SABBATICAL NOTES. 10 July 2014. Thursday. N1.
THIS IS WHAT is happening in Philippine education. It is the story of its basic education. It is the story of its tertiary education.
It it the silence that kills, and it kills millions and minds, and the minds of millions even as our leaders talk about educating the nation, preparing the children who will inherit the homeland, and equipping citizens with the tools needed for productive and committed citizenship.
In basic education, we have the 'authorities' lording it over like Lord of the Flies. What the authorities say, that happens. It is like a commandment, their word.
One has to bow down to the supervisors, to the superintendents, to the regional directors, and to everyone else in that never-ending hierarchy of hierarchies, of ma'ams and sirs that multiply everyday.
In higher education, we count the fingers of our left hand and those fingers give us a clue of those who make sense in higher education, like the president of Xavier Universty, Father Joel Tabora. He argued that 'Filipino' has yet to evolve, and that the Filipino language that we have right now is not the Filipino that the 1987 Constitution thinks of but, in fact, still Tagalog.
Imagine us bombarding some more our college students with Filipino, these students who for years are victims--and indeed, they are--of early exit in the mother tongue-based multilingual education and of the long years of instruction of Ibong Adarna, Florante at Laura, and Lope K. Santos. And one of the reasons is so that the illusory national language would be intellectualized, would become the instrument for nationalism.
All these years, we have endured, and we have endured in silence.
We did not speak a word.
We did not resist this whole scale Tagalogization of our people but accepted in silence that our leaders who did not know any better were telling us.
In the silence, in our act of not resisting, we have condoned what was happening, and unless we break this silence, we will continue to condone the evils things that are happening around us.
There are two kinds of silences.
First, it is the silence of full understanding, the mystical one, the one where language is not needed. But when the heart and the soul and the spirit resist what is happening, there is only one way out.
This leads us to the second kind of silence, the silence that ought to break out into speech, language, word.
It is that silence that leads to talk.
And cry.
And lament.
And protest.
And wage a struggle so that the evil that men do 'will live after them,' so that we will never forget, so that in the act of remembrance, we realize that the love for the homeland is not only declared by those talking about their nation, and their nationalism, and their national language.
Justice Marivic Leonen, in that decision about the case of a fraternity death--yes, that hazing that happened at UP some 20 years ago--said about the silence that has infected all of us: “Impunity for violence thrives in a climate of unjustified silence and illicit transactions sub rosa (in secrecy). … [W]e contribute to an environment that creates the perpetrator by our silence.”
We do not speak, we approve these unconscionable acts.

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