Monthly Archives: May 2013

Welcome to the Gates of Hell

“Abandon all hope ye who enter here”  – Canto III The Gate of Hell, Inferno

 

Quite recently, our great old capital, Manila, was reluctantly pushed in the limelight when bestselling author, Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons) described Manila in his latest book, Inferno, as the ‘Gates of Hell’. I haven’t read the book yet; all my money I spent on my brief tryst with Bacolod so I managed to get a copy of the excerpt from news networks and here it is:

Brooks, who has been working with humanitarian groups, went to the Philippines for a mission to supposedly feed poor fishermen and farmers on the countryside.

She expected the Philippines to be  a “wonderland of geological beauty, with vibrant seabeds and dazzling plains.”

Upon setting foot in Manila, however, Brooks could only “gape in horror” as “she had never seen poverty on this scale.”

She said her “dark depression” flooded back, with pictures of poverty and crime flashing through her eyes.

“For every one person Sienna fed, there were hundreds more who gazed at her with desolate eyes,” the book read.

One after the other, the book described chaotic Manila: “six-hour traffic jams, suffocating pollution, horrifying sex trade.”

The book described the sex industry as consisting mostly of young children “many of whom had been sold to pimps by parents who took solace in knowing that at least their children would be fed.”

“All around her, she could see humanity overrun by its primal instinct for survival…When they face desperation…human beings become animals,” the book read.

The book went on to detail a turning point in Brooks’ life. “I’ve run through the gates of hell,” she said.

– Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/lifestyle/05/21/13/dan-brown-calls-manila-gates-hell-novel

Is it a mortal sin as Pinoy that when I read the description, I wasn’t imbued with strong sense of self-righteous anger towards Dan Brown on how could he blatantly stamped Manila as the Gates of Hell for the whole world to read?

In Tagalog, I am dedma. I’ve come upon stronger and uglier descriptions of Manila in my lifetime, some by foreign authors, most by Filipino ones. I even irrelevantly called Manila as the ‘belly of the beast’. You might say I’m lacking in nationalistic spirit or I am indifferent to its impact on the tourism of my country but come on, even without Dan Brown’s description which I might add, in his purely fictitious book, most of the world still thinks Manila is a densely populated city of ungodly traffic, crime and corruption.  All poor opinions of Manila boil down to three words: Sad but true.

Prior to World War II, the old Manila is thousand times different than the present one. We are called the ‘Queen City of the Pacific’ or the ‘Pearl of the Orient Seas’. The city is visited by many foreigners either to settle or to study here. I’ve seen some old photos of Manila, of the well-paved roads, the glistening buildings in Makati, the clean and well-maintained Baywalk running along the Manila Bay. More than forty years later, time and circumstances drastically changed Manila’s face but I can’t deny that some of its beauty is still ever present in some areas. There’s still the sophisticated beauty of Makati Avenue, the rising towers in the Fort Bonifacio, Eastwood and Ortigas. We still have the Luneta Park, though different from its original state, is often visited and enjoyed by tourists. The well-preserved Intramuros and Fort Santiago. The clean and wide roads and sleek architecture in Pasay and many things more. If you have been living in Manila for years, you’d find yourself acquainted with its dark nature as well as its inner twisted beauty most people couldn’t see.

The dark spires of Gates of Helll. Look at the fiery haze of the raging inferno below.

Dan Brown immortalised Manila in his book with that description but hasn’t there been any city shown in poor light that remained as it is? New Delhi has been repeatedly shown in the media as a gritty and overly populated area where people don’t give a hoot about hygiene but did the residents reacted? And look at India now? It’s the rising Elephant of Asia which receives millions of tourists every year.

You might clamor that Manila, being the capital city, represents the whole Philippines as a whole. I beg to differ. Manila won’t be a justifying factor when tourists wanted to go to Boracay, or to Palawan, or to Cebu or Davao. In the end, it’s not Manila that defines the Philippines. How can you incorporate that reasoning in an archipelago of 7,000+ islands? The tragedy of Manila lies in the fact that over the years, it has grown in a gateway of opportunities and dreams, only to smack you down with false illusions. Many would leave their lands and homes in the province to come to Manila in search of work or proper living, only to be shunned away and forced to live in sewage areas near the rivers, forced to swallow down acts of immorality just to bring a small piece of food in the dining table.

