Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Education: Rizal’s Supreme Aspiration

I came across this article and it was beautifully written by Jon E. Royeca.

Education: Rizal’s Supreme Aspiration

Jose Rizal valued learning so much that the education of Filipinos emerged from being one of the dreams of his youth to become his supreme aspiration during his adulthood.
In 1876, when he was a 15-year-old student at the Ateneo Municipal of Manila, he wrote the poem Por la educación recibe lustre la Patria (Education Gives Luster to the Motherland), which affirmed that education was an instrument that “inspires an enchanting virtue and puts the country in the lofty seat of endless glory” and that whoever procured it may rise until the height of honor � (Rizal’s Poems, Centennial Edition, Manila: Jose Rizal National Centennial Commission, 1962, pp. 12, 13). Since he was only a teen-ager, his keen desires for his motherland’s education had always been in his mind.

His first novel, the Noli Me Tangere (Berlin, 1887) sought radical changes in the country’s educational system, such as new curricula that would suit the people’s needs; more schools, books, and instructional equipment; better teaching methods; and good teachers and good benefits to them. It sought the teaching of both local and Spanish languages in order that pupils would understand what were being taught to them. It also asked the removal of the lash as the severe punishment to students who could not memorize and recite a whole catechism book in Spanish (without even understanding a single word of it).

On March 31, 1890, while in Brussels, he told in a letter to his Austrian friend Ferdinand Blumentritt:� “Yes, I believe that the time is approaching when I can return to the Philippines. Then, when I am already there, you will come with your whole family and you will live with me. I have a large library. I shall order a little house built on a hill. Then I shall devote myself to the sciences, I shall read and write history, I shall establish a school, and if you can stand the climate, you will be its director. Then we shall rest and devote our strength to the education of the people, which is my supreme aspiration � (The Rizal-Blumentritt Correspondence, Centennial Edition, Part 1, Manila: Jose Rizal National Centennial Commission, 1961, pp. 343-344).
By that time, Rizal was already a matured 28-year-old young professional. His views on education had ripened too. It was now his supreme aspiration.

He knew where he would begin the education of the people. It would be in his hometown of Calamba, which had hills, plains, streams, and forests, and which was facing Laguna Lake. Its calm environment was very conducive to learning. The large library was their family library, which had more than 1,000 volumes of books, aside from scholarly journals and periodicals.

His writings revealed that his aspiration would:

1. Awaken and prepare the mind of the child for every good and desirable ideas -� love for honor, sincere and firm character, clear mind, clean conduct, noble action, love for one’s fellowman, and respect for God (Jose Rizal, Political and Historical Writings, Centennial Edition, Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964, p. 60).

2. Teach love of country because “of all loves, it is the greatest, the most heroic, and the most disinterested � (Rizal’s Prose, Centennial Edition, Manila: Jose Rizal National Centennial Commission, 1962, p. 18).

3. Study history because “to foretell the destiny of a nation, it is necessary to open the book that tells of her past� (Political and Historical Writings, p. 130)

4. Stir studies similar to the nosce te ipsum (know thyself) that gives the true concepts of one’s self and drives nations to do great things � (The Rizal-Blumentritt Correspondence, Part 1, pp. 71-72).

5. And seek virtues that distinguish and adorn free peoples (ibid., p. 298).
While staying in Hong Kong in December 1891, he wanted to start a portion of his aspiration by building a school.

In a paper titled Colegio Moderno (Modern College), Rizal described how his school would look like. That school was an institution that would form and educate young men of good family and means in accordance with the demands of modern times and circumstances � (Miscellaneous Writings of Dr. Jose Rizal, National Heroes Commission Edition, Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964, pp. 141-144).
It would be composed of competent officials, efficient teachers, and carefully screened pupils. The curriculum was rigid; discipline was to be strictly imposed; and every month, the parents or guardians would be informed about their children’s studies, attitude, progress, and health (ibid., p. 144).

The subjects to be taught were morals, religion, hygiene, natural and civil laws, mathematics, physics, chemistry, geography, natural history, political economy, world and Philippine history, logic, Spanish rhetoric and poetics, and Spanish, English, French, German, Chinese, and Tagalog languages. There would be sports like gymnastics, fencing, equitation, and swimming. Music, drawing, and dancing would also be taught (ibid., p. 141).

That boarding school was for primary and secondary students like his alma mater, the Ateneo (Rizal’s Correspondence with Fellow Reformists, Centennial Edition, Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1963, p. 521).

