‘No classes until December’ shows black-and-white thinking


Since the Covid-19 pandemic and a nearly nationwide extended lockdown hit the Philippines, I’ve been repeatedly noticing a deep malaise of black-and-white, dogmatically rigid thinking, not just among the country’s elite ruling class but also among its middle classes and working masses–including quite a few among the enlightened progressives. More about this black-and-white thinking later, but for now, let me just focus on the “no classes until December” proposal or variants thereof–as if keeping the youth away from schools would automatically reduce the risks of getting infected with the Covid-19 virus.

Continue reading “‘No classes until December’ shows black-and-white thinking”

The motto that didn’t make sense

it doesn't make sense

When I was a Grade 4 newbie at the Kamuning Elementary School (having transferred from the neighborhood annex near K-D or what is now Erestain St.), I was a highly focused student who observed all goings-on, obeyed all my teachers, followed all the drills and assignments, and mostly kept to myself except for a handful of co-nerds (or were we co-dorks?) like Raymond Co and Goldwyn Azul.

But as the school year wore on, I gained more confidence, indulged my curiosity, and began to show my incipient rule-breaking tendencies. One early object of this curiosity was the Chi Rho sign that some of the girls in class always wrote on top of the test papers, quizzes, and theme papers that they passed. Continue reading “The motto that didn’t make sense”

Parang ganito yan teh.

hanging bridge
Ganito yan teh. Ang mga Pilipino, parang taumbaryo. Ang edukasyon, parang tulay. E paano nga, kung marupok ang tulay? (Photo is from an Indonesian rural area, not a Filipino one: http://www.tt5.com/misc/indonesia-school-boys-photos.html But I've been around, and I saw similar scenes in many upland barrios.)

Hindi mo pa rin ba ma-gets yung nangyari kay Kristel? Feeling mo ba e nagpupuyos ka sa galit dahil may isang batang Iska na kumitil ng sariling buhay, pero di mo alam kung sino ang dapat sisihin? Umabot ka ba sa puntong si Kristel na mismo ang sinisi mo dahil sinukuan niya ang buhay? O wala ka bang naramdaman man lang na galit, kundi naawa lang saglit at nagkibit-balikat na lang?

Me gusto akong sabihin sa iyo.

Parang ganito yan Bok. Brad. Pards. Pre. Tol. Tsong. Mads. (Teka, ano ba uso ngayon…) Ok. Teh. Parang ganito yan teh. Continue reading “Parang ganito yan teh.”