In a way, I might have to agree with Dan Brown. Such allusion has never been more correct. Manila still has a long way to go to stand in the ranks alongside Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Seoul and Hong Kong. For as long as its residents are forced to unleash their demons driven by desperation to get their next meal or send their children to school everyday, for as long as people remained indifferent to the surroundings around them and continued to gorge in their selfish acts, Manila will and always will be the Gates of Hell.

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Leksyon from Election 2013

I am ashamed to say that despite all my rantings and perpetual moaning in this blog against the hopeless state of the government and the eye-rolling mentality of Filipino people on choosing their leaders, I am actually a first-time voter. I’ve always believed that voting, as well as paying taxes, would entitle me the right to complain and give me the status of a ‘boss’ or a CEO. You give the salary, pick the people who you think is best for the job, criticize the hell out of your public servants and eventually, fire them.

Sadly, this isn’t the case here in the Philippines, where people choose candidates like buying a new phone. They rely on brand (familiar names) but on the look-out for new version/products (new faces). Even if you choose the right candidates, your bets are all up against the million votes for the wrong people elected by the ignorant majority. I had long realized that unless every Filipino home has a WiFi on their homes, Filipinos will and always will elect the wrong, incompetent people.

Early morning of 13th, as I was fixing a cup of coffee , my mom asked if I got my list of candidates ready. I prepared mine last night after much deliberations over the internet because I have second guesses over my original candidates.  In the end, I settled for 9/12 senators and abstained to 8 councilors in local office.

The first thing I saw when I reached the precinct is the long queue. Thankfully, my university had longer queues in terms of enrollment, registration and payment of several fees, so without blinking an eye, I squeezed my way in the throngs of people to my cluster, checked my name in the list, and settled myself to the end of the long line. As I was recalling my list, I overheard a group of elderly poll watchers who are criticizing the lack of organization in COMELEC’s part. Marikina has fewer voters than the rest of other cities so it’s less chaotic and more manageable but I heard that in some cities like Quezon and Manila, people are cramped together inside voting precinct, enduring heat and all just to cast votes. They spotted me listening and smiled at me.

“Kaya kayo bumoto kayo nang tama ha. Para di na maging kawawa ang bansa natin,” one of them said to me. I smiled back. I didn’t stay awake until midnight to research the candidates and endure long minutes of waiting just to vote for mediocre officials.

The precinct in Marikina Heights is generally peaceful and organized. But at some point, one poll watcher from another cluster complained about a malfunctioning PCOS machine. The machine in our cluster isn’t doing any better either. It has to be repeatedly opened up so to clear the ballots from jamming the machine and sometimes it doesn’t register the votes. People have to insert their ballots again and it happened more than once.

A pollwatcher had my name checked on the list and when she verifies my identity, I was given a single ballot sheet to be filled up. I can’t explain it but my heart is drumming against my chest, like it always do before a big exam. In some way, voting is like a major examination. You get the answers from your own, and if you answered the wrong choices, you have 3-5 years to suffer the consequences. No wonder I have to calm myself before I opened the marker and shade down my votes. After inciting a brief prayer, I looked down at my choices below and set out to vote.

It was an almost awesome moment when the PCOS swallowed in my ballot only to cough it back again so I can turn it around. It was even a more glorious one when one of the watchers dipped the iconic indelible ink on my finger. It felt cold and heavy, as if a heavy bandage is wrapped around my finger.

After voting, I immediately logged in to the internet to stand vigil for the media reports about the elections. At about 8:00 PM, votes started to trickle in. And like the rest of educated Filipinos out there, I can only sit there, shocked and disturbed over the initial results.

Still I never gave up hoping. I was confident the line-up will change and the ones who should be in the senate would finally get the position they so deserve. Hours passed and nothing changed that much. We’re still stuck with the same names, but with different faces.

Naturally, I was outraged. I kept protesting and ranting and shouting hellish words over social media but words can do nothing. These are the candidates the people have chosen. Nothing will change that. I was so angry I almost cried. My head hurts for holding so much pent-up emotions. I wouldn’t go in detail about the people who shouldn’t be in the line-up, I bet you people already knew them, and I also bet you all felt the same thing about them being in that list.