In it, Rizal would not run a prejudiced education because he would not allow his school to have Spanish priests as teachers who bellowed at their Filipino students, lectured them with blasphemies against the Filipino race, and used inadequate techniques of instruction. He would make it a melting pot of knowledge and expertise.

However, things were not to turn in his favor. In early 1891, the Spanish Dominican priests in Calamba expelled from their lands and homes the Rizal family and other residents of that town, subjecting many of them to poverty and starvation (Letters Between Rizal and Family Members, Centennial Edition, Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964, pp. 323-324).

Rizal returned to the country on June 26, 1892. But the Spanish authorities arrested him about two weeks later and deported him to Zamboanga del Norte. He failed to implement his supreme aspiration, but through his writings, he hoped that his countrymen would fulfill it.

That aspiration was a system that would build the self-esteem of the Filipino, uplift him from miserable conditions, give him decency, help him become worthy of freedom and civility, and prepare him to earn a living as a patriotic, enlightened, and productive citizen. It would assure him to triumph sweetly and rise until the height of honor.�

Rizal’s supreme aspiration was an educational system that would propel the Filipino people to attain their deserved liberties, material development, and greatness in the “lofty seat of endless glory.�”

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Filipino, Anyone?

THE FILIPINO is not himself but someone else. His name shows it. Filipino means a subject of the Castilian despot Philip II (Felipe II in Spanish). But the Filipino ceased to be such subject more than a century ago, didn't he?

Shakespeare (What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet") notwithstanding, names matter. Spaniards are called Spaniards because they're Spaniards; Americans, Americans because they're Americans; Japanese, Japanese because they're Japanese.

If we Pinoys (the corruption of Filipino) can abide being named after the head of our first colonizer, Spain, why don't we also add the names of Washington, the first American president, and Japanese Emperor Hirohito? Why only Philip II?

Adding those two names would be more ridiculous, of course. More, because the name Filipino is ridiculous enough. It's not in keeping with our being an independent nation, and it just doesn't make sense that we continue to call ourselves by the name of a colonizer. Besides, the word Filipino now means, according to one racist dictionary, not just a Philippine native but also" a domestic helper."

This new meaning cropped up because, sad to say, the Philippines has long become the world's biggest exporter of DHs and other so-called OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers), now numbering some 8 million and increasing by the day along with permanent ' immigrants to America, Canada, Australia and other rich countries. And while the OFWs contribute a lot to the Philippine economy with their dollar remittances (they've been hailed as modern-day heroes), their working abroad for comparatively much lower salaries, and wages, under harsh conditions, doesn't speak well of .the Philippines. This is probably one reason why Filipinos are sometimes, if not often" looked down upon in foreign countries.

There have been suggestions to change the country's name ala Ceylon, which is now Sri Lanka. One of them is Maharlika, but this, in one's opinion, is presumptuous. On the other hand, we can't call ourselves by some other self-deprecating name.

One's name is his identity.

Will someone then please move to change Filipino with an appropriate name?

From here, we must move on to revise READ MORE

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

GMA's 2009 State of the Nation Address Speech

The past twelve months have been a year for the history books. Financial meltdown in the West spread throughout the world. Tens of millions lost their jobs; billions across the globe have been hurt—the poor always harder than the rich. No one was spared.It has affected us already. But the story of the Philippines in 2008 is that the country weathered a succession of global crises in fuel, in food, then in finance and finally, economy in a global recession, never losing focus and with economic fundamentals intact.

A few days ago, Moody’s upgraded our credit rating, citing the resilience of our economy. The state of our nation is a strong economy.
Good news for our people, bad news for our critics.

I did not become President to be popular. To work, to lead, to protect and preserve our country, our people, that is why I became President. When my father left the Presidency, we were second to Japan. I want our Republic to be ready for the first world in 20 years. READ MORE

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

2009 State of the Nation Address (SONA)

Live 2009 SONA video streaming. Watch it here.
Links below:

1. 2009 SONA video stream 1
2. 2009 SONA video stream 2
3. 2009 SONA video stream 3
4. 2009 SONA video stream 4
5. 2009 SONA video stream 5

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Boiling Frog Formula

The incoming Philippine elections in May 2010 led to the merger of the two dominant political parties in the country namely the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Partner of the Free Filipino, abbreviated KAMPI), it is the mother party of the incumbent Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Lakas-CMD (Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats), popularly known as Lakas, the current ruling political party in the Philippines founded by former President Fidel V. Ramos.

