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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Pick up the pieces

It came as a surprise to me that Sassy, who is celebrating her birthday today, should remember an old favorite post of mine entitled not everyone was born to be a rocket scientist and use it as a take-off point for her blog entry, which also saw print simultaneously in the pages of theManila Standard yesterday. While my original post was about the different abilities of each individual, thereby dictating ones chosen career, Sassy takcled the issue in a much different angle, viz., financial capabilities. In her article, she adroitly emphasized that the choices for a career for a lot of individuals have been narrowed down to an even smaller margin, basically because of the inadequacy of the family to send the child to school. This is very unfortunate especially in a country where people place a very high premium on education.

Ideally, worrying about where to get the funding for a good education should not be the case. If only these were good times economically, then all we have to worry about is mental capability. Children should learn how to dream big! It is only in dreaming that we begin to become big. If our ancestors never dreamt of flying, we could not have gone to the moon.

In my comment to Sassy's entry, I lamented that it seems like we have forgotten how to dream. How can a person living in dire straits dream when he/she is worried if he/she could eat each day? Finding food for the table is paramount to a lot of Filipinos. That is a given. And yet, can it be said that this is only true to the poorest of the poor? What about those who can afford three square meals a day? The middle class? Ah, there's the rub. Even most of these people's idea of success has been marred by an even more menacing factor in our lives. i am talking about the ill effects of the tv and print media. Taht element that is spawning mediocrity and false hope for the people.

Everyday, we are bombarded by shows detrimental to our aesthetic ideals and even challenging our very morals the way we want them to be. Just look at the two biggest tv stations in the country today. Go to one and you can easily say what the other is showing at the same time. The same format, the same kind of shows, practically the same game being aired at the same time. And these stations attract the very young to the oldest member of the community. Isn't it a typical site where You'd see the elderly egging a child to dance the latest dance step being shown on tv? Never mind the sexual undertones of the dance. There are parents who would take their children out of school so that the child can audition for a children's contest on tv. I can just assume that there'd be a long queue waiting for their turns. Never mind that they are being baked by the sun and that the child has not had his/her breakfast. Nevermind that the child is clad in her finest clothes and sweating all over. The return of investment might be gigantic.

What about the reality shows? (if its happening abroad, it must be good, so we must have our own counterpart, right?) Is there anything real about them? Would the average Juan or Maria act the same way given that situation? Or are they setting a new wave of thinking?

Nevertheless, I think I have digressed from Sassy's thesis in her article and mine. Given the harder times ahead (what with the advent of evat and all) should we as a people abandon dreaming? I say no, We should not stop to dream. We have to dream and dream big otherwise, we will never go anywhere but down. Even the most broken-hearted can pick-up the pieces and start from there. Let's start picking up the pieces, shall we?



Anonymous bayi said...


in saying that we have forgotten how to dream, i believe you have quite summarized the condition today. reality shows, much as they are enjoyable to many,may end up as a enjoyable form of escapism, despite the expected many denials.

not all are born to be rocket scientists. how true. we need teachers, doctors, mechanics and along list of other talents too (but God, please don't include politicians!). many of use equate education with academic education. this is a fallacy. vocational education may well anchor the development of society.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous bugsybee said...

Tito Rolly, many of my students had to go through years of difficulties but, in the end, they triumphed. And this was because they never gave up believing in their dreams.

11:58 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bayi Sad isn't it? You're right, it's called escapism. Not much thinking and all it does is tickle a funny bone here and there.

Yes,we have been pre-occupied with the kind of education we perceive as high paying and lucrative.

bugsybee I'm happy for your students. They knew what they wanted from the very start. Or did they? Wasn't there someone who dreamt of becoming a doctor while growing up? Of course, in every rule there is an exception. I hope the rule far outweighs the exception in this case.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Avid reader ako ni Sir Batjay, na surprise ako that he deleted my comment asking why they dont have Batjay Jr.( I mean, a baby). I believe that i touched a "sensitive issue."Am i right?Not that it is my damn business..hehehhe

3:22 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Anonymous Allow me to be candid with you. Maybe your problem is being insensitive if not naive. MAybe you're still very young. I don't know why you would ask that question to me and not even have the courage to identify yourself. Allow me to teach you a lesson. There are things which are supposed to be left unsaid. Now that you think you've hit a sensitive issue with someone and you wanted to seek another's opinion, the proper thing to do is find a way by which you can discuss this privately. Email is at the top of my head. If your hunch was correct, that you have erred, you will have to own it, apologize and hope that your apology is accepted. Posting it in a comment not even related to the topic of discussion is another no-no.

