Issue of June 18, 2017

Plus Juan
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Popularity: Does it really matter?

Most people see me as an individual who is after popularity in the campus. A lot of them are antagonistic and give illogical comments but these will not stop me from doing what I believe is right. At some point, I agree that popularity matters but it is not the only measure of an individual’s ability.

If a lot of people love me, it’s because I am a friendly person, I do not choose the people to be with. Another thing, I always like to involve myself in the activities in the university. Lastly, I am myself.

Being popular is not measured through one’s your appearance, intelligence, or even wealth. It is the attitude that matters most. This is why I am grateful for those who see the good side of me.

It seems that many people are confused about popularity and showing who you really are in public.

Somehow, I am offended as well with people who think that I am hungry for fame or I only have lots of connections that is why I became a known individual. I hear people say I achieved such things because of my linkages.

I do not want to cause any conflict or any harm to the people who are very antagonistic. At the end of the day, I want to continue what I started and end it up with well-founded image. It is not the popularity that counts, it is the attitude on how you would deal with the crowd.

When you are given a function in the university or in any other organization, some people will be happy for you while others are antagonistic.

Moving out of you comfort zone and trying new things can make a student’s life more exciting. I never expected to transcend from just an ordinary student to someone given a role to fulfill in the campus. Despite the abomination of the crowd, I have to fulfill my duties.

I have heard people say, “He is not even good for that position. He is actually trying so hard.” “He cannot even write the correct words, how did he make it?” I was emotional when I heard these comments because I know I have been doing my best to live up to the standards set by my mentors.

I don’t get the point of the people around me. Are they hating me for attaining something or they are hating me because it was not them who were given the position?

My mentors encouraged me to do my best. I agree that I might not be as clever as the others but I know that I am persistent in whatever I do.

A friend of mine said, “The best part of being a leader or to be involved in any of the activities around the campus is that people will always hate you but no matter what, we should stand up and disregard them and do the things that count.”


ESL teachers as tourism frontliners

The sight of a group of foreign students touring places is now becoming common. If you look closely, more often than not, these groups of foreign students are accompanied by their teacher, showing them around and explaining things to them.

It is common knowledge that the Philippines offers a low-cost English language instruction. A lot of schools here attract students from all over the world such as South America, Africa, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and the Middle East, among other countries. Aside from the much cheaper cost, Filipinos speak with a clearer accent.

In 2011, the Department of Tourism launched a program for foreign students which tied the study of the English language and tourism. This is after recognizing the great economic potential behind this sector that proves to be very promising. As a matter of fact, English as a Second Language (ESL) schools have been doing the same thing for countless years now. Embedded within their weekly activities for their foreign students is visiting places under the supervision of their respective ESL teachers. Through such, teachers introduce them to various restaurants, tourist spots, as well as sports, entertainment, and cultural centers in the country. The students then become aware of the Filipino culture and get to experience it by dining in restaurants, through the souvenirs sold in tourist spots, and through exhibits or displays in museums they visit, among other things. Their visit to one place doesn’t actually end there. If they liked what they experienced in a particular place, they will visit it again or recommend it to other students by word of mouth or through the Social Networking Sites or SNS.

Apparently, ESL teachers are doing more than teaching English. Aside from the fact that they are introducing our culture to foreign students, they are actually doing the business sector a big favor too by bringing in potential customers. Although advertisement has its own strengths in promoting a business or a tourist spot, I suppose that ESL teachers are doing it better and for free. Thanks to them, even businesses that are quite far from urban centers get the attention they deserve as long as they offer good service, serve good food and/or sell products – all at reasonable prices.


Values Education

Values Education as a subject is changed today as Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao. Considering the urgent need of this generation for values education, it is unfortunate that this subject is still regarded and perceived as least important. Sadly, even teachers of other subjects see it as superficial. The problem is, students as well as some teachers, do not have a clue of this subject’s role in the development of the students.

Growth should be holistic. Development is dangerous if it only pertains to mental or cognitive growth. To grow holistically, education should touch the various aspects of human development which are physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and psychological. The focus of most academic subjects is mainly mental development. It is true that teachers of these subjects may tackle about emotional or psychological points to enhance their given topic but again this are not the main focus of their subjects. This is the reason why there is a Values Education or EsP subject to cater this aspects of human developments: social, emotional, and even spiritual. Some teachers argue that EsP should be integrated in other subjects while others propose that it become part of the adviser’s duties. This is not only a funny and foolish idea since the proponent seems ignorant of the concept of holistic development, it also deviates from the curriculum and the mandate of its founder.

Values Education is not only telling students to be kind as what some teachers presume. It is teaching set of concepts and principles of human experiences including a touch of divine revelation studied by the values education teacher for a long period of time. That is why there is a Values Education course in college. Not anybody can and should teach this subject because instead of developing a student’s set of values, it may disorient his/her learning of such. A teacher who is good in teaching Math or any of what they perceive as major subjects may appear an amateur in teaching EsP. Mathematical intelligence does not mean proficiency in Humanities, particularly Values Education.

EsP is a separate and independent subject because it has its own learning course. Any attempt of categorizing it as a secondary subject undermines the very core of the educational system. The role of this subject covers many human facets such as social, emotional, psychological, and spiritual. Right now, this subject needs the support of the administration and the entire teaching force, not destructive criticisms, to attain its noble objectives.

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