Silverio Aquino, a pinoy old timer reminisces about the past Philippine presidents, "life under them was good" he says. Check out his article Shattered hope from the Inquirer.
"I have lived through the administrations of Quezon, Osmeña, Roxas, Quirino, Magsaysay, Garcia and Macapagal, and life under them was good. I was a boy during Quezon's time and I know little of Osmeña's rule, but I know they were good and dedicated leaders. During the administrations of Roxas through Macapagal, I got an education, got married, had children and educated them in turn. The government under them was also good.". Mr. Aquino waxes nostalgic on the previous leaderships of the Philippines.
Silverio's four kids and his wife has already been sucked by the Brain Drain afflicting our country. At the end of his write-up, he laments, "
"When my last two remaining children leave because this country is hopeless, my family would be completely shattered and, if I would still be alive, my hope in the government will also be completely lost. This would be tragic for me. I have seen better governance from the likes of Laurel, Recto, and Magsaysay, and I will never see the light of hope in this hopeless country. "
Why I Have Hope for the Philippines
by Franco Varona
A Fraternity Brod sent me an email with an intro that goes, "As long as we’re discussing the country’s plight, might as well forward this to you guys (both the frustrated and the hopefuls)...Here’s a copy of some hopeful individual’s reply to the young Korean’s essay on the Philippines. Candy Varona (Filipino-Canadian) wrote:"
Please indulge me while I share with a lot of love and pride my son Franco’s unedited, straight-from-the heart essay which he wrote to me in response to a forwarded email of a Korean student’s essay on the Philippines. At times like this when our country is facing another crisis and we start to despair, it warms my heart that our youth have not given up on the Philippines. Frankie and I are so very proud of our Franco!
Hi mom, I read that forwarded email about that essay written by the Korean student and while I do agree with many of the points he brings up, it also kind of upset me that his viewpoints were being read and seemingly accepted by many Pinoys. So, I’ve decided to write you a little essay of my own with a little bit of a different point of view.
Why I Have Hope for the Philippines
I lived in the Philippines for a grand total of two and half years after growing up in Vancouver for a majority of my life. I finished off high school in Manila, then went on to college there for one sem. I left Manila in the beginning of 1999 for Syracuse, but something happened to me during my short stint in Manila- I began referring to it as “home”. My brief stay in the Philippines had affected me so deeply that I have subsequently geared the rest of my life towards helping the country out. I took up International Relations, with a concentration in Foreign Policy, War and Conflict Resolution- because I believed that a deep knowledge of all three of those aforementioned subjects CAN and WILL help the Philippines eventually. Before living in the Philippines, my motives were selfish and self-serving- I wanted to be a lawyer to make money, or be a journalist so I could, in my own way, shape the world throug! h my words. But living there and getting to know the country intimately helped me develop a love for the country that can only be compared to the love I have for my family. Now, I have every intention of using that degree to its fullest potential in any way I can for the country. Even though my birthplace is Canada and I spent my informative years in the USA, the Philippines has somehow found its way to my mind and my heart. And I say ‘my mind’ because I see the Philippines as a challenge, not as a sinking ship. And I believe there is a whole generation of young Pinoys that feel the same way as me.
The Korean essay was right in some ways- sometimes I meet up with second generation Filipino-Americans and they simply do not care. They don’t identify with the Philippines and perceive it to be a dirty, corrupt society. Although initially annoyed when I speak to these types of people, I eventually realize that it’s not their fault- they have lived in a developed nation all their lives and know no better. I myself used t! o be like that before moving back. But you know what the Korean essay didn’t mention? It happens with all second- and third-generation immigrant kids living in developed countries. Although I have met many FilAms who don’t wish to go back home, I also have met many Korean-Americans, Japanese-Americans, even Irish-Americans who don’t have any connection to home. There is love for the Philippines- the Korean essay was just looking in the wrong places.
