Balik IP 2021 Recap & Update

Almost halfway through our year of remote learning!

Who could have imagined?

In the early years, IP met in the community rooms at the Eliot Church in Newton. Families drove in, or maybe even walked, from nearby. The student body was small and a class could fit around the church's kitchen island to prepare the day's merienda dish together. One has to wonder, 45 years ago, could anyone imagine what IP would be like today?

Read on to learn more about IP today, including a recap of last Sunday's classes with links so you can go "back to class" with IP!

#stayconnectedIP #bayanihanspirit #IPCommUNITY #IP45

Can you spot any of our current IP parents or teachers as kids?

Next IP is Sunday, January 24, 2021

We're looking forward to Dance and Music class! Parents will receive class links the day before class.


  • Students in all classes, except Binhi, bring glasses for the pandanggo (3 per child in upper school and 2 per child in lower school). Additional props are being sent home via snail mail.
  • For every class, be sure to have these supplies ready: pens, pencils, markers, crayons, blank and lined paper


Community members are welcome to join for Community Assembly at 3:00pm and for social time in the Tambayan immediately following announcements. Visit our website to subscribe to the IP Community mailing list and receive the Zoom link.


For the first lesson of 2021:
  • We wore polka dots for prosperity in the New Year!
  • We started a new unit focused on Philippine Icons - people, places, and things that embody being Filipino.

In the Tambayan, a group of parents played the Sampaguita Icons game with Tita Michelle, while Lower School students chatted in the breakout rooms. You can play, too! See below.

In Buhay Pinoy, students got creative.

  • Binhi students worked together on a story about a boy who missed his cousin after Pasko and went to visit her. Filipino icons were introduced through the story. The boy rode a jeepney, and saw some coconut trees along the way. When he arrived at his cousin's bahay kubo, they ate lechon for lunch. Afterward, they helped Tito/Tita who were working at the rice terraces, where they saw a carabao. When they were done, they enjoyed mango for merienda!
  • Ilang-Ilang students deepened their understanding of Filipino icons by creating their own unique stories. CLICK HERE TO WATCH A VIDEO of a student sharing her story and pictures of the icons she chose.
  • Sampaguita class played a game using the Kahoot app to test their knowledge of Philippine icons. They discussed the difference between icons and symbols. Then students got crafty and each designed a symbol to represent themselves. Students were working very hard!
Sampaguita parents, please send a photo to Tita Michelle ( or post it on the Closed IP Facebook Group, so we can all appreciate their work!

In Filipino American Experience, students discussed iconic moments in Filipino American History

  • Lower School students learned that since Filipinos live all over the world, and some areas have so many Filipinos that Manilatowns grow to benefit the community. They read Lakas and the Manilatown Fish, by Anthony Robles, which is about a boy who chased a talking fish through San Francisco Manilatown of old. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE about the book. They looked at photos of Manilatowns on the East and West Coasts that might be nice to visit someday. Ask your Ilang-Ilang or Sampaguita student what they would want to eat for merienda if they could visit Manilatown!
  • Bonifacio and Rizal students looked at iconic moments in Filipino American history when Filipinos came together to stand for a better future. They watched a video clip about the long struggle to keep the I-Hotel in old San Francisco Manilatown open for the retired manongs who lived there in the '60s and '70s. CLICK HERE TO WATCH the full video. Students also wanted to talk about the recent events at the Capitol. It was a rich and timely discussion! Then students got a brief introduction to an example of a difficult, but nonviolent, transition of power -- the 1986 People Power Revolution. Students saw photos of a 1986 Filipino American People Power rally in Washington, DC, where members of the Boston delegation carried signs voicing their demands, including students from IP!
Big picture
Play the Philippine Icons/Symbols Game

Are you smarter than a Sampaguita 5th Grader? Test your knowledge! Click to play the game, and give it a moment to load. (Available until Feb 5.)

Far Apart, Yet Closer than Ever!

During this remote year, we've really missed seeing each other in person and enjoying merienda together. But we've had some unexpected benefits, too!

  • We've welcomed a whopping 13 new families this year, including 6 alumni families.
  • We're serving 79 students, 22 of whom are new, and 48 enrolled families.
  • With everyone social distancing at home, we've had great attendance in class.
  • We were having so much fun that the Pasko party kept going for a whole extra hour!
  • We've learned new ways to teach, learn, and play together.
  • We've even managed to make music together.
  • We've welcomed back "old timers" through Zoom and reconnected with old friends of IP.
  • We've brought IP classes to alumni and their children in NY, NJ, FL and CA, as well as students who moved to Canada!
  • We even had a class where our kids cooked dinner for us!

We're almost halfway through the year with plenty more in the works. If you'd like to get involved in planning upcoming events, or would like to propose a special activity or "elective," please contact Myra Liwanag at

Save These Dates

Want a calendar for your fridge? Download it HERE.

· JANUARY 24 – Lesson 5

· FEBRUARY 7 – Lesson 6

· FEBRUARY 28 – Virtual Tea Musicale

· March 14 – Unit 4 Begins/Lesson 7

· March 28 – Lesson 8

· April 11 – Lesson 9

Connecting Filipino Families for 45 Years and Counting

Temporary Mailing Address:

Iskwelahang Pilipino

109 Davis Road

Bedford, MA 01730, USA

Donating to IP

If you would like to support our work, please donate with PayPal, a debit or credit card or you may mail a check payable to Iskwelahang Pilipino.