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Ignorance is Blessed

Leni Robredo's family July 2016 (cropped)seems to be what those bashing Aika Robredo believe. Do they think it is better to be Sandro Marcos, studying abroad because of his father’s money? We all know the attacks at Mar Roxas for allegedly not being a Wharton graduate, when all he did not do were graduate studies, which you do after you become a graduate. Before that you do undergraduate studies and get a Bachelor. Obviously Roxas is no longer a bachelor. He is married to Korina. But Aika Robredo is a Harvard scholar. That is in itself a mark of excellence. Knowledge is a significant national resource. The USA imported exiles from Europe to build the atom bomb, and Wernher von Braun’s team for the space program. That Russia still is where it is now in international terms is due to the enormous respect they have always had for the learned in their culture. Yet the Philippines today shames the smart, following the US/Trump trend.

Education versus Snobbery

Part of the hatred against the educated comes from how education was misused by many in the Philippines – as a mark of status, not as a tool for life. And of course quality education is hard to attain for those who are poor or where no English is spoken at home. MTB-MLE in K-12 (link) tries to fix that by teaching children in their mother tongues in the first years of school, which is “meant to address the high functional illiteracy of Filipinos where language plays a significant factor. Since the child’s own language enables her/ him to express him/herself easily, then, there is no fear of making mistakes. It encourages active participation by children in the learning process because they understand what is being discussed and what is being asked of them. They can immediately use their mother tongue to construct and explain their world, articulate their thoughts and add new concepts to what they already know.” To put it simply, they know better WHAT they are talking about – thereby truly learning.

Theory and Practice

The significant gap between theory and practice, concrete and abstract in the Philippines is due to bad quality education. Some theorists might truly believe that the Philippine Constitution is really applied in practice – even though the realities of impunity and armed groups negate that. Or long jail times for the poor, bail for the rich. There are the split-level Christians who pray to God in Church, just after having been to their mistress the night before. Hopefully they at least confessed Sunday morning. There are the total pragmatists – to whom the President belongs – who believe in quick-fix solutions that have no permanence. Theory is thought of as unnecessary, only (short-term) results count. I actually hoped that he would at least see that the justice system needs fixing, and use his position and his power in Congress to get that done. Or to fix the laws which are old and cumbersome. But he does not see beyond his experience as Mayor, where he had no other choice (in his thinking) except quick fixes.

Engineering for Results

The engineers are rare. Those who bridge the gap between the theory of scientists and the daily work of technicians. Engineers do not seem to be highly respected even. Somehow the class-based thinking in the Philippines dictates that you are to be either a scientist (higher, clean) or a technician (lower, dirty). And please don’t tell me nobody needs applied science for results. Drive a BMW X3 or X4, and appreciate that it does not fly apart at 200 km/h to know intuitively that it DOES matter. Or rely on software with the length and breadth of SAP on which major corporations worldwide run, and you know what an investment in a properly designed system means. I could start lecturing about how duplicate checks for incoming invoices – with corresponding payment blocks to prevent accidental payment – reduce risks in SAP FI (finance). One wonders if there was something similar to prevent or at least mitigate the risk of duplicate transactions in the bank software of BPI (link), mentioned very recently.

How about the project engineers? Secretary Abaya of DOT, inspite of an intelligence that let him enter Philippine Science High School, may have lacked certain skills. Those who manage even parts of large technology (or building) projects really well have my respect. You have to coordinate multiple experts and non-experts, even workers, make them summarize their stuff, understand it, summarize for others, prioritize, push people, reward good performance and more. Then stuff like the overnight move of the Munich airport in 1992 (link) becomes possible. Just one-third of that in the Philippines might end in a bonfire of Filipino vanities, both educated and less educated – and a Senate hearing. With the engineers blaming the drivers, the drivers hating the arrogant engineers and managers, and politicians trying to grandstand. Somewhat like after Mamasapano. Skilled workers, engineers, top scientists – is is any wonder so many never return? Will that get worse in today’s de facto bobocracy?