Do you want to know where the national pride is? It’s in every Pinoy’s face on the streets of Manila, Cebu, Davao, or any other place in the Philippines. Life is hard for Filipinos- I see that everytime I’m home. But there is a mutual love shared between Pinoys. They enjoy the simplest of the simple things of ever! yday life- from the fishball vendor dancing outside a nightclub in the wee hours of the morning to the late night security guard that wakes up just to give you a nod and a smile. Although generally the country has come under hard times, the Pinoy has somehow found a way to survive, and do it with a smile. When I go back to the Philippines, I don’t see the jaded looks of misery I see in the streets of North America. I see in every Pinoy’s face a glint of hope- that everything can only get better from here on out. National pride is also in today’s college student- today’s young working Filipino. I have been lucky enough to have run into a rather large, very motivated group of young Filipinos outside of the Philippines that harbor an immense love for the country. I’ve seen these people in college, I’ve hung out with them in different cities and amongst these young Filipinos, there is one prevailing theme. They have goals, they have passion, and they are driven to succeed. Sure, they may spend a few years out of the Philippines after schooling, but they will go back. And when they do, Mom, I promise you a Renaissance. These are the people that will lead our country into better times- these are the people that will bring back with them the knowledge and the drive to motivate others. These are the people that will bridge the gap between the “masa” and the rich. These are the people that will take that glint of hope in every Pinoy’s eye and create a wildfire of productivity and efficiency.
The Philippines is still, by definition, a young country. There have been mistakes made in the past, but we will learn, won’t we? It’s just human nature. I don’t look at the Philippines as a country that “was” one of the richest in SE Asia and now is one of the poorest- I look at the Philippines as the country that has the largest upside. Just be patient, and watch as the younger generation moves into place. You will see a more educated, less selfish government take the seat of power. You will see plans put into effect that were formulated and perfected which were fueled by years of anger against the poverty we now see. A new Philippines will emerge soon, and soon we won’t have to bear the pity of a Korean student. I can promise you that much mom, because I know I’m one of the many that will be working towards that. If the Korean student’s essay on the Philippines went around, let us make sure that this more inspiring essay reach every Filipino’s heart
This is a letter campaign intended to let FPJ know our sentiments while he is deciding whether or not to run for president. The original of the letter below is en route to Mr. Poe via hand-delivery.
We need the cooperation of as many people as possible. Forward this to everyone in your email address book. Print out a copy of the letter, sign & snail-mail it. Make photocopies & distribute them to your friends and neighbors to sign and mail. Write your own letters, if that is what you prefer to do. Circulate the letter via fax. The little work this
entails may help put a stop to our politics of popularity and replace it with a politics of programs. FPJ is a good man but he is not prepared to be president.
Mr. Fernando Poe, Jr.
No. 7 Narcissus Drive
Beverly Hills, Antipolo City
Dear Mr. Poe,
We are ordinary citizens with no political affiliation. We do not support any particular candidate. Therefore, we have no other agenda except our deep and unfailing allegiance to our country and the Filipino people. It is from this loyalty that we draw the courage to write you this letter. It is in the news that you are considering running for president. If you love your country, we urge you, please deliberate on this with utmost care. We all know you will win because of your tremendous popularity as a movie hero. You have earned the esteem and admiration of the Filipino people such that to many, you have come to represent a promise of hope.
However, this is not enough. The task of governing our country that is beset with problems is much more complex today than it was many years ago.
At this moment in our history we need a leader who can gain the confidence, respect and trust of the international community. This is paramount. An increase in foreign investments is necessary. It is imperative that we stimulate our capital market with a platform of government that is as specific as it is credible not only to our people but to the rest of the world as a whole.
While we are certain that the masses are your primary concern, you cannot ignore the class of people whose abilities are critical in order to propel us forward. Our OFW’s are true heroes and while their skills serve us well when they work abroad, we also need to retain at home the talents that will give us the comparative advantage we so badly need. It is this group who is highly marketable and, on their own, can take their capabilities elsewhere to the benefit of other countries instead of ours. Expert leadership is the only way we can extricate our people from poverty. It is the very masses who worship you and will vote you into office who will suffer the most, if the ship of state is not maneuvered masterfully. We can no longer afford to think in a parochial manner. We need a leader who will make the Philippines a competitive player in the global market. Our economy is at its breaking point. It can no longer afford to be dismissed or, worse, written off as The Sick Man of Asia.
