[For my teacher Mimay Narciso while she cavorts with her better angels in the struggle for a more liberating education, in form and substance, in the Philippines. This is also to thank her for the invitation, the best invitation in town but sadly, sadly, had to decline. Sorry, UP College Education peeps. Next time--and there will be another one.]

SHE PROMISED TO do her best to address the issue of inequality, fascism, and hegemony in Philippine education.

I am a social science major, and we see these things, these realities, ugly as ugly they can be, in our collective life, she confesses in an exchange we had, her time in the Philippines at the wee hours of the Diliman morning, mine, the hours of shaking off sleep in order to play the role of a houseboy and house-band, in that order, somewhere else in some tropical island.

Yes, in these Americas of our Americanized lives, we have to have that second term come about: house-band.

Do the laundry. No!

Do the dishes: Yes!

Do the marketing: Yes!

Do the housecleaning: Yes!

Do the cooking: Yes, sometimes, when the restaurant does not respond to a request for order!

That is not the story.

The story is about our need to revisit again these ugly realities of our Philippine life, and I told Teacher Mimay Narciso, it is high time we became honest with ourselves.

The lecturer in me begins: There is so much presumptuous presumption in Philippine education, and it looks like it is all plain and simple forma without the substance, what with the ideologically flawed hegemonic raison d'etre of that education in favor of the fascistic, the tyrannical, the dominant, the centric and imperialistic at the expense of diversity, variety, pluralism, and heterogeneity.

The other part of the lecture is this: We have educated our people in the name of that naive notion of nationalism that is as old as the Quezonian 19th century model, and we have been fooled into believing that this works still.

I will be a teacher, and I will make it a point that your dreams will come true, Teacher Mimay promises me.

I dream that one day, a PhD dissertation will be written in Maranaw, Tausog, Ibaloi, Kankanaey, Ifugao, Bontoc, Dipingang Agta, and Ilokano, I tell her.

That would be the day, she tells me.

Of course, the teacher is now asleep in da Pinas.

I pray she dreams about these thoughts of liberation and freedom.

And because I cannot speak at their gathering (I will be somewhere else--and this means I have to say No! to her invitation), I write this to thank her for inviting me nevertheless.

WPH, HI/14 Jan 2014

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