When my family moved to Canada from the Philippines, my parents maintained the practice of speaking to us at home in Tagalog (with the occasional English word as English is widely spoken in the Philippines), while in school we learned and spoke English. I honestly can't thank them enough for doing this because i feel it really kept me in touch with my roots, and especially the fact that i can go back to the homeland and interact with my family and the people of the country.
What's unfortunate though is that neither of my parents encouraged us to reply back in Tagalog (maybe in fear of getting confused and do poorly in school), and that we were so surrounded by a majority English speaking community that we just couldn't help but think and learn in that language. Now, although i can understand Tagalog, I 99% will reply in English (even though I can reply awkwardly in Tagalog) as i feel that i sound ridiculous with a non-pinoy accent speaking filipino. This also makes for an awkward scenario and conversation, especially when you're trying to have a 'secret' gab!
So this brings in Max who is 50% Pinoy. I am adamant that Max learn how to understand and speak the language (as well as eat the food). Besides my parents, who i persistently need to remind to speak to Max in the native tongue, i honestly don't know what my Vancouver resources are. I dont have THAT many filipino friends that are fluent, there are no Tagalog schools like there are Chinese schools and French immersion classes, my husband isn't Tagalog speaking so I can't exactly converse at home, so what exactly are my options?
Since Maxiboy was born ive been trying to speak to him in as much Tagalog as possible. I even take moments/pauses in our conversation to try to figure out how to translate this english phrase into the language or say it in english and then retranslate into Tagalog. Again, i think i sound ridiculous and i dont know how to translate every word! but putting that aside, ive got some phrases covered and so far so good. I slightly dread the day when I no longer can do small talk, and have to do sentences and phrasing as i just suck at it!
Getting ahead of myself, i'm also planning to surround Max with some Philippine culture. Once old enough, im eager to enroll him in some Filipino Folk Dance Classes- the bottom line, surround him with Filipino's. I've read about this company based in Vancouver called Kababayang Pilipino, and they're company stands for "celebrating Philippines through Dance and Music," a total WIN-WIN scenario if you ask me. Youngest pupils are age 5- i'm so excited for Max! I can't wait to go to his recitals one day! (did someone say tiger mom?)
a traditional folk dance called "Tinikling"
"Pandanggo sa Ilaw"