You have secured an untarnished reputation as an artist and we acknowledge that your contribution to Philippine cinema has been significant. We believe, however, that the presidency of this country will best be served by one who has the proper background and experience to enable our beloved Philippines to be part of the global community-not as an aid recipient but as contributor to the enhancement of this world we all live in. Winning will be effortless. Governing, on the other hand, will not be an easy task.
We are, historically, a fractious nation. Consider the toll it will take on your family and the privacy you guard so tightly.
We believe that you will be able to contribute much more towards uniting our nation and helping our economy as a private individual-one who wields enormous influence over our less fortunate brothers. We know of the praiseworthy projects you and your wife have undertaken so quietly; your humility is admirable. It is not too late. Please, look back and learn from the Erap episode of our history. Do not let individuals with their own agendas gain undue influence over you.
Should your administration fail, it is you, not they, who will pay the price. Let the Filipino people remember you as the man who could have been president but chose not to....because he truly loved his country. We are certain history will judge you not only as a reel hero but as a real hero.
Mabuhay ka, FPJ!
Marimi de la Fuente
:: Bing Wednesday, November 12, 2003
When the LOPEZ family backed Marcos for president...He turned against them completely and totally.
Now they are backing Noli De castro for president... presumably since Noli is part of the ABS CBN stable of connections.
Just this morning a brod sent me an email with the following recommendations,
"I suggested that Senator Noli de Castro, who continues to lead in the public opinion surveys on "presidentiables," should first assume the presidency of ABS-CBN.
Since the Lopez group has been actively pushing Noli as either a presidential or a vice-presidential candidate, it may be assumed that Freddie Garcia, Gabby Lopez and the other top brass have a high regard for his intellect, leadership qualities, gift of strategic thinking, people skills, and problem-solving abilities.
So why not elevate Noli to the presidency of ABS-CBN, as soon as Freddie retires? In fact, why not have Noli solve the problems of Bayantel, the water business and Meralco by appointing him CEO of the entire Lopez corporate complex?
Surely, if they believe that Noli de Castro is good enough to head a country of 80 million people, facing myriad problems and challenges, he must be good enough to manage the Lopez enterprises.
Otherwise, why inflict him on our hapless land?"
:: Bing Monday, November 10, 2003
Distinguished AFI Juries Select Ten Most Outstanding Motion Pictures and Television Programs of the Year
ABOUT A BOY
PRINCIPAL CAST Hugh Grant, Toni Collette, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult
RATIONALE: ABOUT A BOY is a pure comic pleasure. This mature look at immaturity is witty, smart and heartwarming without being sentimental. In a world where laughs are precious, yet film comedy is undervalued, ABOUT A BOY is a tonic for what ails us. Hugh Grant proves once again that his charm is boundless.
PRINCIPAL CAST Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney, Len Cariou, Howard Hessman, Kathy Bates
RATIONALE: ABOUT SCHMIDT puts a new face on film satire, embodied in a towering performance by Jack Nicholson. The movie presents America’s heartland with a richness of detail that brings a unique light to this funny, sad and always captivating tale.
PRINCIPAL CAST Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper,
RATIONALE: ADAPTATION is a film that makes the word "original" seem ordinary. Both entertaining and intelligent, the film mercilessly destroys an audience’s expectations and demands that it keep up…keep laughing…or be cut out of the final draft.
PRINCIPAL CAST Derek Luke, Denzel Washington, Joy Bryant, Salli Richardson, Viola Davis
RATIONALE: ANTWONE FISHER provides a clarion call for all films that strive to bring unspoken topics into the national conversation. For a modern world drowning in cynicism, this is an honest and sincere film that helps us understand that sometimes we have to go home again before we can go forward. Derek Luke’s performance in the title role heralds the arrival of a fresh, new talent.