Apparently, I exercised the democratic right to vote, but I remained passive in my duty to enlighten my fellowmen. To blame the ignorant masses over the result is like blaming your dog over the mess it caused after trampling over your neighbor’s flowerbed. It didn’t know any better. Naturally,just like the majority of the people, they would stick to their instinct and mentality. This messed-up line-up is just a reflection of an overwhelming fact that most Filipinos are still far away from the fringes of modern technology and information flow, and we the, the gods of the internet, failed to give them the proverbial Fire of Prometheus.

Past all the disillusionment and cynicism  over the turn-out of recent events, I struggled to get hold of my remaining shred of hope, that someday, Filipinos will have a very high standard on electing their public leaders. It’s never too late for education and enlightenment. All I’m asking for you guys is to never give up on our country and in our people. Big words, you will say, but I will say them nonetheless: The prevailing system and mentality can still change. And I’m determined to be a part of that change.

Are you?

How to Spot a Bobotante: An Election Reflection

Over the years, the Philippines has been a breeding ground for a rare and endemic virus strain which can make everyone stupid.

The Bobotante Virus has been around the Philippines for more than 20 years, infecting thousands upon thousands of Filipinos from Luzon, Visayas to Mindanao. The reason for the strain remains unknown. It was speculated that it developed from the Agent Orange proliferation conducted by the US Army to end the Vietnam War, its aerial residue slowly drifting to the Philippines only to cause mild cognitive degenerative problems to the inhalants. Others say China has been behind this all along, like the rest of the typhoons and communist insurgents infiltrating the Philippines, its HAARP is set on destroying on southeast nations vying for the ownership of South China Sea (THE West Philippine Sea). A more probable theory is the widespread poverty which continues to infest the country simply cuts off the Filipinos’ ability to think and so, they continue to gorge themselves on the phantasmagorical worlds of teleseryes and variety shows  to forget about their lack of access to nutrition and education. The strain easily spreads from one person to the next, especially if people live in shanties in a close-knitted communities or rural underdeveloped areas where P500 for every vote is considered normal if not eagerly anticipated.

The Bobotantus strain may sound harmless but its symptoms lie dormant for a long time, only to resurface in full throttle when the election comes. During this time, the Filipinos exhibit a kind of stupidity in which the whole world has never seen. The worst thing is that it may infect one person without even him knowing it, so it’s very crucial to recognize the signs especially before the actual voting. Here are just some of the recognized symptoms of BOBOtante Syndrome. If you recognize some of the symptoms as your own or to a friend/relative/loved one who’s going to vote, please refer to the statements found at the bottom of this page for further instructions.

 

 SIGNS OF THE BOBOTANTE SYNDROME

Photo Courtesy of the Thinking Class of The Philippines Facebook Page

We’re still waiting!

1. A BOBOtante would always choose the patok na jeep because he/she craves to be with the larger crowd. Easily dazzled by the glamour and strange lightings and rap beat-box music, he/she rides on a patok na jeep even if there are already enough passengers inside to stage for the Guinness Book of Records of Most People Fit together in a Jeepney. Yes we all love the patok na jeep once in a while, but the BOBOtantes would go as far as having the same attitude in voting. For him/her, the majority is the winning side. For this, he/she will rely on survey ratings of suspicious institutions like SWS and Pulse Asia whose results remained eerily consistent throughout the election period. People also repeatedly complain that not even once in their fully-functioning lives have they been asked by these respective institutions.

 

2. A BOBOtante is someone who VOTES on-the-spot. Never mind the homework or research. Because of slow lapse on brain neurons, he/she can only derive memories from vague TV ads, campaign posters, commercials where the President Himself endorses the candidates and annoying campaign jingles.

 

3. A BOBOtante utilizes no strategy in voting. And by no means he/she will waste his/her votes to unpopular candidates. This is loosely related to entry number one. It is a game of popularity over platform. Para di masayang ang boto. Therefore, the BOBOtante is a pragmatic voter, only a little bit twisted in his/her beliefs.

 

It's all about family business, baby!

It’s all about family business, baby!