I wonder about how much – or how little – exchange of data, information and knowledge takes place between police, public prosecutors, judges and legislators with regards to the drug problem – in order to really solve it. I have read of police complaining about public prosecutors throwing out their evidence after long investigations. Why not cooperate in advance to avoid that? Doesn’t necessarily have to be like in Germany, where public prosecutors offices are in charge of investigations and the police work for them after a certain stage. I have read that Duterte’s blanket protection to cops is because they are removed from the service, without pay, as long as they are under investigation for anything. Is it not enough just to suspend them? Intelligence does not have to mean lack of common sense, or vice versa. In the Philippines, it seems to.  Running a really modern state (that is more than a facade) requires applied knowledge, at every level and skill. Will the Philippines get that on time to get its act together?

Irineo B. R. Salazar

München, 29 June 2017

 

 

29 comments to Ignorance is Blessed

  • http://bulatlat.com/main/2017/08/03/benefits-college-education/

    ..Secretary Diokno also added: “College education benefits the individual, not the society. Yet we recognize we want to help the poor get free scholarships,”

    Could our dear Budget Secretary repeat what he said?

    First of all, while, of course, it is the individual who directly benefits from college education in terms of acquiring more knowledge and skills, which translates to more job opportunities, it is not the individual alone who benefits..

    Second, a country’s expenditures on education is not only about helping the individual and his or her family, it is also an investment on human capital. Isn’t the number of scientists, engineers, health professionals, teachers, writers and artists, bankers, business managers, and of course economists, among others, that a country generates a measure of its development? Has an underdeveloped, fledgling country ever taken off without investments on human capital?..

    They do not believe in investing on the whole population for the development of the nation. They do not believe on the need for uplifting the poor and social mobility.

    For them, for as long as the value of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increases, then the economy is doing well. For as long as they could discuss about development in their air-conditioned offices or in expensive hotels and restaurants, then the country must be doing good. Forget about the poor; the country needs semi-skilled cheap labor anyway.

    Nah, it’s time that we disabuse ourselves of this flawed theory and thinking.

  • http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/918266/no-more-free-tuition-in-state-schools-in-2018

    It turns out that free tuition in state universities and colleges (SUCs) is just a one-off educational assistance from the administration of self-proclaimed “socialist” President Rodrigo Duterte..

  • http://politics.com.ph/nyu-dean-says-harvard-doesnt-care-aika-robredos-ma-vp-shes-scholar-can-study/ – all admissions to Harvard are based on merit according to this article, and if you are admitted to graduate school on scholarship that means free tuition plus stipend of $30K a year to be able to live.. 30K is not much in the USA it should be enough to pay the rent, buy books and live… you don’t get that financial aid unless you parents don’t have the big bucks I think.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico

      Here is the problem with Philippine educators … they are not telling the Filipinos they can study abroad under “scholarship” program. S.A.T. and English proficiency are easy for Filipino high-school graduates …. Why are not told by the Philippine Government is beyond me … Wait a minute The Philippine Government are run by U.P.-graduates no wonder about that.

      The Filipinos should be reminded that U.P. just recently allowed UPCAT examinees to take UPCAT review after I incessantly attacked them comparing Ivy-Schools acceptance of American high-school students in their Extension classes to enroll advance Algebra and English.

      Accountacy review has been offered in the Philippines for the past decades … like DECADES in big bold capital letters … while UPCAT discourages UPCAT Review? WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE? EINSTEIN?

  • karlgarcia

    This kid graduated on a 20 Peso allowance.

    http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/06/29/17/estudyanteng-p20-baon-kada-araw-graduate-na-ng-kolehiyo

    This is a typical breakdown of a student’s allowance.

    http://www.philstar.com/campus/extra-curricular-activities/2014/05/26/1327597/breakdown-students-allowance

    That is about 100 to 150 per day.
    How did he survive with 20 Pesos?

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico

      If this student has the perseverance to stay in school despite of … THIS STUDENT SHOULD DESERVE TO GO TO HARVARD or American Ivy-schools. It is NOT SURPRISING the Filipinos have not heard of Ivy-School Scholarships because the Philippine Fake News Networks are not spreading the word.