PRINCIPAL CAST Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly
RATIONALE: CHICAGO gives contemporary audiences the "old razzle dazzle" with an explosion of talent and energy that dares them not to applaud after each musical number. The film pioneers new ground in this uniquely American art form and reminds us once again of the brilliance of Bob Fosse.
PRINCIPAL CAST Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush, Valerio Golina, Mia Maestro, Roger Rees
RATIONALE: FRIDA is a movie about art that is a work of art in itself. The film’s unique visual language takes us into an artist’s head and reminds us that art is best enjoyed when it moves, breathes and is painted on a giant canvas, as only the movies can provide.
GANGS OF NEW YORK
PRINCIPAL CAST Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Liam Neeson, Henry Thomas
RATIONALE: GANGS OF NEW YORK is bravura filmmaking by an American master. Martin Scorsese’s epic tale moves with cinematic elegance from New York City’s Five Points to Ground Zero, and the story it tells will be a revelation to today’s audiences. Daniel Day-Lewis’ mesmerizing performance as Bill the Butcher creates one of the great screen villains of all time.
PRINCIPAL CAST Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore , Nicole Kidman,
RATIONALE: THE HOURS provides further proof that film is the language of the 21st Century. A strong adaptation of a difficult literary project, THE HOURS blossoms on-screen in a brilliant, ever-unfolding exploration of madness. Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore create an acting ensemble across time…and for the ages.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS
PRINCIPAL CAST Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, John Rhys-Davies, Liv Tyler, Cate Blanchett, Bernard Hill, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Brad Dourif, Sean Bean, Andy Serkis
RATIONALE: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS is an epic screen experience that will inspire awe in generations of movie lovers for years to come. Though presented on a massive scale, the film’s attention to detail and its emotional depth are the heart of its extraordinary achievement. Whether marching in the shadow of 10,000 warriors or showing two people talking, Peter Jackson’s personal vision for the trilogy fully realizes J. R. R. Tolkien’s boundless literary imagination.
THE QUIET AMERICAN
PRINCIPAL CAST Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser, Do Thi Hai Yen, Rade Sherbedgia, Tzi Ma
RATIONALE: THE QUIET AMERICAN gives us an inside look at America’s early involvement in Vietnam at a time when audiences are evaluating how the world perceives the United States’ role in global politics. The film brilliantly captures 1950s Saigon as well as the subtleties of Graham Greene’s novel. Michael Caine continues to prove that he is the most consistently reliable actor in American film.
AFI TV PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR–OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
RATIONALE: THE BELIEVER is proof that television can take the most difficult and disturbing of subject matters and bring them to a national audience with style and grace. Ryan Gosling’s performance stands out among the year’s most extraordinary acting achievements.
RATIONALE: In a television world populated with crime dramas, BOOMTOWN explodes with originality. By presenting multiple points-of-view in a non-linear narrative style, BOOMTOWN dares to be gray in a colorful medium that often presents its heroes and villains in black and white. Every week its considerable action unfolds with a sense of moral ambiguity that enriches the storytelling.
DOOR TO DOOR
RATIONALE: DOOR TO DOOR is a small film with a giant impact. This intimate story knocks on your door, makes itself comfortable in your living room and offers you its life-affirming tale at no cost. William H. Macy’s performance is a work of love, on par with the landmark achievements of Dustin Hoffman in RAINMAN and Cliff Robertson in CHARLY.
EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND
RATIONALE: EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND…and AFI does too. This modern classic consistently makes big comedy out of small things, and its laughs are often enriched with insights into family togetherness that many dramas struggle to characterize.
THE GATHERING STORM
RATIONALE: THE GATHERING STORM utilizes the medium to present epic subject matter on a very intimate scale. This unexplored chapter in the Churchill saga is masterfully brought to life by the performances of Albert Finney and Vanessa Redgrave.
