Still, education.

For what it's worth, Celdran's Damaso incident ties with the Mideo Cruz "Polytheism" exhibit. A wave of anti-clericalism, heretofore covert, has risen overtly, and people are continuing to leave the fold of the Catholic Church in large numbers. We expect more of these things in the future, as the Philippines struggles with its philosophical and religious "foundations" - partly reminiscent of the French Revolution, without sharing its bloody aftermath. 

But the rising intelligentsia, of which Celdran is a part, is also to blame. It has not provided a definitive vision of what it wants Philippine society to be, still taking comfort in the double-standards and hypocrisies of the past while proclaiming the advent of "secularism" and "freethinking". For all its shouting about "freedom of speech" it has entered into a war which is not tenable in the long run. 

I feel that it's just one more rat that shit on the porridge. 

Though I welcome the opening of Philippine society in toto, it's disheartening to look at the mavericks of this change: people who want freedom for only the affluent classes, and the rest be damned. This only makes the Philippines much more polarized culturally than at any time in the past. In substance, nothing has changed: there are just the ilustrados and the rest. Who are the ilustrados? The sons of rich men. Are we bent on creating two Philippine Archipelagos, with different cultures? You living on the one, and Mang Kanor and ilk living on the other? The one a beacon of democracy and enlightenment, and the other a dark world of statutory rape, robbery and exploitation?

Only one thing can solve this disjunct: EDUCATION. If more people are educated, more opinions can be generated, and "freethinking" in its truest sense will be a reality. The Philippines will win secularism and freethinking without bloodshed or polarization through this method. The intelligentsia must focus on this one goal, and leave the others it pursued heretofore. Education. We win the masses over, not by outlandish displays of "progressivism", but by opening their minds gradually.


  1. IDK but I beg to digress.

    as mentioned in the main GRP blog, most of the masses even deny education believing it to be a waste of time. if we force education upon them, they'll end up mal-edukados.

  2. Of course, it's not a purely Philippine phenomenon, and not something confined to the poor. I've read something in Reader's digest about Finnish boys shunning school in favor of fishing. It's natural for people to feel that sitting around in a classroom and studying is a waste of time. But I am convinced that compulsory, free, universal and comprehensive education is the key.

    Our Philippine masses would not have hated education as children if it were imposed on them by government - they have no choice. The parents will not hate it too if it is free and they see the results. The fact is, the education system today is moribund.

    I understand people who do not view education today as a valuable resource; heck, if my son comes to school to buy tocino, shares a room with 50 other students, and has no textbooks or even writing paper, then it is a freakin' waste of time for him and for me. Magtrabaho na lang siya sa palayan, 'kako.

    I am talking about the basic education each person ought to receive: math, science, English, history, fine arts, industrial arts, domestic arts, and physical education. The rest of the world practically ensures its citizens are equipped for even blue-collar jobs if they complete only high school - and that should also be the way with us. The professions and only the professions do require tertiary education, and that's a problem for the universities.

    The process is very complicated and requires a lot of moving around, but there are a world of benefits to be reaped.


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