One of my good friends, a true-blue AFAM*, once had a cerebral discussion with me over what she thought was the root problem of the Philippines as a nation: Education.
Now, one can argue that what I’m saying is coming from a privileged position… that our finances afford me to ignore the fact that hungry people would never be able to absorb knowledge on an empty stomach. Here’s the thing, though: I firmly believe education can go together with feeding and livelihood programs… Heaven knows several private individuals and organizations have been doing their part on this matter for several years.
Yes, we pinoys have long accepted the fact that we can’t rely on anyone but ourselves… The pandemic response was clear evidence of that.
Anyway, as an educator (and the daughter of a prolific one) I believe that education is not just about academics. I’m not saying that understanding trigonometric functions and its applications isn’t important… I’m just saying that a healthy grasp of the English language, values, manners, and truthful history are just as important to move forward as a nation. The lack of emphasis on these subjects keeps us Filipinos from making long term choices that benefit everyone as a nation – from mindlessly throwing garbage in gutters to choosing candidates because “guapo niya,” “lalaki siya – hindi pwede ang babae,” “sikat siya,” “kahit korup siya may nagawa naman siya/magulang niya,” “panget siya, di na baling matindi qualifications niya,” or “mabait siya sa akin.”
Translations to follow for my English-only friends.
This is why I’m personally excited for the next Ask Me Anything. Yes, we’ll be featuring easy Japanese food you can cook at home and drinks you can easily find to pair with the meal… But we’re also partnering with the organizations ENGAGE and IWAG to provide school supplies for kids (which includes the Aeta community) in Nueva Ecija, Agusan del Sur, and Daraitan, Tanay.
It’s one small gesture, sure. I do believe, however, that the difference it can make to 300 kids can spread to their immediate circles and would make a long-term impact in their community.
We really hope you get to join us online on May 28, 5pm. As always, the tickets cost PHP500 (or JPY1,500 for our friends in Japan), and you can contact me through Instagram (@2shotsandapintofficial) to get your tickets. We’d gladly welcome donations too… ENGAGE and IWAG also work with remote communities to provide easier access to education.
See you there!
*AFAM – A Foreigner Assigned to Manila
guapo niya = he’s handsome
lalaki siya – hindi pwede ang babae = he’s male, women aren’t allowed
sikat siya = he/she is famous/popular
kahit korup siya may nagawa naman siya/magulang niya = even if he/she is corrupt, he/she/his/her parents have done something
panget siya, di na baling matindi qualifications niya = he’s/she’s ugly, never mind his/her qualifications
mabait siya sa akin = he/she is nice to me