PH Consulate General in New York Opens 2024 Paaralan sa Konsulado

PSK participants engage in dance, music, and art lessons under the guidance of their teachers from the Association of Fil-Am Teachers of America (AFTA). (Photos by Sherlyn Roxas)

The Philippine Consulate General in New York, in partnership with the Association of Fil-Am Teachers in America (AFTA), officially opened the 26th Paaralan sa Konsulado (PSK) at the Philippine Center in New York on 06 July.

Held annually, the PSK provides a fun and interactive environment for young Filipinos and Filipino-Americans aged four to 15 to learn about their vibrant cultural roots. Participants can reconnect with and celebrate their Filipino heritage through history and Filipino language lessons, arts and crafts, music, dance, and games.

Deputy Consul General Adrian Elmer Cruz (left photo) and AFTA President Rena Pedaria (right photo) share warm welcome messages with students, parents, and volunteer teachers and assistants. (Photos by Sherlyn Roxas)

In his welcome message at the opening ceremony, Deputy Consul General Adrian Elmer S. Cruz underscored the PSK’s role in providing participants with unforgettable experiences that foster growth, development, and lifelong memories.

Meanwhile, AFTA President Rena O. Pedaria expressed the continued commitment and dedication of AFTA teacher volunteers in developing a meaningful curriculum that preserves core educational values while ensuring lessons are relevant in today’s societal and cultural contexts.

Consul General Senen T. Mangalile delivers an inspiring message to PSK participants before joining them in enjoying the world-famous Jollibee Chickenjoy, a favorite among children, at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center in New York. (Photo by Joselito Archie P. Paz)

A highlight of the opening day was a luncheon with Consul General Senen T. Mangalile, who emphasized the importance of enriching their lives with experiences and knowledge, particularly through the PSK activities, to learn about their Filipino heritage and deepen their sense of identity and pride.

The luncheon was even made special by performances from members of the AFTA’s Fil-Am Youth Stars, who serenaded the attendees with classic Filipino songs and a violin recital.

Zaira Soriano (top left), Ligaya Cullo (top right), and Drexel Pareja (bottom right) captivate the attendees with their beautiful renditions of Filipino classic songs, while Zoya Avanzado (bottom left) delivers a beautiful violin performance during the luncheon. (Photos by Joselito Archie P. Paz)

A total of 56 Filipino youths have registered for this year’s PSK, with more than half being first-time participants. PSK takes place every Saturday and will run throughout the month of July. END

Consul General Mangalile, students, parents, volunteer teachers, and assistants gather for a “2024 Paaralan sa Konsulado class photo.” (Photos by Sherlyn Roxas)