All posts by The LaSallian

To this day by Therese Lim

To this day

The inaugural issue of The LaSallian was published on October 24, 1960, back when De La Salle University (DLSU) was still De La Salle College (DLSC), a full 15 years before being granted University status. In those days, the iconic St. Joseph Hall was barely four years old and the Taft Avenue campus still housed a high school that was eight years away from dissolution. At that time, even the barest idea of today’s familiar and modern campus fixtures, the 21-storey Br. Andrew Gonzalez Hall and the Henry Sy Sr. Hall, were nonexistent.To this day by Therese Lim

Back then, La Salle’s athletes competed in the NCAA, not the UAAP, and the LRT, which now stands prominently along Taft Avenue, was 34 years away from its first day of operations. From a national perspective, it was 12 years before Filipinos would get a taste of the tyranny and dictatorship of Martial Law.

In that same year, President Carlos P. Garcia dedicated a portion of his State of the Nation Address to discuss the country’s graft and corruption problems. The anti-graft campaign of the sixties investigated over 12,000 cases of corruption and found over 4,000 officials guilty. “In spite of this creditable record of achievements,” Garcia maintained, “There still remains a tremendous amount of work to be done.”

Garcia probably did not know how right he was. Since then, the country’s corruption problem grew from bad to worse. The Philippines had seen seven presidents after Garcia, two of whom were thrown out of office after the 1986 and 2001 People Power Revolutions, respectively. One of these two “served” as president for 21 years while various accusations of graft and corruption have been hurled at others, particularly the more recent ones.

Today, the Philippines remains the ‘Sick Man of Asia,’ despite all of President Benigno Aquino III’s claims to the contrary. Though the Philippines’ recent increase in investment grade status and continued rise in economic and financial rankings is impressive and a positive indicator of growth, it is public knowledge that the country remains riddled with corruption, a social cancer that will hold back any long term progress. Economic growth remains a concept, not a reality felt by those who most desperately need it.

It has been 54 years since Garcia’s statement, yet the headlines today are still filled with stories of corruption, most notably regarding the ongoing investigations on former Makati City Mayor and current Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay. His is a case that involves the overpricing of government projects, undeclared assets, and under the table transactions, and it grows even larger by the day as more details are discovered and new alleged accomplices are revealed.

If there is anything that has remained constant in the past half-century, it is that the problem of corruption goes beyond one official and his cronies. Given proper time and investigation, the country could fill an entire hall of infamy, housing thousands of names and unimaginable amounts of taxpayers’ stolen money, which could have otherwise been allocated to programs that provide for the most basic needs of the poorest Filipinos. Philippine history continues to repeat itself, following the same script though employing different actors every few years. The names may change and certain details may vary, but the core issues remain the same.

Fifty-four years is too long a time to suffer at the hands of corrupt officials, and the years make the problem seem like a constant even if we have the power to make things different. DLSU is not a thing set apart from society, and Lasallians are, now more than ever, in the position to be catalysts of change, not just within the University, but in the context of the social, political, and economic life of the country. This may be a cliché hammered into our heads from years of privileged education, but it is nonetheless truthful and crucial today. Earlier generations have come and gone, and now it is our turn.

Just as it was 54 years ago, when DLSC students first put pen to paper and created this publication, the battle against corruption is of utmost importance. The pioneering editors had promised that The LaSallian “Will continue to serve the ideals of the students and the school it symbolizes,” and this is something that we strive to do to this day by delivering the truth and inspiring critical thinking.

We cannot just wait for things to change, but rather, we must examine how the wait is changing us. We must strive to do what we can to achieve genuine change on this day, and the next, until one, 10, or even 50 years have gone by. Fifty-four years after our first issue came to print, President Garcia’s words still ring true: There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done. And we must do it.

 

 

opinion

I was never Filipino

By Eric Siy

In 2005, I wrote an opinion column for The LaSallian and made the case that Filipinos should stay with Filipinos. Living (in my case, teaching) in another country was heresy. The case was to give back to the community that gave to me. Almost ten years later, I’m teaching in the United States. I have also recently made the case to my recently married friends that they should move out of the country. The old wrestling match between the idealistic college student and practical working adult is raging and it’s pretty obvious who won.

