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By: Melissa, Pam, and others

Hi! My name is Melissa. I'm eleven and going on fifth grade. I have two older sisters, a mom and a dad. I live in a small country called the Philippines, which is in Asia. I am called a Filipina (Fee-lee-pee-nah), because I am a girl and I live there. A boy living there is called a Filipino (Fee-lee-pee-no). The Philippines is made up of three groups of islands: Luzon (Loo-zohn), Visayas (Vee-sah-yahs), and Mindanao (Mean-dah-now). Luzon is the biggest, while Visayas is the smallest.
We speak Tagalog (Tah-gah-lohg), which is the language used all over the Philippines, but there are also other languages used. Ilocano (Ee-loh-kah-no), which is used in Visayas and Mindanao, is an example. The Philippines has many problems, like poverty, traffic and pollution. Many of the poor people are children, and they live on the street. The Philippines have many places of interest, like Boracay (Boh-rah-cay), which is famous for its white sand. There is also the Rice Terraces, and Palawan, which is where an endangered species called the pawikan (pah-wee-kahn) lives. A pawikan is a giant turtle. Luzon is famous for many things, like Visayas and Mindanao.
My country may be poor, but it is beautiful.

Hello. My name is Pam. I used to be Filipino, but now I live in the U.S. and I'm an American citizen. I used to live in the Philippines, but I moved to the U.S. when I was 9. I'm 13 now. I can say that the Philippines is a really great country and that other people shouldn't criticize Filipinos. Filipinos are really nice people. Filipinos are known for being hospitable to people, especially to foreigners. We welcome everybody into our country. The Philippines is a poor country, but it is very rich when it comes to natural resources. The Philippines is an archipelago, which means that it consists of a group of islands, so it has a lot of beaches. It is located right next to the Pacific Ocean, so we get a lot of typhoons (hurricanes). Some people even call the Philippines the doorway for typhoons, because usually we get the strong typhoons before other countries in Asia do. I was always used to rain when I was little. I didn't realize that not all countries get rain non-stop for 1 and a half weeks until I went to America. It was really funny because I can barely remember having to cover my ears at night when I was little because of all the noise the rain makes. There are only 2 seasons in the Philippines. The sunny (summer) season is from March to May and the rainy season the rest of the months. The Philippines is a tropical country, so the temperature gets as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit. We don't have winter so we NEVER get cold.
School in the Philippines is way easier than how it is in America. Children go to school from June to March. They go to school from 1st to 6th grade then they go to high school for four years. They don't go to middle school. Almost all children (that are not poor nor rich) go to private schools. Private schools in the Philippines are not necessarily Catholic schools. They simply are private. Usually poor children go to public schools. Now public schools are a different thing. The Philippine government doesn't exert that much effort to give Filipino children a better education, so the public schools are like really low-class.
The best and the last thing I'm gonna write about is the food. Filipinos are rice-eaters. They eat rice at breakfast, lunch and dinner. We eat rice with things we call ulam (oo-lam). This ulam basically consists of meat, vegetables and sauce or soup, sometimes without one or two. My favorite ulam is called Sinigang (see-nee-gang). It's meat mixed in the soup that has a sour flavor. Some people may think it's disgusting because of the way I described it, but I just can't find the right words to describe it. Also, we eat with a spoon and fork.

Marlene sent this in: The Philippines is in Asia. I'm a Filipina because i'm a girl. The Philippines is great except the roads are bad and poor childern live on the streets. You should really visit that place. They speak tagalog. This is my culture by the way. It is easier than Spanish.

Estrellita sent this in: Arab and Indian traders and missionaries introduced Islam to the southern Philippines. Sometime in 1380 an Arabian judge, Mahdum, landed in Sulu preaching the teachings of Muhammad. In 1390, Raja Baginda, a ruler from Sumatra, and Abu Bakar, a trader, established the first Muslim Sultanate kingdom of Sulu.

Hi my name is Shareen. I am eleven years old. Phillippines is a great country. It is a good place for a holiday. Even though it's a poor country, Phillippines has great nature and is a great place to live. There are lots of beautiful places to go. The thing is that it's very hot. Very hot? Go swimming! There's a lot of places to go swimming. It's like they're everywhere! There are also lots of fun places to go. There is lots of things in Manila, (the capital of Phillippines). Need more to know? Read books about it or go to the Internet and find about Phillippines. Well it's just too much to say cause there's a lot of things to say about Phillippines, especially history. Here, I will tell you some of the words we speak, (Tagalog).

Kaibigan = Friend
Paalam = Bye
Magandang Umaga = Good Morning
Magandang Hapon = Good Afternoon

Hi, my name is Roberta. I am 21 years old. I am an American and I am married to a Filipino. I was in the Philippines for five weeks last year. I learned a lot about the Philippines. Many of the people are very poor. They do not have a lot like I have had in my life, but they are the richest people I have ever seen. When I say this it is because their family does not break up and all of them stay together forever. All the family pulls together to help each other out. The children do not have a lot but most of them have what they need and that is love.

