Hello! smile This is Lara Titan from Manila, Philippines. And I am here as your guide to introduce my exotic and tropical country – the Philippines – to all of you. I hope my articles will help you know Filipinos better. The article that I have for you today dear readers will be a bit different from the usual Filipino and/or Russian-related writeups that I wrote in the past. This time I will go a bit further by discussing Children’s Day which is celebrated in some countries around the world every June 1. In association with it, I will also discuss the importance of language learning to children’s mental development.

It so happens that June 1 is the 7th anniversary of our online school which makes this article even more special for us from 7Mango! I clearly remember that day more than 7 years ago when I was told by my friend Dima who is the founder of 7Mango that he is planning to establish an online English school where the teachers will be from my country and if I will be interested, I could help on the promotion of Philippines to his target market by writing interesting articles about our beloved country since many Russians don’t know much about the Philippines nor about the Filipino people. As writing has always been my passion, I said to myself ‘why not give it a try?’. And as they say, the rest is history! And, so seven years later, here I am still writing for 7Mango. We believe that by teaching the English language to non-native speakers, together we can make a big step towards Global Unity where everyone could speak a common language which is English.


Now let’s go to our topic for today, “International Children’s Day”. Are you familiar with this special day for children? Have you heard of it? According to the website www.officeholidays.com , the origin of this holiday goes back to 1925 when representatives from different countries met in Geneva, Switzerland to convene the first "World Conference for the Wellbeing of Children". After the conference, some dignitaries decided to designate a day as Children's Day in their respective countries to highlight children's issues. As there was no specific date recommended, most countries used whatever date was most relevant to their culture but the overwhelming majority designated June 1 as their official Children’s Day. Furthermore, the website mentioned above stated that the date of June 1st is used by many ex-Soviet countries (ex: Moldova and Uzbekistan) as 'The International Day for Protection of Children'. It was established on 1 June 1950 following the Women's International Democratic Federation's congress in Moscow that took place in 1949.

Although a lot of countries observe Children’s Day, many of them do not consider i.t a public holiday. Moreover, instead of calling it ‘Children’s Day’ they call it ‘Universal Children’s Day’ like in the case of Germany where it is celebrated every November 20 instead of June 1 which was inspired by the establishment of ‘Universal Children’s Day’ by the United Nations in 1954. For the UN’s part, the objective is to promote the welfare of children around the regardless of race, color, sex, religion, and national or social origin, the right to affection, love, understanding, adequate food, medical care, free education, protection against all forms of exploitation and growing in a climate of universal peace and brotherhood. Then, on November 20, 1959, the UN General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York, USA adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and on November 20, 1989, it adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

The Philippines, my country, was the 21st signatory of the UNCRC convention. And, at the national level, the UNCRC was ratified by the Philippine Senate on July 20, 1990. Since 1990, Universal Children’s Day also marks the anniversary date of the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the declaration and the convention on children’s rights. It is important to note that the pandemic (which we are still experiencing right now) posed a challenge to environments where children thrive and this affected the rights of the children to survive, develop, be protected, and participate safely and fully. It is, therefore, the responsibility of governments and policymakers that children in their respective countries be looked after, especially in these trying times.


 You might already have the idea of how it is celebrated in your country but perhaps not in the Philippines. How do Filipino people generally view children or youth? What is the general attitude towards them? In the Philippines, we see the youth as the ‘hope of our future’ as this was once said by our national hero Jose Rizal during colonial times. To this day, his teachings about the youth are still reflected in our values: according to my research, the Philippines started to recognize Children’s Day inspired by that of the United Nations in 1967 when the government passed a decree under Proclamation No.265. The first Monday of October every year was Universal Children’s Day in the Philippines until its date was changed in 1992 to October 17 by the Philippine Commission on Women. Under Proclamation No.74 ‘National Children’s Day' became the term used in our country for Children’s Day. And again, last 2015, it was changed to ‘National Children’s Month’ which takes place every November under Republic Act No. 10661. In support of Jose Rizal’s view on the importance of youth in our society and the future of a country, Naida Pasion the Chief Business Development Officer of Save the Children Philippines said ‘’Children should not be perceived as passive recipients of care and protection, or beneficiaries of policy decisions, more importantly, they are agents of change”.