      The people who knows about Ivy-school scholarships are the “wealthy”, “rich”, powerful and knowledgeable. Why they are not informing the Filipino people? Because U.P. is THE ONLY ELITE SCHOOL IN THE WORLD … so they think.

      • karlgarcia

        Some scholars who graduated from Philippine Science end up in MIT.
        Some spend a year in PMA to go to West Point, Annapolis, or El Paso.
        Maybe one ofthese days, many bright Filipino students will apply for a scholarship in Harvard.
        I think it is the embassies and the institutions who should go around and promote their schools.

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico

          Filipinos do not know about who you mentioned, Karl, because Philippine Media is so embarassed with Filipino looks that they do not want to spotlight on these Filipino brilliant exports to American ivy-schools that these are how Filipinos really looks like: Brown Skin, flared squat nose, thick lips, kindky hairs.

          If it were that Chinese Math wizard that was born-and-raised in the Philippines it would have been splashed all over Philippine Newspapers which they did.

          If it were Maricar Reyes and Hayden Kho, they’d be in the TV network circuit’s interview.

          But if it they look like Mocha Uson, they would reserve her in porn section. THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH PHILIPPINE FAKE MEDIA. RAPPLER IS THE LEADING PURVEYOR OF RACISM. BECAUSE RAPPLER IS FAKE NEWS.

      • sonny

        From my point of view, admission to top-tiered schools in the US makes for very tough competition. One must keep in mind that top students from all over the world and 50 states vie for those limited positions. Stiff competition happens in all fields of endeavor, undergraduate, grad schools, medical schools, STEM and lots more. To those desiring for admission to STEM fields, my hats off to them, the strategy for admission is always surgical: know the institutions that count and ask help from those who have been through the process. Native intelligence, proven academic performance, references that count, excellent communication skills, all this – you must be well-equipped. Single-out your mentor and field of study early on. Take note: standardized admission tests count a lot and are good indicators of eventual admission or rejection.

  • http://news.abs-cbn.com/life/06/30/17/pinoy-students-win-4-medals-in-bulgaria-math-contest

    MANILA – Filipino high school students bagged four medals at a math Olympiad in Bulgaria.

    Vincent Dela Cruz of Valenzuela City School of Mathematics and Science and Bryce Ainsley Sanchez of Grace Christian College won silver medals for the Philippines at the 21st Junior Balkan Mathematical Olympiad (JBMO), which was held in Varna City, Bulgaria from June 24 to 29.

    • karlgarcia

      http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/2686-the-filipina-who-proved-einstein-right

      In a way that non-scientists can understand, how exactly did you come up with a confirmation of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity?


      Every theory makes predictions, and to pass the test of science, these predictions must match what we observe. In our study, we combined different types of observations of 70,000 galaxies and compared the result with the prediction from Einstein’s theory. They match! So we say that we have confirmed the theory.
      What’s special about this test is that it could have gone another way. That is, the answer could not have matched the prediction—and that would be a signature of new physics, a signal that Einstein could be wrong.

 Right now, I’m part of a team of scientists working on a new and bigger galaxy survey called the Dark Energy Survey (DES). This means that in 2017, we will be able to do the test again, and put Einstein’s theory to an even more stringent test, so stay tuned!

  • http://cnnphilippines.com/life/culture/2017/06/27/6-filipino-scientists.html#.WVboLSeUNYQ.facebook

    Reina Reyes has been across the galaxy and back.

    An astrophysicist, data scientist, and renowned for confirming Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, Reyes has since returned from her travels and studies abroad to teach and lend her expertise in the Philippines.

    One of her passion projects is Pinoy Scientists, a blog that features mostly young Filipino scientists across different fields and from across the world. The scientists talk briefly about their work and education — applied chemistry, material sciences — often accompanied with other footnotes: the sports they play, or the names of their dogs.

    Sometimes their photos feature them in their natural element: donning lab coats, or safety goggles and headgear, or standing next to an invention or research exhibit at a fair or conference, juxtaposed with their wackier shots of climbing mountains, doing yoga, or goofing around with friends and family.

