Monday, February 16, 2009

A Week of Mabuhay Guides Training

It’s been a week of training as a Mabuhay Guide. So far, it has been nothing but amazing! The things I am learning right now are priceless. I wondered a week ago, how this training would change me after six weeks, but it’s only been a week and I believe I have become more nationalistic somehow. All 24 of us, are learning from THE BEST OF THE BEST; no matter how cliché that phrase sounds, there is just no other way to describe them. I am learning NEW things about a country that I was born in, grew up in, and studied in for the past 25 years.

I feel like I’ve lived in a cave for a long time, but not absolutely like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave (that I have been facing a blank wall all these time), but more like I was looking at a painting by the window all these time, and understanding the world only based on the painting, and then I realized the window beside it was actually open, and I can look right through it. Now I am standing in front of this window, peering out of it, realizing, hey, there’s sunlight and it’s brighter than how I thought it would be.

These speakers we have, Mr. Felipe de Leon, Jr., humanitarian; Ms. Ning Encarnacion-Tan, nationalist architect, Dr. Florentino Hornedo, historian and archaeologist; Mr. Ramon Santos, composer, among others are like personified Wikipedia of their own expertise. They are mind-blowing lecturers that have touched each and everyone of us who are intently listening to their lecture. They fill our hearts with desire to become better people for the nation. We have no idea what our cultural identity is, which is exactly the problem why we are so crippled. We do not know what we should be proud of, we forget who we are before the Spaniards came, it is unfortunate that only a chosen few gets to know the truth.

You would also remember me comparing our situation as trainees, to be like America’s Next Top Model or Project Runway… you know what, it’s nothing like those reality TV! We do not serve our own purpose therefore we do not scheme and wish the other fails. We are learning so much that we wish everyone gets in so that we can be ambassadors and propagate what we have learned. I and my classmates are slowly getting to know each other and I think will eventually become good friends.

With this, I propose something to my mates; let us drive this passion to the next level, level as in like multilevel marketing (haha). We are 24 individuals, we are the few fortunate ones who were granted these knowledge, maybe in our little way, we can make a difference. We can each have 2 people we choose to teach our new knowledge to, and then each of them teaches another two, and then so on and so forth. I think we may be in for something big! This could be the cultural revolution that the Philippines need! Or we may also choose to become movers for change in our community, maybe starting in our high schools, talking to the youth and teach them at the early age our Culture. I may be too much of an idealist but I think we have to think big so that we can “poke”, as Ning Tan would put it, the hearts of people.

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