Monday, July 14, 2008

Blog Rounds: Unsung Heroes

In our country, “Hero” is an honorific title bestowed upon persons who sacrifice greatly for the common good and yet are routinely screwed by an order controlled by a small group of entrenched parasites who live off the labors of these heroes. This is how it’s been all these years, first by our benevolent colonizers and then sadly by our own fellow Filipinos.

Soldiers, members of some religious orders, farmers and lately overseas workers have been given this all-purpose label. These privileged people are free to give their lives for the sake of the common weal for as long as they don’t disrupt the parasitic lifestyle of the freeloaders.

There are hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who have been toiling all these years under very trying circumstances who have never received a smidgen of the recognition and gratitude they thoroughly deserve. These are our teachers, particularly those who taught us in grade school and in high school. They have always been poorly paid, relative to the education and preparation they have attained. They have always been convenient to blame for our many societal ills. They have always been easy to mobilize whenever elections come around. They have always made up for the enormous deficiencies brought about by poor governance. I don’t know how these people do it, every day facing impossibly long odds teaching malnourished students in cramped, stuffy ramshackle classrooms using outdated and inaccurate textbooks.

In cinema, a sure way of rousing the audience is to portray a beleaguered band of people desperately fighting a lost cause. Think 300 Spartans, Custer, Light Brigade, Bataan….there is something romantic in lost causes. Unfortunately for our teachers in the Philippines, life does not imitate art. Yet.

It is up to us to work for higher salaries for all these teachers who have dedicated their lives towards giving many of us a chance to make our contribution to our communities. It is for us to ensure that their retirement benefits are not squandered by political appointees with self-serving agendas. It is for you and me to become teachers ourselves and help guide the youth through our example.

In the end, Heroes need no songs and paeans. The knowledge of having influenced students and inspiring them to work and live for ideals bigger than themselves is more than adequate reward.


azron said...

Very well said, friend

hope all is well in your community



gigi said...

my high school teacher has a terminal stage malignancy, and my schoolmates are presently pooling resources to help him with his dwindling finances. while he may be lucky to be receiving this help, he deserves more than just an act of charity. and it could be a lot worse for many more of our teachers.

we owe our teachers a lot. unfortunately, our society puts more premium on flashy personalities, and gone are the days when teachers were held in high regard.

this is a beautiful post, dr. martin. thank you so much for joining.

gigi said...

TBR-16 Round-up is now up!

In The Company Of Unsung Heroes

Thank you so much Dr. Martin.

ness said...

thank you for paying tribute to our teachers. i come from a family of elementary and high school teachers and i have seen from childhood how hard and how selflessly they work. and how little they are financially compensated in our country.

their joy: when their former students recognize them and thank them for having been part of their formative years.

MerryCherry, MD said...

Sir Martin, I remember what my Professor in Diliman said once: That teachers are the richest people in this world because they mold the very people who are future teachers, or doctors, or even Presidents. And the greatest payback they can get is when their students recognize them. Like what you did here. ;)

Ligaya said...

Hi Doc Martin. I wish all our former teachers get to read your post. You're right, they are heroes. As in any profession, there are rotten eggs among school teachers, but a lot of them really are dedicated to imparting knowledge and wisdom to their students. I personally cannot imagine preparing lesson plans and visual aids every night! One of my Psych teachers in UP Cebu once said that he wouldn't give up teaching even if he were given a million bucks. That's a hero to me. Thank you for recognizing them!

J.A. said...

My mother onece taught intermediate grade English before becoming a housewife full time. Sometimes she doesn't recognize her students anymore but they always recognize her first. She's always beeming with pride everytime she mentions that this once-upon-a-time young boy is now the chef conducting a cooking demo or the pediatrician taking care of our youngest siblings health. :)Their impact is tremendous in forming young minds.