Weaving Cultures is a Tradition that Unites: Blending Philippine & Irish Art & Heritage

Cavan Multicultural Christmas Market & Cavan Enterprise Town Dec 2017

Vanda Brady set up a Filipino Christmas Tree pm 8-10 December 2017 at the Cavan Multicultural Christmas Market featuring Christmas Filipino traditions and decor.  She coordinated this with the Event Organisers of Cavan County Council Peace Project.

On December 8, she also set up a Cavan Filipino Community stall at Cavan Enterprise Town which featured schools, businesses families and local communities in County Cavan.

Re-Imagine 1916 Centenary Celebration in Co. Cavan


On 23 April 2016, ENFiD-Ireland participated in the 1916 Centenary Celebration in Cavan called “Re-Imagine 1916”. We coordinated with Cavan County Council in setting up an exhibition showcasing Philippine crafts and food, presenting 4 folk dances namely Carinosa, Banga, Bulaklakan and Tinikling, and participated in the parade with three Reyna Elena embellished arcs and three groups representing Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Here’s a video of the Filipino folk dance Bulaklakan performed in front of the Cavan Library.





A Survey on Growing Up in Ireland as a Third Culture Kid

As an active volunteer of the Filipino Migrant Community, my role is to help preserve the unity and cooperation among Filipinos in Ireland defend their rights and promote the welfare of all Filipino and Irish-Filipino citizens. I also am tasked to address the pressing issues faced by the first generation allied to the long term challenges of living in a bicultural environment.

To date, there are around 14,000 Filipinos in Ireland in which 40 percent are in the younger population. This reality demands for communal response on family education and formation programmes about Filipino values, faith and culture to ensure a well-balanced integration.

Young migrants are more vulnerable when, in combination with their age and stage of life, they experience isolation, exclusion, discrimination and insecurity.

At the same time, adolescent and youth migrants are generally resourceful, resilient, adaptable to new environments and able to learn and speak new languages. Many have skills and qualifications and are familiar with new technologies. When provided with the right opportunities and resources to connect to their roots and integrate into their current host culture, they will have more self awareness.

Arts based programmes can often overcome some of the language, privacy and lack of confidence barriers of young migrants. 
It is also important to note that migration, in reality, enriches Irish Society through Cultural Diversity.

Blending Irish and Filipino cultural heritage is an enriching experience.  Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical science artifacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations.

I am currently conducting a survey regarding Filipino Third Culture Kids (TCKs) in Ireland.  I am hoping that the answers that 14-25 year old kids will help me learn the struggles and triumphs of TCKs and determine how Art can help make my youth work more inclusive and appealing to Filipino youth migrants.

A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is defined as someone who has spent a considerable portion of his or her childhood in a country other than his or her parents’ countries.  In this case, a Filipino TCK in Ireland is someone who moved from the Philippines to Ireland at some point during his childhood or young adulthood.  Any TCK has a tendency to mix and merge their birth culture with their adopted culture, creating one of their own: a third culture.
TCKs are quite known to be quite “worldly,” having a deeper understanding of different cultures, perspectives and world views, and some find being “rootless” as giving them a sense of freedom.  However, TCKs also struggle with issues of personal and cultural identity, a sense of belonging, and definitions of what “home” is.

Weaving Filipino & Irish Music

Weaving Cultures:  A Tradition that Unites

Listen to Dawn’s rendition of the Visayan lullaby “Ili-Ili, Tulog Anay” (Sleep Little One) in Visayan, English, and Gaelic, and Three Irish Polkas played on a Filipino Bamboo flute by her daughter.

Dawn Zabala-Dickey is an Educator-Singer-Storyteller and Consultant for Steiner Education and mentor for Philippines, Ireland, Vietnam and Singapore. She implemented a wholeyear celebration of Filipino-Irish Festivals with songs and verses in Filipino and Gaelic. A University of the Philippines Singing Ambassador, she leads forest & nature-based Parend & Child Circles where she incorporates the richness of Philippine Folk Songs and Folk Tales. Dawn continues the advocacy on promoting the Filipino culture and support for the new generation of conscious parenting.