RATIONALE: GILMORE GIRLS fulfills television’s promise to elevate its audience through entertainment. The program creates a beautifully self-contained universe, where the traditional rules of television seem not to apply. The unique mother/daughter relationship drives the drama with heart, virtue and laughter.
RATIONALE: Even as it enters its 14th season, THE SIMPSONS continues to bring television audiences social and cultural satire in the finest of America’s comedic tradition. Irreverent and literate, timeless and timely, this show may be the most comically dense series in the history of television, and one where adults and children alike can enjoy a laugh.
SIX FEET UNDER
RATIONALE: SIX FEET UNDER breaks new ground every week…literally. This show drags the uncomfortable topic of mortality into the living room and watches television’s most unusual family struggle with matters of life and death in equally unusual ways.
RATIONALE: THE SOPRANOS embraces America in a big family hug…and doesn’t let go. The show has shattered the expectation of what television can be and reminds us this year that compelling drama — like the death of a marriage — is as powerful and painful as murder. James Gandolfini and Edie Falco consistently transcend the art of acting — particularly in the final episode of the season.
THE WEST WING
RATIONALE: Week after week, THE WEST WING projects a heroism that America yearns for in its political system. Heightened by its extraordinary use of language, THE WEST WING puts American civic life in a dramatic context, placing the White House in the national conversation and often bringing pertinent global issues to the watercooler on mornings after a broadcast.
i watched a movie last weekend, that Matrix three-quel that left me perplexed at the end. I enjoyed it but i am not ecstatic about it the way i was at the end of the first matrix. It got me to thinking, what's a good movie? what are the best movies ever? I turned to the people in the industry. Here's a list from the American Film Institue...
The American Film Institute (AFI) tonight announced the 100 greatest American movies of all time, as selected by a blue-ribbon panel of leaders from across the film community.
Voted the number one movie was CITIZEN KANE, Orson Welles' 1941 classic, which he directed, produced, wrote and starred in at the age of 25. The rest of the top ten, in order, are:
THE GODFATHER (#3),
GONE WITH THE WIND (#4),
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (#5),
THE WIZARD OF OZ (#6),
THE GRADUATE (#7),
ON THE WATERFRONT (#8),
SCHINDLER'S LIST (#9) and
SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (#10).
The only 1990's films that entered the 100 list are:
9. SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993)
65. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)
71. FORREST GUMP (1994)
75. DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990)
84. FARGO (1996)
94. GOODFELLAS (1990)
95. PULP FICTION (1994)
98. UNFORGIVEN (1992)
Senate President Drilon said that if the Supreme Court ruled that the charges were unconstitutional, the Senate would not accept the articles of impeachment even if submitted by the House of Representatives.
Drilon also urged the high tribunal to release its decision before noon of Nov. 10, when the House plans to transmit the complaint upon resumption of session.
We have been given less than three months to register 12 million new voters and validate the registration of old voters -- a total of 37 million souls to be processed. While using the most primitive instruments known to man. Comelec it seems is at it again.
The Inquirer report on the first day of registration, Aug. 4, suggests the scale of the mess the Comelec has made of things. Comelec Metro Manila director Ferdinand Rafanan admitted as much. "We had more registrants than we could manage... Before, we just had to have the application forms filled out, now we have to have the pictures of the registrants taken and their fingerprints and signatures scanned. The two machines assigned to each office (Makati City and Quezon City) were insufficient."
"The Power of the Human Spirit"
Dr. Josette Talamera Biyo
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. For a high school teacher to speak before a large group of business executives for the first time is overwhelming. But it is indeed a great honor and a privilege to speak to the group of people who is responsible for making San Miguel Corporation the top food and beverage company in the country, and on its way to becoming one of the top companies in the Asia-Pacific. I am here to talk about "The Power of the Human Spirit." Indeed, the human spirit has no limits. If you dream big, and you have the determination and the will to pursue your dream, it will become a reality. I dreamt of making stars; I was given a planet.