My name is Reigine. I'm 10 years old and I'm going to be 11 this year - 2006! I have a brother and a mom and dad. I used to live in Philippines but now I'm in the United States. My dad is American and my brother, my mom, and I are from Philippines. Philippines is a nice place and a poor place. I see children on the street. Philippines is the greatest place I've ever been. I want to go back to the Philippines where I belong! Philippines has many places. It is hot there, very hot. I like the weather in Philippines. I speak a language called Visaya. It's a Visayan language from Visayas.

Hey, my name is Jeremy. I am a Filipino-Australian. In the Philippines there are many different ethnic groups. My family, (well my mum), is a Cebuano (seb-wah-no), who live in Bohol. Cebu, Mindanao and parts of Negros, the Tagalog (tahg- ah- log), live in western Luzon. The Ilonggo (ee- long goh) live on Negros, the Illokano (e- loh- car-noh) live in northern Luzon, and the Bikolano live on the thin shaped part of western Luzon, but this is only a few because there are over 160 ethnic groups in the Philippines. In 1946 the Philippines, (Republika ng Pilipinas), became independent from the U.S.A. Here are some Cebuano words:

Maayong Gabii (mah ah yong gah bee e) = Good Afternoon
Unsa? (oon sah?) = What?
Dili (dee lee) = No

Hi. My name is Dania and I'm 20 years old. I am currently residing in California. I was born in Manila, Philippines. I have 1 brother and 1 sister who both don't know how to speak Tagalog. Right now I am teaching them how to speak it little by little like:

Panget ka = you're ugly
Ang ganda ko = I am pretty
Baho = stink
Mahal kita = I love you

(My sister says "are you expensive?") She learned it from my mom, because every time they were in a store my mom always said "Mahal yan," which means "That's expensive." lol

Lolo= grandpa
Lola= grandma

If ever I am given a chance to rebirth again, I will still choose to be a Filipino. I am proud to be Pinay.

Kumusta! That's hello in Tagalog. My name is Rafael and I am American, but my mom, dad, my 2 grandmas and my grandpa were all born in the Philippines. Mt. Pinatubo is a volcano in Luzon, the largest region of the Philippines. It erupted in June of 1991. The population of the Philippines is about 8 million people. The Philippines has a lot of problems like storms, traffic and I think poverty. The poorest people are children. A hurricane that is in Asia is called a typhoon. Usually they hit the Philippines. My school name is Rafael, but my neighborhood and family call me Grendon. The Philippines may be poor, but it is related to Jesus, God and all of the other things that are in the kingdom of God. Bye!

Hi. My name is Keana. I'm 11 and from the Philippines. I'm proud to be a Filipina! I'm from Lagawe, Ifugao, half an hour away from the Banaue Rice Terraces. These terraces were created by the skillful hands of my forefathers, depicting the hardworking values of our land. People from all over the world visit this beautiful land and become awed by its wondrous and magnificent nature.

Here are some words of ours:

maganda = beautiful
kumusta = how are you?
babae (ba-ba-eh) = girl
lalake (la-la keh) = boy

Here are some places to go if you visit the Philippines:

Boracay = Boracay is one of the famous places. It has white sand and lots of coconut trees.

The Rice Terraces = The Rice Terraces are the most interesting place to go.

Hi, my name is Mikaela. I'm 10 years old and live in the Philippines. I was born in Rosario. My republic is so dirty and super hot. That's why I always get wet outside. When I go somewhere I always see some poor children in the corner of the street who want money and food. There's lot's of people outside their homes. Their most favorite boxer is Pac-Man. Even though my republic is so messy and dirty, I love it.

I'll give some Tagalog words:

kamusta = how are you
papel = paper
pogi = handsome

Hello! My name is Ghenica. I'm 11 and I used to live in the Philippines, but I live in America now. I was born in Saudi Arabia and moved to the Philippines when I was about 4 or 5. I moved to America because my mom found a job here.

It's been such a long time away from my country that I hardly remember what it's like! I went to Aklan and lived with my lola (grandmother) and my dad. We took a boat trip to Manila to visit my cousins. The weather is pretty humid and especially hot in the summer! I can remember that we used to have many acres of rice fields that we grew. I also remember the festivals they have in Kalibo and Aklan in the roads.

I'm deeply infatuated with nature. I wish I could aid the poor and needy children and help the plants grow there. Where I live now, the Philippine people may be poor and the plants dying, but I love my country. I hope I can go back and help those needy people! That's all I've got to say for now. Salamat!