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Cool online classes you can take this summer

By Kara Santos Published Apr 09, 2021 4:29 pm

Looking to pick up a useful skill or learn something new this summer? There are varous online platforms where you can sign up for classes and workshops, including a few where you can channel your Pinoy Pride creatively.

Suyomano is a new digital learning platform offering interesting courses such as Baybayin and Filipino Martial Arts. The online platform aims to connect Filipinos all over the world so that they may explore, discover, and experience the beauty, diversity and richness of Filipino culture. 

Local touring and experiential company Wander Manila is also offering a few online learning initiatives designed for Pinoy kids this summer 2021. 

Adults with broader interests can also find a wide ange of free open-access courses at websites like edX, (which stands for "massive open online courses"), and Coursera including classes that can help broaden your perspective on pop culture topics and niche topics of geek interest.

Here’s a roundup of just a few interesting classes you can take from the comfort and safety of your home.

Baybayin 101

Reconnect with your Pinoy roots and learn a forgotten writing system through Dr. Catherine Luib's Ancient Filipino Indigenous Script Series (Baybayin for Beginners Level) on Suyomano.

Baybayin is a pre-colonial Philippine writing system. Ancient and indigenous, it is an alphasyllabary member of the family of Brahmic scripts and is one of the many suyat scripts in the Philippines. It is recorded as being in use in the 16th century and continued to be used up until the late 19th century, when it became superseded by the latin alphabet during the Spanish colonization. 

Nowadays, Baybayin has made a comeback through tattoos, art, many fashion items and is being seen more and more in the everyday cultural pride of Filipinos worldwide. Online classes start on April 18, 2021.

Filipino Martial Arts

Learn the basic principles of Filipino Martial Arts (Kali-Arnis-Escrima), the official national sport of the Phlippines, online through this offering on Suyomano. The sport of FMA has been featured in blockbuster Hollywood films such as Taken, Hanna, the James Bond series, the Bourne series, Fast & Furious, and most recently, in Disney film Raya and the Last Dragon

In this class you will learn, propagate, and preserve the Filipino Martial Arts as you discover the purpose, history, and heart of this treasured art with decorated martial arts expert, Guro Ryan “Bagani” Cordero. 

With the recent spike of hate crimes in the US, they are offering a free trial for the Filipino Martial Arts Self-Defense class to help empower and support the Asian community wherever they are in the world on April 9, 2021. Regular weekly classes start on April 10, 2021 onwards. Classes can be taken per session or in an eight-week course. 

Kiddie Summer Classes: Pinas 101 and Pinoy 101 

With touring operations grounded, Wander Manila, a local touring and experiential company, is now offering online touring and online learning initiatives including a couple of Kiddie Summer Classes for 2021. 

PINAS 101 is a 10-session summer workshop on Philippine History. From pre-colonial Philippines, the Spanish Era, the American Era, the Japanese occupation, up to the modern era.

PINOY 101 is a 10-session crash course on Philippine Culture. Aimed for Filipino kids living outside the country, the course aims to answer the question “What makes us Pinoy?” Both courses are best for kids 7 up to 12 and will be offered this Summer 2021 according to their website.


Did watchingThe Queen's Gambit on Netflix inspire you to learn how to play chess in real life? has an entire lesson series online on how to play, from the most basic of basics to advanced strategies. You can also play online against someone of your own level or against a computer vs. customizable training bots in their online platform. You can tackle which lessons you want to take on your own time.

The Rise of Superheroes and their Impact on Pop Culture

For comic-book geeks or anyone interested in learning more about the Superhero genre, there's a cool free course being offered by the Smithsonian via edx that will give you a new perspective on your favorite superheroes, including Superman, The Avengers, The Hulk, and others. Here, you'll learn about the history of the superhero, its political importance throughout the 20th century, how it has impacted moral and ethical codes around the globe, and more. The online course will take roughly six to 12 hours to complete.

The Music of the Beatles

Get an in-depth look at one of the most influential bands of all time. In this course being offered by the University of Rochester via Coursera, you'll learn all about the music of The Beatles and the band's musical development, how they pioneered new recording techniques, their role in the music industry, and of course, how they made an impact on our culture. The course follows their trajectory from their early days in England to their success in America and around the world. This class is perfect for those who want to learn more about a band they already know and love, and for those who are interested in the inner workings of the music business. It'll take about 19 hours to complete, which you can do in your own time.

Disney Imagineering in a Box

Have you ever wondered what it takes to build an actual amuseument park? You can learn how to be an imagineer, the people responsible for the creation, design, and construction of Disney theme parks through the "Imagineering in a Box" program.

Offered through the Khan Academy, this unique class compiles the expertise of Disney Imagineers from hundreds of career disciplines to share with learners of all ages.

The course comprises 32 videos from Imagineers with interactive activities to give you the opportunity to dream and design a theme park experience. The class will let you go behind the scenes with Disney Imagineers and complete project-based exercises to design a theme park of your very own.

The online class is designed to pull back the curtain to show you how artists, designers and engineers work together to create theme parks. Lessons are divided into two hour chunks of 32 modules, which you can watch anytime.

(Images via Suyomano & Edx)