Teaching Tagalog or Filipino in an Irish Home


From September 2017, Vanda Brady has been teaching her two children Filipino at her home in Long Meadow View.  She is echoing the topics being taught in their Irish schools.  Here is a record of her lessons at home.

This section is an online resource to encourage parents to teach Filipino or Tagalog at home. Teaching another language to your children provides cultural education that is broader than that of mono-racial children, giving them a more well-rounded sense of the world and have an enhanced sense of self and identity. Here are some useful links:

Learn Tagalog

Multimedia Approach to Learning Tagalog

Abakada – Tagalog Alphabet

Tagalog Toddler Games for Kids

English-Tagalog Bilingual Bible Coloring Book for Filipino Childen

“Si Jepoy Dyip” Storybook Set to Capture the Hearts of Car-loving kids

Samut-Samot: Homemade Worksheets to Learn Tagalog

Filipino Homeschooler

Filipino Books

Filipino Books for Babies (https://www.thelearningbasket.com/2017/05/filipino-booksbabies. html)

Helping Kids Speak Filipino Better 

Raising a Bilingual Child

Philippine Fiestas – A Way to Learn the Filipino Culture

Philippine History for Kids

I am Flippish

10 Filipino Games you can teach your kids

10 Ideas on how to teach your child filipino 

Tips to raise a child to be fluent in Filipino

Mismo! A Filipino Board Game


From the Philippines to Ireland: A Voyage of Discovery


Vanda Brady was the editorial coordinator, Foreword contributor, and national  book launch event director of “From the Philippines to Ireland: A Voyage of Discovery. ” The honest and eye-opening account brings new light on how to tame culture shock through a journey of self-maturation and self-discovery. It reveals what many migrant workers currently experience in the Republic of Ireland, but also highlights the similarities between the Filipino and Irish culture. It is a book to be enjoyed by migrants all over the world as it equips readers with some guidance on what to expect and helps them discover new things about themselves as they explore unfamiliar ground.

Vising Kennedy has an article on the Metro Eireann, the first and only weekly multicultural newspaper in Ireland. She was also interviewed on June 18 by Teresa Quinn in her radio programme called “Bookline” on Liffey Sound 96.4 FM, a community radio station serving Lucan and its Environs.  Here is her live  interview. The book is available on Amazon and Createspace.com.

The Philippine Honorary Consulate Dublin and the European Network of Filipino Diaspora (ENFiD)-Ireland launched the first book of its kind, “From the Philippines to Ireland: A Voyage of Discovery,” at a special Philippine Independence Day Celebration held at Ballsbridge Hotel Dublin on the 2nd of June 2017 from 6 pm.

The book, which is about the life of Filipino immigrant and former journalist Vising Benavidez- Kennedy as she explores her two homes, was officially inaugurated by Philippine Honorary Consul to Ireland, Mark Christopher Congdon.

“May the commemoration of our country’s Declaration of Independence inspire you to build a community . . . that embodies a deep love for their homeland.” This and the Philippine government’s efforts on eliminating crime and drugs are the main points that attendees of the event heard from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s letter.

Philippine Embassy London First Secretary and Consul Mr Voltaire Mauricio delivered a message on behalf of the newly appointed Non-Resident Philippine Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Antonio Lagdameo, a Davaoeño like the President. Honorary Consul Congdon, along with First Secretary and Consul Mauricio, was introduced to Filipino community organisations, who, in return, presented issues and concerns affecting over 13,000 Filipinos in Ireland.

Sancha Magat of Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) spoke of the origins of her group’s work which started mainly with the Filipino community, and drew attention to its campaigns with workers.

Cynthia Barker, the first Filipino to be elected Borough Councillor in the UK and 2016 Recipient of the British Honours Award endorsed by Her Majesty the Queen, attended the event.

Also present was 2017 Emerging Scholar Awardee Diane Nititham who talked about “Making Home in Diasporic Communities”. Based on original ethnographic work conducted in Ireland and the Philippines, the book examines how Filipina diasporans socially and symbolically create a sense of ‘home’.

