A new Filipino-Canadian author has released some children’s books to help kids learn basic Tagalog words and phrases while touching on Filipino culture. Carlos Cabaneros, an educational assistant and child & youth worker, talks about his new venture and what makes his book, "My Everyday Tagalog Words," easy to read.
According to Cabaneros, aside from working with children & youth, he also loves writing. "The first thing I wanted to do was actually sell & create lunchboxes for kids. But then I liked writing (too), that’s my passion and I love working with the youth, so from there I just connected that. So I just started writing and creating my own children’s books. Very colourful. It’s easy for kids to read. It also has a pronunciation (guide) as well added to it and there are example sentence," said Cabaneros.
After promoting his book on TikTok, Cabaneros was surprised at the attention it received and the high demand for hardcover and paperback over digital copies.
"It was the first video that I posted and I didn’t know that it would capture a lot of attention on TikTok and comments were coming from everywhere around the world. It really showed me that, wow, this is needed, this is something that’s missing. I haven’t really gotten a lot of digital sales. Ratio would be 10 to 1. Ten paperbacks and one digital. It’s very surprising," he explained.
The Fil-Canadian author further shared that he did not find Filipino children’s authors while growing up so he wants to fill that gap for the Filipino kids in North America and around the world. "It’s only Robert Munsch and Dr. Seuss that kids, especially in North America. My main goal is to fill in that gap so kids don’t forget their roots and they always remember where they come from."
Cabaneros has just published his second picture book this September called "Learning Tagalog Phrases With Ate and Kuya," and will soon be adding backpacks, lunchboxes and other school supplies to his 'Kids of Today' merchandise.