A few months ago, I was featured in the local, national and international newspapers. I caused a stir to be the first Asian teacher to win the "Intel Excellence in Teaching Award" in an international competition held in the U.S. Since its inception in 1997, no Asian teacher has received this award. But I think what created waves was, I am a Filipino, and I defeated 4,000 other teachers from around the world, including the American finalists in their hometown. Because of this, the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology Lincoln Laboratory in Boston named a Minor Planet in my honor. There is now a Planet Biyo rotating around the sun which is located between Mars
What made me win in this international competition? What made me stand out from among the best teachers in the world? My road to attaining this international recognition is a very long 23 years of improving and harnessing my craft as a teacher. I consistently study and learn new skills to improve my method of teaching. I want my methods to be interesting, relevant, and fun for students. For just like any product, the measure of teaching success is clientele satisfaction.
I finished a B.S. Biology degree from U.P. in the Visayas hoping to be a medical doctor. For lack of financial resources however, I took the first job opportunity available- teaching. Never did I regret this twist of fate. The day I entered the classroom, I knew I would be an excellent teacher.
My first eight years of teaching were spent in a rural school. For lack of teachers in proportion to the number of students, I taught not only biology, but also other subjects outside my field such as English, Music, and Physical .Education. The materials, equipment, and facilities for the type of effective teaching I had in mind were absent. These challenges however did not dampen my enthusiasm for the job. In fact, I became more creative and innovative.
I believe that teaching and learning should not be confined within the classroom. Even during those first few years of teaching, I see to it that the science concepts I discuss inside the class would have social dimensions. Thus, I took an active role in school as moderator of the Rural Health and Science Education Committee. I designed outreach programs for students and teachers. Through these programs, students were trained to teach primary health care to the people in the barangays. They also taught barrio folks how to make cough syrup from plant extracts and soap from coconut oil. Students also gave lectures on environmental protection and conservation.
Those eight years of teaching in a rural school has prepared me for greater challenges ahead. Working with the children of the poor has instilled in me the importance of service, compassion, and respect for human dignity. I have learned to love teaching, and I see it as an instrument for transforming the person and the community.
After eight years of teaching however, I felt I had nothing more to give to my students. I resigned from my teaching job and enrolled as a full time M.S. in Biology student at De La Salle University in Manila.I was lucky to get a scholarship which included free tuition and a monthly stipend.
To augment my stipend, I taught as part-time lecturer in the Biology department and worked as research assistant by one of the senior researchers in the university. This I did on top of my full-time MS load. I was so engrossed with my studies however, that I finished my M.S. degree in one year and five months only, after which, DLSU took me in as a full time assistant professor.
Teaching college students at De La Salle University was an entirely new experience. With modern and sophisticated equipment at my disposal, my world opened to the wonders of scientific research. However, I still value the importance of nature as a big laboratory such that in my ecology classes, I would bring my students to the seas of Batangas, the rivers of Rizal, and the lahar-affected areas of Pampanga to conduct field studies. Pursuing my Ph. D. while teaching also enabled me to conduct researches which were presented in the country and abroad.
Research is very exciting. It means sleepless nights, disappointments, physical and mental exhaustion. But the joy of discovering something new in nature makes it all worthwhile.
While Manila has provided me with opportunities for professional growth, I still feel that my heart is in Iloilo. Thus, with an additional degree and oneadditional so n, I brought back my family to Iloilo in summer of 1995.
In June 1995, Philippine Science High School Western Visayas hired me as a Special Science Teacher. Only on its third year of existence, the school welcomed my suggestions and expertise. I helped develop its Science Research curriculum and introduced some innovations for teaching the course.
Barely a year of teaching at Pisay, I realized that my role was not only to teach students but to train teachers as well. This I do by organizing workshops for teachers in the region.