Carmen Legarda, the first Filipino-origin to run for the Houses of Parliament in England and selected to be the Parliamentary Candidate for the Hendon constituency by the Green Party for the June 8th British Elections was also there.

Performers included world-renowned Filipina-Irish-American vocalist and ENFiD Ambassador of Goodwill Stephanie Reese and the young Filipino winners of the 2012–2016 All-Ireland Irish Dancing.

The event was covered by international media including UNTV and ABS-CBN.  Here is a link to the TV coverage by UNTV.

A Love Story: Jose Rizal & Josephine Bracken

Taken from:  “From the Philippines to Ireland:  A Voyage of Discovery” by Vising Benevidez- Kennedy published in May 2017

About the Author:Vising Benavidez-Kennedy has been living in Ireland for the last 38 years. She is co-founder of the first Filipino-Irish Association in Ireland (1980) which she chaired five times in its lifetime of twenty years. Vising is a journalism graduate from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. She worked with The Manila Chronicle for three years, first as a provincial correspondent and staff member of the provincial section, before being appointed staff writer for the publication’s Saturday Weekly Magazine in 1967. Sadly, the newspaper was shut down by the government shortly after President Marcos declared Martial Law. Vising went to edit The Echo, the house organ of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres, Philippines. Arriving in Ireland in 1977 with her husband Jim, she became a contributing feature writer for the Woman’s Way magazine, a Smurfit publication in Dublin. At the height of the Celtic Tiger years, she edited The Filipino Forum (2004–2012) and wrote a column for Metro Eireann (2006– 2010), the only multicultural newspaper in Ireland. She was an active volunteer at St. Mary’s Church in the parish of Lucan, serving as a member of the Parish Pastoral Council, the Bereavement group, Minister of the Word, Baptismal Group, and Justice and Peace group. She also co-founded the Lucan Gardening Club. Now retired, she lives with her husband Jim in Lucan, Co. Dublin. They have two grown-up children, Patrick and Noriana.

Where and when did Josephine Bracken arrive from Ireland to the Philippines? How did fate bring them together?

It’s a small world! Filipinos have a close affinity with the Irish through an Irishwoman named Josephine Bracken – so much, so that it may now become a mantra for a Filipino diplomat to mention in an Irish state function, “Our diplomatic relationship with Ireland started way back in 1895 when your Josephine met our Jose.” Josephine is the Irish wife of Jose P. Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero and martyr. She is the foreigner alluded to in his immortal poem ‘Mi Ultimo Adios’ (My Last Goodbye), where he wrote: ‘Farewell my sweet foreigner, my darling, my delight.’

Rizal fell in love with Josephine at first sight. Shortly after they met, he articulated his feelings in this poem: The hero meets his Irish love It all happened in Dapitan, a secluded, rural village at the southern tip of Zamboanga, where Jose Rizal was banished to by Spanish colonists in 1892. Rizal was not only a peaceful political reformist; he was a renowned ophthalmologist and doctor who continued his practice of medicine in this far-flung area. He lived a simple, uneventful but fruitful existence that enriched his life and the people whose lives he touched. Until his love, the eighteen-year-old Josephine, arrived in town. The smitten hero couldn’t hide his admiration of the ‘slender, brown hair with blue eyes, dressed in elegant simplicity with an atmosphere of light gaiety. Though she was not highly educated, she was witty, quick, and eager to hear all the things that Rizal had to say.” Josephine Bracken was born in Victoria Barracks in Hongkong on August 9, 1876 to an Irish couple, James Bracken and Elizabeth McBride. Because her mother died after giving birth to her and because her father, being a military man, was always on the move, Josephine was adopted by her American godfather George Edward Taufer and his wife. Taufer worked as an engineer in Hongkong at that time and was widowed when Josephine was a child. Taufer fell ill in his old age from a double cataract that no ophthalmologist in Hongkong could cure.