The concept of Filipino identity is really elusive. Identity itself is something that is difficult to focus on. The linguist James Gee (yes, a western thinker) offers ways of thinking about identity in four different ways. The struggle of the Filipino identity can be distilled into what Gee calls a nature-identity, something innate, the mere possession of a Filipino ancestry, and an affinity-identity, a connection to a set of shared practices. Are we Filipino because of mere genetics or because we all do and value the same thing? The salient point of identity is that it’s fluid. Things I value will depend on who I’m talking to, where I am. I have been explicitly been telling non-Filipino people that I am from California (which is where I grew up) and Filipinos that I am a graduate of DLSU. In Gee’s language, I’m switching between the nature-identity and an affinity-identity. Before you crucify me and claim that I devalue my Filipino-ness (yes, I admit in some cases I do), check your Facebook news feed. Excluding rants, ramen photos, and selfies, my current Facebook feed has the following: someone reposting an animated graphic of the love story of John and Yoko, someone saying he’s currently watching Arrow, someone expressing her love for Ed Sheeran, and a meme from the 90’s Nickelodeon show, Pete & Pete—all posted by Filipinos living in the Philippines. In this microworld, I’m not living in the Philippines. I see Filipinos affiliating themselves with non-Filipino objects.

Over time, seeing what my community values may have chipped away at this Filipino-rah-rah mentality. Ultimately, living with a community that values Uniqlo, Jennifer Lawrence, and cronuts will distort the way I see the world by normalizing these objects. The Buzz, locally produced movies, and buying local are now quaint and quirky—you could make a class argument here which I will purposefully avoid. In the same year I was an editor for TLS, our Editor in Chief wanted to write his op-ed piece in Tagalog. I personally found this amusing for two reasons: he was treading on Plaridel’s territory and he seemed to be more comfortable with Tagalog. How quirky! In the same year, I was sharply criticizing a fellow TLS member for being very excited about getting his green card. Even in my own hyper-Filipino phase, I devalued hallmarks of the Filipino culture.

So, was I ever as Filipino as I perceived? I may have been awash with the political correctness of the superficial YouTube-comment-mantra, “Proud to be Pinoy!” I may have been trying to search for an identity with the Philippines or I might have just been a hypocrite. Bahala na.

What does it mean to be Filipino? What does a Filipino value? If you ask every single person who identifies as Filipino, there will not be one thing that will be common for everyone. Honoring our language seems to be an easy answer but between the two past Philippine congresses, seven bills were constructed to make English the medium of instruction and only one bill was proposed to maintain the use of the mother tongue in educational settings. In fact, some bills such as HB0036 not only advocated for English as the medium of instruction but as the medium of interaction. I think we should shift our view of our culture from a mere checklist to a statement about who we are.

I think our challenge as a group who culturally identify as Filipino is to critically examine what we value. Are the things we value productive in forming our identity as Filipinos? Although I have backtracked from what I said nine years ago, I still think my issue stands. Give back to the community and culture that made you. I think the idea of moving to another country is a more viable option for today’s student. If you’re thinking of moving, take your culture with you but I urge you to talk about it as the way they are. “Balut was on Fear Factor but Filipinos eat that everyday!” does not do anyone favors. Yes, it’s a great story but our culture is more than just a sum of its parts. Your cultural heritage is not cute, it’s who you are.

Eric Siy was The LaSallian’sManaging Editor in AY 2006-2007. He is currently teaching in the United States but still works with teachers and researchers in the Philippines.

 

opinion

Legacies

By Arik Aaron Abu

Three to five years.

On average, that is how long it takes for a student to finish a degree (or two) from De La Salle University. That is about three to five more years to enjoy the final dregs of youth. After that, the rest of your life begins.

As cliché as it may already seem, the university has always been, and will always be, a microcosm of the society. It will expose you to different people, influences, and ideas. It will educate you from both within and beyond the walls of its classrooms. But more importantly, it will provide you with a myriad of opportunities to help you become a better person, to see the world in different perspectives, and to determine who and what you want to become in the future.

The promise that “The future begins here” seems readily apparent to any person who makes it into La Salle. But I believe that there is a catch to that phrase. Indeed, La Salle will help you prepare for the future, but that future will greatly depend on the decisions that you make while you are still in the university.

After having graduated, I was fortunate enough to be granted the privilege of teaching in La Salle. And in that span of time, I was able to observe the University from the other side of the classroom. I have seen brilliance and determination in some, but not all. And it made me scared of what is to come.

Yes, I was jumping into undeserving conclusions. And I am absolutely in no position to preach, nor do I have any sense of moral ascendancy to tell you what you should be doing with your life. But, with so much regret, I have to say that I have seen a deterioration as the years went by. I have witnessed the saying that the “youth being wasted on the young,” and it is slowly becoming the reality of La Salle today.

