The Australian Filipina is glad to share that the third reading in Bigkas Serye was held on August 24th. This initiative was undertaken by the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney and Sentro Rizal Sydney for the celebration of National Language Month (Buwan ng Wika).

The reading of Filipino stories was undertaken by the children of the Consular staff.  It was streamed live via the Consulate's Facebook page ( and instagram @#PHLinSydney.

Ang alay para sa ikatlong yugto ay "Ang Pambihirang Buhok ni Raquel",
kuwento ni Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, Guhit ni Beth Parrocha-Doctolero.  Ito ay inilimbag ng Adarna House at binasa ni Yzabelle De Lara.

The third reader in the series is  14 year old Yzabelle De Lara, who is the only child of Mrs Nova De Lara, the Consulate's Cultural Officer and Mr Fernando Emmanuel De Lara.          

Yzabelle graduated With Honors at St. Scholastica’s College Manila. She won in the Extemporaneous Speaking Competition during the 7th Association of Philippine Private School Administrators and Mentors (APPSAM) National Children’s Leadership Assembly and Talent Fair held at the Teacher’s Camp Baguio City. And during the  38th Annual National Graders Convention of Children’s Museum & Library, Inc. (CMLI), She got the 1st runner up award for the English Extemporaneous Speaking contest and was awarded Best in Public Speaking.

According to the official website of the Philippine Information Agency, the current theme of the National Language Month is:

“Wika ng Kasaysayan, Kasaysayan ng Wika” Ang mga Katutubong Wika sa Maka-Filipinong Bayanihan Kontra Pandemya “

This is meant to value the Filipino language, as well as other ethnic languages as effective weapons against the pandemic.

Background Information

The month-long celebration of the national language occurs during August since 1997, known in Filipino as Buwan ng Wika. Previously, this lasted only a week and was known as Linggo ng Wika. The celebration coincides with the month of birth of President Manuel L. Quezon, regarded as the "Ama ng Wikang Pambansa" (Father of the national language).

The celebration of national language dates back to 1946 when Proclamation No. 35 of March 26 provided for a week-long celebration of the national language. This celebration would last from March 27 until April 2 each year, the last day coinciding with birthday of the Filipino writer Francisco Baltazar who was well known for writing the Tagalog epic Florante at Laura.

Subsequent proclamations changed the dates, with President Ramon Magsaysay moving to coinciding with the birthday of President Manuel L. Quezon in 1955.  The reason for the move being given that the original celebration was a period "outside of the school year, thereby precluding the participation of schools in its celebration".

In 1988, President Corazon Aquino signed Proclamation No. 19, reaffirming the celebration every August 13 to 19.  In 1997, President Fidel V. Ramos extended the celebration from a week to a month by Proclamation 1041 of July 15.

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