Philippines Unit: Filipino Cultural Night

We started our Philippines Unit! I want my kids to know both sides of their family (and not just the living) so we are diving into learning about their Filipino side. Since we don’t have a ton of information about this side, we are just working with what we’ve got.

We started off with a super fun Filipino cultural night with my in laws. My father in law planned this whole thing and it was such a great experience! We started off the night by going to a Filipino restaurant and learning how to eat the Filipino way (with a fork in your left hand, a spoon in your right and the fork is used to push food onto the spoon.)

Then we went to Jershon’s parents place to do some fun activities. My father-in-law sewed us some folk outfits and it was so fun to dress us. Definitely added to the experience. 🙂 The girls outfits represent a Mountain Province (Igorots) and the boys outfits are from the Tagalog Region which include provinces that speak Tagalog.


We did a traditional Filipino dance called Tinikling. It is a native dance from the Tagalog speaking region. This dance is typically done with bamboo sticks, but we couldn’t find any so pvc pipe worked out well. 🙂 The dance was hilarious and so much fun… even though I am definitely not coordinated. Haha.

See that cute little boy in the front on the right? That’s Jershon’s dad, Marlo. And those sticks that he’s holding? Those are bamboo poles, used for the Tinikling dance. 🙂
The girl that is dancing in this photo is Jershon’s mom. 🙂 I think this was when she was in college.


After the dance, my mother-in-law taught us how to crack open a coconut and then we grated the coconut by sitting on this special coconut grating stool called a pangkayod.

What’s extra special about this stool is that Jershon’s mom’s dad made this stool almost 50 years ago. He was really talented at making things out of steel. As the kids were sitting there grating the coconut, I thought about how maybe Jershon’s grandpa was standing there beside us, watching his great grandchildren sitting on the very stool that he made all those years ago, learning about their Filipino heritage. 🙂


After grating the coconut, we made coconut milk! I didn’t know you could do that. Haha. I guess I never thought about how it got in the can. Haha.

And then we took that coconut milk, added a few more ingredients (more coconut cream, glutinous rice, sugar, vanilla, salt, and corn) to make a Filipino dessert called Ginataang mais. It was delicious. 🙂

We threw in some Island style. 🙂


We also learned a popular Filipino kids song called Bahay Kubo… which is all about fruits and vegetables. 🙂

We finished off the night with some Filipino snacks. Roxanne surprised us by liking everything, even the Dilis (crispy fried headless anchovies).



I took some photos of the kids in their Filipino outfits because they looked so cute! 🙂


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