Where Home Is

Through the laudable efforts of La Salle Greenhills, my son Adi now knows how to sing the Philippines' national anthem, Lupang Hinirang. He sings it so well, with his right hand on his chest and even introducing each number with "Handa, awit." ("Ready, sing.")

My husband has also managed to teach him how to play the first few strains of the anthem on our keyboard. It is amazing (and heartening) to see a 4-year old boy sing Lupang Hinirang with much fervor and enthusiasm.

When he was just starting to learn the words, my son would sometimes play around with the lyrics and make silly sounds. I had to impress on him then the importance of the song and why it should be treated with respect and performed properly. At first, I couldn't get through and he continued to play around with the song. Slightly miffed, though determined to get a message across, I told my son: "Ok, you can live in another country since you're not singing the Philippine anthem properly." I wanted to see what his reaction to my statement would be.

My son then stopped singing his silly song. He went on to say rather emphatically: "No, I want to live here in the Philippines." Curious as to what his reasons were for making such a statement, I pressed: "Why do you want to live in the Philippines?" Without batting his long lashes, Adi gave an answer I wasn't expecting and which made me prouder to be a Filipina mom. He said: "Because this is where my home is."

I don't think any answer can top that in awhile. By the way, La Salle will be celebrating "Linggo ng Wika" tomorrow. That reminds me to exert more effort to improve on Adi's Tagalog. Now that he knows the Lupang Hinirang (Midi Sound File) by heart, though, I'm sure in time, his Tagalog will be fine.

[By Angelica Viloria | Thursday, August 16, 2001]

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Copyright © 2001-2015 by Angelica Bautista Viloria. All Rights Reserved.

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