When was the last time you’ve heard of proverbs?
We got to admit that these sayings, locally known as salawikain or kasabihan are not something that can easily be inserted into our everyday conversations. Most would find them old-fashioned that most kids nowadays are not aware of it or their meanings. And for someone who appreciates literature and language, it’s a shame to be honest.
That is why, I was very excited to be invited to the book launch of Tahanan Book’s Philippine Proverbs held at Via Mare Oyster Bar in Greenbelt last March 15.
The book’s author, Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz — a children’s book writer, freelance journalist and current Chair of the National Book Development Board, meticulously collected and edited treasured sayings from various Philippines dialects (it took her 5 years, wow!).
The finished product is a compilation of 105 traditional proverbs from Ilocano to Manobo, with English translations coupled with eye-catching illustrations by the very nice Eisen V. Bernardo (who was fascinated with Seven’s name when he signed our copy :D)
I got ahead of myself and immediately scanned the book for the sayings that I’m familiar with. They were all there plus a few that were new to me. Though some were in various dialects, it helps that it has English translations. I think that the accompanying illustrations made it interesting for the kids as well.
My grade-schooler was engrossed with the book at home as well. We had bonding sessions over it where I try to explain to her what the proverbs mean ( relating to situations that she can easily understand).
Her favorites are:
“Kapag may isinuksok, may madudukot” (Save now, withdraw later.)
“Nasa Diyos ang awa, Nasa tao ang gawa” (Mercy resides in God, deeds resides in men)
Some would say that with the era of abbreviations and emojis, our very own salawikain or kasabihan are dead and long forgotten. But with this book, I’d beg to differ. It’s thriving and vibrant, ready to be enjoyed by the younger generation.
Thank you once more to Tahanan Books and Mommy Bloggers Philippines!