Remember, I could have deleted your comment because: 1. this is my blog, 2. the comment was totally irrelevant and most importantly, 3. you did not identify yourself. However, inspite of all these, I chose not to delete simply because I am, and probably will always be, a teacher. My goal is to teach.

That said, I hope you don't take this personally and learn from this experience. Thank you.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Ley said...

I agree, one thing I would like to add is our inability to actually know what we actually want in our lives. Like nursing, like 90% of the people I knew in highschool took that course simply because you know its like their one way ticket to a job abroad - we've not only lost our ability to dream but also our ability to know what we actually wanna do with our lives.


7:04 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Ley You're talking about a bigger issue we are confronting today. The reason for this is economic. We all know that working abroad has high returns. Why would you think a doctor in the Philippines would still study to become a nurse abroad, notably the States? The pay is staggering as compared to what they would be earning here in the country. Again, this is a reality we have to learn to admit. unless we put our acts together as one nation, this will happen to us forever. The brain drain happened in the 60's, abated during the 80's and made a huge comeback in this century.

7:16 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:49 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Anonymous PS nga pala, before I give you the wrong signals, I am neither confirming nor denying your intuition about the whole thing. Only Batjay can answer that. Why don't you ask him personally and ask for forgiveness if that is true?

8:52 PM  
Blogger BatJay said...

rizal actually wrote about this topic to her sisters when he was in exile in dapitan.

i think the issue was about his sister's kids who were underperforming and not following in the footsteps of their genius uncle.

rizal replied na don't expect too much from them dahil hindi naman lahat ng tao ay ipinanganak na matalino. yung iba, nagiging doctor at yung iba nagiging magsasaka. or something to that effect.

hindi ko naman sinasabi na hindi matalino ang mga magsasaka, in fact marami akong kilala na magsasaka na mas matalino pa sa mga doctor.

ang point is, like what you said - not everyone was born to be a rocket scientist.

kung ako lang nga ang masusunod, magkukulot na lang ako ng buhok.

11:36 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Batjay Actually, the bottomline is "how do you measure success?" Would you consider yourself successful because you have a high paying job and that your family live in comfort? Pag ganon, a well-known movie star or basketball player whose making millions is successful.

Or should success be measured by happiness your job brings you. In that case, ung masayang social worker is very successful, diba? Or maski yung isang manikurista sa parlor who finds joy in his/her art is successful.

It's all relative. Ako, I work hard and stay poor. :-)

3:34 PM  
Blogger bing said...

hi mr rolly...

i think it is unfair to our children to impose what we like them to be. it is just normal for a parent to desire the good things for his children. but to make them believe that successs is measured by the amount of money they will get from a job is a different thing.

8:49 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Miss Bing Definitely. It's unfair to the child to be dictated upon what they should be in their adult life. We, as parents, can only guide them but never to tell them what they should be. Mahirap na, baka masisi pa. Besides, who can ever tell what career one has to take and be ensured of happiness?

9:04 PM  
Blogger cathcath said...

my measurement of my life's accomplishment is my children.

It's not their success in their respective careers but in their attitude towards life, being responsible parents and law abiding citizens.

It is only in this manner I can gauge whether I left a legacy that can contribute to a better world in the future.

10:59 PM  
Blogger Naomi said...

true.. reality shows here sucks! especially the Jerry Springer show

5:33 AM  
Anonymous stef said...