Having heard of Rizal whose fame as an ophthalmologist had spread in Hong Kong, “Josephine, Who to these shores came, Searching for a home a nest, Like the wandering swallows, If your fate guides you to Shanghai, China, or Japan, Forget not that on these shores a heart beats for you.” Taufer traveled a long way to Dapitan, Philippines where Rizal was exiled by the colonial Spain. She was accompanied by his 18-year-old adopted daughter Josephine. As any good doctor would do, Dr. Rizal gave everything he could to cure his patient. Sadly, however, Taufer’s sickness was incurable; Rizal couldn’t do more for him. But his love for Josephine was immovable. After a whirlwind romance of one month, they agreed to get married. When Mr. Taufer, however, learned about their plan, he flared up in a violent rage. Unable to endure the thought of losing Josephine, he tried to commit suicide by cutting off his throat with a sharp razor. Rizal, however, grabbed Mr Taufer’s wrists and stopped him from killing himself. To avoid further tragedy, Josephine returned to Manila with Mr Taufer by the first available steamer the next day. After 6 months, Josephine returned to Dapitan. Doña Teodora, Rizal’s mother, permitted her son to marry Josephine, but Fr Antonio Obach of Dapitan refused to marry them without a special dispensation from the Bishop of Cebu. Because Rizal was a Mason and Josephine was a Roman Catholic, a dispensation was not given. There was no other alternative but to get into a common-law marriage executed in the presence of two witnesses. They lived together as husband and wife in an octagonal bamboo house that Josephine turned into a love nest – stocking the pantry with pickles and preserves; cooking, washing, and finding food when supplies ran low; and trying desperately to build bridges with Rizal’s family, especially his sisters who heard rumors that Josephine was a woman of the streets and was a singer in a tavern in Hong Kong. In his letter to Trinidad on January 15, 1896, Rizal wrote that “we had no quarrels and we always laugh happily”, but unlike fairy tales that end with ‘and they lived happily ever after,’ Rizal and Josephine’s love affair did not last long. Quarrels came much later, one of which, based from an article in the Philippines Free Press, was violent, leading to her miscarriage.

The same article suggests that Rizal’s days of consolation with Josephine were over and that his request for assignment to Cuba as a medical volunteer was also prompted by his unhappiness with her. On his way to Cuba, however, Rizal was arrested, and after a mock trial, Spanish authorities sentenced him to death. On December 29, 1896, Josephine visited Rizal in his cell where Rizal sadly exclaimed: “Ah! My dear, my time has come to be united to you but to be separated forever.” After which, he begged for forgiveness for the sorrows he had caused her. Minutes before he calmly faced the firing squad, Spanish authorities allowed Rizal to marry Josephine. He gave her a copy of Fr Thomas á Kempis’s with the dedication: “To my dear and unhappy wife, Josephine, December 30th, 1896, Jose Rizal.” She became a widow at twenty. After the revolution, Josephine asked for the mortal remains of Rizal, but she was refused by the Spaniards. She swore to avenge his death by joining Gen Emilio Aguinaldo’s revolutionary movement on January 6, 1897. She once led a charge against the Spaniards and killed one Spanish officer using her own rifle. She participated in many battles, and most of the time, she was hungry and barefooted. Josephine stayed in Cebu where the American colonial government employed her as a public school teacher. One of her students was Sergio Osmeña, who became the Second President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. Afterwards, she returned to Manila, taught at the Lyceum de Manila, and witnessed the Tejeros Convention of the Magdalo and Magdiwang factions of the Katipunan at San Francisco de Malabon in Cavite.

She was then summoned by Governor General Camilo Polavieja, who gave her an ultimatum to leave the country. Frightened because of impending torture, she left De La Imitacion de Cristo yMenosprecio del Mundo Manila for Hong Kong in May 1897. When her foster father died, Josephine was married to Don Vicente Abad of Cebu, who was then working in a tabacalera in Hong Kong, on December 15, 1898. They had one daughter, Dolores Abad, who was born on April 27, 1900, in Hong Kong, and who was married to Don Salvador Mina of Ilocos Sur. When Dolores was one year old, her parents brought her to the Philippines, and they lived with the other Abads in a big house in Calle Magdalena, Tondo, Manila. Afflicted by tuberculosis of the larynx, Josephine wished to die in Hongkong. A certain Father Spada, then Vicar General of Hong Kong, said that he was deeply touched upon seeing her deplorable condition. Father Spada added that the last time he saw Josephine, he was stricken with pity. She was broken down in health and in spirit, and she had lost all her hope and her faith in humanity. Father Spada took Josephine to the Saint Francis Hospital where nuns took good care of her. At the eve of her death, she asked for the Holy Sacrament that Father Spada and another priest administered. She died on March 15, 1902, unaware that a line of her husband’s poem had rendered her immortal: ‘ (Farewell, sweet foreigner, my darling, my delight). Her mortal remains were buried in the Catholic section of the Happy Valley Cemetery in Hong Kong.

