On May 17, 2011, Ms. Mailin Locsin (second from left in photo at left), Head of School of Beacon Academy in Biñan, Laguna, posted this comment:
Beacon Academy is a secondary school in Biñan, Laguna. As part of a community and service project, we initiated the creation of early readers by our students. These little books are written in Filipino and then translated into various Filipino languages. We have made them available online so that schools that need early literacy books can download them and print them. We also ask teachers to translate them into their various mother tongues. We will continue uploading titles and translations as they come in. Access the site at
Best way to get in is:
a. Go to Beacon Academy Mail – mail.beaconacademy.ph
b. Username – guest
c. Password – beaconacademy
d. Go to “SITES”
e. Click EARLY READERS
[I recommend you use this link, https://sites.google.com/a/beaconacademy.ph/earlyreaders/story-database, username=guest, password=beaconacademy.]
The material is intended for early readers, most probably those getting into kindergarten. (Let’s hope that Senate Bill No. 2700, which prescribes the child’s mother tongue as medium of instruction for pre-school/kindergarten, gets enacted soon.)
Now, about the “early reader” materials developed by Beacon Academy: I find the quality of the materials lacking the intellectual rigor that’s needed to challenge our early readers. Aside from that, the materials appear to have been developed in haste as there are a few misspellings, e.g., “Wheee” ingon pa ni Deigo in the Cebuano translation of “Ang Paglalakbay ni Diego”, or “Magandang gabi,”
sabi niya s alimango and Lumangoy si Diego hangang makarating sa baybaying-dagat in the Filipino version. [Deigo, s, and hangang are misspelled.]. Well, well, the Ilocano version of Lila (username=guest, password=beaconacademy) is a complete comedy of errors, to wit:
Filipino: Si Lila ay masaya. Sabi ng nanay niya, magkakaroon na siya ng bunsong kapatid.
Ilocano: Syak Lila naragsak. Kuna ni inang na adda to buridak nan. [English: I, Lila, am happy. Mother says she’ll have her last born.]
Suggested Ilocano translation: Naragsak ni Lila. Imbaga ni nanangna a maaddaanton daytoy iti adi na. [English: Lila is happy. Her mother told her she’d have a younger sibling.]
Filipino: Si Lila ay masaya. Ang ganda-ganda ng itlog na kapatid niya!
Ilocano: Syak Lila naragsak. Napintas ti itlog dyay kabsat na! [English: I, Lila, am happy. Her sibling’s egg is beautiful.]
Suggested Ilocano translation: Naragsak ni Lila. Nakapinpintas ti itlog a kabsatna! [English: Lila is happy. The egg that’s her sibling-to-be is so beautiful.]
[NOTE: “Her sibling’s egg” and the “egg that’s her sibling-to-be” are two different characters.]
Filipino: Si Lila ay masaya. Naiisip niya kung anong saya ang paglipad kasama ang kapatid niya.
Ilocano: Syak Lila naragsak. Napanunot na naragsak nga agtayab kadwana dtay kabsat na. [English: I, Lila, am happy. She thought she’d be happy to fly with her sibling.]
Suggested Ilocano translation: Naragsak ni Lila. Immapay iti arapaapna no kasano a kinaragsak ti tumayab a kaduana ti kabsatna. [English: Lila is happy. She thought how happy she’d be to fly with her sibling.]
Filipino: Ayan na, lumabas na ang kapatid niya! Dino ang pangalan niya.
Ilocano: Addatan, rim mwar dyay kabsat na. Dino ti nagan na. [English: There it is, her sibling came out (was born). Dino is its name.]
Suggested Ilocano translation: Addaytan, naipasngayen ti kabsatna. Dino ti nagan na. [English: There it is, her sibling was born. Dino is its name.]
Filipino: Pero may mali. Bakit ganyan ang pakpak niya?
Ilocano: Ngom saan nga, agpay so apay takastati payak na? [English: But it’s not true. Why are its wings like that?]
Suggested Ilocano translation: Ngem adda di umno. Apay kasta ti payakna? [But there’s something wrong. Why are its wings like that?]
Filipino: Si Lila ay malungkot. Paano sila lilipad nang magkasama?
Ilocano: Syak Lila naliday. Kasatno nga agtayab nga adda kadwana? [English: I, Lila, am sad. How to fly together?]
Suggested Ilocano translation: Naliday ni Lila. Kasano danto a tumayab nga agkadua? [English: Lila is sad. How are they going to fly together?]
Filipino: Aha! May naisip si Lila!
Ilocano: Aha! Adda napanunot ni Lila! [English: Aha! Lila thought of something!]
Suggested Ilocano translation: Aha! Adda napanunot ni Lila! (Here, the Ilocano translation is correct.) [English: Aha! Lila thought of something!]
Filipino: Nakakalipad na silang magkasama!
Ilocano: Ngtayab da nga agkadwa! [English: They flew together!]
Suggested Ilocano translation: Makatayab da nga agkadua. [English: They can fly together!]
If Aling Mila, who translated the Filipino version of Lila into Ilocano, were to visit Ilocandia, I’m not sure if she’d be tarred and feathered but she would certainly be charged with sedition because her translation, if made public, would incite Ilocanos to rebel against the authorities!
Quite frankly, there’s a world of references and examples on how to develop similar educational material. For instance, click on the letter “K” and browse for “K-12”, “kid” or “kindergarten apps” under the “Education” category of the App Store of the iTunes section of Apple’s website, and voilà you find so many apps for the iPhone, iPad, podcasts and podcast episodes — some of them for free. Of course, there’s also a wealth of android kindergarten apps. The following is an excellent example of an app from Disney:
Since a lot of the apps have samples/demos and are accompanied with individual instructions on how they function for the young learner, I would suppose those who are serious about developing the little books for our early readers (for environments where the smartphones, tablets, laptops or PCs are not in use yet) — especially for MLE use — could not afford to overlook these digital learning models already being used. If we can avoid wasting time and resources on reinventing the wheel, by all means let’s do so and we should be closer to being ready when Senate Bill No. 2700 becomes law or when DepEd Order No. 74 s.2009 gets implemented.