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Stay and Stray



It’s that time of the year again. No, I’m not talking about Christmas; although, as per Filipino tradition, Christmas started last week. It’s that time of the year when tricycle drivers have the audacity to charge triple the price for an otherwise regular single ride. It’s that time of the year when you wonder where all these people going to and fro have come from. It’s that time of the year when we get multiple holidays and end up getting so tired nonetheless. Well, in spite of it all, it’s still nice to get a break from regular routine. To some extent, the festive air infectiously gets to you


Thinking of all the children who had paraded then and now snaking around downtown Naga, I thought that they had been pushed to that situation by eager parents and/or teachers. But then, I realize, some if not most of the kids actually like to go along with the parade after all. Really? They want to sweat it out and wary their legs and at the end, push through crowds to dine at a similarly crowded food shop. I guess, it’s just my adult mind trying to understand children’s excitement.


As far as I understand scouting, its main event should be a camp. On its grand end, it could be a jamboree. On the simple end, it could be just a good deed in a day. But locally, it seems that the parade has become the main event for boy scouts and girl scouts. It would be a far stretch to consider this a good deed or in any way, embodying the scout’s ideals. I guess, one could argue on the side of community involvement. I don’t think parade participation is necessary or essential in scouting. But apparently, the kids actually willingly find fulfillment in this involvement.


I look forward to how school drum and lyre/xylophone corps would translate popular songs in marching band format. I would be amazed in listening to all those striking notes and beats and suddenly hear an Ariana Grande or Rihanna song. I am so awed with this brand of creativity. Now, the parades should be the main event for any marching band. This time, I understand that this is the fulfillment of their grand purpose. If a drummer, horn or lyre player had a mandate, the parade should be its ultimate fulfillment. But when they strip off those instruments and uniforms, they’re school pupils; and the marching and playing seem to be a far stone’s throw from reading , writing and arithmetic. But, the community celebrates this tradition.


When we think of education, we visualize its ultimate direction to be the development of children and youth in their cognitive, affective and practical economic levels. We think of schools with classrooms with students and teachers, with the students eventually graduating to be ready for productive careers. On its periphery, I guess, there would be books, libraries, laboratories, competitive events, and all those sort. That’s their jamboree. That’s their good deed for every day. That’s their parade


I don’t know what happened with government service or the rest of the world. I don’t know how the address of insurgency concerns became a part of the delivery of education. I would suppose insurgency concerns would fall on the laps of those in the Department of National Defense.


I presume that a majority of you are with me in thinking of education as instruction, as development of curricula, instructional systems. I struggle to understand in which part there does surveillance come in. On what or whom should teachers, principals, supervisors, superintendents, administrators spy on? That’s so much of a far stretch already.


What is this whole obsession against local communist groups. Are they that grand of a national threat? It’s like pumping fire extinguishers on a few dying embers. Then after the tanks are spent, they end up with a very wet ground and those embers still burning.


I think there’s a high ranking government official who has been frustrated and or obsessed with police work and military operations that the obsessions are inappropriately channeled services towards child development. It feels like someone once aspired to be a police officer or military official when they were young. As an adult, they landed on an office desk job, but they still reported to work on camouflage fatigue and boots with a pistol on their waist and a rifle strapped on their shoulder, insisting that the gun is for the security of the office while they’re assigned as the training coordinator. Government has veered sooooooo far from its rightful mandate. But they seem to like it, approve it, celebrate it, that senators pass it without question.


Isaiah 53:6: “”All of us, like sheep, have strayed away”

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