In honor of Rizal’s , the City of Manila named a small street, Josefina, (the Filipino equivalent of Josephine) after her. The said street crosses España Street near the Quezon City boundary. Proof of the Irish Connection The Irish connection was uncovered through the joint efforts of Fr. Kevin McHugh and Fr. Martin Murphy, both Columban missionary priests who worked for many years in Adiós, dulce estranjera, mi amiga, mi alegría’ dulce estranjera the Philippines. Both of them had great admiration for our national hero and wanted to prove that his wife Josephine was indeed an Irishwoman. McHugh, for his part, traced the military postings of James Bracken, Josephine’s father. He found out that, indeed, Josephine was born in Hongkong to Irish couple Corporal James and Elizabeth Bracken, and was the last of 4 children. The 3 other children were born in Ireland, Malta, and Gibraltar. On his retirement from military service, James Bracken settled and died in Dublin, although he originally came from Ferbane. Murphy was responsible for tracing the Dublin descendants of Josephine Bracken. Using the Irish telephone directory he sent letters to a selected numbers of James Brackens. His efforts were rewarded when one day in 1997; he received a call from Francis Bracken in Dublin confirming Josephine’s connection with his family. When Fr. Murphy met with Francis Bracken, it was made clear that his great, great grandfather James was the father of Josephine. Murphy then happily filled him in on the love story of his grandaunt Josephine and her husband Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero and martyr.

A planned statue commemorating our national hero and his Irish wife Josephine Bracken was aborted when the Philippine Embassy in Dublin suddenly closed during the recession.

Social Remittances in the Age of Digital Media: Jayson’s Tale of Two Worlds

Vanda Brady gave a talk on Social Remittances in the Age of New Media at the ENFiD-UK Breakfast Meeting in London on December 2016.  She presented the importance of having access to the internet to address social, political and economic issues. As an example, she cited the plight of Jayson Montenegro, an undocumented Filipino in Ireland and how he used his accounts in Twitter and other online facilities to get the attention of all concerned and gain support for his cause and that of others similarly situated.

Digital art is an artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as an essential part of the creative or presentation process.

Migrants bring with them ideas and experiences that shape their encounters with their host societies.  These ideas and experiences strongly influence who and what they are exposed to and interact with in the countries where they settle.  These circumstances then affect the social remittances they send back through various channels, including New Media, or any content available on-demand through the Internet, accessible on any digital device, such as online newspapers, company websites, e-books, and social media.

Jayson Motenegro made history by declaring his illegal status in front of hundreds of people at the United Nations Day for the Eradication of Poverty in Dublin in October 17, 2010. He also put his name on Government Record to the Justice Committee on February 25, 2015 to fight for the legalisation of undocumented migrants in the country. He has since been the founding member of Justice for the Undocumented (JFU) campaign group which the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) established in line with its regularisation proposal for the growing numbers of undocumented persons. JFU now has 1400 undocumented members and is supported by over 40 organisations across civil society and the business sector and is campaigning for the introduction of a regularisation scheme which would allow over 20,000 undocumented migrants – majority of which are Filipinos (33%) – the chance to come forward and regularise their situation. A poll conducted in June 2015 showed that the majority or 67% of the Irish public is in favour of allowing undocumented migrants the right to live and work legally or of providing irregular workers a route back into the system.  Jayson was awarded the Justice Gala Activism Award on November 14, 2015 for his exemplary work as the spokesperson for JFU.

