Personal Views on Three Filipino Issues….Education, School Activities, Christmas

Personal Views on Three Filipino Issues

…Education, School Activities, Christmas

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

I have nothing against the education, the requirements and activities, and the celebration of “traditions”, but it seems that the practices have gone overboard. Instead of helping, they have created more problems – FINANCIALLY to the impoverished.

 

EDUCATION is very necessary, no question about that. Unfortunately, the K-12 system has added misery to the parents who can hardly send their children to the former 4-year high school as the new system has stretched their financial agony by two more years. Due to the haphazard implementation of the system, many schools have been caught without the necessary facilities for effective implementation. Before, a high school graduate may already have the chance to work as a store attendant or a security guard so that he or she can earn and save for his or her college education. Today, the parents must spend for the education of their children beyond the Grade 10 up to 12 so that the “high school” education has been attained for a diploma needed for a job as sales lady, security guard, messenger, etc. Why the need for the extra 2 years, then, when the graduates shall land on the same kind of job? I have not yet mentioned here the corrupted printing of text books which have been converted into workbooks that are discarded every end of the school year as  this long-time issue may just ruin the day of viewers.

 

SCHOOLS COMPETE WITH EACH OTHER IN IMPLEMENTING REQUIREMENTS AND HOLDING OF ACTIVITIES. In first year high school, there is already a requirement for a “thesis” which many students do not even understand. To be able to complete a requirement, they practically “copy/paste” materials from the internet. Some schools right at the early opening of classes are already requiring students to join “educational tours” supposedly as part of a certain “module”. Those who cannot afford the expensive trip are required to submit a report that require them to go to the internet where they spend long hours of browsing and copy/pasting, printing and collating of materials that they stole from the different sites. Where is the connection of the educational trip to the supposedly research?

 

Here is a classic story of a young mother who sells pastil as a livelihood to help her husband who drives a tricycle with a “boundary” of Php150 a day….to send their 3 children to high school. Since October this year, she has incurred a total loaned amount of Php8,000.00 that she used for the “school requirements” and lately for the “family day” and “Christmas party”. I need not elaborate on the “school requirements”. But the “family day” and “Christmas party” are two activities that should be thought of…as regards their necessity. For practical reasons due to the financial difficulty of the time, are they really necessary when so many families can hardly afford to give their children decent school allowance? After the family day that is supposed to bond the family, the impertinent children are back to their cellfones while the poor mothers are back to their laundry, cooking and cleaning of the house. Unfortunately, as I am writing this, the poor mother and her husband have yet to pay, Php3,000 as balance of their loan…and the year is already ending!

 

CHRISTMASTIME IS GIVING, NOT ASKING FOR GIFTS….IT IS ALSO SUPPOSEDLY, THE “BIRTHDAY (?)” OF JESUS  CHRIST. Unfortunately, the parents should be faulted on why children have the wrong notion about the season. In this regard, children are sad if they have no new clothes, toys, no expensive food on the table. Also, instead of thinking about the impoverished as the recipients of material gifts intended for Jesus, they want to have them for their own gratification.

 

On the other hand, lest I be misunderstood, I like the unifying intention for the celebration of Christmas, but there is a need for its utmost understanding. Many Christians already know how the pagan-based celebration has started. For the sake of unity, there has to be a reason for getting together. Feasts have to be celebrated as man by nature loves festivities and rich food….the way pagans of long ago wanted them. THE PROBLEM IS, MANY OF THOSE WHO OBSERVE THE TRADITION TODAY ARE OBSERVING IT WITH ARROGANCE…THEY FLAUNT TO THE WORLD THEIR EXCESSSES IN LIFE…WITHOUT THROWING A CRUMB TO THOSE WITH THE LEAST IN LIFE.

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The Act of Kindness…a message to parents

The Act of Kindness

…a message to parents

By Apolinario Villalobos

The act of kindness should not be a means to an end, but the reason, in itself. In other words, we should not be kind to others, just because we want to go to heaven, but because we want to do it to for the sake of others. Acting kindly should be spontaneous. The act should form part of our habit. By acting this way, we will forget to count our indulgences which others are prone in doing. The act of kindness should end when the action is done, so that any return for such act is not considered.

In this regard, parents should stop telling their kids to be kind to others so that Jesus will love them. Children should be told to be kind, because by being so they are helping others. Of course, there is always Jesus or God or heaven as reasons every time we do kind acts. But, foremost, as our reason to be kind should be the expectation of us, as human beings, intelligent creatures, who should be kind to others. The clever guys may ask, what happens then to the Ten Commandments?

