5th grade students of School Without Walls at Francis Stevens handover their token of appreciation to Deputy Chief of Mission Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon, Jr.. It is a handmade parol (or Filipino ornamental lantern typically set up during the Christmas season) with the students’ individual thumbprints on the front face.



17 MAY 2023

Embassy Press and Information Section

WASHINGTON D.C.Sentro Rizal of the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. welcomed the 5th grade class of Ms. Teressa West from the School Without Walls at Francis-Stevens for a Capstone Presentation on 17 May 2023 to conclude their successful partnership for the Embassy Adoption Program (EAP) for the School Year 2022-2023. The culminating event featured Filipino snacks and a surprise class karaoke session by the students.

The class prepared three presentations for this capstone event. They opened the program by singing the Philippine National Anthem, then went on to stage their  performance based on the Filipino fable Ang Unggoy at ang Pagong  (The Monkey and the Turtle). The program ended with a class karaoke session, singing the song “We don’t Talk About Bruno” from Encanto. The presentations reflected the students’ appreciation and enjoyment of Filipino culture, which is timely because May 2023  is National Heritage Month (Philippines) and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Month (United States).

On behalf of the Embassy, Deputy Chief of Mission Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon, Jr. received a special handmade parol gifted by the 5th grade students, which symbolizes their learnings throughout the sessions. The students also shared their insights on their favorite facts about the Philippines.

During the past three sessions, Sentro Rizal DC introduced to the 5th grade students Philippine geography, culture, traditions, language, and history. The students were able to learn how to make parol or Filipino Christmas lanterns and how to write their names in Baybayin or Filipino ancient script. More information on previous sessions found in the previous press releases found below.

For the final session, Sentro Rizal DC highlighted Filipino cuisine, dining etiquette, and Filipino family values shared through food. The students enjoyed some Filipino snacks like the famous Filipino peach mango pie, which was complemented by calamansi juice and pork chicharon sponsored by Mr. Al Alpapara of 2A Marketing. 

The EAP is a partnership program of the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and Washington Performing Arts that exposes the students to international perspectives and cross-cultural lessons through direct interactions with embassies and other global entities. It is usually composed of at least 3 class sessions and a capstone presentation to showcase what the students have learned through the program. 

The Philippine Embassy and Sentro Rizal DC are a constant and active embassy partner of the EAP and look forward to participating in the program next school year. 

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5th grade students of School Without Walls at Francis Stevens passionately sings the Philippine National Anthem
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Public Diplomacy section head Mark Dominic Lim introduces Filipino kitchen essentials to the students, and shows how Filipinos eat with a spoon and fork instead of the American dining style using a knife and fork set.