Jayson is an undocumented or irregular worker in Ireland that has committed an administrative infringement rather than a criminal offence. He continues to sacrifice and persevere for the good of his family and his fellow undocumented migrants, who, for many years, long for acceptance and respect from the Irish community. He attended numerous events, vigils, marches, newspaper and radio interviews, and conferences. His remarkable story can be found in 10 company websites, and 5 online newspapers.  He was heard in 2 radio stations, seen in 1 TV network and in countless You Tube videos, tweets, and Facebook pages.  Clearly, he is a perfect portrayal that centuries-old habits of moving abroad for a better life can sometimes be misleading.  That happiness and contentment is what you make of it, whether it be in the Philippines or abroad.  That a Filipino migrant should build on that happiness and contentment by developing the right attitude, behavior and mind-set, because all of these will be reflected to your families and friends back home and your host country, as you share your life to the digital world. Whether or not his wish to be home this Christmas will be granted, he has found his own self-constructed peace as the voice of undocumented migrants, a voice that family and friends can be proud of as they witness his good work anytime, anywhere – with a touch of a button.


Puppets for Peace



Vanda Brady and Dawn Zabala-Dickey have initiated PUPPETS FOR PEACE beginning July 2017 composing and presenting a multi-cultural story. It involves music, stage mounting/tableu/landscape and multi-cultural languages.  Dawn is an Educator-Singer-Storyteller and Consultant for Steiner Education and mentor for Philippines, Ireland, Vietnam and Singapore schools.

At “A Philippine Summer Concert in Malta,” Vanda and Dawn presented a Waldorf puppet show of an adaptation of Filipino folklore “Ibong Adarna” where Vanda read the story while Dawn moved puppets and played the handmade Celtic lyre made by Sam Irwin of Co. Down.  It was well received by Filipinos and other cultures partaking in the event.

Throughout history, storytelling as a highly valued art form and the storyteller was always a welcome guest. Carefully selected tales were used to teach children the rules and values of their culture and to educate them in the mythological and spiritual traditions by which the people lived. Stories were used to mark and remember important events, to honour great achievements, to amuse and to entertain, and to move the people to action” – excerpt from “A Storyteller’s Kit” – researched and compiled by Dawn Zabala-Dickey.

“The Healing Story of The Adarna Bird” is an adaptation of a 17th Century Philippine Epic about an eponymous magical bird and believed to be written by Jose de la Cruz. Its message is very timely for migration issues of today.

The title’s longer form during the Spanish occupation in the Philippines was “Korrido ng Pinagdaanang Buhay ng Tatlong Prinsipeng Magkakapatid na Anak ng Haring Fernando at ng Reyna Valeriana sa Kahariang Berbanya.”  Thus it is timely to be reminded of the representations of the journeys in our lives, the characters solving problems that address our feelings and temperaments, the Willing-Thinking are tested. This type of stories help us incarnate and find our ego to carry on with our missions. As we know folk stories came from people who knew the truth and thus gives us hope learning from the metaphors and the struggles of the people that were finally overcome. Dawn and her husband Alan, both teachers in a pioneer Steiner/Waldorf State School in Ireland wrote it together and did a healing puppet show for St. John’s Festival in Ireland. Apart from the wider community, it was geared for the children and adults of Camphill Mountshannon, one of the many around the world where people with special needs do lots of arts, crafts, biodynamic gardening and live in a community that shares daily tasks, celebrate festivals and live harmoniously despite differences.

Many Filipinos do volunteer work in different Camphill communities around the globe. The second time this was shown to the public was for the Cultural Festival hosted by Irish and Filipino Nurses in Ireland.


Storytelling for ENFiD 2nd Conference, Malta July 31-Aug 3 2015

  1. LYRE PLAYING THEN BELL – Dawn (after emcee’s spiel)
  2. UNVEIL SILK COVER – Dawn & Vanda on each end of the puppetry holding the silk cloth

“The Healing Song of the Adarna Bird”

(an adaptation by Alan & Dawn Dickey)

Once upon a time it happened in the Kingdom of Berbanya. King Fernando was known even beyond his kingdom, (Dawn starts to walk K Fernando and make gestures) and he was well loved by his subjects. He was a very understanding and just king. Half of his heart belonged to Queen Valeriana, (gesture & movements) who, besides her beauty, was also very kind hearted.