4. A BOBOtant is easily captivated by the candidates’ names. Insert ‘anak of a former mayor’ here or ‘wife of a prominent senator’ there and the BOBOtante loses all major cognitive functions and casts his/her votes like a catatonic patient.

 

We vote because you make us happy :)

We vote because you make us happy 🙂

 

5. A BOBOtante is easily amused by dance numbers, slogans, taglines of no real basis, and candidates appearing as special guests for his/her favorite shows, no matter how inappropriate. As long as you can make him/her happy, their votes are on you.

 

Careful. You might take the wrong brain home.

6. A BOBOtante exhibits a strange kind of amnesia on the voting day where he/she conveniently forgets the achievements or even the misgivings of a certain candidate. He/she easily grows tired of recalling all the important issues surrounding a candidate and usually votes the first names he/she sees. Experts recommend strong and honest visual devices to be put up in all precincts showing the candidates’ history and advocacy for the BOBOtantes so they can be reminded again on who to vote and what for.

 

Er, just imagine the ballot box to be PCOS. This is so 1900s (And yet we’re still stuck in the same rut for years!)

7. A BOBOtante is an emotional voter rather than a rational one. Campaign managers often tap this defect to solicit emotional appeal for the candidates so they can vote for their clients. This major symptom can be shown in the last Presidential Election 2010 where in the recent death of a former president and democratic icon, people urged her son to run for office despite his poor performance in governance back then. Still, the results of 2010 elections must not be blamed for the people who voted for him, BOBOtante or wise voter alike. There is sadly a lack of better candidates to begin with.

 

Road constructions like this are prevalent during the election period. People are made to believe that their current officials are doing their jobs for a re-election bid.

8. A BOBOtante abhors the thought of change and he/she carries this on voting. He/she avoids new candidates like a plague and often sticks to the names he/she is familiar with. He/she is perfectly content with re-electing mayors/governors/etc. even though his/her town is constantly submerged in floods or crime such as gang rapes, drug trafficking, snatching, etc. is almost a normal thing in the neighborhood. It was theorized that this symptom is derived from a behavioral and cultural aversion to taking risks on the underdogs or gambling over a new prospective candidate. Absurdly enough, the case is different when he/she is about to engage in regular gambling pastime such as BINGO, tong-its, Mahjong, Horse races, sabong and other money-related activities.

 

 

9. As much as it is easy to get a BOBOtante’s vote, it is amusing to note that he/she will complain about the officials they voted years or months after the election. For him/her, it is perfectly a natural mechanism to blame the ones in government even if he/she is the one who put those officials there. Researchers are in the midst of dissecting through a psychological angle on this queer behavior  but because of the lack of neuro-psychological facilities and research studies, they have so far come up with nothing.

 

Push ninyo yan, mga kuya :)

Push ninyo yan, mga kuya 🙂

10. A BOBOtante naively votes and expects the government to help him/her as much as possible without changing him/herself for the better. He/She will continue to live a mediocre life without monitoring the performance of the leaders he/she elected, whether they came true to their promises or not. As such, the BOBOtante has a narrowed view of what you call democracy. They fail to understand that democracy isn’t about freedom, but of accountability. And that sense of accountability starts with their votes. By not living up to the responsibility as the citizen of the state, they will continue to suffer and wallow under this form of governance for years to come while they are slowly being eaten by the virus.

At present, there is no immediate cure for the strain and it can only be remedied through continuous exposure to education and literature. Sadly most of Filipinos are out-of-school and can only rely on traditional media and hearsay as basis for the selection of their leaders. They lack any available means to identify their candidates properly and the virus will remain to take hold of them until who knows when.

Anyone who finds him/herself infected with the symptoms mentioned above should:

(1) Recognize the importance of the elections and how their vote matters to the future of the country

(2) Start to think critically and fastidiously for the candidates they will vote.  They must squash the urge to vote out of emotion and use their brains for a change.

(3) Be vigilant  of the electoral processes and have courage to report any violation/vote buying in his/her communities

(4) Start to think about the future of his/her children for the actions of these leaders will affect the lives of the new generation

(5) Make a list of candidates prior to the election. Constant reviewing and revisions of candidates may lead to a good set of leaders.

