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Cartoon Network’s Craig of the Creek Featured Visayan Lola and Filipino Tradition

Seeing a Filipino character on Western media speaking in our languages, especially if it's not the normal Tagalog, might be refreshing among a sea of opinions putting Filipino-dubbed cartoons under the bus.

If you haven't heard, a clip from the Emmy-nominated Cartoon Network series "Craig of the Creek" has been sweeping the internet thanks to the discovery of Twitter user @Gra pple. This comedic show about adventure and growing up has been airing since 2018, and it follows Craig, a 10-year-old protagonist, and his friends Kelsey and JP as they explore the "kid-dominated wilderness" around their neighborhood's creek.

Craig is dragged by the neighborhood in this scenario “Sewer Queen” Eileen is going to visit her grandmother at her home. Eileen informs Craig, peeping from the kitchen, “I’m gonna introduce you to my Lola. She only speaks Bisaya.”

Eileen, a Filipino-American, teaches Craig the traditional greeting before approaching, “mano po”—young people's respectful treatment of the elderly, complete with small gestures “I don’t always understand exactly what she’s saying, but I do know whenever we say ‘hi’ to her, we gotta do ‘the bless,’” she says.

The grandma is seen engrossed in what appears to be a TV drama before chatting to the children. She blurts out, peeling ponkan on her side, “Ah maayo ra na sila sa sunod na salida.” (Ah, they’ll be fine in the next episode.)

When Eileen approaches her lola, she quickly does "the bless," prompting Craig to do the same when the hand is extended. The grandma, who says the famous line in Filipino family gatherings, is charmed by this gesture. “Oy kagwapo, imo ning boyprend?” (Ah, he’s handsome, is he your boyfriend?)

Many people on the internet were moved by Eileen's reaction, Lola's eccentricities, and the true depiction of Filipino culture crammed into a short movie.

You'll note the manner they cooked rice ("saing" in Tagalog) and the local delicacies offered for dinner, such as tortang talong (eggplant omelet) and sinigang na isda (fish stew),

If you watch the entire program. They also recounted how Eileen's older female sibling was referred to as "ate" and how Lola gently chastised her for still wearing headphones at the dinner table. No gadgets while eating in this household, please.

In truth, "Craig of the Creek's" creative crew is diverse. “I love working on ‘Craig of the Creek’ for its dedication to representation, its funny storytelling, and the sweet and earnest meanings behind so many of its episodes. Most of all, the amazing crew is what inspires me most about the show,” says Tiffany Ford, a Filipino-American voice actress, writer, and storyboard artist for the series. Her Filipino heritage can be traced back to her grandparents, who lived in Cebu.

If TV shows want to make all kids feel like they belong, the first step is to give minorities a good place in the story. Even adults, after all, seek solace in cartoons.


About the Writers

Maina Zaina, Writer and a Virtual Assistant at AVCreativity Studio. She enjoys media entertainment and is an avid fan of "K-Wave". She loves her job because she is exposed to different types of entertainment. She also believes in the saying "If you want to be successful, don't seek success - seek competence, empowerment; do nothing short of the best that you can do" by Jaggi Vasudev

Pamela Elizabeth, Editor-in-Chief at AVCreativity Studio. Earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Secondary Education Major in English. She loves going on little adventures alongside reading good books. She is enthusiastic about her work and ensures that her clients receive the finest service possible

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