Saturday, March 26, 2016

Do Your Kids Speak Filipino?

I didn't realize how big of issue this has become now among my mommy friends. You should hear the tinge of panic and regret in their voice when we talk about Filipino homework and tests.

I should have seen it coming 5 years ago.

"Mas magaling pa mag-English mga bata dito kay Berry!" my Mom jokingly told me then, when I brought Berry to Manila for her very first vacation, after spending all 2 years of her life abroad. 

"Syempre. Kinakausap ko din sya in Tagalog, Mom." I explained a bit incredulously.

While Berry holds dual citizenship, Dada and I were born and raised in the Philippines, and it just made sense to me to have her learn the language. We were based abroad at the time, and knew we wanted to go back home and raise her here, so I didn't want her to have a hard time in school once she started. I would talk to her both in English and Filipino. And would encourage my husband to speak to her in Hokkien. (He doesn't, but that's another story. Haha.)

As it turned out, it seemed that in the short time that we were living overseas, kids back home in Manila had forgotten how to speak the language. To a point that my friend Jen Tan had to tell me,  "Tin, talk to your kids in Filipino, they need to learn it so you won't have a hard time tutoring them at home!" 

It's gotten quite sad really, when Filipino kids don't even know how to speak Filipino. It's not funny and it's not cute. And no, it's not a sign of progress. Like talking in Filipino makes one uneducated,  baduy or masa. 

Wittingly or unwittingly, many in our generation, especially parents of young kids, have gotten lazy with the language. Most of us don't speak Filipino purely anymore. More often than not, Taglish is the norm. I'm guilty of that too, and sometimes, my kids still ask me, "What did you say, Mom?" when they hear me say a Tagalog word they have never heard of before. 

Thankfully, my mommy friends at, who find themselves in a bind, having a hard time tutoring their kids in Tagalog in school, have come up with three easy to do tips for getting our kids to speak more Filipino. Watch it HERE!

So here's where Batibot comes into the picture. Yes, as in the Batibot many of us grew up watching.

They have come up with apps that encourages learning in Filipino. Our kids can watch shows, learn how to write the alphabet, play games and such. Just simple but educational lessons that they need, as in right now.

Check out and download the Batibot TV app, HERE:

Download the Batibot Games app, HERE:

It's a quick an easy start. And hopefully, the road to getting our kids back on the Filipino track!

For more on Batibot, visit

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