(6) Treat the elections as something as serious as taking up an examination. He/She must avoid cutting classes (skipping the elections)

(7) Not be a ningas-cogon and forget about this message on the actual voting.

(8) Be part of the change of this country. Democracy is about having to participate for the well-being of this country. He/She must remember the word scheme: With Participation comes Responsibility build upon Accountability as a citizen of this nation.

So what are you waiting for? Will you forever remain a BOBOtante?

_________________________________________________________________________________

Photo courtesy of: Thinking Class of the Philippines https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thinking-Class-of-the-Philippines/375179605892585?id=375179605892585&sk=photos_stream

 

We Filipinos are Mild Drinkers – Alejandro Roces

This story is one of my favorites since highschool 🙂 We Filipinos are mild drinkers by Alejandro Roces.
WE Filipinos are mild drinkers.We drink for only three good reasons. We drink when we are very happy. We drink when we are very sad. And we drink for any other reason.

Enjoy! 😀

DIS CRIS

This is a short story written by Alejandro Roces during his freshman year in Arizona State University. He was well known for his humorous stories and whit in writing. “We Filipinos are Mild Drinkers” is dated back to the 1940s. The war had just ended in the Philippines and life was back to normal, except for a few new friends of course. This is one of my absolute favorites. I hope you guys like it.

ENJOY!

View original post 1,667 more words

A Goodbye Letter for my University

I am dedicating this open letter to my beloved University, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Words cannot express how deeply saddened I am to leave your gates and attend my ‘march of honor’ at the World Trade Center this May 10. I also dedicate this letter to my fellow PUPians, incoming freshmen and fellow graduating batch. The real honor of this University lies on us students. Love the country, Serve the people 🙂

Dear PUP,

Four years. Matagal-tagal din tayong nagkasama ah! At sa haba ng taon na kinupkop mo ko, ‘di pa rin ako makapaniwala hanggang ngayon na yung status ko sa FB ay hindi na ‘attending Polytechnic University of the Philippines’ kungdi ‘Graduated’ na. In a few weeks, alam ko nang kailangan ko nang i-surrender ang PUP ID ko at unti-unting harapin ang katotohanan na hindi ko na masisilayan ang Pureza at Anonas sa araw-araw na ruta ko, hindi na ako makakatikim ng unli-ligaw pag short ako, hindi na ako makaka-kinig ng mga rallies sa pop-eye pag walang prof. Hindi mo na ako estudyante, pero siguradong hinding hindi ko makakalimutan sa buong buhay ko na naging estudyante ako ng pamantasan mo.

Natatandaan ko pa, noong unang pumunta ako ng PUP. Para hindi magregister sa PUPCET o mag-tour around the campus kung magugustuhan ko ba dito or what. Mga siyam na taong gulang lang ako noon.Yung pinsan ko na dating estudyante mo din ay may theater presentation na aattendan naming mag-anak.  Tandang-tanda ko yun kasi first time kong nakita ang mga squatters sa Teresa, yung maalikabok at mainit na kalsada papuntang Main Campus; yung mabaho at bukas na estero na malapit sa riles ng PNR. Lumaki ako sa tahimik na lungsod ng Marikina, malayo sa ganitong mga tanawin. Doon pa lang, nabuksan na ang mga mata ko sa reyalidad ng buhay at yung maayos na buhay na natatamasa ko ay pinagkait sa karamihan.

Pero sa pag-tawid namin ng gate mo, sa pagtawid namin ng tatlong puting istruktura na parang malalaking pirasong French Fries, nagulat ako sa sobrang tahimik at kalma ng buong lugar. Parang na-transport ako bigla sa ibang mundo, or sa ibang lungsod. Kahit gate lang ang pumapagitna, malayong-malayo ka doon sa magulo at mahirap na mundong nasa labas. Later sa pag-pasok ko sa pamantasan mo bilang estudyante na marerealize ko kung ang isang simbolismo ng katayuan mo, isang pamantasang nakatirik sa gilid ng Pasig River at napapalibutan ng mga barong-barong. Pagpasok ng mga estudyanteng katulad ko na naka-tsinelas at naka-shorts lang sa gate mo, nagbabago ang kapalaran namin at lumalabas kaming handa at armado sa mala-Hunger Games na buhay-propesyunal. Hindi umabot sa punto na kailangan pang umiyak ang parents namin ng dugo para makahanap ng libo-libong pang-tuition para maigapang kami sa pag-aaral. For this, PUP, maraming-maraming salamat.

