Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bonding Moments Through Books and Reading Part 1 of 2

Tito and Mel Isada on their wedding day.
Mommy Mel Isada is based in the US. She and her husband, Tito, are raising a young reader, their son Matthew. Mel lends us this interview sharing her experience of living in the US but remaining a Filipino at heart. What's more, she tells us why reading is an important part of Matthew's development. Matthew has started preschool and Mel provides him with books they both love to read.

Why invest on books?

I know books can help my son to love reading at an early age and continue the love for it and live with it as part of his daily life. Reading books also is a bonding moment for me and Matthew! It is here where I can see him relate to the real world and find his way to create his own world. 

Describe the challenges of a Filipino family living in the US, particularly, your role as mother to Matthew.
As a first time mom in a foreign country, every day is a BIG challenge to face. It needs a lot of mother's love to be able to always put my best foot forward to make my son give the best in him and use it the right way with a touch of Filipino way. It is very fulfilling to see his milestones which includes the use of PO and OPO and kissing of the hand to elders. It is a wonderful feeling that Matthew relates his experiences in his country of origin as he talks in Tagalog like telling his kalesa ride, the tricycle, jeepney and the kaskaserong (fast and rowdy) bus! It is always fun when he sings in the house. 

Pusong Pinoy pa rin!
Ask him to sing a song and he will give you songs from TFC (The Filipino Channel) teleseryes. We never miss to eat Filipino foods. Matthew loves paksiw, adobo, pansit. I read him stories and one of his favorites is the book entitled My Daddy, My One and Only by a Filipino author, Zarah Gagatiga. He would bring it in the car as we go to school for me to read it to him. I read both the English and then the Tagalog version. By the way, if you happen to bring him at Seafood City (Filipino Store) at the veggies section, he can tell you the different veggies while singing Bahay Kubo (in tune). 

It's not a piece of cake raising a kid in US but I'm ready to give it all with the support of my loving husband, Tito. It is very important to us, as parents, to inculcate in Matthew's young mind and heart, until he lives on his own, that he is a Filipino. 

What are Matthew's favorite books?
I started reading to him Thomas and his Friends. Thomas (the train) is his first favorite character. I also read Curious George (series). Jack and the Beanstalk, Peter Pan and The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Lately, after our vacation from the Philippines, I started reading My Daddy, My One and Only and Ang Barumbadong Bus.

Part 2 of this post is Matthew's interview on the books he loves to read! 

Tito, Mel and Matthew on vacation in the Philippines.


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