In my opinion, what makes the promotion of Children’s Day unique in my country is that other than the promotion of children’s overall wellbeing, youth patriotism/ nationalism is also and their role in ‘nation-building’ is also recognized specifically by being involved in public and civic affairs. Although we had these recognition days back then and now recognition month, we do not consider it a public holiday unlike in other countries. This goes to say that it is not a very big event for us like Christmas Day or Independence Day. And, in my case, to be honest, I don’t remember hearing about this day for children before. We never celebrated it in our school. Although most probably, this has been mentioned in media several times without me noticing it or has been celebrated in some public museums or public libraries, which to my regret, were not one of my favorite places to visit as a kid. But now as an adult, I like visiting such places whenever I have time. Commonly, International Non-Governmental Organizations like Save the Children, Virlanie Foundation, and local NGOs such as Stairway Foundation Inc. organize events for children like storytelling, tours at the public museums or libraries for kids in partnership with the government but at the family or school level, it is not as much as celebrated for example like in Russia. Most of our public holidays revolve around religion and commemorating important periods in our history such as the battle for independence or democracy.


While in Russia, like in other countries of the former Eastern bloc, Children’s Day is celebrated on a larger scale compared to the Philippines. In Russia, Children's Day is celebrated on 1 June. It was established as a holiday in 1949. Across the country, different children’s festivals and events take place on this day. The main goal is to attract public attention to the problems commonly experienced by children such as child abuse and to gather funds to help sick or homeless children. In the media, there are usually more child-oriented TV programs aired during this day compared to other days of the year. Within families, Russian children traditionally receive very special attention from their families on June 1st, including gifts, visiting the zoo or a cafe, and taking an interesting walking tour. Shopping malls and entertainment centers provide a lot of events for Children’s Day.

In the capital Moscow, ‘the day will be celebrated with all kinds of games, tours, readings, quests, and classes at the city’s museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions. Theaters and concert halls have special events for children, and the zoo is allowing visitors to help feed the pandas’ (Source: The Moscow Times). While in other parts of Russia the focus is on local culture. For instance, ‘in Yoshkar-Ola children aged 7-12 with high scores in the Mari language, history and culture will be front in center in a program held in Mari. While children in Tula can watch “The Samovar Tale,” a version of a story by Kornei Chukovsky about Mukha-Tsokotukh, told by his Majesty Samovar Samovarych. The performance will be shown outdoors — naturally — in the Tula Kremlin, with an online broadcast to all municipalities of the region’ (Source: The Moscow Times). 

Other events held during Children’s Day that are unique in Russia that caught my attention are the Milk Festival (because I loved milk as a child!) in which some Russian cities like Sochi and Kaliningrad, free ice creams are given for free during that day to local children. The other one that I find interesting is the annual awarding to parents and foster parents of the award ‘Parent Glory’ by the Russian president if they are raising 8 or more children and if they were able to be a good example to them.

As mentioned earlier, Russia was the first country to keep pace with the WIDF (Women International Democratic Federation)’s resolution on International Children’s Day. Before June 1 officially arrives, schools in Russia organize events for their students to participate like indigenous dances, cultural programs, etc. where teachers could participate if they wish to so they can show their support, love, and affection to their students on June 1. Russians believe that the children of today will make the Russia of tomorrow. I agree with it and also because this is similar to what we believe in my country regarding the importance of children in our society: that children are the hope of the future so we must value and care for them. That being said, parents have a big responsibility because the fate of a country can also depend on how they raised their children.

