Philippine Independence Day, 12 June

Philippine independence day marks the anniversary of the nation’s independence from Spanish rule on June 12 1898. Changed from being on the 4th of July (independence was officially granted to the Philippines by the US on this date in 1946, plus the date was thought to fit in neatly with the States own independence day), this year marks the 54th anniversary of the Philippines ’12th of June’ independence day, and the 120th anniversary of its independence day generally. While we don’t have an option in NZ  to mark this as a public holiday, or to have a parade as impressive as the one that will take place in Manila, there are still some things you can do to commemorate this day. Here are our top five options:

Talk in Tagalog: If you can manage this you will be doing a lot better than me (even though I am half Filipino the only Tagalog words I’m familiar with are those associated with food, a sad indictment on my life incidentally). Happily the library has plenty of resources to help you manage this, including Mango languages, a fantastic language learning website (and app) available 24/7 on our website. Mango offers a course on Tagalog (as well as 60 other languages), and as Tagalog’s standardized form is one of the two official languages of the Philippines (the other is English) Mango could be a great starting point.
There are also some great books available in our libraries to help you learn some Filipino, for both youth and adult learners.

Read all about it: The Philippines has an extraordinary history spanning from pre 15th century barangays (settlements), to three hundred years as a Spanish colony, through American occupation, to its status as a Republic. It has a rich culture that is influenced by both East and West, its Spanish influence clearly evident in the archipelago’s sumptuous feasts, parades, and prevalent Catholicism, and its Chinese influence clearly seen in some of the counties favorite dishes (think rice cakes and noodles), and the supreme importance of family. Our libraries have some fantastic books available to help you learn more about the Philippines fascinating history and culture.

Cook Philippine style: A mere mention of pork adobe will make most Filipino weak at the knees (I would be one of the unashamed statistic aforementioned). Why not try your hand at one of the Philippines’ truly delicious dishes? The library has some cookbooks at hand to help you – some in Tagalog and some in English.

Karaoke: Karaoke has become one of those integral parts of Philippine culture, but if you’re not feeling up for singing there are plenty of pros around to listen to. Our libraries have some great Filipino CDs you can borrow which could inspire you to great karaoke success (or excuse you from performing, which in my case would be the same thing).

Phillipines book display at Central Library Peterborough

Borrow a Tagalog book: Did you know that we now have a Tagalog collection at Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre? And Central Library Peterborough is also hosting some books from the collection (photo above) this month to celebrate Philippine independence day. If neither of these libraries are close to you, never fear, there are Tagalog eBooks you can borrow from home through one of the libraries ebook platforms, Overdrive.
If you’re not feeling like a book today, there is also a great selection of Tagalog eMagazines and newspapers available through PressReader, one of Christchurch City Libraries’ eMagazine and newspaper platforms.

How do you learn a language in a month?: Mango Language’s #31DaysofLanguage Challenge

“Magandang umaga!” (Good morning!)

“Ako si Kate.” (My name is Kate.)

Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Is one of your 2018 New Year Resolutions to be able to chat in a different language?

Well then, you are in luck! Check out Mango Languages, and get on with it! It’s fun, easy, and free – all you need is a Christchurch City Libraries library card and a pin.

During January, Mango Languages ran the #31DaysofLanguage social media challenge. With a different language challenge for each day of the month, I used it as a chance to learn more about this great resource, and see how much Tagalog I could pick up in a month. (Spoiler – not as much as I would have wanted to, but hey, it’s been fun trying anyway!)

 

Here area some of my highlights from doing the 2018 Mango Language Challenge.

  • Learning how Filipinos celebrate New Year – Feasts, fun, and family! New Year is an opportunity to party, and food is a big part of that party. Long noodles and sticky rice bring good luck and a long life, so you’ll eat lots of that, but you won’t see chicken on the menu – chickens are always scrounging for food, and if you eat chicken at New Years’ you’ll be hungry all year.
  • Sharing books with Tagalog-speaking students and family at a local school.
  • Learning there are eleven Tagalog-language newspapers available to read online on PressReader (with your library card and pin). It’s interesting seeing the way that both English and Tagalog are used in the newspapers – I’d start feeling really clever because I’d read a whole newspaper article, only to realise that it was one of the English articles, not the Tagalog one!
  • Listening to the soundtrack from Pinoy Big Brother, the Philippine version of the Big Brother TV show, and other music from the Philippines.
  • Exploring recipes from the Philippines. I’ll be honest – I haven’t got around to actually making any of the recipes just yet, but I’ve found a recipe called ‘chicken tinola’ that looks quite yum, so that’s going to be my experiment this weekend. Chicken, broth, ginger, and mango – sounds just right for summer.

So there you have it. Some of my learning from a month of dipping in to Mango Languages. This is a fun app to use, and I love the variety of languages you can learn with it – Arabic, Greek, Vietnamese, Pirate, Shakespearian English… the list goes on. There is something for everyone, so give it a try and see which language takes your fancy.

Paalam! Bye!

OverDrive has gone all multilingual!

One of our busiest and most popular eResources is OverDrive, an eBook and eAudiobook service that lets you download your favourite titles for free. Recently in recognition of the variety of people we have in our fair city of Christchurch we have added a number of titles in other languages. So far there are a number of eBook titles in Chinese, Korean and Tagalog.

These eBooks are for grownups as well as children and cover both fiction and nonfiction titles. What we need to do now is to spread the word about their existence. So if you speak – or are learning – any of these languages then do take the time to explore these eBooks. If you know of people that speak these languages, then please tell them about this fantastic resource. As a library, word of mouth is one of our most important tools to make sure everyone is aware of the many services we offer to those who are not native English speakers.

Read Jo’s post in Korean about the Korean eBooks.

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