Most of my close friends know that my ultimate dream is to modify the curriculum of Sibika at Kultura (which I’ve heard has been changed into Makabayan). Something has to be done to tweak it so that our students can relate to it and not just memorize dates and names… Something that can make them proudly accept their history and heritage…Something that will allow them to live their lives knowing they are part of this greater community, this beautiful country.
You have your basic subjects like math, reading and science which are investments into their minds. They learn the skills, the theories and whatever else is needed to be productive, efficient people. And then you have Sibika or Makabayan or History (or whatever it is to be called) which is like investing into their hearts and souls… that they may use what they learn for the good of their family and their country. Because at an early age, their country will mean something to them. [Family is important – and I believe that it will always be a strength of the Filipino people. As most strengths are also weaknesses, I’d also like to think that somehow we can strike a balance and overcome this kinship challenge and expand our collective soul to embrace the rest of our Filipino brothers and sisters.]
I loved my cultural heritage classes with Dr. Zialcita. I love how he exposed us to places, practices, history and food with a “I love the Philippines” framework. He made us look, taste and experience things that were normal – and yet, somehow, they started to have more meaning. Quiapo. Ensaymada. Intramuros. Binagoongan. Sampaguita. Barong Tagalog. Pochero. Adobo. Arcades. Lambanog. Anting-anting. Fiestas. Tsinelas. We started to own them. We were proud of what we had and who we are as a people.
I want it to have that impact.
So… dream goal is the curriculum. The easier-to-reach goal is to teach Cultural Heritage in Poveda. I proposed it as an elective for the seniors but never got around to doing it. [It’s still on my list of things to do before I die.]
Because I’m the rookie at the office, I got to go on a fieldtrip with Julia (and Cedrik) and her Raya kids to the Aquino Center.
And that is how I heard about The Raya School. [CLARE! Are you reading this?!]
When Julia first mentioned she taught Citizenship at the school, I nodded my head thinking Cool! Citizenship! … not once imagining it to be a preschool/gradeschool. Eventually, I found out I’d be hanging with adorable first and second graders. I searched for it online and fell in love with the philosophy behind the curriculum.
I told Teacher Ani earlier that when (if) I have children, I’d send them to Raya. 🙂
This is on one of the walls.
Kaya mong baguhin ang mundo.
It’s so definitive. A message packed with hope and faith for change and it is read by tiny people everyday while they slide and run around and play.
At naniniwala ako na kaya nila.
I remembered Gabbie’s post when I saw this.
I don’t think the teachers put that up because they are young and idealistic. And I don’t think their students believe in it because they are but babies who have yet to experience disappointment, pain and whatever hardships the world has to offer them.
From the little that I have seen (from the website and the fieldtrip and the school itself), you cannot help but notice the love the teachers have for their students and for the country. These are people who are serious about developing young Filipinos.
They are sure that their students (well, anyone who reads it actually) can make a difference. I guess it’s not even a hope for change. It is somewhat stronger than hope – it’s stated as a fact. Kasi kaya talaga – kung pipiliin mo ang landas na papuntang pagbabago. Pero yun yun eh. Pipiliin mo dapat.
I hope because I have been loved and have been hoped for. I hope because there is a tide that asks to be turned. And, quite simply, I hope because I choose to.
These children are obviously loved. Their teachers and parents see who they are and what they can become. The tide is turning. They hope and they love and this is manifested in the fact that they are molding the future the best they can. Into Filipinos, balanced, productive, creative. People with integrity that are aware of their roots. Knowing who they are, they cannot help but be proud of their identity. There is so much beauty in our country which is just hidden behind the chaotic political circus, poverty and the headlines that read “inner circle only”. If we can see past the hazy screen and look deep into our heritage one cannot help but fall in love.
These kids are given that chance to peek behind the screen. Heck, they’re allowed to go behind the screen and play. They are allowed to fall in love. And at the rate they’re going, they will probably choose to stay in love. I have high hopes that they too won’t be able to resist choosing the path that will change our country and the world.