tito rolly, my 5 centavos worth: (ginagawa pa ba 'yang coin na 'yan d'yan sa atin?) i don't think it's that people have forgotten to dream, i think super-dami pang factors (now that you've got me thinking about this, i just might blog about it)... like what is it really to dream? and you're right how do people really define success? it reminds me of the book "do what you love, the money will follow". easy to say but difficult to practice for most. parents are hit with the daily realities and sometimes they end up being the damper to their own children's dreams.... it's related to education din: are we teaching our kids so that they will be A students, so they can get into "good colleges", so they can get "good jobs" and make "good money"? or do we teach our kids to LOVE learning for the sake of learning per se? the other factor i want to mention here is the attachment to material goods -- from where i stand, a lot of people see nothing wrong with spending thousands on "consumables" -- things that will be obsolete in a year or so -- and yet 'yung future ang pinapabayaan. how many parents in the world today teach their kids delayed gratification? so kids are dreaming.... but are they dreaming about their next x box game or their next camera phone? or are they dreaming about what they will BE one day, someone that can make a contribution to the world? titigil na 'ko at pasens'ya na sa long comment, this is an issue that's close to my heart as i think it's the root of a LOT of problems, sa 'pinas and everywhere else -- retreating now to my own blog....

6:31 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Cathy That is my measurement of my accomplishment, too. If my children will get to lead a happy life, I'm happy.

Naomi You wouldn't belileve it but when I was there, I was amused at watching that show. Soon enough, I began to see a pattern. It's probably that the people appearing there are: too dumb, just plain enjoying seeing themselves on tv as they are all losers or the show is completely rigged - scripted kung baga.

Stef i don't mind long comments as long as they have something worthy to say. As a matter of fact, I am encouraging it. Yours did. I will take a look at your blog. Re your question, I think we still do, although it doesn't have any value at all. Try tossing it to a wishing well and it will float.

8:07 AM  
Blogger kukote said...

my first time here... tama ka sir! ang laki ng epekto ng media sa buhay ng mga filipino ngayon. napansin ko nga, lagi na lang palabas sa maala-ala mo kaya ay yung mga taong nagtagumpay sa kanilang buhay dahil sa sila ay nag-artista.. tsk tsk tsk.

2:18 AM  
Blogger Naomi said...

happy halloween tito rolly =)

4:01 AM  
Blogger Jet said...

Tito Rolly, where do I come in when I said in my blog that, 'It's in the simplest existence,in the humblest company and in the emptiest moments that I learned to appreciate what I had... and find happiness right where I was. I didn't have to reach far and dream big. One can only be as big as one sees oneself. The world will always be bigger still... and God, even more.'

Parang contradictory sa sinasabi mo di ba? But then I've thought of it and well, I too have had my dreams, big dreams. Some of them I realized, some... almost. But it's when I chose to stop chasing those dreams, that I found myself and started to appreciate life and feel some semblance of happiness. Was I successful then?

Now I'm dreaming again. I'm here where I am after all. But I dream with more reservation, with reality close at my heels. I'd like to think it's wisdom, but maybe it's just age. Do you think I've become defeatist?

12:18 AM  
Blogger Pinoy Teachers Network said...

Mabuhay ka gurong Pinoy! Please check out Manila Bulletin halloween issue, the Pinoy Teachers Network was featured there *wink*


1:30 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

marhgil Welcome to my blog. Hmmm you're in your 499th entry. Wow! and to think we practically entered this blogging world at the same time. That is quite a feat.

Yes, I believe what we see in tv somehow dictates what we eventually become. That dictates our aesthetic ideal kasi e.

Naomi Happy haloween to you, too.

Jet That was a loadful. I agree with you. It's the beauty of the purest smile that gives one an authentic feeling of happiness. When I watch those shows that feature huge mansions, amazing vacation homes, I realize din that the owner would sit on a chair and i begin to think, so he only needs that much space to rest.

Actually, hindi naman contradictory because i am not actually talking about material possessions. I'm talking about dreaming big and becoming what one wants to be in life.

pinoy teachers Way to go. Although, we still have a long way to go to reach our goals. Just the same, congratulations.

7:25 AM  

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Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.

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Jack of all trade, master of none. First a disclaimer. My students have discovered this blog and they might think that what I write is gospel truth. Worse is they might find an argument that they think they can use, for some reason or another, against their teachers. So, to set the record straight, it is NOT. As a matter of fact, I write and open it to feedback to get another view in the hope that somebody would tell me if I am wrong and reenforce my thinking if it is right. Not that I will accept anything thrown my way, though. Just so I can think about it some more and decide whether my original stance is right or definitely off tangent. So there. I hope that clarifies everything. Now, on to blogging.

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