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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Graduation and Politics?

I was watching the news last night and I learned that the DepEd warns schools not to let politicians take control of their graduation rites. It said that since graduation this year, which happens usually in late March, is close to election time, candidates might use the graduation for their campaign. Why not? You know these politicians. Give them a chance to talk and they will go on and on until kingdom come. Given an audience who will surely not leave their seats until their graduates have been given their diploma, candidates are sure to have a "captive" (or should I say "captured") audience for their propaganda.

Would listening to a candidate say his/her piece really that bad? I am not that certain, actually. I remember PGMA attending a graduation ceremony last year receiving catcalls and boos during her speech. It was a very humiliating experience for any public speaker, I'm sure. If my memory serves me right, the student was reprimanded. Of course, you don't humiliate your president like that. After all, she is the President of the Republic of the Philippines. This is not the case with candidates! Now, what if in spite of the DepEd's warning to schools and still a candidate finds his/her way to the podium in a graduation ceremony, we give hi/her the thumbs down io the middle of his speech? That ought to deplete his oversized ego, right?

I remember a story I read from Larry Henares' Make My Day when he still writes for the Inquirer a long time ago, which goes like this:

There was this president who went to a foreign land who, after the usual greetings, gave out a speech. During his speech, people chanted "Oooopah, ooompah". Not knowing what this meant, the president thought it was their way of welcoming a guest and that they were cheering and egging him on to continue. He really felt elated by this warm response.

Later in the day, the host president took the visiting president on a tour of the country. During the tour, they reached a certain ranch where hundreds of cows and horses were foraging. As they were walking, the host president said, "Mr. President, be sure to look where you are going or you might step on an ooompah."

So, should there be an unscrupulous "trapo" who uses a solemn ceremony as a graduation for his political campaign, let's cheer him/her on. Begin chauting: "ooompah! oompah"

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Blogger Bugsy said...

Tito Rolly, Filipinos are passionate when it comes to politics. Di ba sabi nila don't ever discuss religion and politics in any party, especially when people are drinking ... dangerous daw ang politics and alcohol if mixed. I totally agree.

But, passionate as we are, I believe that when somebody is invited to come to your house (i.e. the school in this case), you should be as polite as you can. A graduation ceremony is a solemn exercise, hindi carnival, hindi rally. I believe in freedom of speech so I was appalled when students disrupted PGMA with boos and placards in the middle of her speech. That was abuse, if you ask me. My kindest comment about that kind of behavior is "ang bastos".

Kaya Ooompah, oompah na lang tayo. :)

11:18 AM  
Blogger amateur misanthrope said...

Interesting suggestion. Inviting politicians to participate in graduation rites might give principals, teachers, i.e., the education sector, CLOUT. This way, politicans would include promises of additional items for teachers in their campaign promises. I'm being speculative.

I wonder about the prohibition. Why? There must be a good reason behind it.

10:49 PM  
Blogger ipanema said...

I hope they won't get invited though. Schools must be warry of this. Good for DepEd! At least they know it's the graduate's day and not the politicians. Scumbugs! :)

1:33 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bugsy Of course, tayong mga Filipino should be a good host. Wag tayojng maging bastos. Kaya if ever me pulitikong pulpol na magkamaling mangampanya during graduation, let's do the oompah chant.

Amateur Misanthrope I think the move of the DepEd to warn schools not to invite candidates is a good one. The reason being graduation is a solemn occasion for the graduates for completing their academic tasks and to dedicate this to their parents. Why should a solemn occasion be tainted with politics and boost a candidate's propaganda?

Ipanema I think it was a good move, too.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Noypetes said...

Rolly, Una, dapat tanungin ng school authorities kung may valid university or college diploma yung politiko o kandidato bago nila payagan ma-imbita sa mga graduation ceremonies. Pangalawa, di naman bawal matulog habang nagsasalita yung mga kandidato sa seremonya kung di ka interesado sa mga sinasabi nila! Di ka na mapipingot ng titser mo pag nahuli kang natutulog dahil gradweyt ka na eh di ba?

