Feb 25, 2010

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Claiming the Spirit of People Power


Today our country marks the 24th year since the historic bloodless revolution known as the People Power Revolution. From this the Philippines was freed from the clutches of a dictator. Our people got to know what true democracy meant and to live freely.

I was blessed to grow up in the time of that freedom. I was able to study in the University of the Philippines and not worry about anything because we had been granted the privileges of a free people. However, just because I personally did not grow up or live through (at least being old enough to know what it meant) martial law, this doesn’t mean I should take it for granted.

Today I am reminded of the fight my parents, and many of our parents, fought. I am reminded of the cause taken up by a simple housewife dressed in yellow, who fought to end the rule of the Dictator and to seek justice for the senseless killing not just of her husband, but of countless victims of extra-judicial killings, many of whom were never found. Today I am reminded of the sacrifice taken by many who marched down EDSA with arms linked, unfazed by tanks and arms that sought to stop them from gaining freedom.

However, as I recall with pride our people’s success, I feel saddened that even after all that, it seems that we as a people still have not learned our lesson. We still allow corrupt officials to govern us, just take a look at all the campaign paraphernalia all around asking for the voters to “bring back” or “return” old faces to power, despite knowing their track records. I feel appalled when I recall how that in the face of evidence of anomalies and inappropriate behaviors, we still allow these people to seek public office.

What do we need for us to learn our lessons? Isn’t that what history is for?

I may not be an expert, but isn’t it that that’s what the People Power fight was all about? To break the chains of old politics to usher in a new dawn? At the rate we’re going, it sort of feels that we are once more being chained into our old practices. And the sad part of this: we are not chained by tyrants unwillingly but we allow ourselves to be chained by our bad decisions.

We may be living in a “free” world today, but sometimes, I don’t believe the word free means the same thing anymore. Just take a look at the current situation of our country. We have the Maguinadano Massacre and the Morong 43, we have countless human rights violations, threats to our basic freedoms…all in the face of a supposed democracy.

As a people, we really need to claim the true Spirit of People Power.

There were so many heroes of EDSA. Let us honor them by keeping their fight alive.

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Feb 16, 2010

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February 22 declared a Special Holiday

Another long weekend is looming for students all over the Philippines. Pursuant to Proclamation No. 1841 issued by Malacañang, there will be no classes on February 22, 2010 in commemoration of the 24th Anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution. For Parañaque based schools, this is the second consecutive long weekend as the city celebrated it’s cityhood day this Monday.

While I love my long weekends, sometimes I feel that we are losing the spirit of commemorating a holiday because it keeps getting pushed to the Monday or Friday nearest to it. I personally think it would be better to honor the days as they are, rather than making it a long weekend. For example, People Power was on February 25. I would have wanted to keep it that way. Nonetheless, I do see the logic behind moving it around but that doesn’t change the fact that I still want it on the day it’s supposed to be. Then again…I’m not complaining!!!

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Feb 15, 2010

Posted by in Multimedia Center, Teaching Resources | 2 Comments

Meeting the Greek Gods with Percy Jackson

I’ve always maintained that movies are great springboards for classroom discussions. The flick Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is definitely one of these movies. The story revolves around a young boy who discovers he is half man, half god and is accused of stealing his uncle Zeus’ lightning bolt. Through the adventures of Percy one gets to appreciate Greek mythology and ancient history.

Whilst I try to avoid recommending movies over books, I realize that for some learners, the visual stimulation of movies really just works better. Through movies I find myself able to get the students in a more active discussion, compared to me just telling the story or lecturing about things.

A few questions I keep in mind when choosing a film, however, are the following:

1. How accurate is the information in the film?

2. Does the storyline benefit the discussion in class?

3. Is this of interest to my students?

Overall, I often pick more modern movies as compared to old documentaries because it is more able to capture the attention of the viewer. I am not discounting the value of documentaries and classics but sometimes, students are just not able to relate to them.

Here are some movies I enjoy using in my classes and it’s corresponding theme/topic for discussion:

  • Human Development
    • Up
    • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Love, Relationships and Interpersonal Skills
    • Enchanted
    • Love Actually
    • Valentine’s Day
    • Juno
    • The Story of Us
  • Leadership and Self-Awareness
    • Gran Torino
    • Invictus

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Feb 14, 2010

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How Rotating Brownouts can Hamper Education

In the news these past few days is the impending threat of rotating brownouts throughout Luzon. Besides the inconvenience these brownouts will bring, it will definitely have a largely negative impact on businesses, hospitals and even educational institutions. If these brownouts do happen, it’s sure to hit some school hours in some way, unless these hit at night, which then poses a fire risk.

Overall, it’s hard to imagine how the generations and generations before ours managed to live without the conveniences of modern technology, particularly electricity. I can’t imagine a classroom without it!

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Feb 11, 2010

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News Online, Anytime.

Every once in a while I chance upon an issue of the Wall Street Journal in the school I work for. Being a teacher, I don’t really get into the nitty gritty of business so I don’t really enjoy reading the paper since what it covers are things not that important to me. I prefer to read newspapers that have more lifestyle features and metro news. However, my friends who dabble in stocks and understand the Dow and Forex and those foreign-sounding words to me make it a point to check on what the Wall Street Journal has to say, whether in  print or online. I browsed a little bit about the newspaper and I found out that it has a worldwide circulation of almost a million online subscribers.

I love how most publications like the Wall Street Journal and even local newspapers have gone digital. For one, it’s so much more accessible to me. I also love how, since it is online, my friends and people who know me get to send me links of articles that they think I would be interested in. However, when it comes to magazines, I still prefer a hard copy. I love the smell the glossy pages give out and the feel of it on my hands. I keep telling myself to stop buying issues one at a time and get myself a Magazine Subscription because it comes out much cheaper from the cover price. Whether it be newspapers or magazines, I believe that these are important tools to learning. Be it for fun or for business, these are definitely great resources for anybody.

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