One day, I received a letter from the students. The letter said, "Dear Ma'am Josette, we know you are being groomed for directorship of the school, and you would want to be the director someday, given the chance. The thing is, we don't want you to be the director. We just want you to be a teacher. Pisay needs teachers like you. The Philippines needs teachers like you." Their letter touched me deeply.
When I won the Metrobank Foundation Award in 1997 as one of the outstanding teachers in the country, the Pisay community gave me a poster. The poster was a white cartolina filled with signatures of students, teachers, and the non-teaching staff. In the center was a painting of a rose, and the message which says,
"You are the song that plays so softly in our hearts; that gives us inspiration to aim for greater heights and bigger dreams. Congratulations. We are so proud of you."
In 1998, I won another national award as one of "The Outstanding Young Filipino" formerly known as the TOYM in the field of Secondary Education. Last year, I won the "2002 Intel Excellence in Teaching Award" in an international competition held at Louisville, Kentucky from May 10-17.
In Kentucky, I presented to the panel of judges and to about 150 teachers from all over the world my method of teaching Science Research to my students in Iloilo. I told them that the Philippines is a third world country blessed with abundant natural resources.
However, we face problems such as the rapidly declining environment and the lack of equipment and facilities for scientific endeavors. Faced with this situation, I introduced innovations and strategies for teaching the course. These innovations included:
a) building a scientific library,
b) conducting field studies,
c) establishing linkages with research institutions in the country,
d) holding science forums in school, and
e) teaching students laboratory and field techniques which would help them in the conduct of their research work.
The judges and teachers from different parts of the world were amazed that even in the absence of sophisticated equipment, my students were able to produce quality research outputs beyond their expectations.
At this point in time, let me show to you what we do in our Science Research class... ( a five minute power
point presentation of my class activities).
I went to Kentucky with three high school students from the Manila Science High School, and one student from the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. These students competed in the International Science and Engineering Fair which was held back to back with the teaching competition. The students from Manila Science competed for a team project in Physics, while the student from Iligan competed for the individual category in the field of Microbiology. These students were competing with 1,200 other students from around the world.
May 17, 2002 was a glorious moment for the Philippine delegation in the U.S. When it was announced that the student from Iligan won second place grand award for Microbiology, our delegation was ecstatic. When it was announced that the students from Manila Science won first place grand award for Physics, our group was delirious. When the grand award for "Excellence Teaching" was announced, and for the first time in the history of the event an Asian teacher won, and a Filipino, there was a standing ovation from the crowd as the Philippine flag was waved in the air.
The Philippine delegation's road to success in Kentucky was far from smooth. We almost never made it to the U.S. Our visa interview was scheduled on May 29 when we were supposed to be competing in the U.S. by May 10. Almost desperate, we went to the Department of Foreign Affairs for help, only to betold that the Office cannot give us an endorsement letter to the U.S. Embassy because they cannot guarantee that we are coming back.
It was a painful experience for me and the students. Anyway, we were able to get our visa on the last minute the most unconventional way, and brought glory to this country.
Let me show to you the scenario during the first day of the teaching competition....
When I entered the judging area, one table in front was occupied by the board of judges. At the right side of the room, the table was occupied by the finalist from China and her supporters. The table at the left side was occupied by the finalists from U.S.. and their supporters. The center table for the Filipino finalist was empty. I sat there alone.
I went to the U.S. bringing a CD for my presentation. I also brought some transparencies and a white board pen in case my CD won't work. Coming from a third world country, I was prepared for the worst. It turned out, I was the only finalist without a notebook computer. Luckily, one American finalist lent me his computer; but before doing so, he gave me a brief lecture on the parts of the computer and its use.
I was the fourth presenter. When it was my turn to present, a panel member asked if I needed an interpreter. I said, "No thanks." A personnel from Intel volunteered to run my presentation. I said, "I can do it." After my presentation, they said, "Wow, yu're so cool. You know more than us!"
What am I telling you? That despite our country's imited resources, Filipinos can compete globally gven the proper training, support and exposure. Our winning at the international scene may not reflect the general condition of science education in the country. But with our concerted efforts, my dear fellowmen, we can move this country forward and show the world hat we are a globally competitive race.
