Yes, he is all over all kinds of Filipino media. But I want to ask this question. You nation of band wagon jumpers, why now? The simple answer is because CNN says so. We would have never recognized him on our own. What I find heroic about this man and the others I looked at in the CNN showcase was that the most important thing this guy teaches is HOW TO LEARN. Like the classic Biblical quote do not give a man a fish , teach him how to fish (which also shows you Jesus' take on vegetarianism). Give the man a fish and you feed them for a day, teach the man how to fish and you feed them for a lifetime. That is what I see to all those who make investment in youth.
After seeing all this token praise for him I decided to write about this. Then I saw this article. My simple question is if we did value learning and education before as a culture. Show me where.
I see this sudden shower of attention and campaigning very hypocritical and counter intuitive of our culture. Look at our noon time TV and tell me what do you learn from that?
Look at our prime time news and what do you learn from that? You know what I learn? News should be read with intonation similar to pro wrestling announcers.
Look at what local movies and prime time shows succeed and what shows are simply not produced and you can tell what the values of this society are. Jim Rohn says the marketplace is reality. If that is true look what succeeds in the market here. Nice reality huh?
Our reality does not value education or learning or even reading. Why change now?
I have to recall an anecdote. A while back we had a flash in the pan starlet called Belinda Bright. Like many show biz types , that is not her given name. Apparently she was given her stage surname by her director who saw her reading a book between takes. What I find fascinating is based on that story, reading a book qualifies as aberrant in the eyes of the culture and worthy of a nickname.
I am not anti Filipino, I am anti dumb. Efren Penaflorida is anti dumb. There are not many like him and they are obviously not celebrated. Unlike me, he goes out and educates. He is like the Bookmobile driver in South Park who has come to life teaching the magic of reading
Point being, we are celebrating an educator which is an admirable thing. It's just that we have never done it before. We celebrate morons. People who thumb their noses on education. We had a former president who released a joke book about himself with transposed polack jokes and it made him more popular. We don't celebrate intellectuals in this country, we reward, celebrate and elect imbeciles. You are welcome to disagree with me if I offend you but better yet identify somebody of substance that the man on the street relates to that does not fit the grim portrait of shallow values I am painting.
Let's list popular figures in this country. The people who capture the imagination of our countrymen:
Joseph Erap Estrada
Manny Pacquaio -
All the so called spokespersons/ endorsers for products that the advertisers crave.
Fernando Poe Jr.
Tito, Vic and Joey
Sex Bomb Dancers
I can go to any bustling sidewalk in Metro Manila and everyone will know these guys.
Now tell me:
1) who am I missing ?
2) tell me one person in my list or yours who is valued by this culture for their intellect?
3) based on the people this society values, what do they learn from them?
4) If you put Efren Penaflorida on that list, does he look out of place? Actually not fitting in that list is his strength.
A lot of the people on my list are barely literate . Even if they are, they barely show it.They don't inspire their followers to learn. Maybe the followers do not want to learn. And you tell me as a society we value people Efren Penaflorida? We have not in the past.
I rest my case.
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