Just yesterday, I was able to convince my Philosophy professor that it would be in his (and my) best interests to allow me to take the long exam in English instead of Tagalog/Filipino. The story behind this, I found out last week that I had signed up for a Filipino Philosophy class, instead of my usual English one. My stand, even if Filipino Philosophy class is suppose to be ‘easier’, my comprehension and ability to express myself (for Philosophy) in Tagalog is a lot worse. Even if English Philosophy class is a lot harder, at least I can understand the explanations and notes. Well, I don’t know if it was my mistake since I clearly remember enlisting for an English class, but I was fretting about this specific class of mine since the prof mentioned it was okay to answer the quizzes in either Filipino/English, but the long exams had to be done in Filipino.
So yes, I was freaking out like heck. Imagine my confusion last week when I realized that the class was a Filipino class. I had an “Oh, that’s why” moment. Realized why some of my classmates were making their analyses (to our readings) in Filipino, and why my professor had both Filipino and English notes (predominantly the former). Sad thing is that even the simplest of words were alien to me. Not to say that I don’t understand Filipino, because I do. I just don’t understand complicated words that go outside of the basic conversational Filipino. Words used in class like “pagkikilatis” are foreign to me.
Basically, convinced my professor that my taking the long exam in Filipino would mean that…
1. My Filipino would be somewhat incomprehensible because I don’t have good grammar when it comes to writing in Filipino.
2. My long exam would consist of redundant more-or-less-basic Filipino words that would fail at trying to explain a Philosophical idea.
3. Writing in Filipino, for me, takes forever. I have a tendency to translate all Filipino thoughts into English then back to Filipino when responding. Most especially when I write! I think about the thoughts in English, and usually write out an interesting English essay, then persevere to translate it into Filipino from there. FAIL.
Good News: Prof agreed to let me take the exams in English. Yay! Understanding prof!! A burden has been lifted from my shoulders!
In recent news in the Philippines, a most heinous crime has occurred. Recently, there was a murder of about 30+ people in Maguindanao (in the Mindanao islands), some were innocent women, some were lawyers (women included) and some journalists. From what I read on the internet news, one of the political figures was running for re-election or something like that. Thing is, the place where he had to apply for re-election was in the area of his rival, and since political clashes are rampant here, he decided to send his wife and sister in his stead since they were Muslims and he had believed that they wouldn’t be hurt since Islam has a rule against hurting/killing women (or something like that).
Accompanied by some journalists, lawyers, the group headed for the place where they would apply for the said politician. On the way, the group was kidnapped! After that, I read a couple more things. Turns out, some of the members of the group were beheaded, some were shot, the women were sexually assaulted and such.
HOW LOW CAN THESE PEOPLE GO?!
Sometimes, I really don’t understand these things. People go to such means to attain their political goals. Election fraud is prevalent enough as it is, political massacres are another thing too. Oh and yes, the killing of journalists, that’s a pretty big thing here as well. This is why my mom heartily (if you could describe it as such) discouraged me from taking Communication Arts when I was applying for my university, since one of the tracks was Journalism and she knew how much I wanted to be a Journalist since I was little. Well, I can understand how my mom feels about protecting me but sometimes, one must speak the truth, even if the whole world decides to shun the truth for conveniences’ sake.
Okay, straying from the point. In my opinion, it’s such a disgrace that the Philippines calls itself a country that has the freedom of speech. Sure, people here have rallies and voice out their opinions. But deep down, people who do so end up in body bags tossed in some empty field, or some other disgraceful show of anti-rebellion tactics. It’s sad. How can a country that has so many free speakers, suffer from such inhumane acts. No person deserves that kind of punishment. Political conflicts should be settled in elections, fair and square. If a person is a good politician, someone who serves the country and the people, and does what is best for the people, then surely he/she will be re-elected for their position. But if a person abuses their power, then begone with you. This country does not need selfish people like that. The same goes with journalism. Freedom of the press. There will always be truth and lies in journalism, but somehow the truth will always come out and no matter who you silence to keep a secret, bad things will always surface.
It may be an idealistic kind of thinking. If there’s one thing I learned in Philosophy and Theology class, its Justice and Good. It’s sad how schools teach and underline these values and morals for their students, but not all students embrace these things when they eventually graduate. The school can only teach a person so much, the rest is of course up to each individual.
Sometimes I wonder. Do these people who do wrong, have a conscience? How are they able to sleep at night, knowing that their hands are covered with the blood of some innocent person. Even if a person is not innocent, it does not mean that one should take the matter into their own hands. The law has become something we’ve not relied on anymore, because it’s so corrupt. True. Even I sometimes believe that the law is incapable of helping the people. The thing that is suppose to protect us, ends up hurting us. It’s sad really, how we live in this world full of ironies and lies.