Instilling a Love of Country in Children
Instilling a sense of patriotism in young children is not all that difficult. It starts with teaching kids about Philippine culture and history in fun, accessible ways. Exploring the Philippines' many provinces is a good beginning, and so is visiting a nearby museum. Patronizing local products is another way of instilling in our children a sense of country, and so is tasting the cuisines of different regions. Meg Isleta, mom of two, says, “Our kids have been blessed with the opportunity to travel abroad, but from the time they were little, we have many times told them that if they were in another country and asked by a native of that country about the Philippines, they must have a lot to share because they have personally experienced travel here... their love for and pride in their country should literally be bursting from within! My husband and I share this!”
“I tell our son and daughter that they should know and love their country more than they know others. I tell them, 'You had better love your country more!' They've been on road trips to Nueva Vizcaya, Banawe, Sagada, and Baguio then to Ilocos all the way to Pagudpud. They've been to Pangasinan, Zambales, Batangas, Cagayan de Oro. Throw in Bohol and Cebu.”
She adds, “The Philippines is breathtakingly beautiful and they have enjoyed and taken it all in with us, from swimming, hiking, ziplining, river rafting, spelunking, and horseback riding towards Taal to tiptoeing through the edge of the Rice Terraces, drinking in history at Corregidor, and taking a bath under a Mountain Province waterfall. The experiences and fun we have shared has been endless. They know this country is an awesome gift of God!”
Karen Galarpe, mom of one, joins Meg in praising the Philippines' rich culture and history. She says, “Parents should make an effort to teach our country's history and culture in interesting ways. Go on a field trip to Ayala Museum to let your child see the dioramas showing key events in our history, and to Fort Santiago so he can see for himself where National Hero Jose Rizal was incarcerated. Buy and read together Filipino children's books which highlight our country's history, culture, and values. Also, buy Filipino products (example: dried mangoes and otap from Cebu, Baguio-made strawberry jam, slippers from Liliw) and tell your child that doing so will give Filipinos more jobs.”
Image courtesy of cbenjasuwan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This story first appeared in a Q&A form in Urban Mom magazine.