V for Vruha

The piteous tale of Girl who killed self lamented family’s poverty in diary brings to mind the famous passage from Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure:

First comes this ominous passage:

The failure to find another lodging, and the lack of room in this house for his father, had made a deep impression on the boy– a brooding undemonstrative horror seemed to have seized him. The silence was broken by his saying: “Mother, WHAT shall we do to-morrow!”

“I don’t know!” said Sue despondently. “I am afraid this will trouble your father.”

“I wish Father was quite well, and there had been room for him! Then it wouldn’t matter so much! Poor Father!”

“It wouldn’t!”

“Can I do anything?”

“No! All is trouble, adversity, and suffering!”

“Father went away to give us children room, didn’t he?”

“Partly.”

“It would be better to be out o’ the world than in it, wouldn’t it?”

“It would almost, dear.”

“‘Tis because of us children, too, isn’t it, that you can’t get a good lodging?”

“Well–people do object to children sometimes.”

“Then if children make so much trouble, why do people have ’em?”

“Oh–because it is a law of nature.”

“But we don’t ask to be born?”

“No indeed.”

“And what makes it worse with me is that you are not my real mother, and you needn’t have had me unless you liked. I oughtn’t to have come to ‘ee–that’s the real truth! I troubled ’em in Australia, and I trouble folk here. I wish I hadn’t been born!”

“You couldn’t help it, my dear.”

“I think that whenever children be born that are not wanted they should be killed directly, before their souls come to ’em, and not allowed to grow big and walk about!”

Sue did not reply. She was doubtfully pondering how to treat this too reflective child.

She at last concluded that, so far as circumstances permitted, she would be honest and candid with one who entered into her difficulties like an aged friend.

“There is going to be another in our family soon,” she hesitatingly remarked.

“How?”

“There is going to be another baby.”

“What!” The boy jumped up wildly. “Oh God, Mother, you’ve never a-sent for another; and such trouble with what you’ve got!”

“Yes, I have, I am sorry to say!” murmured Sue, her eyes glistening with suspended tears.

The boy burst out weeping. “Oh you don’t care, you don’t care!” he cried in bitter reproach. “How EVER could you, Mother, be so wicked and cruel as this, when you needn’t have done it till we was better off, and Father well! To bring us all into MORE trouble! No room for us, and Father a-forced to go away, and we turned out to-morrow; and yet you be going to have another of us soon! … ‘Tis done o’ purpose!–’tis–’tis!” He walked up and down sobbing.

“Y-you must forgive me, little Jude!” she pleaded, her bosom heaving now as much as the boy’s. “I can’t explain–I will when you are older. It does seem– as if I had done it on purpose, now we are in these difficulties! I can’t explain, dear! But it–is not quite on purpose–I can’t help it!”

“Yes it is–it must be! For nobody would interfere with us, like that, unless you agreed! I won’t forgive you, ever, ever! I’ll never believe you care for me, or Father, or any of us any more!”

He got up, and went away into the closet adjoining her room, in which a bed had been spread on the floor. There she heard him say: “If we children was gone there’d be no trouble at all!”

“Don’t think that, dear,” she cried, rather peremptorily. “But go to sleep!”

Followed by the passage that has gained so much fame:

She joined Jude in a hasty meal, and in a quarter of an hour they started together, resolving to clear out from Sue’s too respectable lodging immediately. On reaching the place and going upstairs she found that all was quiet in the children’s room, and called to the landlady in timorous tones to please bring up the tea-kettle and something for their breakfast. This was perfunctorily done, and producing a couple of eggs which she had brought with her she put them into the boiling kettle, and summoned Jude to watch them for the youngsters, while she went to call them, it being now about half-past eight o’clock.

Jude stood bending over the kettle, with his watch in his hand, timing the eggs, so that his back was turned to the little inner chamber where the children lay. A shriek from Sue suddenly caused him to start round. He saw that the door of the room, or rather closet– which had seemed to go heavily upon its hinges as she pushed it back– was open, and that Sue had sunk to the floor just within it. Hastening forward to pick her up he turned his eyes to the little bed spread on the boards; no children were there. He looked in bewilderment round the room. At the back of the door were fixed two hooks for hanging garments, and from these the forms of the two youngest children were suspended, by a piece of box-cord round each of their necks, while from a nail a few yards off the body of little Jude was hanging in a similar manner. An overturned chair was near the elder boy, and his glazed eyes were slanted into the room; but those of the girl and the baby boy were closed.

Half-paralyzed by the strange and consummate horror of the scene he let Sue lie, cut the cords with his pocket-knife and threw the three children on the bed; but the feel of their bodies in the momentary handling seemed to say that they were dead. He caught up Sue, who was in fainting fits, and put her on the bed in the other room, after which he breathlessly summoned the landlady and ran out for a doctor.

When he got back Sue had come to herself, and the two helpless women, bending over the children in wild efforts to restore them, and the triplet of little corpses, formed a sight which overthrew his self-command. The nearest surgeon came in, but, as Jude had inferred, his presence was superfluous. The children were past saving, for though their bodies were still barely cold it was conjectured that they had been hanging more than an hour. The probability held by the parents later on, when they were able to reason on the case, was that the elder boy, on waking, looked into the outer room for Sue, and, finding her absent, was thrown into a fit of aggravated despondency that the events and information of the evening before had induced in his morbid temperament. Moreover a piece of paper was found upon the floor, on which was written, in the boy’s hand, with the bit of lead pencil that he carried:

DONE BECAUSE WE ARE TOO MENNY.

