Filipino children are off for a great adventure this summer as the European Union Delegation to the Philippines mounts the virtual edition of the annual cultural festival “Lakbayin Natin ang EU” on 16 May 2021, 10 a.m., via the EU in the Philippines Facebook Page.
Lakbayin Natin ang EU 2021 is a part of the ongoing Viva Europa celebrations and focuses on the theme “Children for Friendship,” featuring a visual tapestry of European culture and arts, crafts, songs, poetry, and storytelling from the Embassies of Czech Republic, Germany, France, Austria, Poland, and the Philippine-Italian Association.
“Since 2008,the EU Delegation has been providing an opportunity for Filipino children to learn European songs, games, stories, music and arts and crafts”, said EU Ambassador Luc Véron. Together with the EU member states’ embassies and cultural institutes, the Delegation has ensured to create a unique and enjoyable cultural experience for these children, he added.
Considering the pandemic, the “Lakbayin Natin ang EU” has resorted to using the digital platforms since 2021 to make sure that the children and their families are safe and sound.
Among the highlights of the festival are:
- Poetry Reading by Czechia. The Czech Embassy will present their poetry reading titled “Štěstí” or Fortune by Adolf Heyduk. It will be performed both in Czech and in English by Dora Šedivá, daughter of Czech Ambassador Jana Šedivá, and Marika Štěpková, daughter of Czech Deputy Ambassador Jana Peterková.
- Country Comparisons by Germany. German grade schoolers will appear in a video which will highlight comparison between Germany and Philippines in terms of weather, clothing, animals, and landmarks. The activity is headed by teacher Mr. Florian Simmelbauer.
- Song by France. Fourteen-year-old soprano Yumi will perform L'amour and Ode to Joy. Yumi is the champion of the World for Opera, Junior Division of the 2019 World Championship of Performing Arts and the host of Musikwela Kids TV, an online educational show for kids, parents, and educators that promote Filipino culture and values.
- Storytelling, Song, and Nursery Rhyme by Italy. To celebrate the 140th anniversary of the first appearance of Pinocchio on the weekly children magazine “Il Giornale Dei Ragazzi,” the Philippine-Italian Association (PIA) will feature two activities especially dedicated to the wooden puppet hero. “The Adventures of Pinocchio” was originally written by Italian author Carlo Collodi in serial form in 1881. There will be a storytelling of “Ang Pangako ni Pinocchio” that is based on the book “Pinocchio: The Tale of a Puppet” by Collodi and illustrated by Alice Carsey, to be narrated by Ate Melai, Kuya Tom, and Kuya James—the Kwuentistas from the National Library of the Philippines. PIA will also share a fun filastrocca sull'amicizia or nursery rhyme on friendship by Italian writer Gianni Rodari who is considered as one of the most prominent children’s literature writers in Italy. This will be interpreted by three Italian students from the course Italian Language for Children.
- Country Tour by Austria. Kids will be taken around Austria to learn more about its rich culture, famous personalities, and captivating landmarks. They will also be taught the translation and pronunciation of common Filipino words and phrases in German, the official language of Austria. Madeleine Mitchelle Diolanda and Darline Spielhofer of the Austrian Embassy will coach the children.
- Rhyme by Poland. Representatives from the Polish Embassy headed by its Chargé d’Affaires, Mr. Jarosław Szczepankiewicz, will recite the “Lokomotywa” or Locomotive by Polish poet Julian Tuwim. Ambassador Szczepankiewicz and his team specially shot this activity in Dagupan City where they had an old train displayed in front of the city museum as background. In 1939, the Locomotive, along with two other poems namely “The Turnip” and “The Bird’s Broadcast”, were published in a single book generally titled “Locomotive.” It commissioned illustrations from Polish illustration duo Jan Le Witt and George Him.
- Friendship bracelets. The art of creating friendship bracelets will be taught by Samantha Belwa of Teens for Unity PH. This craft making activity will help children become more creative and resourceful and be filled with hope as they look forward to the day when they can personally hand over their customized bracelets to their friends and playmates.
The festival will also display the winning artworks made from either crayon, colouring pencils, paint, oil pastel, and watercolour in the EU Delegation’s Art Contest. Embodying the general theme “Children for Friendship,” Filipino preschool to middle school students were asked to express the meaning of friendship through art and how they can promote it between Filipinos and Europeans.
The children’s festival was supported by the Philippines’ Department of Education.