I fear for the future generations of Lasallians who have forgotten how it is to become critical of their words and their actions, of Lasallians who have accepted defeat in accepting what is otherwise convenient to them, and of Lasallians who have given up the fight and have chosen not to care. If these allegations of mine have bothered you, or you believe that these are all untrue, then I believe that there is still hope.

To the person reading this right now, I am challenging you to prove me wrong. I dare you to leave a legacy in La Salle before you graduate. Three to five years may not seem too long a time, but it will be enough to allow you to make an impact to the indifferent and the passive.

To ask for martyrdom would not only be too much, but likewise archaic. Begin with doing your best even in the simplest of things, thereby living St. John Baptist De La Salle’s creed of doing ordinary things extraordinarily. It can also be done in excelling in your academics because you did not get into La Salle if you did not possess the capacity to do so. Proceed with setting aside your excuses and exposing yourself to the organizations and functions that the University has to offer. Become a sponge to all the experience you will gain from them. Trust me when I say to you that the learnings and skills you will gain from them will be of service to you in the years to come. Should I have been given the chance to do it all over again, I am certain that I would have done more.

To leave a legacy is to make a statement. One which says that you reject mediocrity and that you have chosen to defy what has already turned into a norm. La Salle will provide you the opportunities and the venues to create one, or some. Make sure to take them on before it is too late. Leave a legacy not because you want to be remembered, but because you want to make a difference. Be a legacy for and of La Salle. Never underestimate the power of the strong conviction of a person who wants to make a difference, nay, be the difference.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” as Eleanor Roosevelt would put it. Choices have already been made. And there are a lot more to be made. I hereby submit to you that in making a difference with where and who you are right now, you are also determining what kind of future you will have. There is a great future to behold for those who strive for and earn it.

Legacies. Make sure you leave some before moving on to the next chapter of your life.

Arik Abu was concurrently the Associate and Managing Editor of The LaSallian in AY 2009-2010. He graduated with a law degree from Ateneo de Manila University earlier this year and is currently taking the Bar examinations.

 

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ALL OUT

Saving a life never sounded so good. Go ALL OUT with the UA&P IMC Seniors this September 27 in Greenfield District and see how your support can make an ALL OUT difference in a child’s life.
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ALL the proceeds of this concert-festival will go OUT to fund the chemotherapy treatment of a child with A.L.L. (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). So please do buy your tickets now and together, let’s wipe A.L.L. OUT.

Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/allout2014

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Join Team Galaxy!

Want to be a part of a team that will save a life? Team Galaxy is waiting for you!

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‘Team Galaxy shirts for a cause’ is brought to you by IMC Seniors of UA&P. This cause was launched to help provide medical treatment to a child with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia or A.L.L. In partnership with Project: Brave Kids, they need to raise P400,000 only until September 28th.

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Find out more about the cause through:

Instagram: @TeamGalaxyForPBK

Twitter: @TeamGalaxy4PBK

Viber (For Shipping Orders) 0906-322-7500

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeamGalaxyforPBK?ref=br_tf

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Palusot-o-Matic by Raco Ruiz

Defining Politics

Palusot-o-Matic by Raco Ruiz

The term ‘politics’ originates from the Greek word ‘politikos’ which means “Of, for, or relating to citizens.” At its core, politics is meant to be about the people who are being governed, not those who govern. Government officials derive their power from majority vote of the people and as Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has repeatedly stated famously, or maybe infamously these days, “Kayo ang boss ko (You [people] are my boss).”

However, the true meaning of ‘politics’ seems to be lost in the local setting, where things seem to work in the opposite direction, with greed and misplaced entitlement characterizing many of our politicians.

Recently, after accusing Vice President Jejomar Binay of corruption, former Makati city vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado told a Senate inquiry panel last September 11 that he himself received P80 million out of an allegedly promised P120 million share of the proceeds from the construction of Makati City Hall Building 2.

In his testimony before a Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee chaired by Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, Mercado claimed that then-Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay promised him a PHP 120 million cut from the Makati building budget, but was given only an aggregate amount of P80 million in smaller tranches to be used for his election campaign.

Binay, for his part, has repeatedly denied all these claims against him. His family has been vocal in insisting the vice president’s innocence as well. His daughter, recently elected Senator Nancy Binay, claims that all the allegations are “baseless,” and the family has declared the entire investigation as a way to weaken Binay’s 2016 presidential campaign. The issue, they argue, is all just politics.

Pinopolitika lang kami!” seems to be the newest addition to local politicians’ wide arsenal of excuses. Binay claims that the investigation is just another political game, one which opens the floor for his political enemies to destroy his name. In this game, the pursuit of truth can be labelled “persecution,” and investigations, “harassment.”