    The blog first opened in 2012 and was revived in 2016 after a two-year hiatus. Pinoy Scientists is Reyes’ way of giving science in the Philippines the face — or faces, in all their diversity..

    • sonny

      This “unattention” of the country over our indigenous STEM elite is sad but such is part of our Philippine cultural reality. Just like the other members of our talent pool many languish in their academic ascendancy with very little assist from the rest of the country’s power pool and are snatched up and absorbed in many cases by other countries and lose their Filipino provenance. I know of these Filipinos only because I was a college science major who follow their “lives”. I met Reinabelle Reyes while on her fellowship at the University of Chicago, a very soft-spoken astrophysicist, summa cum laude in Physics at the Ateneo. Irineo, she incidentally is also an illustrious alumna of PSHS.

      Your blogpiece on this is right on the nose, Irineo.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico

      Reina “confirmed” Einstein’s theory of relativity? Wasn’t the nuclear bomb that made Japan surrender was not confirmation of Einstein’s famous theory? So, I did a double take. The “journalist” is a Filipino. To top off the insult the Filipino journalist didn’t have a picture but a caricature of their faces to make them look cool. Why? Because they are brown skin? If they looked like Gabby Concepcion his photo would be splashed all over. Aha! No wonder they did not cover these Filipinos achievement because they are brown skin.

      I am not surprised of the racism of this journalist but what made me scratched my head is Reina vetted, validated and confirmed Einstein’s theory of relativity. Awesome. If it were not for Reina Theory of Relativity would have been Fake Theory.

      • sonny

        Ease up, MRP.

        Einstein’s work was on Special and General theory of Relativity, both on theoretical Physics and Cosmology. His theory encompases and predicts many aspects that are verifiable in how matter behaves in the universe e.g. light, gravity, dark matter, mass, and the life and death of stars and galaxies. Many research projects of scientists concern the verifications of the laws predicted by Einstein’s grand theory of Relativity. Reinabelle’s research is on a special area of Einstein Model of the universe. Her area of study is on Dark Matter a subject only a handful of scientists can claim expertise on. The relationship of mass and energy as in the studies of atomic energy is only a part of this theory. Verification of the theory of Relativity is a big deal in our understanding of the universe.

  • https://www.facebook.com/notes/sylvia-mayuga/the-rise-of-junksmanship/319239285181309/

    DIGNITY AND INTEGRITY IN FILIPINO JUNKMANSHIP – If you go around the Philippines today, you will find that ordinary Filipinos are better dressed because of junkmanship. Their homes are also better equipped with second-hand furniture and equipment. Many Filipinos are able to employ themselves and open small businesses because of second hand tools.

    Whatever the snooty among us say, ukay-ukay improves the quality of life of Filipinos. A Japanese friend wondered why many Filipinos seem to be better dressed than ten years ago. It’s not because of the malls that sell expensive first hand goods, but because of the ukay-ukay. In fact, ukay-ukay is now distributed using karitons that bring it deep into the interstices of poor and informal communities.

    “So, buying other people’s trash has become a Filipino way of life. One can say it is the Filipinos’ way of coping with poor income, and poorer government services. Many workers travel from San Mateo and San Jose del Monte to construction jobs in Makati using second hand Japanese bicycles. Just go to ukay-ukays and you will see how well patronized they are by the poor and even the middle class who seek to make their money get more for them.

    I’m unabasedly a consummate junkman. I get my excitement from going to Salvation Army stores when I am in the U.S., and Goodwill Industries stores in the Philippines. I’ve been to ukay-ukay stores in Tarlac, Angeles, Agusan, Iligan, Baguio, and of course here in Marikina. All my bags and suitcases are from the ukay-ukay. Even the suits I wear to important conferences in Bello Horizonte, Paris, and Bellagio are from the ukay-ukay. It does not make me ashamed of myself. It makes me feel creative, innovative, resilient. It’s the Filipino way. It makes me feel one with the real Filipinos.

