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Young Filipino students produce bilingual books in Cambodia

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The books titled “We Are Amazing,” “We Are Beautiful” and “We Are Blessed” were published with funding support from the Department of Foreign Affairs. Edd Gumban/The Philippine Star

Filipino children in Cambodia have taken part in a translation project that produced three original bilingual children’s books that will be distributed in Sentro Rizal branches worldwide.

According to The Philippine Star, the books titled “We Are Amazing,” “We Are Beautiful” and “We Are Blessed” were published with funding support from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The children, aged eight to 15 years, were former students of the Filipino language class at the Sentro Rizal in Phnom Penh.

They were involved in the translation to Filipino of stories originally written in English by Jean Alingod-Guittap.

The DFA said the books are aimed at stirring children’s vision of themselves as gifted with wit, charm, ability and resources.

“We set out to help our children better appreciate their identity and culture with this project, but what it taught me personally is just how rich our culture is and how our children, despite being far from our country, carry it with them,” Guittap said in a statement.

“For instance, grit. Though admittedly our children translators had a hard time pronouncing and remembering some words, they persisted. When their families did the translation with them, one word kept coming up as they described the experience: fun. As people, that is what we are known for. Love for reading is another,” she added.

The books were illustrated by her daughter Willow, who was a student of the first language class organized by the Sentro Rizal in Phnom Penh in 2015 and the illustrators’ workshop it held in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 2016.

Guittap noted the children’s commitment to share what they learned and give back.

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