Political analysts believed that the merger of these two administration parties is a strategic move by Malacanang in pushing for Charter Change which many believed will further lead to the term extension of the current Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Some say that Malacanang is using the “boiling frog formula” in pushing for charter change. It is known that if you put a live frog into boiling water it will leap-out immediately to escape the hot water. This is a basic survival instinct of frogs (as well as other animals) when they are in danger or when there is sudden movement/change in their immediate environment. But if you put a live frog inside a kettle filled ... READ MORE

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nation of Servants

I know every Filipinos here and abroad have already read the discriminative post of Chip Tsao entitled "The War At Home". It is so sad that Pinoys are once again belittled by other nationals especially by fellow Asians.

Millions of Pinoys spent thousands and thousands of pesos just to send their children to school. Parents even sold their most prized properties just to send their children to college. They have sacrificed so much for their children's sake of earning a college degree. But at the end of the day, after more than four years of school work, of years spent studying English, Physics, Algebra, Biology, Computer and other academic subjects, most of them will end up working as maids or slaves in Hong Kong or UK. Sad, but their dollar earnings are more than enough to pave away their degrading plight abroad. They would rather set aside their "pride" and "reputation" than to work in a respectable Philippine job but end up with an empty stomach.

This is a harsh reality that we have to face. We are indeed a nation of slaves because we are slaves to poor economic and social systems in our country. We are slaves because we are allowing our county's economic and social managers to be lousy with their jobs. We are slaves because we actually voted these corrupt officials and allowed them to rule our lives. I was very angry with the words of Chip Tsao, but some of his statements are correct. Indeed, there are 130,000 Filipina maids working in Hong Kong, it is also true that they are earning a cheap monthly labor of $ 3,580 as compared with other workers in Hong Kong. With regard to his Filipina domestic assistant named Louisa, a degree holder on International Politics, there are millions like her who have respectful degrees in medicine, education, and science who are working as slaves for other Asians. Yes, it is a shameful dilemma, but what can we do? We can always file a diplomatic complaint or shout on the streets to protest other countries that mortify our fellow countrymen abroad, but how sure are we that it will change the impression of other nationals towards our OFWs? I am not saying that Chip Tsao is right. Just like you, I am against his style of stating facts with sarcasm. But we must also look at the facts. Yes, the truth always hurts. This is why we are all hurting.

The War At Home
March 27th, 2009
Written by Chip Tsao

The Russians sank a Hong Kong freighter last month, killing the seven Chinese seamen on board. We can live with that—Lenin and Stalin were once the ideological mentors of all Chinese people. The Japanese planted a flag on Diàoyú Island. That’s no big problem—we Hong Kong Chinese love Japanese cartoons, Hello Kitty, and shopping in Shinjuku, let alone our round-the-clock obsession with karaoke.

But hold on—even the Filipinos? Manila has just claimed sovereignty over the scattered rocks in the South China Sea called the Spratly Islands, complete with a blatant threat from its congress to send gunboats to the South China Sea to defend the islands from China if necessary. This is beyond reproach. The reason: there are more than 130,000 Filipina maids working as $3,580-a-month cheap labor in Hong Kong. As a nation of servants, you don’t flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter.

As a patriotic Chinese man, the news has made my blood boil. I summoned Louisa, my domestic assistant who holds a degree in international politics from the University of Manila, hung a map on the wall, and gave her a harsh lecture. I sternly warned her that if she wants her wages increased next year, she had better tell every one of her compatriots in Statue Square on Sunday that the entirety of the Spratly Islands belongs to China.

Grimly, I told her that if war breaks out between the Philippines and China, I would have to end her employment and send her straight home, because I would not risk the crime of treason for sponsoring an enemy of the state by paying her to wash my toilet and clean my windows 16 hours a day. With that money, she would pay taxes to her government, and they would fund a navy to invade our motherland and deeply hurt my feelings.

Oh yes. The government of the Philippines would certainly be wrong if they think we Chinese are prepared to swallow their insult and sit back and lose a Falkland Islands War in the Far East. They may have Barack Obama and the hawkish American military behind them, but we have a hostage in each of our homes in the Mid-Levels or higher. Some of my friends told me they have already declared a state of emergency at home. Their maids have been made to shout “China, Madam/Sir” loudly whenever they hear the word “Spratly.” They say the indoctrination is working as wonderfully as when we used to shout, “Long live Chairman Mao!” at the sight of a portrait of our Great Leader during the Cultural Revolution. I’m not sure if that’s going a bit too far, at least for the time being.

Chip Tsao is a best-selling author and columnist. A former reporter for the BBC, his columns have also appeared in Apple Daily, Next Magazine and CUP Magazine, among others.

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