For the question above, I also ask, how about the aborigines who do not know God?… those in the hinterlands and jungles who have not seen a missionary, much more a Bible or a cross? Don’t they have the right to go to heaven even if they have done acts of kindness, just because nobody told them about such an eternal paradise? The unconscious dispensing of kind acts by these people who, in the eyes of others are uncivilized, deserve more heavenly recognition that what some evil-minded, though, college or university-educated and church-going humans are doing!

Parents should tell their children that they should be kind to others because the latter deserve respect due them as human beings. And, blessings should be shared with them because they need the help to be able to survive. We should do only those, and just leave to God the judgment if our acts are worthy of a place in heaven. Again, we should not count our acts of kindness.

Every Christmas, some parents are even going farther, by warning their kids not to be bad because Santa Claus will not give them gifts. Christianity or any religion that observes Christmas never teaches that! Santa Claus is not even mentioned in the Bible or whatever book of any religion. Santa Claus just like the Christmas tree, is just a symbol of the pagan way of celebrating Christmas, to have a semblance of festivity. Christmas is all about the humble birth of Jesus Christ. And, what has been originally celebrated was the baptism of Jesus Christ. It was only one of the early popes who thought of giving importance to the birthday of Jesus Christ, with the exact date not yet even officially established, and to give it a facade of joyful celebration for the sake of the converted pagans, used their early practices that are still being observed today.

A mother confided to me that when she told her child that Santa Claus is a missionary, the child in all innocence, asked her mother why he does not wear a cross, or carry a Bible! The mother was caught flat-footed, and she told me that she felt so ashamed of what she told her child, vowing never to tell her lies again.

The erroneous way of developing kindness in the personality of a child has done its toll. The wrong notion about kindness has become an integral part of the obnoxious attitude of some children which they will pass on to their own children when they become parents, themselves. The world is so full of children with this kind of attitude, with the parents themselves, to be blamed for their “spoiled” upbringing. This is a general observation. If some parents are doing the right thing, they need not react defensively. Unfortunately, I may be pessimistic, by sharing that I see no end to this vicious cycle. Only voluntary contrition of parents may help. But how many parents are willing?

 

Simplifying Life with Love, Tempered with Respect

Simplifying Life with Love, Tempered by Respect

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

A positive life or rather, way of life is supposed to be ruled by just love and respect. Basically, we should love God, love life that He gave, and love others, be they within our family or strangers, as well as the so-called lesser creatures.  And, with love, comes respect. That is how life should be lived…supposedly.

 

But because of selfishness, life has been polarized. At one end are those who are exploited by others and at the other end, are those who exploit them. Life has become complicated because of the emergence of the mentioned evil desire.

 

If only we can simplify life with love tempered by respect, then, there will no longer be a desire for anything that is more than what we need. Selfishness is the reason why man is never satisfied. Man covets those that are not his. He even covets those that are not yet on hand.

 

Because life today is ruled by strength and money, man can no longer say that in order to survive, he can just run to the wilderness and harvest food, just like they do in the days of old. Today, living is simply a choice between simplicity but entails a lot of physical sacrifice, and complexity which calls for a lot of spiritual sacrifice. Simply put, it is either to live with hunger and needs, then die with a mouth agape with pain, or live in luxury, and die with a reluctant and heavy heart due to the amassed wealth that will be left behind.

 

But, since God gave man intelligence and free will, the choice is his. One encouraging fact, however, is about the seeping in of a need among many men and women, to reach out to Him, as they approach the threshold of their life. Unconsciously, there is a transformation in the way they live, leading to one of simplicity. Many are surprised about their loss of interest for socials, but veer their interest, instead, toward religious congregations. Some even start donating their wealth to worthy causes. If ever there is a need for socials, simple “ballroom dances” in multi-purpose halls are enough.

 

One only needs to look around to see this phenomenon – senior citizens smiling their way to their respective Church, with some donning work clothes on weekends to render volunteer service for community outreach projects, while others protect themselves with umbrellas on their way to depressed areas to conduct Bible studies. They all seem to shout to the world that they can still do something for the love of God and others despite their age. With their simple acts of living, they, indeed, are showing love and earning respect!

Love of the Mother

Love of the Mother

By Apolinario B Villalobos

 

When it comes to giving love –

Nothing can beat the one

Who nurtured us within her

And for months endured our weight

A burden that she carried –

Until with hard drawn effort

Brought us forth into this world.

