Our students and supporters say it best…

“My two kids have been involved with the Filipino School of New York and New Jersey for about 2 years now and I am so happy to have found this school for them. As a Filipino American who is deeply proud of her heritage, I feel it is so important for my kids to learn about their ancestry and culture. Having been born here myself, I know that you can easily lose sight of where you are from. I was lucky to have a family that was deeply rooted in the Filipino culture and so I was able to see firsthand the beauty and depth of my heritage. My kids are only half Filipino and I feel that I must work doubly hard for them to really learn about their culture. This school gives them this opportunity in a fun and interactive way. They are excited to bring home all that they’ve learned whether it be new words, songs or dances. And it makes my parents equally excited! I wish that I had a Filipino School such as this growing up and I know it will only contribute to my kids feeling proud about being Filipino and give them a deeper understanding into their family and themselves. I only hope that the school continues to grow and that the Filipino community in the Tri-State area supports these educational efforts as it will only help our children grow to be more confident while also build a stronger Filipino community here in NYC.”

— Kathy S., parent

“Why is it important for you to learn the Filipino language and/or culture? I had a wonderful experience as a volunteer for The Filipino School of New York & New Jersey this past spring semester. It was important for me to participate in the Fil School because it provided a great opportunity to support Philippine arts and culture locally. Because these subjects are not taught in the standard curriculum, it is important to have an alternative community space where Filipino language, geography, and arts are taught and actively encouraged, especially for young children. How have you benefited from The Filipino School of New York & New Jersey? As a volunteer, I was not only able to practice my Tagalog and dancing with the children, but I was also able to meet and make friends with the wonderful teaching artists and parents from all over the NY/NJ metropolitan area. These connections have enriched my community experience and have expanded my appreciation of Filipino arts and culture in the place where I live.”

— One of our volunteers

“Since I am only a quarter Filipino I grew up with minimal teachings of my Filipino heritage. Granted both my Lolo and Lola grew up in the Philippines as children only my Lolo was 100% Filipino. I pride myself on my multi ethnic heritage and I want my children to know their ethnic background and feel the same pride. We have already benefited from the school by meeting new Filipino families and learning some Filipino culinary. We look forward to learning more about the culture and the language.”

— Anonymous

“When I first registered to take Conversational Tagalog at the Filipino School of New York & New Jersey, I didn’t realize at the time, how significant that decision would be. Through each session, I gained a greater understanding of who I am and am now more empowered to express myself in the language from which my family is rooted from. I feel a deeper connection to my family, my culture, and the Philippines. I have also grown bolder and more confident to speak Tagalog even though the learning process continues for me. Taking Conversational Tagalog has provided me with an opportunity to not only learn the language, but to take an inspiring and fulfilling personal journey of discovering where I fit in our cultural and historical legacy.”

— Edgar M., student of our Adult Conversational Filipino Program, Levels 1 and 2

“It’s important for me to be able to relate to my relatives in the Philippines. And it means something to them that I try to speak Tagalog to them. I’m currently taking Tagalog 2 with Bing and it’s nice to see what I’ve learned so far and what I knew already.”

— Marissa A., student of our Adult Conversational Filipino Program, Levels 1 and 2

“I grew up feeling Filipina, Irish, and American simultaneously. I have always embraced my Filipino side wholeheartedly, but I feel a disconnect when cannot speak with my relatives. After my last visit to the Philippines, I promised myself that I would learn the language. Although my mother speaks Tagalog, it’s easy to rely on English as our primary language of communication. The Filipino School gave me the chance to create a foundation by learning the necessary words for basic conversation. Now when my mom and I practice, I actually understand what she’s saying! It’s encouraging and I hope all Filipino-Americans and non-Filipinos alike can take this opportunity to learn this language in a fun, welcoming environment. Now, as I pursue my degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Education, I feel more motivated to learn as I hope to spend my summers in the Philippines traveling and teaching English. I hope the ability to speak the national language will make my experience more meaningful and deepen my roots in this rich culture.”

— Stephanie R., student of our Adult Conversational Filipino Program, Level 1

“Pagkatapos ng 5 week course, pumunta ako sa Pilipinas para maging titser!

I was born and raised in the U.S. and did not grow up knowing Tagalog. It has now been a year living in the Philippines and I am still learning a lot from my students and mentees, but I am glad a had foundation when I arrived!”

— Leslie E., student of our Adult Conversational Filipino Program, Level 1

“I’m so grateful that The Filipino School exists! As a Fil-Am who left the Philippines when I was only four years old, I’ve always bemoaned the fact that I lost fluency in my native tongue once I assimilated to American life. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to re-learn those language skills in a fun, low-key, judgment-free environment led by the excellent instructor Bing Magtoto. So much of a country’s culture can inform its language, so I feel that I’m also getting a deeper glimpse into the cultural history of the Philippines as I learn more about the language. It has deepened my pride and interest in being a Filipina. Also, as a writer, having fluency in multiple languages only adds to my writer’s toolbox of skills! I’m looking forward to continuing my studies with The Filipino School, and hope it stays open for years to come!”

— Kristine R., student of our Adult Conversational Filipino Program, Level 1

Other feedback regarding our instructors and programs…

“I like Bing! She’s a great teacher and explains things very well!”

“I love the fact that there is a course at all, much more that it has excellent participation and content.”

“Content is very relevant and we are engaged.”

“Enjoyed the class and how much participation was required!”

“Found it to be very helpful in understanding the basics of Tagalog grammar.”

“She made it a relaxed environment, east to participate!

“Very friendly, relaxed atmosphere for learning.”

“Bing is able to encourage participation and includes historical and cultural lessons when appropriate to help us understand what we are learning.”

“I don’t know what to say – it was a great course and I feel much more of a learned beginner than true beginner.”

“Managed the class well and made profound cultural notes – Bing obviously has a deep knowledge of Tagalog and linguistics.”

“Enjoyed the activities. They were effective and engaging. They were also interesting which kept the energy of the class up. This course was everything I wanted and expected which was something to help me start to speak and express myself in the Philippine language. Thank you!”