Last May, I was in Cleveland, Ohio to present my ethods of teaching to 150 teachers from 17 ountries. I also served as the team facilitator for he Spanish-speaking teachers from Brazil, Costa Rica and Argentina.. Last August, I gave a demonstration lesson to educators from the third world countries of Laos and Cambodia.
Filipinos are indeed talented and will excel at the international level in their individual capacity. But as a country, we lag behind. This is because we lack the spirit of community which is very strong among progressive nations.
When I went home to Iloilo after the competition in the U.S., my school gave me a very warm welcome. During the convocation, students and teachers expressed how proud they are of me. I told them, "I am very proud of you too. It is you who has brought me to where I am now. Our experiences together has brought world attention to the fact that hey, there's a world-class school out there in Iloilo; a school with world-class teachers and students. I told the teachers and I quote Mr. De Quiros that "being world-class doesn't mean going internationally and showing our best out there. Being world-class is passion and commitment to our profession. Being world-class is giving our best to teaching. Being world-class starts right inside the classroom."
In winning this international award, I do not claim to be the best teacher of the land. There are thousands of best teachers out there, working silently, giving their hearts to teaching, without thinking of benefits or rewards. I salute these teachers. In winning this award, I believe I was just commissioned by somebody up there to deliver the message that indeed, Filipino teachers can be world-class teachers. In winning this award, I have shown to the world that Filipinos can be world-class if they choose to be. And more importantly, I have shown to my fellow Filipinos that they can be world-class if they choose to be. That if we do our best, we can conquer the world.
During the panel interview in the U.S., one judge asked me, "You have a Ph.D. in Biology, why do you teach in high school?" I answered, "And who will teach these kids?" Another judge asked if how much am I paid for all my pains. They were shocked when I told them that I am getting a net pay of not more than $300. a month.
When your job becomes your mission, your primary concern is giving your best in everything you do. Knowing that you have contributed significantly towards the creation of a product which can make a difference in your company and the larger community is reward in itself.
Believe in what you are doing. Believe that you can make a difference. Believing however doesn't mean you have to stop from where you are now. Believing is improving your skills and maximizing your potential. With determination and the will to win, your company can conquer the world.
As members of the San Miguel Family, you are lucky to take part in the production of high quality and accessible consumer products that can be found in every Filipino home. Your skills do not only contribute to the development of the country's economy, but you also bring out the spirit of fun, joy, and laughter into the lives of the people; thus helping make everyday life a celebration. Your capable hands can paint a true image of the Filipino as a people- intelligent, hard-working, passionate, fun-loving, creative, innovative, "magaling!."
You could paint one bright picture of this country and its people - by your achievements in the workplace, your teamwork, integrity, passion for success, and your discharge of civic responsibilities. You can show the world that you are the new technocrats, capable and willing to meet the challenges of the new order of market globalization. You can show the world that you are the new citizenry, capable of making this country a worthy member of the league of peace-loving nations.
Thank you very much.
The Josette Talamera Biyo story touched me deeply. Like Josette Biyo, who got an asteroid named after her, my mother retired a public school teacher. She taught several generations of school kids at the Dona Aurora Elementary School in San Andres Bukid. I used to think that hers was an underpaid, difficult, thankless job. She got maligned as "slow", "partisan", etc, whenever she acted as poll watcher. For a few hundred peso allowances, our teachers risked life and limb during those past elections. She's old now, retired, sick, barely able to walk and talk. I've always wondered what made her stay in that daily routine of snotty kids, repetitive lesson plans, and feet killing classes. None of her kids went into the teaching profession. Josette's story reverses my traditional view of my mom's lifelong career. Teachers do indeed have a very important role to play in our country. I intend to print the article about Ms. Biyo and let my Mom read it. I hope she can still read it. She's very old now you know. She was also a teacher. She doesn't like reading the papers anymore... too many simberguenzas in government she says. -- FOO