Aminin ko, hindi ikaw ang dream school ko. At nag-take ako ng PUPCET dahil sa anyaya ng isang barkada. UST talaga ang dream school ko nun. Ang layo no? From UST to PUP. Ang taas pa ng tingin ko sa sarili ko na makakapag-aral ako sa UST, lalo na noong nakapasa ako ng USTET. Yan ay bago ko nakita ang limang-digit na tuition ng USTe. Nang nalaman ng nanay kong nakapasa ako ng PUPCET, hindi na kami tumuloy sa Espanya. Hindi kakayanin, sabi ng nanay ko. Mas mataas ng sampung libong piso ang tuition for one sem sa buwanang sweldo ng tatay ko. Sa sobrang sama ng loob ko, naisipan kong mag-rebelde at magpaka-aktibista para maasar ang parents ko. Pero sa huli, wala na ding akong nagawa. Magiging estudyante ako ng PUP at makakatikim ng buhay State U. Hindi ko pa alam ‘nun na ito pala ang isa sa mga magiging makabuluhang moments ng buhay ko: ang makapasok sa pamantasan mo.

Ang makulay na mundo ng Teresa

Ang makulay na mundo ng Teresa

Sa apat na taong nilagi ko sa pamantasan  mo, ang daming nagbago sa mga pananaw ko. Hindi ko masasabing yung ako na unang pumasok sa gate mo bilang freshman ay ganun na ganun din paglabas. Kaya mong i-challenge lahat ng paniniwala namin, mga dating pananaw sa buhay, mga pangarap namin at pangarap ng nakararami. Hinamon mo kami na umalis sa lugar kung saan nararamdaman namin na kami ay safe at gawin ang mga bagay na hindi namin magagawa sa ibang buhay. Hinamon mo kaming baguhin ang aming sarili, ang maging alisto at kritikal, maging madsikarte sa abot ng aming makakaya pagkat ang buhay ay hindi nagbibigay ng awa.

Dito sa pamantasan mo, lahat ay pantay-pantay. Walang mahirap o mayaman, walang matalino o tamad mag-aral. In the end, tinuruan mo kami ng isang bagay: Nasa sa’yo kung magtatagumpay ka.

Ang sabi nila, UP daw is a microcosm of the Philippine society. Oo naman, since lahat ng tao from all walks of life ay nandoon; a molten pot of culture and mixed backgrounds, mahirap, mayaman, intelektwal, iskolar. Hindi makakaila na ito ang dakilang Pamantasan ng Bayan. Ikaw naman, PUP, ang dakilang Pamantasang pang-Masa. Halos lahat na ng klaseng tao, inangkin mo: mga laking-syudad at galing pa sa probinsya, mga GC at wala lang, mga kampante, mga sinikal sa buhay nila, mga tambay, sugarol, mahilig sa inuman, mga Aktibista, mga walang pakelam sa usaping-bayan, liberated, wild, conservative at di makabasag pinggan, mga mahilig sa teleserye at may crush kay Angel Locsin at Coco Martin, mga mahilig sa Facebook, mga DOTA at LOL players, k-pop fans, anime addicts, mga madiskarte sa pera, mga mahilig mag-jam, mahilig sa eat-all-you-can, unlimited lugaw at libreng dyaryo sa tren.

Sa una, mahirap mag-adjust sa ganitong dami ng tao, iba-iba ang ugali, iba-iba ang antas ng IQ at EQ, iba-iba ang pananaw, malalim man o mababaw, iba-iba ang gusto pag-usapan, iba-iba ang hangarin sa buhay. Pero sa ganitong set-up,  nalasap ko ang iba’t-ibang uri ng karanasan, iba’t-ibang uri ng kwento, at iba’t-ibang uri ng pakikipagsapalaran na sumasalamin sa kalagayan ng kasalukuyang masa. At higit sa lahat, pinakita mo sa akin kung ano ang potensyal ng masa pag sila ay nakapag-aral at nagsama-sama. Na may kakayanan silang mabago hindi lang ang buhay ng kanilang pamilya kungdi ang mukha ng buong bansa.