 

While in her womb

We partake of the air she breathes

We partake of the food she eats

We partake of the emotions she feels

Her blood makes our heart beat

And careful that we float with ease

She moves with well-guarded steps.

 

Our heart that beats is her mark in us

Greater than anything, we owe it to her –

She who cries when we succumb to sickness

And dry her breast for precious milk…

Our life, we owe to our dear mother

She, we should love more than any other.

LOVE OF THE MOTHER

 

See with Our Heart, Feel with Our Kindness

See with Our Heart,
Feel with Our Kindness
By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Our eyes perceive the world
That’s all that they can do;
But there’s more beneath
The surface of everything
That only the heart can see –
If strengthened with fidelity.

 

Touching the lives of others
Some do with false charity
They, who think, food is enough
They, who think, money is fine
But given devoid of kindness
All effort becomes worthless.

 

Look around with our heart
Touch others with kindness
Those are what we should do
To realize our purposes in life –
Live and share, love sincerely
And thank the Lord as we pray!

 

Ang Makasarili at Mapagbigay

Ang Makasarili at Mapagbigay

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Mahahalata ang taong makasarili at mapagbigay sa pamamagitan ng isang halimbawang sumusunod: ….sa hapag-kainan, ang pinipiling saging ng makasarili ay ang may pinakamagandang balat at malaki; ang mapagbigay naman ay pinipili ang maliit at may halos nangingitim nang balat dahil nanghihinayang siya kung tuluyang mabulok. Kung piniritong isda o manok ang ulam, ang pinipili ng makasarili ay ang pinakamalaki; ang mapagbigay ay hindi namimili.

 

Walang masama sa pagpili ng pinakamagandang bagay kung ito ay iyong binili. Subalit kung nakalatag sa harap ng isang pamilya kung saan ay kasama ang magulang at mga kapatid, dapat ay kailangang maging mapagbigay lalo na sa magulang at nakababatang kapatid. Kadalasan, ang mga nakatatanda pang mga kapatid ang nag-aagawan ng pinakamaganda habang nakatunganga ang mga nakababatang kapatid at magulang.

 

Ang pagkamakasarili ay nagbibigay-buhay sa kasabihan sa Ingles na, “what are we in power for”…na nagpapairal ng lakas laban sa mahihina. Nangyayari yan sa lahat ng sitwasyon, sa loob man ng tahanan o sa komunidad na maliit hanggang sa kabuuhan ng isang bansa. Dahil diyan ay may korapsyon sa mga pamahalaan at sa loob ng ILANG tahanan ay may magkakapatid na palaging nag-aaway.

 

Sa mga pamilyang mayayaman, ang pagkamakasarili din ang dahilan ng awayan ng magkakapatid dahil sa mga minana mula sa mga namayapang magulang.

The “Culture of Entitlement”

The “Culture of Entitlement”

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

 

The “culture of entitlement” has made many Filipinos, especially, the youth, dependent on their expected inheritance from rich parents and generous relatives. The expectation has resulted to their indolence and loss of drive to strive on their own. This culture was never a part of the Filipino life prior to the arrival of the Spaniards. Early Filipinos were expected to work hard for survival because of the striated society. Instead of “entitlement”, the early Filipinos were “awarded” for their hard-earned accomplishments.

 

In grave contrast, the western nations, especially, America, are devoid of the aforementioned culture. In America for instance, soonest as a member of the family reaches the age of 18, he or she is expected to move out of the house of the parents to be on his or her own. And, even children of billionaires work hard to earn their living.

 

In the Philippines, children of OFWs and those with high positions in private companies and government tend to take things easy as they are assured of comfortable life, anyway. Some of them even lost interest in pursuing their studies, and develop a vice, instead. They are so conscious about the obligation of their parents to support them, by all means, that some of them even have the courage to ask for their inheritance in advance! Children of some OFWs do not even give a thought to the difficulties that their parents have to hurdle just to be able to send home hard earned money.

 

Unless the attitude of dependence or the culture of entitlement is softened a bit, the character of the Filipinos in general shall continue to be on its downhill trend. But then, some of the parents can be blamed for this attitude for having pampered their children. Some of these parents who have suddenly experienced a bit of affluence due to finances that trickle from abroad give their young children the impression that they are rich which expectedly, has been deeply impressed in their mind. As these children grow, they speak and act as if they belong to rich families!

 

Finally, the aforementioned culture has created chaos in homes as children tend to think that they are not loved by their parents who, on the other hand, think that they have brought up ungrateful children.