And, how about you? What are your memories as a child when Children’s Day is being celebrated in your country? What is the event you were always looking forward to? laughing 

Celebrating Children’s Day with parents, teachers, and maybe friends for older children not only recognizes the fact that children should be always taken care of since they are the future of our world but it also promotes the importance of developing children’s potential be it in sports, arts, academics, etc. for them to be successful later in their adult life. For us, in 7Mango we also share that belief. We aim to contribute to the development of children’s language skills. By teaching English which is the international language, we can help them integrate into the world community. Isn’t that a very noble mission? What do you think? laughing And, what’s more, by having a common language, communication between countries will be easier and faster thus contributing to more peace in the world as there will be fewer possibilities for conflicts or wars.


Concerning language learning, there is a big debate whether it is better to start learning one while you are young or it does not matter whatever age you start because at the end of the day, what matters the most is your motivation. As indicated on the website leadwithlaguages.org , research shows that learning a second language boosts problem-solving, critical thinking, and listening skills, in addition to improving memory, concentration, and the ability to multitask. Children proficient in other languages also show signs of enhanced creativity and mental flexibility. If it is said that one is never too young to learn a foreign/ second language, we can also say that one is never too old to learn one: Based on the research done by Bria Communities, the benefits of learning for seniors or old people extend to using retirement in a smartly and productively, an emotional boost to one’s self-esteem, improved mental health and brain activity and lastly, chances to meet like-minded language learners. It is also important to highlight that learning a foreign language for seniors can mitigate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. We at 7Mango welcome all learners of all ages! And as usual, the first meeting is a free trial, so it’s on us!

Luckily for online language schools like us, the first lockdown that took place in many countries last 2020 due to Covid-19 increased the demand for online language courses primarily because people can do it in the comfort of their own homes and basically, a lot of people back then didn’t have anything to do at home unless they work from home. Other physical language schools that I know had to adapt to the ‘new normal’ which means they need to go online to teach their students during the pandemic. On a personal level, I had a lot of time to study for my French to combat the boredom and anxiety caused by being locked at home. That being said, I had some acquaintances, both former teachers, and friends who were more than happy to assist me if I have questions during my review. I think during that time I learned some new information, especially in grammar that I did not know before or I have completely forgotten. Talk about being productive amidst the pandemic! :P


About the question why study English of all the foreign languages? As you might know by now, English is the most widely spoken language. It is the official language of more than 50 countries around the world which counts for around 400 million people according to www.eurocentres.com. While in terms of the number of native speakers Chinese Mandarin and Spanish beat English, most people in the world however choose to learn English after their native language. One in five people on the planet speaks or understands at least a little bit of English. Therefore, this makes English one of the most useful languages. Another important reason why you should learn English is that a lot of multinational companies around the world use English as their working language. From IT to Tourism in the industry, and from Natural to Technological Sciences in Doctorate studies, English has always been the language used in these fields. So, if you would like to expand your career and/ or work abroad, learning English is the key obtain these goals!

And lastly, without a doubt, English has been the language mostly used in international media. Most of the content on the internet is written in English. Many of the world’s biggest news outlets, including TV (ex: CNN & BBC), newspapers (ex: The Guardian, New York Times), magazines (ex: Vogue, Marie Claire), and radio (ex: BBC World Service), are produced in English. And, lastly, for sure, most people around the world know at least one Hollywood film or two, or an English series on Netflix for instance. Won’t it be better if you watch them without subtitles? The same goes with pop music and other forms of popular culture, there will always be something that is made using the English language. And you may also ask, what are the benefits or advantages of learning English with a Filipino teacher? Some important facts could be found here in this link. Moreover, to explain them in further detail, one of our teachers, Teacher May specially made this video for you our dear readers, students/clients, and potential clients!

In conclusion, although celebrating Children’s Day differs in various parts of the world, most countries unite in the belief that the children are the future of a country such as what we have seen in Russia and the Philippines. Therefore, it is the role of the different units of society from governments down to families to ensure that children are being taken care of and that all of their needs are being addressed for them to be responsible and professional individuals in the future who could contribute to the betterment of the world that we live in.

© Lara Titan for 7mango. Manila, Philippines
 (Writer's punctuation, spelling and style of the original are kept)

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