Game or not, these accusations and counter-accusations matter little to the majority of the Filipino people if nothing is truly being done to rectify the situation. The political undertones of these accusations do not mean that they are any less true and not worth investigating. Claiming that this is all a political game does not magically erase any fault that our politicians might have.

Our public servants can quarrel about motives all they want, but without real results felt by the the public that they should be serving, Philippine politics will remain untrue to the definition of politics. The word will continue to be a dirty one, spat out in accusations and counter-accusations by the elite, or mumbled by the common Filipino with disgust and discontent.

There is a need for our leaders to remember the reason they were given the responsibilities that they now hold. Until politicians truly prioritize the citizens’ welfare over their own, politics will remain a curse that the Filipino people have to bear, instead of a mechanism for national well-being. For now, we will have to settle once again for the of Filipino politics or ‘pulitika’, defined as “Of, for, or relating to the politicians.”

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Kawaii in Manila 2

The meaning of Kawaii has gone beyond its original sense. It is no longer just a word that means “cute,” “pretty” or “adorable” in Japanese. Kawaii is now considered a global phenomenon because of its great influence in art, fashion, beauty and even food. It is not just an appreciation for all things cute and fun but also a way of looking at the world in a happy and positive light. Kawaii is a culture enjoyed by many people from all over the world including the Philippines.

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In 2013, the ultimate kawaii experience was brought to the Philippines through “Kawaii in Manila” – a kawaii lifestyle workshop filled with a variety of kawaii-related activities. Following the success of the workshop, the Kawaii Philippines team decided to take the ultimate kawaii experience to a whole new level by staging the first ever Kawaii convention in the world this coming September 6, 2014 – Kawaii in Manila 2!

Kawaii in Manila is a day-long affair dedicated to promoting the interest and appreciation for the Japanese kawaii culture through various kawaii-related programs and activities. It’s an event that aims to unite people who share a common interest in Japanese culture, animation, fashion, and everything in between!

This time, on its 2nd run, Kawaii in Manila has become bigger and better as it brings Japanese brands (such as Lucy Pop – Japanese schoolgirl uniform) all the way from Japan! Kawaii in Manila 2 takes you to a magical portal where you can experience cuteness through this year’s Philippine fair x Japanese matsuri (festival) theme. Several interesting kawaii specialty shops, workshops contests and activities await everyone. It is also an avenue for kawaii enthusiasts who want to showcase their creativity through art, fashion and photography. Kawaii in Manila 2 is here to show everyone how wonderful a kawaii world can be!

  • When: September 6, 2014 (11:00 AM – 8:00 PM)
  • Where: Whitespace Manila, Makati, Philippines – 2314 Don Chino Roces Avenue Extension (Pasong Tamo Ext.), Makati City, Philippines
  • Official Website:www.convention.kawaii.ph
  • Facebook pages: www.fb.com/kawaii.in.ph and www.fb.com/kawaii.in.manila
  • Hashtags: #kawaiiinmanila2 & #kawaiiph
  • Ticket Prices: Pre-order: 150 PHP; Door price: 170 PHP
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PRESS RELEASE: PINK WAR Walk and Run

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Breast cancer claims thousands of lives around the world every year. To date, it remains the number one killer of Filipino women.

Anyone can be a victim – mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends, regardless of age, race, social or economic status. This makes breast cancer and the fight against it, everyone’s major responsibility. Raising awareness is one powerful way to win this fight.

As the leading corporate advocate of causes affecting women, Avon launched the awareness and fundraising initiative dubbed Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer (KGBC). Globally, we have raised more than US$740 million for the breast cancer fund through initiatives in more than 100 markets where Avon operates. KGBC was launched in the Philippines in 2002 and fundraising efforts since then have allowed us to establish and maintain the Philippine General Hospital – Avon Breast Care Center and support selected provincial hospitals.

This 2014, Avon invites everyone to support the KGBC campaign through self-initiated acts of kindness and initiatives. Aptly called PINK WAR Walk and Run, the campaign will allow us to actively raise awareness and reach out to countless women as more and more people become involved.

This campaign will culminate with our annual walk and run event happening on October 12, 2014, Sunday, at the SM Mall of Asia Open Grounds.

In this light, we are inviting you and your students to be part of this worthwhile event. Our Coordinator for PR and Communications, Ms. Louraine T. Castillo, will be contacting your office to schedule an appointment to discuss the event and campaign. For initial inquiries, she may be reached via email at louraine.castillo@avon.com or you may call 864-2649.

Your school’s participation in this year’s event will strengthen the message that all of us are one in the fight against breast cancer.