Are You Interested In Filipino Historical Films?

Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral is now showing in Philippine theatres. Sadly, I am in Japan and away from the country. I watched Heneral Luna by Jerrold Tarog last 2015 and was looking forward for more historical epic films and Goyo is one of them along with another film about Manuel L. Quezon.

Among the local genres of films in the country, this is one of the closest to my heart. In my childhood, I was always waiting for the show Bayani every morning along with Sineskwela in ABS-CBN before going to school. If you think about it, all of the films are actually heartbreaking because almost all of our national heroes were killed, most of the time brutally, while they were fighting for the country.

Back in high school, Philippine History is one of my favorite subjects to talk about and listen to inside the classroom. I am blessed to have amazing Araling Panlipunan (Social Science) and Filipino teachers in Marist School. I hope we produce more teachers and historians who are passionate about the story of Filipinos in the past. Nowadays, it’s easy to fabricate stories and distort history so we really need them to tell us about telling the truth and how to spot what’s not true.

A true story: One of my childhood friend is a descendant of Emilio Aguinaldo. We were batchmates for two years in Elementary but he transferred school after Grade 4 and since then I never heard of him since our family also transferred house.

When I entered the chess varsity in Grade 5, one of my teammates surname was Bonifacio, which is rare.

Speaking of, my great grandmother’s name was Bonifacia. Named after the great Manileño hero, it somehow gives me an insight how popular he was and how Filipinos back them regard him as the de facto national hero.

How about you? Have you encountered some of the relatives of any of the important historical figures in the Philippines?

Education for life (A Morning conversation)

This morning meal, we talked about education in the Philippines and in other countries with topics such as alternative learning system, giving assignments and examinations, and play. Our current Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones has in her agenda the alternative learning system. This is encouraging to some students in our country since not all students are geared towards formal education and not every high school graduates are suited to enter college.

Currently, if the cumulative grade of a student reaches 60, the student is given a passing grade of 75. It seems that this move of the previous secretary Br. Luistro Armin, a La Sallian Brother, is geared towards mass promotion of the students so they can graduate in high school.

Though I know it’s important to focus on our high school students (since our country is dominated by the millennial population with a median age of 23 years old), I hope that educators and lawmakers would consider the program we give to our children below 10 years old. Like in Finland and Japan, they tweaked their preschool and primary level with lots of play and exploration for kids and no assignments and examinations.

For parents, I hope that they wouldn’t spoil their kids by giving them smartphones and tablets at an early age so kids can enjoy their childhood outdoors and with their playmates.

How about you, what do you think about your country’s education?

When the Philippine election arm had it’s 55 million voters info breached

It took almost a month for the national news to report seriously the breach which includes 55 million adult Filipino voters around the world.

I was paranoid (and still somehow) when I learned that a website created a search engine which posted our voter’s registration information. I did the unadvisable: searched my name. People are telling me not to share the link and search my name. But I did. And I found my data! Full name, birthdate, home address, registration date, voter’s identification number, and probably my fingerprints. For some new voters, it might have their passport numbers.

As a voter since 2007, it took me years to realize how incompetent and insensitive our government’s election arm is. I thought it was only an isolated case in ARMM last 2013 when one of my fellow novices had his voting sheet shaded by a watcher and the soldiers guarding the precint outside the school just let the incident unapprehended. This is one of the most serious blunder that the COMELEC allowed.

Even the hacking happened last March 27, the COMELEC (Commission on Election) is still in denial for three weeks even as far as saying that the data hacked are not that serious. Hello? Do they even realize that they, the COMELEC officials, themselves are at the risk of having their identities stolen. Even President Aquino’s data is there in the open (I know this because I searched for his name). When our government is not doing it’s job to protect it’s citizens, at least in the cyberworld, what can an ordinary citizen like me do?


When our government is seeding our data, what can we do?

These are some possible scenarios (at least for myself): With a cyber thief who have stolen my identity, our hone might receive stuffs like Shakey’s pizzas, Jollibee meal, or gadgets named after me which I never ordered and my family is asked to pay for it.

For the unlucky ones who had their passport numbers included in the registration, identity theft is a more serious threat.

The only defensive measure I did so far was to report to CloudFare and GoDaddy the search engine who leaked the files for the “lulz”.

This is one of the few times I would be ranting here in this blog.

And for the love of my country, I would use this frustration towards the COMELEC as my motivation to educate students to admit their faults, take responsibility, and understand what power and service to others means.