King Fernando and Queen Valeriana had three sons. The eldest was Don Pedro // and the middle son was Don Diego //. Both could be naughty and cunning compared to the youngest, Don Juan, // who was adored by the King for his kind nature. For seven years King Fernando taught his three sons the things that a royal prince should know about. He was achieving the dreams and joys of his life and there was nothing more that he could ask for. (pause for 3 sons and the King to be back in place ready for next scene)

But one day there was turmoil in the entire kingdom. In the middle of the night a horrifying nightmare came to the king, and when morning came he could not awaken.  He lay groaning in his bed, suffering a terrible sickness. Now the only cure for this sickness was the magical song of a bird called Adarna. // This bird lived in the mountains of Tabor, nesting on the golden tree of Piedras Platas. It was said that only in the night times could the Adarna bird be sighted there, singing her magical song. After singing, the bird dropped a black feather from its wing, // and if the feather should ever fall on somebody, he or she would turn to stone.

Doctors from far off kingdoms were called upon but none could cure the King’s illness. Then one day the news arrived from the woods where a Wise Woman lived. She was the only one who knew about the cure of the Adarna Bird’s magical song.

So the eldest son, Don Pedro was the first to be assigned the task of traveling to Mount Tabor and capturing the Adarna Bird. Don Pedro brought everything he thought he might need to fulfill his mission for his father, and plenty of food and drink for the journey. On the way he met a leper who begged for something to eat, // but Don Pedro did not want to give him even a morsel of his bread. In the end with much difficulty he reached the Mountain of Tabor. He rested under the golden tree of Piedras Platas and ate his bread until the Adarna bird came at night fall. // But he felt so tired that he couldn’t stay awake when the Adarna sang her song:







After singing, the Adarna Bird’s black feather fell on Don Pedro and he was turned into stone! (pause for the falling feather and positioning the puppet)

Seven years passed and the kingdom was worried. All were disheartened when Don Pedro didn’t return to the palace.

So it was that the second son, Don Diego, was asked next to undertake the journey. Like his elder brother, he brought everything he needed. On the way to Mount Tabor, he too met the leper who asked for a small piece of bread, // but Don Diego didn’t even stop to listen to his begging. He reached Mt. Tabor with much more difficulty than Don Pedro. He felt very thirsty so he drank under the golden tree of Piedras Platas until the Adarna bird came at night. And as it sang, Don Diego was lulled to sleep and thus the Adarna Bird’s black feather fell also on him. // So Don Diego suffered the same fate as Don Pedro, and was turned into stone (pause for setting puppet  )

Another seven years passed and the kingdom was in mourning for the two princes who had never returned from their journeys. And because the king adored his youngest son Don Juan so much, he hesitated to send him on such a dangerous journey. But Don Juan loved his father, and he insisted that he would follow his brothers towards Mt. Tabor and bring back the Adarna Bird and its magical cure.  He departed without even a horse, but with just five loaves of bread, and his unfailing faith in the Lord Almighty.

For seven months Don Juan traveled. One day he met the same old leper who was very hungry. Don Juan pitied him and gave the old man his last piece of bread. // The old man was so happy, he bowed and thanked Don Juan. And not only that: because he felt so grateful, the old man gave Don Juan the directions to the Wise Woman’s house – the only living soul who could help Don Juan capture the Adarna bird.

It didn’t take long for Don Juan to find the house of the Wise Woman. It was as if the wind was directing his path to the one who had much wisdom to share, but only to those who were willing to listen. And instantly the Wise Woman from the woods recognized Don Juan. She gave Don Juan everything he needed to capture the Adarna bird – a piece of golden net, and a small flask of agua bendita. This is the holy water needed to relieve his brothers from the enchantment of the Adarna’s black feathers. The Wise Woman also instructed Don Juan and said: “When the Adarna bird sings, you must wound your arm with a knife and drop some calamansi or lime juice on the wound. The pain will keep you awake, and in this way you will not be turned to stone

as your brothers were.”  Don Juan thanked the Wise Woman and said: “I am indeed very grateful for your help and advice.”  Afterwards Don Juan carried on his journey to Mt. Tabor.     Unlike his brothers he did not experience much difficulty in reaching Mt. Tabor, // and he had enough strength to keep watch until the Adarna Bird nested on the golden tree of Piedras Platas. The Adarna alighted and instantly sang her song.







