Friday, March 27, 2015

Mga Teacher ng Bayan


Ngayong patapos na ang aming dalawang taon sa Commonwealth Elementary School, gusto kong iparating sa inyo kung ano ang nagaganap sa loob ng mga silid ng pinakamalaking mababang paaralan sa ating bansa. Maliban sa mga kakulangan, na alam naman natin ay lagi ng binabalita sa kung saan-saang channel at pahayagan, gusto kong ibahagi ang kwento ng mga taong pilit na inaayos ang sistema at pilit na ginagawa ang kanilang makakaya. Ito ang kwento ng mga nakasama ko ng 2 taon: ang aking mga co-teacher sa aking grade. 

Ang pangatlong baitang ang isa sa pinakaimportanteng baitang sa grade school lalo na sa mga pampublikong eskwelahan. Dito nagaganap ang nationwide assessment (NAT o ngayon ay LAPG), at ito rin ang grade na madaming nag-drodrop out. Ito rin ang lebel kung saan huling tinututukan ang kakayahang pagbasa ng mga estudyante dahil pagdating ng grade 4, nagbabago na ang standard sa kanilang reading ability, at para siguraduhin na ang lahat ng ito ay nabibigyang pansin, nandiyan ang mga guro. 

Ito ang kwento nila Ma'am Ferrer, Ma'am Eunice, Ma'am Aquino, Ma'am Maluyo, Ma'am Unciano, Ma'am Luz, Ma'am Tafalla, Ma'am Domantay, Ma'am Ebcas, Ma'am Capate, Sir Felipe, Sir Lee, Ma'am Tiapco, Ma'am Obenita at Ma'am Asuncion.



Ginugol na nila ang mga nakalipas na taon para siguraduhin na ang 850 mahigit na estudyante ng grade 3 PM ay pumasok araw-araw. Kaakibat nila dito ang mga problema ng lipunan dahil ito ay nakakaapekto sa attendance ng mga bata. Higit pa dito, sila ay araw-araw na gumagawa ng lesson plans, forms na tungkol sa kung anu-ano at mga lesson aid para sa susunod nga henerasyon. Sila rin ang takbuhan ng mga bata kapag ang mga estudyanteng ito ay walang pangkain sa araw dahil sa hirap ng buhay. Minsan ay nagsisilbi din silang nurse o doctor pag may sakit ang isa sa kanilang mga estudyante. Lahat ng ito ay nagagawa nilang may ngiti sa kanilang mga labi, na may kasabay na halakhak mula sa kwentuhan tungkol sa kanilang pang-araw araw na buhay na labas sa eskwelahan. 

May mga araw na masasabi kong hirap sila. May mga araw talaga na sobrang dami ng kaganapan at hindi na lang alam kung paano kikilos o gagalaw. Pero ang tanging response nila dito ay isang masayang kainan, o kwentuhan at pagkatapos nito, gagawin pa rin nila ang tambak ng trabaho na nakaharap sa kanila. 

Pumasok ako sa kanilang eskwelahan at inisip ko noon na may ideya na ako kung paano gumalaw at paano sumagot sa mga isyu na kinakaharap natin sa edukasyon. Pero mali pala ako. Sila ang nagturo sa akin na madami pang kailangan gawin at kahit ganoon, dapat gumalaw at magutom pa din para sa pagbabago. 

Hindi sila tumigil gumawa ng tama dahil alam nila na marami ang nakasalalay sa kanila. Alam nila na hinuhubog nila ang susunod na henerasyon. Siguro, kung may ganoong consciousness sa lahat ng trabaho, mas magiging maganda ang bansa na ito. 


Alam ko na yan ay hindi lang nila kwento. Kwento din ito ng libo-libong guro sa buong Pilipinas, kwento ng mga teacher ng bayan. 

Ngayong isang araw na lang bago magtapos ang aking serbisyo sa CES, gusto kong magpasalamat sa kanila. Dahil hindi lang estudyante ang tinuruan nila ngunit pati kami rin. 
Pinaramdam nila sa amin kung bakit hindi dapat tumigil, at kung bakit kailangan pa naming gumalaw kung saan man kami mapadpad. 

Maraming salamat mga Ma'am at Sir, hanggang sa susunod na pagkikita!




Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Kenn and Sofia's Infinite Playlist Vol. 1

There are many passion projects that I keep. These projects are usually done with the people I love and there are those that serve to be extensions of me. This one, is both of those two things for me. Kenn and I found each other through music. I like to believe that ever since I or he recommended or played a song, we were already starting to build a connection.

Fast forward to now, where we are starting our own story accompanied by the wide track list we have collected since the first time we met and where we exchanged artists and songs, we now plan to share this infinite list to other music lovers as well.

This list was curated by us. Kenn is an ex-DJ turned marketing personnel, and me, Sofia, is currently a 3rd grade teacher who always loved discovering new songs, artists and seeing them live. I also keep a daily morning tunes and evening tunes habit for my own and others’ tuneage. We don’t pick genres, and trust us, this list is very extensive. Choose your songs wisely and we are sooo happy to make your days.


