Philippine flag

For this flag I just printed a colouring sheet. So I  knew the sun and stars were in the right place and left Button to colour it in while I went over some facts about the Philippines. I tried making them interesting and fun, starting with the basics like the amount of islands that make up the Philippines and what they eat. Then I moved onto the stuff that I thought might make her laugh. Like you always keep your left hand free when eating or that if you eat everything from your plate they will refill it so its best to always leave something. That they shake hands as a sign of welcome but that the women should always make the first move. She laughed at a lot of these and we concluded that Button would struggle to leave any of her dessert on the plate so would keep getting more. 
  We also found some phrases to try and say which Button found great fun.

Christmas parasol

We decided to look at how the Philippines celebrate Christmas. They start to celebrate from September and the streets and homes are filled with beautiful bright parasols. We googled some pictures and thought they were stunning with all their colours and light. We decided to try and make our own. Unfortunately this was a bit tricky for Button whos only 5 so mummy made it while we looked at more pictures and talked about Christmas over there. She also decided to do some snipping practice with her scissors and tissue paper cut offs so while learning one thing she also continued to perfect another skill. If you decide to try your hand at your own parasol I got the idea from Pinterest:

Philippine folktale

This is a story similar to Cinderella. I decided to tell Button this story while we played Tapatan. Then after we played the game we did the craft.

A fisherman named Abek, his wife, Abadesa, and their beautiful daughter, Abadeha, live happily  in the islands called the Philippines. When Abadeha is thirteen her mother suddenly gets sick and dies. Abek and Abadeha are filled with sorrow. Eventually Abek marries a widow from another island who has two daughters of her own. He hopes to make a loving family for himself and Abadeha. However, the stepmother immediately notices how plain and mean-spirited her daughters are in comparison to Abadeha. Abek is away from the home more since he has a larger family to support and while he is away the stepmother mistreats Abadeha making her work from morning to night cleaning the house, cooking all the meals, fetching the water from the river and tending the stove. She is often covered with soot and each night she is so tired she falls asleep on the kitchen floor. Her stepsisters began to tease her for her dirtiness. The stepmother begins to throw impossible tasks for Abadeha to do like change a black handkerchief to white and a white one to black or she will be whipped. Abadeha goes to the river crying and missing her mother. She cries out a prayer of sorts to her mother and the creator of earth. Suddenly the Spirit of the Forest appears and promises Abadeha that all of her hard work and patience will be rewarded. Then she changes the handkerchiefs for her. When Abadeha returns home, her stepmother is angry that she was able to do it. The next morning she has Abadeha spread newly harvested rice on a mat to dry and then pound the winnow and cook the rice for the evening meal. While Abadeha works in the kitchen a wild pig wanders into the yard and eats the rice while the stepmother watches. The stepmother does nothing until the pig has left and then tortures Abadeha and tells her she must mend the mat that the pig shredded.  Abadeha takes the shreds of mat to the river and says her prayer again. The Spirit of the Forest comes even quicker this time. She gets the female spirits to quickly repair the mat and gives Abadeha a sarimanok. A sarimanok is a chicken with a long flowing tail and feathers the color of the rainbow. The stepmother is annoyed again when she sees Abadeha has completed the task. She takes the sarimanok from her and tells her she will take care of her pet for her. Early the next morning she chops off its head and feet and begins cooking it for dinner. Abadeha sees it and weeps. She grabs its feet and runs to the river. The Spirit tells her to bury the feet by her mother's grave and to pray to her ancestors. She does this and plants a garden around her mother's grave as well. It is a while before she returns to her mother's grave and when she does she discovers a tree filled with treasures like jewellery and gowns. She grabs a few pieces of jewellery and keeps the enchanted tree to herself. 
While hunting in the forest, the son of the island chieftain saw a sarimanok. He followed it to Abadeha's secret garden. He took a ring from the tree and put it on his finger. When he returned home his finger began to swell and he could not get the ring off. He told his father about his finger and how he was in great pain. His father sent for the Babaylan, the priest healer. The Babaylan told him he had to listen to his heart. That night the pain in the prince's finger was so great and he had a dream where a sarimanok brings him an orchid and when the prince kisses the flower it turns into a beautiful maiden who shows him the ring on her hand. He tells his father of the dream and his father announces that the girl who can remove the ring from his son's finger will marry his son. When Abadeha heard this announcement she asked her stepmother to go and her stepmother locked her in the kitchen and then went to take a nap. The Spirit of the Forest came and unlocked the door for her.


When she arrived her stepsisters were there. They began to yell at her for being there. The prince heard the commotion and asked Abadeha to come to him. She lovingly was able to take the ring off his finger even if she was dressed in rags. The prince was overjoyed and married her. Abadeha wore the golden gown and the jewellery from the enchanted tree. Her father came home just in time for the wedding. The prince banished the stepmother and her daughters to the chicken yard. Abadeha and the prince shared their happiness and wealth with the people on the islands and lived in peace and love and harmony. 

The craft - a sarimanok

You will need:

A paper plate,
Coloured paper,
Feathers (we used white and yellow).

Fold the paper plate in half so it can stand. Cut the coloured paper into strips. On one side of the paper plate in the middle, cut upward so it looks like a neck and head. On the head stick a triangle of yellow paper for a beak and some red for the top of the head. Draw two eyes. 
  Stick the white and yellow feathers all over the front of the plate so it looks like a chicken. Then roll the coloured strips around a pencil so they curl up and stick them to the bottom of the plate to make the rainbow coloured tail. 

Button really enjoyed this story and enjoyed learning a new creative skill of rolling the paper to make it curl. Her finished sarimanok was brillant.

Yum box - Phillipines

This week we recieved our second yum box from This is a monthly box of treats and snacks from a different country each month. We use it as a starting point to select which country we are going to study that month. This month was the Phillipines.

We started by finding the Phillipines on Button's globe. We then moved on to trying the snacks. Several of the items this month were random flavours so it was luck of the draw which flavour you got of each item. I would say we were quite lucky with the flavours we received, though they may not have been our first choice.

Daddy found this the most interesting box so far as nothing really tasted as he expected and flavours grew on you. Even Button found herself munching through and increasingly enjoying a snack that she had originally given a lowish score. We all enjoyed most of the items. 

The box successfully illustrated the sweet and sour flavour profiles favoured in Philippine cuisine and also showed the influences from the Spanish occupation of the islands.


This is a traditional game very simliar to tic tac toe. You have to get three in a row but once all counters are down, unlike tic tac toe you can move them to try and get three in a row. Button loved it and as we were learning about tally charts on mathseeds she kept a tally of who won. First one to five won. It was a lot of fun and we will definitely be playing this again. I got a lot of enjoyment watching Button really thinking about her next move and playing out how to move in her head. It was a joy to watch. As we are also learning abiut lizards this month we decided to use lizards as our counters which was very comical. I personally think this game was better than tic tac toe and is a great game for young children.

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