As the Adarna Bird sang Don Juan remembered the advice of the kind Wise Woman. He took his knife and carefully made a small cut on his arm.  // Into the wound he squeezed some drops of stinging calamansi juice.  The pain ensured that he was able to stay awake and not become enchanted by the Adarna bird’s magical song. And so when the bird’s black feather floated to the ground, // he was able to move out of its way. He waited for a few minutes, and once the Adarna had fallen asleep, he took his golden thread to capture the bird. He also took his agua bendita and sprinkled a few drops of the holy water onto the stones beneath the tree. // In a moment the two stones came back to life, and Don Pedro and Don Diego stood smiling in front of their youngest brother. The two were very thankful, and then the three brothers, with Don Juan carrying the Adarna Bird in his arms, started on their journey back to their father’s kingdom. (pause as Pedro & Diego are walked backed to the Kingdom, then Juan & the Adarna Bird )    Queen Valeriana was very thankful for the return of her sons. They told her all about the challenges they had encountered on their journey. // Then straight away, the Adarna Bird alighted near King Fernando’s sickbed and sang her beautiful song.







King Fernando felt warmth and strength returning to him. //He thanked the Adarna Bird and let it free again to continue its singing and healing for those in need. As for the kingdom, love, peace and joy continued among its people. III. Vanda rings the bell then cover the puppetry table with Dawn. IV Community Singing: DANDANSOY

An adaptation for the Irish audience by Dawn and Alan Dickey from a Philippine lyric poem

First shown for St. John’s Festival at Camphill Mountshannon and Parent & Child Group Open Day, 17th June 2012, Co. Clare and INMO (Irish Nurses and Midwives Org) Culture Fest 24th Aug 2013, Dublin

Modern Oriental Design Home with Traditional Filipino Elements, Nestled Amidst Irish Pastures

Hidden in the back roads of the Cavan countryside and yet only minutes from busy Cavan Town in Ireland, Long Meadow View is an amazing design project and fascinating retreat created and owned by ENFiD Country Representative Vanda Brady and her Irish husband Shane Brady.

It embraces a Boutique Oriental Chic concept that features understated luxury within a modern exotic design. It captures the visual experience of a traditional Filipino home, yet tempered by a well insulated and smart geethermal structure that can brave the harsh Irish weather.

The fundamental design of the interiors was inspired by the Philippine style that blends both Spanish and American influence with the use of 19 capiz shell embellished doors and decor shipped from the Philippines, dark and heavy wood furnishings, spacious living and dining areas, and a high hand- railed timber stairway with elaborate balustrades.

The capiz doors, lamp shades and, dining table set were skillfully handmade by a family-owned Capiz Furniture making company based in SamaI, Bataan. The fundamental design of the interiors was inspired by the Philippine style that blends both Spanish and American influence with the use of 19 capiz shell embellished doors and decor shipped from the Philippines, dark and heavy wood furnishings, spacious living and dining areas, and a high hand railed timber stairway with elaborate balustrades. Instead of crisp white walls or plain magnolia, the mild grey foundation and unanticipated accent walls delight the contemporary eye.

However, care was taken to incorporate local Philippine details such as traditional or native Filipino ornaments including the sungka or the butaka style tumba-tumba or rocking chair, a unique wind chime made of a real carabao horn, and a carved wooden Last Supper. There is also a dedicated learning area for their two children to learn about the Filipino language and culture.

Long Meadow View is a genuine Filipino home ironically set in the Irish countryside, a dream fulfilled in three years by a Filipina who proudly hails from the foothills of the southern most tip of Mindanao.