All the love and positivity,

Kenn Jimenez & Sofia Santiago



 Tracklist:

1. Passion Pit-Constant Conversations

2. The Zutons-Pressure Point

3. The Beatles- Dear Prudence
4. Whisky Jax-No Stopping


5. Franco-Beautiful Diversion

6. The Black Keys- Dearest (Buddy Holly cover)




7. Barbie's Cradle-Everyday



8. The Shins- Girl Sailor



9. Mike's Apartment-Bad Mouth



10.Deftones-No Ordinary Love



Sunday, November 2, 2014

Tatlong Saranggola

Isa, dalawa, tatlo
Tatlong saranggola
Tinaliang mabuti,
Inayos ang pagtupi.
Isa, dalawa, tatlo, 
Tatlong kalaro, 
Lahat ng kapitbahay
May pambato.
Isa,dalawa, tatlo
Nagsimula na ang pagtingin
Sa pinakamalayong aabutin
Ng tatlong matulin
Napunit ang una
Nabuhol ang pangalawa
Sumayad ang pangatlo, 
Sa kalyeng semento
Ang pangatlo
Sumayad man sa semento
Nadampian man ng dumi
Makakalipad pa din
Hinawakan muli ang tali
Pinagpag ang dumi
Pinalipad nang mag-ulit
Ang ikatlong matulin
Ang ikatlo’y nakalipad
Nakaabot sa itaas
Kasama ang tulong
Ng hanging kumakaripas
Ginabayan rin ito
Ng sinulid na paikot-ikot
Sa iisang karton
Na hawak mag-hapon
Nang nawala ang hangin
Bumaba na ang araw
At si Ephraim ay tuwang-tuwa
Sa hapong nagdaan.
“Sa wakas, nakapagpalipad na rin ako.”
Iyan ang sinabi niya
Nasayang man ang dalawa
Na makulay na saranggola,
Nakauwi pa rin si Ephraim na
Masaya.

Jigsaw falling into place

The indicators for rebuilding and restarting finally showed. 
The playlist has more than the staples and 2 books are on the works. 
Places have been found and a permanent mark on the shoulder is there to show the new point A.
If this is a construction site, there is already cement being mixed and the workers are there to build the structure.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Doing your own laundry

 As I was doing my laundry last Saturday, after 3 weeks of letting it be done in a laundry shop, I stared at the water I used and the process that my clothes went through while my mom was there, just looking at me doing my own chore. As I hanged my clothes after 3 sets of spins, and a long dip in the basin full of fabric conditioner, the original teacher told me this: "Ayan, malinis na. Kailangan pa ng isang lublob, pero malinis na". 

That line is stuck with me for three days now since Saturday. I guess it is because that person always did "laundry" for everyone that she met along the way. Even if it is not really her responsibility, she would still do it to make you have your new clothes and see yourself as clean.

 For almost three decades of teaching, she made sure that everyone she taught can see  themselves as clean, pure, fresh and bright. She did not see these students with stains and if there are, she made sure that these can be removed or aren't that seen or just make them as designs that is part of the whole fabric and accept it as it is. She understands textile and how there are different kinds. Even the mere smell of stains in every kind of textile,  she tried to remove and us, her biological kids aren't excused from that cleansing. But at the end of the day, the best cleansing for her, is not her, instructing how to do it, or her doing the dirty laundry, but making you, her student, realize that you can do it on your own, and the extent of the cleansing you can do will be the best for her. 

Today is the birthday of the person who taught me every single thing that I can learn from books and from doing things, like doing laundry for yourself and for other people and I think because of this, I wouldn't get tired of using life's detergent, fabric conditioner and the most important thing, the water that is always there and that purifies just like love. 

Another year comes, she ages, there may be lines on her face and there may be another number added to her but she will always look this beautiful, and she'll always be as strong and she will always be one of the ultimate models why I wear a uniform and have around 450 kids. 


Happy birthday Mrs. Renelyn Santiago or Ma'am Santiago! 
You are indeed a mother and a teacher. 




Saturday, July 26, 2014

Finding your own Nick Salvatore



Title: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
Release Date: 2008
Director:Peter Sollett
Rating: 3.75 /5

A high school romance comedy based on a book with the same name, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is a good film for music geeks and the warm-hearted. Lines of some Beatles songs thrown out, and the sounds provided by The Submarines, New Scientists, Shout Out Louds to name a few makes the whole experience of looking for and finding your musical soulmate inspiring, as hinted in the film. The script and the conversations in it reminds me of the Before series which makes it quite entertaining to hear and watch on screen. Kat Dennings and Michael Cera sure did deliver, and that sweetness that they've showed gave justice to the feeling of being found by your own partner, whether you may not know him/her as much yet. 


Tuesday, May 27, 2014



Isang linggo galing sa iyong pagdating
 humingi ka na ng bagay na hindi pa kayang ibigay.
Pumasok sa hindi dapat pasukan,
Kumatok sa bahay na pinilit mong buksan.
Sinira mo ang mga kandado,
at muntik na ding gumuho ang mga dingding.

Umakyat ka sa kwarto, at ako’y sumunod.
Binalot ko agad ang mga dapat balutin. 
Pero hinubad mo ito  at hinila,
Pira-pirasong tela at laylayang ngayo’y napunta na sa sahig.

sinimulan mo na ang bagay na gusto mong simulan.
Wala akong ibang makapitan
kundi ang mga sirang gamit at ang mga nawasak na balot
Nang matapos, pilit kong bumalik  sa pagkabalot at pagkatago.

Sira na ang kandado
Sira na ang pintuan.
Pero may mga bakas pa rin ng pagkabuo

 sa mga pira-pirasong tela at laylayang iniwan

*painting is titled: “Waiting to Hope”. It is part of the exhibit shown in Bencab Gallery last May 9,2014