    Needless to say, I am so proud of my Vice-President, Leni Robredo, who is accused of being a ‘basurera.’ She’s the one who shares the values of her people. Her detractors are woefully off the mark. If using second-hand goods were a crime and a gross insult to the Filipino people as some perfumed and pompadoured Filipinos without poverty fluency would have it, I’d gladly stand beside her in front of a firing squad. There’s more dignity and integrity in second-hand paid for with honest blood, sweat, and tears than brand-new stolen from public coffers..

    Ninotchka Rosca -ReplytoQuery: People don’t seem to realize that consumerism is the first vice ingrained in the colonized mind. Okay lang maghanap ka ng ginto sa bulubundukan para sa mining companies pero hindi okay maghanap ka ng magagamit sa mga tinapon na sa sidewalk. LeSigh. Misplaced pride.

  • Mariano Renato Pacifico

    Aika Robredo is taking advanced studies in Public Administration: Masters in Public Administration. Enrolling in advanced studies in Ivy-schools in the U.S. does not need brains. It’s major requirement is: MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

    Mar Roxas took advanced studies in Wharton. He did not graduate in University of Pennsylvania. He took masters.

    Anyone can enroll in ivy-schools advance study program provided they have money. MONEY.

    Why this is big news in the Philippines. Because U.P.-graduate Filipino journalists do not know how school system works in the U.S. Anyone can enroll in their Extension classes. High-school students enrolled in advance Algebra and English just to ace the S.A.T. exam even before U.P. started offering UPCAT reviewer with my constant criticism and prodding.

    So, Aika wanted to work in the government. Yes, Government employment is lucrative job. Mar Roxas quit his “investment” job in a New York investment house to run for public office in the Philippines because working in Philippine Government pays big time. LUCRATIVE. It doesn’t pay much but the temptation of crookery pays.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico

      Getting into undergraduate studies in ivy-schools in the U.S. is difficult strenous and stressful process even the brilliant may be denied.

    • Aika Robredo has a scholarship, meaning she is highly qualified: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/259004/robredos-eldest-daughter-aika-admitted-harvard-oxford/

      Mar Roxas went to Wharton as an undergrad: http://www.rappler.com/nation/politics/elections/2016/115954-mar-roxas-wharton-degree

      According to a check by Rappler, “Manuel Araneta Roxas II” graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, under the “Wharton Undergraduate” division.

      Roxas, who earned his degree on May 1, 1979, majored in Finance and attended the prestigious school from September 1, 1976 until May 1, 1979.

      BTW Leni’s youngest daughter was or is in Philippine Science High School. Obviously there is a strong streak of intelligence in the family. Leni Robredo is a judges daughter who went to UP, lived in the dormitory as student from the province, and finished law there. So not a rich family, simply Bikol middle class which you have in many of the cities, much like you have a Visayan middle class in places like Cebu or Iloilo… not old Spanish-era wealth like the Roxas family.

      This is why it is easier for Leni to connect to poor people.. while Mar Roxas tried so hard, but if you grow up very rich it is almost impossible..

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico

        Meaning of “scholarship” is screwed in Philippine context. Scholarship as defined is “a grant or payment made to support a student’s education, awarded on the basis of academic or other achievement.”

        Scholarship in the U.S. is in percentages and the maximum is FULL scholarship meaning their tuition is 100% free. Financial Aid is interchangeably used as Scholarship. U.S. schools frown in using the phrase “Financial Aid” because it affects the self-esteem of student despite they have the same hoops to jump as in “Scholarship”.

        From Harvard University Admissions and Financial Aid Website:

        “The financial aid policies for foreign citizens are exactly the same as those for U.S. citizens. All aid is need-based, and admissions decisions are made without regard to whether an applicant has applied for financial assistance.”

        Aika has to pass Required Standardized Test and English Proficiency and her parents must not earn $150,000/year.

        Required Standardized Test is S.A.T. Easy-easy. This can be taken at any U.S.I.S. libraries around the world.

        So, they better stop screwing Filipino minds. They better come clean. Scholarship is financial aid.

        From CNN “The National Center for Education Statistics reports there are 750,000 scholarships earmarked for qualified students, totaling $1.2 billion. Much of that money comes from Uncle Sam. In fact, nearly 40 percent of enrolled college kids receive free government money in the form of Pell Grants”

        They even have Scholarships for Filipinos. The requirements are the same as above and has Filipino looks.

