Palmerston North classes teach Filipino language and Baybayin script – New Zealand Herald

Share this article
Maux Tolentino-Orpia shows the class how to translate Judith into Tagalog and then write it in Baybayin. Photo / Judith Lacy
Do you know how to mano po? Or how to write your name in Baybayin?
Maux Tolentino-Orpia, who came to Palmerston North last year, does and is leading monthly classes teaching Filipino and the ancient Philippine script Baybayin.
Tagalog forms the basis of the standardised national language of the Philippines – Filipino.
Baybayin was widely used before Spanish colonisation and has 17 characters – 14 consonants and three vowels.
The monthly classes started in May and attract a wide range of ages.
On Sunday, teacher Bea Mendoza led the class in revising the previous lesson about greetings. Then it was on to using “po” in a sentence to show respect when talking to someone older.
The students practised mano po. This greeting to older people to show respect involves taking their hand and pressing it against your forehead. It could be used when you come home from school or when you have visitors.
Tolentino-Orpia says respect is a core value of Filipino culture. Filipinos everywhere show respect in words, actions, hearts and minds. Filipinos are so good at adapting yet remembering their roots.
Then it is on to the Baybayin script. To write an English word in Baybayin Tolentino-Orpia says you first need to translate the word to Tagalog and spell it the way it sounds.
There are three vowel characters – a, o/u and e/i, which are used for words beginning with a vowel. The consonant characters are actually a consonant ending with the vowel a.
To produce consonants ending with other vowel sounds, a mark is placed either above the character (to produce an e or i sound) or below the character (to produce an o or u sound). X is used to indicate the vowel already in consonant character is cancelled.
Tolentino-Orpia used to take a similar class in Auckland. She says when there are more Palmerston North teachers there will be classes at different levels and for adults and children.
Buklurang Pilipino One Filipino was established in Palmerston North this year to promote language, culture and arts.
Tolentino-Orpia came to Auckland in 2015 from the Philippines when her husband got a job there and they shifted to Palmerston North last year. Her husband is working for a company landscaping the Te Ahu a Turanga – Manawatū Tararua Highway. She used to teach English in the Philippines and now has a position of responsibility at The Warehouse.
Tolentino-Orpia says she doesn’t want her four children to forget their identities.
Buklurang Pilipino secretary Fred Coralde is refreshing his childhood knowledge with the goal of taking some of the lessons.
Pistang Pilipino, the annual celebration of organisations of Filipino communities across New Zealand, is being hosted and organised by the Philippine Central Association this year. It will be held at Labour weekend in Palmerston North.
The one-hour free classes are held on the last Sunday of the month on the ground floor of Central Library, at 2pm.
Share this article
Opinion: American Ken was guilty of man's age-old fallacy of procrastination.


Leave a Comment