10:53 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

noypetes Syempre dapat graduate yung kandidato no? Pano sila makakapag inspire ng kabataan mag aral maigi kung sila di graduate?

Matulog na lang? Pwede rin. Pero palagay ko pwede ka pa ring pingutin kasi officially hindi ka pa graduate. Hindi pa tapos ang seremonyas eh. Kaya lang, okay din kung ako ang teacher kasi pihado tulog din ako. Magigising lang ako pag nagpalakpakan na at dun pa lang ako mag cha-chant ng "ooompah ooompah"

1:08 PM  
Anonymous bayi said...

Great idea, rolly. If the politicians are invited, get the students to shout in chorus, "Oompah, oompah..." *LOL*

I wonder if the Dept Ed is issuing this warning because of PGMA's not-too-plasant experience previously. But I doubt she would be so magnanimous.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Tanggero said...

oompahhh oompahhh! hik!
musta na sir rolly? tuloy ang tagay! hehehe

8:35 PM  
Blogger BatJay said...

ooompah? di ba yan yung mga maliliit na tao sa pabrika ni willy wonka. sana nga may mag boo - kaya lang medyo bastos yon. pwede siguro mag "moon" na lang.

10:11 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bayi No. The warning is to spare the graduates from campaign crap as the graduation is near the elections.

Tanggero Lamusta ka na? Long time no see ah.

Batjay Medyo garapal yung boo at saka bastos kaya oompah na lang. Tayu-tayo na lang nakakaintindi hehe

1:59 AM  
Blogger Rey A said...

I have nothing against politicians addressing a graduating class as long as they'll admit that they should not be emulated...that'll be the day...pagputi ng uwak

9:49 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Rey A Yeah, dream on! Alam mo naman ang mga pulitiko ngayon, kung hindi nagpapayaman, me delusion of grandeur. hehehe

9:18 AM  
Blogger diogenes said...

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2:00 AM  
Blogger samantha said...

Sorry, here's another long one :)

I think it's another case of a potentially good mechanism being bastardized by bad politicians.
Ideally these might have been some of the goals behind the trend of inviting politicians:
a)Politician might genuinely be an inspiring/moving speaker (JFK or Churchill-esque) and ideally a public servant is someone a community looks up to.
b)Promote political awareness of the youth. In discussing pertinent issues in society, we present these issues to a youth audience and try to make them take notice.
c)Create an incentive for good politicians. This is because ideally you will only grant the privilege and honor to politicians who you feel deserve it thus creating an incentive for them to perform 'honorably'
However, again none of these IDEAL situations do happen. If ever it does, these instances are more of the exception rather than the condition.

It really is sad how many have ignored venues and mechanisms in which candidates can be questioned extensively on pertinent issues and demand for concrete answers. Take for example a senatorial debate organized by student orgs just recently. Only a few of the candidates invited attended (mostly the underdog-independents) and the auditorium was barely filled. Contrast that to political rallies filled with fluff and banner statements that get all the attention.

In a probably unrelated note, whatever happened to debate in Zobel? Today as I was training some HS debaters from Southridge, I was saddened by the apparent death of debate in Zobel (according to Southridge they haven't seen Zobel in a debate tournament in years).

Many college debaters train the HS teams of their respective alma matter schools, some even train teams of schools they've never attended. Which made me think it would be great to train a team from my alma matter but how do you train something that is inexistent?

I should have probably emailed this unrelated last bit but then I realized I didn't have your email address. So I'll just leave my email address instead so I don't have to invade your blogspace with unrelated messages such as this ever again. :D

Super thanks Sir!

1:07 AM  
Blogger samantha said...

Ooops, my bad. This is a super old update, didn't notice hehehe.

1:18 AM  

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