  • Mariano Renato Pacifico

    Yes, education is a mark of status and snobbeery. I see families Diplomas hanged on the wall including certificates of Excel and Microsoft Words. Including Inmate-of-the-Year and Most-Behaved-Prisoner of the month.

    English is also a status. When Filipinos argue they speak English. If both are good in English they attack each others grammar. If both protagonists’ grammar are exemplerary they hit each other. The last man standing is right and the person knocked down is wrong.

    In the Philippines, it is not a matter of who is right and who is wrong it is a matter of who is stronger. That is sick.

  • Mariano Renato Pacifico

    Filipinos are soooo poor in science. Well, they are poor in mathematics the language of science. Science also rely in empirical study: “Empirical research is research using empirical evidence. It is a way of gaining knowledge by means of direct and indirect observation or experience. … Empirical evidence (the record of one’s direct observations or experiences) can be analyzed quantitatively or qualitatively.”

    What Filipinos are good at is empirical study of neighbors’ families: In short, TSISMIS. TSISMIS is a good example of Filipino-style empirical study also called Neighborhood Watch.

    Filipino neighbors exchange data, information and knowledge of their neighbors which they called “Information Sharing”.

    HERE IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF FILIPINO SCIENCE AT WORK. Many families in Bantayan Island were downed by “FAKE RICE” recently. To prove if it was fake rice, Cebu Vice Governor Magpale who graduated from, where else? UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES she also took masters at Drexel in the U.S. did the most SCIENTIFIC PROOFING NOWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD …

    … she bought “Fake Rice” from the same source where downed family got. SHE COOKED IT. SHE ATE IT. SHE SURVIVED.

    THE VERDICT: “I cooked it. I ate it. I survive. Therefore, it is not fake rice”

    NFA did not have scientific method to prove it was fake rice so did other government agencies. But ivy-school graduate Magpale proved it was not “Fake Rice” It was real rice. But of low-quality.

    I asked them how to produce fake rice because if fake rice is real and can be mass produced without planting rice I’d go into that business.

  • Mariano Renato Pacifico

    Filipinos graduate from fancy ivy-schools abroad but when they return they do not know how to apply what they “learn”. Why is that?

    Filipinos are fanatically religious people to the point they can memorize the bible but cannot know how to apply those verses.

    Filipinos graduate from “elite” schools like Ateneo, la Salle, PMA and U.P. What have they done to help the economy? Of course, no doubt, they are able to helpthemselves.

    Most graduates from Ateneo and la Salle go back to their Daddy & Mommy’s business to ride the business momentum. Filipinos naturally do not create businesses, they rely on their Daddy & Mommy’s existing businesses.

    Filipinos cannot carry their wealth to second generation, I mean, the brown skin Filipinos but the colonists able to do that generations after generations. Why is that?

    The only trade that Filipinos carry to next generation if they are actors and actresses provided they have that colonist looks. If they have the looks of Babalou and Pechay never mind. The wealth stops once they passes away.

    Just stop for a second. Ateneo, la Salle, U.P. and PMA use American textbooks … they rate their lawyers by the grade they make but when they are before the court and in investigation they use unscientific method: Typewritten stamped notarized affidavits as their evidences …

    … and the only SCIENCE these elite-school graduates know about that columnists in the Philippines use thru SCIENTically EMPIRICAL STUDY is POLITICAL SCIENCE. To Filipinos POLITICAL SCIENCE is the easiest because they do not need forensic evidence and forensic accounting which requires mathematics, logical and rational thinking ALL THEY NEED ARE GOSSIPS.

    Gossips is what makes the Philippines go round and around that feeds the children of Filipino columnists. Without gossips Political Science analysis fails. Because Gossip does not survive if there are facts.

    • The ex-colonists are not so good at keeping their wealth anymore – there are not so many among the top rich Filipinos. Most are Chinoys now who are better at that..

      Maybe the ex-colonists have Filipinized in habits, meaning they have become bad at saving money, except for those like Ayala who are too big to fail?

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