Bukod pa dyan, pinalaki mo ko na madiskarte at matiyaga. Na laging magpakumbaba at masipag. Tinuruan mo ko ng halaga kung paano magsimula sa pinaka-ilalim para makamit ang hinahangad ko sa taas. Dito sa pamantasan mo, lahat ay pantay-pantay. Walang mahirap o mayaman, walang matalino o tamad mag-aral. In the end, tinuruan mo kami ng isang bagay: Nasa sa’yo kung magtatagumpay ka.

Malayo pa ang lalakbayin ko at aminado ako na wala akong ideya kung ano ang mangyayari sa akin ten years from now, pero alam ko kung saan ako magsisimula. Sa mga lilipas na taon, nais kong bumalik sa pamantasan mo para makapagturo sa mga kapwa kong estudyante ng masa, na magsilbi ding gabay sa pagbago ng kanilang buhay para lumabas sila ng pamantasan na handang makipagsabayan sa iba sa kabila ng kanilang estado sa lipunan.

Tinuruan mo kami na isipin ang interes ng karamihan sa aming mga kababayan dahil namulat kami sa kahirapan at kawalan ng mga pasilidad at gamit

Tinuruan mo kami na isipin ang interes ng karamihan sa ating mga kababayan dahil kami din ay pinagkaitan at nakaranas ng kahirapan

Ngunit sa tingin ko, malayo-layo pa bago mangyari yun. Andyan pa din ang hangarin kong buhayin muna ang aking pamilya. Pero sa pag-aaral namin sa’yo, hinamon mo kami kung hanggang andyan na lang ba kami. Tinuruan mo kami na isipin ang interes ng karamihan sa aming mga kababayan dahil namulat din kami sa kahirapan at kawalan ng mga pasilidad at gamit. Kami lang ang makakabago ng buhay namin, nang hindi lagi umasa sa gobyerno o kahit ano pang uri ng institusyon, pero ituloy ang pakikipaglaban sa karapatan ng mga hindi pinalad sa aming mga kababayan at bigyan sila ng boses sa lipunan . Iyan ang kapangyarihan namin na nasa masa, na siyang hinubog mo para maging progresibo at may katuturan. For this, PUP, maraming-maraming salamat.

Mamimiss ko ang ganitong eksena :)

Mamimiss ko ang ganitong eksena sa pagpasok 🙂

Mamimiss ko ang buhay-campus sa pamantasan mo. Yung PNR na bumubulahaw bawat trenta minuto. Yung mga mababait na pedicab at tricycle drivers na minsan e nakikipagkwentuhan sa aming mga estudyante. Yung mga propesor na liberal at malalim mag-isip, at yung mga tamad na prof na once a month lang pumapasok. Yung sobrang habang pilahan na akala mo may audition sa isang network o may nagbibigay ng libreng bigas. Yung mala-oven mong mga classrooms at pagccross-over sa kabilang room para makahiram ng lamesa or upuan. Yung mga nagroroom-to-room na aktibista at nagyayaya ng walk-out. Yung walang silbi mong Intramuros na nakapaligid sa lagoon at nagpasikip lang sa daan. Yung umiikot na Pasig river sa likod mo na nakakahilo sa sobrang ‘bango’. Yung Charlie na pugad ng mga orgs at pwede ring tulugan. Sila Ted Pylon, Obelisk, Sampaguita, SIS at iba pang mga terms na PUPians lang ang makaka-gets. Yung dose-per-unit at yung wala pang isang libong pisong tuition mo para sa isang sem.

Marami akong natutunan sa’yo, at alam kong marami ka pang matuturuan at matutulungan na mga estudyanteng katulad ko.

Continue to be great at 108 and beyond!

Hanggang sa muli nating pagkikita, Sintang Paaralan! :’)

Sincerely,

Your proud Alumnus (Batch 2013)

Ang simbolismo ng katayuan mo bilang Pamantasan ng Masa

Photos courtesy of PUP Stolen Shots: https://www.facebook.com/pupstolenshots

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