, but it’s just thievery. My family has stolen many words from other languages simply because many members of my family have spoken different languages, or at least had a different dialect of English growing up. This is the case in many homes. As an English speaker, this is such a large part of our accepted language, that it hardly phases people usually.

Then there are words that are real words of your very own tongue and language, but we start to put them into the wrong form of speech to get our point across. My husband would say that the very most obscene word that my mother and I have created in this way is “smarticles”. We’ve taken the adjective – smart – and evolved it into personifying these tangible-like things from which my son’s intelligence spouts. It’s also a compound word (smart+particles), but that hadn’t been our intention. It just sounded right, ya know. It said what we needed it to say. And English allows us to do that! I mean, when you hear that – “smarticles” – don’t you just picture a ball pit of knowledge being picked apart by messy toddlers? If so, then we did our job well in creating that word, because that’s what we mean. My son’s head is just chock full of smarticles.

Our culture also affects our communication in much broader ways. In some cultures, small talk is uncomfortable and almost forbidden between strangers. In others places worldwide, there seems to be no limit to what a random passenger on the bus might ask you! I would say I live somewhere in the middle of these two worlds, where it’s okay to break the ice when you’re stuck near someone but you shouldn’t get too crazy with your topics and questions. So I was shocked this week to read a FaceBook post in a group of women from around the world highlighting a cultural perspective different from my own. She explained that she was looking for help in a work situation (the focus of this particular group) where a supervisor was continually asking her uncomfortable questions on business trips. My mind immediately filled in the blanks on what I assumed she meant, and I was going to just skip by, but then I saw in quotations one of the “inappropriate” questions constantly asked was simply, “What did you do last night?” Now, I suppose that depending on the way a person asked this, it might make me feel awkward, if they were really trying to imply that they wanted to hear something juicy. But this wasn’t the case. In fact, the woman clarified that she recognized the supervisor was just trying to make friendly small talk, but felt like that specific question among others was unprofessional and private. WOW! I would have never even considered this to be an off-limits topic. To me, that is such a normal question if I’m going to be traveling with someone on an overnight or weeklong trip! But her foreign and family culture had taught her to be much more private and respectful of acquaintances’ personal time. This is just one recent example of cultural etiquette in our communication.

You could extend this communication etiquette to also include body language and other factors. In America, we can generally be very loud, openly show a ton of expression, and be easily excited in public settings. This is a stereotype for many islander nations as well. It’s okay to see your friend and run up to them, or yell a greeting, and be rather boisterous about the thrilling coincidence of it all. Nobody will care too much. Buuuut go to Eastern Europe and everyone on the street will give you a sideways glance for acting this same way. You will definitely feel like you’ve disturbed the peace with your behavior. More than once while living in Russia I had people ask me before I even opened my mouth if I was American. I would laugh and ask them how they knew, and you know what I was told multiple times? It was something to the effect of, “You draw attention to yourself, laughing and talking down the street, saying ‘hi’ to everyone.” Now, verbally acknowledging everyone you pass is really weird here in Phoenix too, I’d say, but smiling and nodding their way isn’t. In Russia, it usually was.

I could continue, but I’ll wrap up here for now while you process, come up with your own answers to the question, and then we can talk about it more later. I’ll just share this last thing about social etiquette. In relationship to greeting everyone kindly, I was once encouraged to ask myself, “When we’re all in Heaven, do you think we’re going to walk around with our heads down, frowning and acting like passerby don’t exist?? No way! We’re going to be so excited to be where we are, surrounded by friends, family and other great people, and we’re going to want to look them all in the eye and share our joy!” Why wait til Heaven though, right? Be the start to a new, more joyful, inclusive and friendly culture now!

Now I’d love to hear your responses to the question. How have cultural influences around you affected your language? Have you ever said something perfectly normal to you that confused everyone else in the room? Have you ever moved to a new place and felt uncomfortable by the way other people talked differently? I’d love to hear about it!

If you enjoyed this post, or would like to share have your thoughts on the topic shared, comment at the very bottom of this page, or sign up for my newsletter and gain VIP access to a folder of freebies for families! I would love all of your input!

Mano Po

Last month I got together with some friends to celebrate THE one and only, Galentine’s Day! Picture Leslie Knope saying, “If you look inside your bags you will find a few things. A bouquet of hand crocheted flower pens, a mosaic portrait of each of you made from the crushed bottles of your favorite diet soda and a personalized 5,000-word essay of why you are all so awesome.” That’s basically what we happened, just talking and exchanging gifts into absurd hours of the night (my bedtime is a strict 8:00pm, y’all). It was awesome. And at one point, I overheard a conversation across the room going something like this:

Friend 1: Yeah, it’s something they do in the Philippines.

Friend 2: Wait, really. I’m so confused. Why do they do this?

Friend 1: I don’t know exactly, but it’s some sort of greeting, I think, and they put their hand on the other person’s head.

I basically felt like Hermione Granger, and looking back realize I’m weird, but I got so excited because I had JUST been reading up on this Filipino tradition!

Now, this discussion I eavesdropped on was clear across the room with about 10 other people between us, and I just blurted out, “Oh, you’re talking about mano po!” And then proceeded to share why I knew what it was and all that.

It’s such a unique and important tradition that I thought it seemed like the perfect way to introduce the Philippines and really try to paint the best picture I can of what I know of their cultural heritage.

What is it?

It’s super simple. When you greet an elder in the Philippines, you take their hand, bow slightly, and press their hand to your forehead. In Tagalog (and Spanish, which have a lot of similarities) “mano” means “hand”, and then “po” is a respectful term used when addressing elders, like “sir” or “ma’am” in English. It’s gender neutral though, so it doesn’t change.

I went through a dozen different videos on Youtube to see if I could find a good illustration of this tradition for you, and I just kept coming back to this funny family, and the very first video result when I searched “mano po”. This video will probably get some giggles from your kids while also doing a great job of explaining the many ways people practice mano po in the Philippines!

Mano Po in Your Home

In America, this might be a little weird to practice, so how do you really take this lesson home and apply it in your home. I think that’s easy to answer in a few questions.

How are you teaching your children to show respect within their families and communities? Watch the video above and ask your children what words they can use to address people respectfully (sir, ma’am, Mister, Mrs., Coach, Officer, etc.). This was so important in my family growing up, and it has definitely shaped the way I view certain adults (more adultier adults than myself at this point) in my life.

You can also bring attention to the other kind gestures done towards elders in the start of the video. Ask your kids if there are things that they should do when an elderly person is with them. Should they give up their seat, offer to lift things, or maybe bigger kids could link arms when walking with grandma/grandpa?

Teach your kids to respect all people wherever you live. Remind your children to thank the bus driver, and to ask the cashier how their day is. When a manual laborer comes to your house (roofer, plumber, pest control), ask your children to kindly take a bottle of water with you out to the workers. Building this respect for people now will lead to a career of compassionate service, loyal teammates and employees, and respect from other leaders.

What other traditions do you have in your family that show respect? How do you speak to people you respect? I would love to hear all about it in the comments!

Also, if you enjoyed learning about mano po, please sign up for my newsletter to gain more resources and access to my growing vault of free printables!