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Produced by Beverly Reid; directed by Randy Woolgar

Window Seat Films, 1991. VHS cassette, 18:00 min., $299.00
Distributed by T.H.A. Media Distributors Ltd., 1100 Homer St., Vancouver, B.C. V6B 2X6

Grades 4 to 6/Ages 9 to 11
Reviewed by C.L. Ross.

Volume 19 Number 5
1991 October

This video opens with scenes of a young Canadian girl named Megan describing for us her pen pal Priscilla, who lives in the Philippines. We see typical scenes of Megan's life in Canada and are witness to her sitting down to write Priscilla a letter, in which she wonders what a typical day is like in the Philippines. More particularly, Megan wonders what a typical day is like for Priscilla, on the street where she lives. The scene then shifts to the Philippines, where Priscilla takes up the narrative and tells us all about where and how she lives. The time span covers a day in her life and takes us from the home where she lives with twenty-three other homeless kids to her school and eventu­ally to her playground in the streets.

I particularly liked the "day in the life" format. It is an effective way to present the myriad aspects of urban street life in the Philippines. The concept is well developed and the contrast between the two countries is done in such a way as to spark the interest of a grade 4 to 6 audience. The content and vocabulary are appropriate for this age group and I thought the technical quality of both the soundtrack and visuals was good. I especially liked the music. The tune is catchy and really enhances what is happening on the screen.

There is nothing new here. However, what is here would provide excellent supplemental material for a social studies unit on the Philippines. The video provides some marvellous opportunities to focus on areas that most North American kids never think about. For example, when was the last time you heard a Canadian student say that it was a privilege to be able to attend school for a whole day and on a regular basis?


C.L. Ross, Okanagan Regional Library, Kelowna, B.C.
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