The story of Mariannet Amper’s suicide has provoked commentaries from church leaders, and has been instantly linked, editors tell me, by the reading public with these: Palace admits cash doles from Kampi and Senate probes cash gifts: Inquiry to focus on source of money.

On that somber note, here’s an intriguing story: Allies of Arroyo clash over impeach rules

Eighty-two lawmakers, most of them belonging to Ms Arroyo’s Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) party, blocked the move to amend the rules and sent the proposal back to the committee on rules.

They overwhelmed 50 of their colleagues who favored amendments that could allow the consolidation of multiple impeachment complaints, strengthening present moves to oust Ms Arroyo.

At present, House rules allow only one impeachment complaint per year.

Half of those who favored amending the rules were opposition congressmen. But the other half were stalwarts of the ruling Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, led by De Venecia.

Mon Casiple has an interesting angle on the FVR-JDV-GMA Axis unveiled (or repolished) last Saturday. Basically, it’s a Lakas-CMD gambit to keep the party in power longer. The President, through her husband, had hoped to topple Lakas in the last elections, but Kampi didn’t make the grade, and the infighting in the ruling coalition led to some bad fallout in the Senate election results.

But the President knows that Kampi, as her personal pet party, has a limited shelf life, unlike say the NPC, which is Danding Cojuangco’s pet party (or the NP, Villar’s pet party, or, technically speaking but less so, the LP as the Roxas pet party). If the President steps down in 2010, Kampi will be what the KBL is today, a shadow of its former powerful self. Lakas, on the other hand, has no real presidential candidate in play, and so might find its fortunes rapidly wiped out, too, come 2010.

So, Mon Casiple says, the three leaders of Lakas realize that in unity, there is strength (pun intended): and that requires Lakas as the main benificiary of… Ta-dah! Charter Change:

The bigger question that seems to be up in the air is: what will happen to GMA in the intervening months until 2010, and thereafter? If current straws in the wind are to be believed, the settlement with Erap did not produce any rapprochement with the opposition–nor with Erap himself. There is also no indication that any deal with frontline presidentiables had occurred.

What is suspect at the moment is that the president is laying the ground for another go at charter change–eventually leading to a possible extension of her stay in power beyond 2010. In this, the three of them are agreed as this will make it possible the political survival of Lakas (and their own political fortunes). We are faced with the specter of revival of a Cha-cha ghost–most probably the “people’s initiative” variety. Appointments to the Comelec thus become more crucial than ever before.

At the moment, however, the more significant implication of the Malacañang photo-ops is the time bought–however short–for regime survival. The fragility of the ruling coalition has been stayed momentarily. It will not preclude further plots along the road to 2010, from both sides of the coalition as well as from both sides of the opposition.

A Filipino I know who lived in Malaysia, once told me that a Malaysian royal once told him, “when you Filipinos lost your royalty, you lost your soul.” A story like this one, Judge Dread in Malaysia, makes for interesting reading.

Incidentally, in the same conversation I had with the Filipino former resident of Malaysia, and a Filipina knowledgeable about Indonesia, she said in Indonesia, the Dutch turned the Indonesian royal rulers into civil servants with Dutch superiors; this destroyed the traditional prestige and authority of the Indonesian royals.

In the Philippines, the Spanish took over the islands one ruler at a time, guaranteeing them privileges (exemptions from tribute), and permitting them local elections in which the local (Spanish) parish priest acted as a kind of one-man Comelec. Spanish officials generally stayed in Manila and so, when the revolution broke out, it was as much about modern ideas of revolt as it was about provincial lords summoning their peasant workers to fight against Spain. Even Bonifacio spoke in terms of the ancient blood compact between the royalty in the islands and the Spanish conquistadors. The historian Glenn May, writing about the Revolution in Batangas, pointed out that in some cases it was the principalia, heirs to the leaders who had originally accepted Spanish sovereignty, who led the revolts and were followed by their tenants.

From Rizal to Laurel, there remained the enduring notion of an aristocracy of the mind; Mabini pointed to the necessity of a meritocracy; and as I’ve written in the past, American social engineering focused on something new, entirely, a middle class, but what emerged was one that aped the traditional provincial leadership and which, in turn, has reached in many ways the same dead end the traditional upper class and their warlord rivals have reached. But these are thoughts I’m still developing, but it’s good to bear in mind where we are similar and differ in terms of Malaysia’s and Indonesia’s societies, even Thailand and Brunei, and, India.

Other readings from overseas: The revolution that never was, on waning foreign attention on the plight of the Burmese. And Why is draft of ASEAN charter being kept from public?, by the PCIJ. How China’s Communist Party practices cronyism in China Rewards its Own: The PetroChina A Share Float makes us think of Russia at its oligarchic best.

And my column for today, is Postcard Power! (thank you to Rage Against Melancholy for reproducing it). The versions you can print out in full color, etc, are here. And of course, Hoorah! to bloggers bisayasijosh, to Romeo’s Site, to Manila Boy, to Sitting Amuck, to Pinoyhood, to Pandora’s Box and ScatCore. An inter-blog debate between Eddie Boy Escudero and Home Bass, too. While circle of rhymes and metaphors completely disagrees. And well, from The Philippine Onion, read it and, uh, weep.

Here’s the video of the V for Vendetta speech I quoted last Monday:

Iloilo City Boy reacts to my entry On Official Allowances.

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  1. i’ll give an example of a place i find impressive. plm (pamantasan ng lungsod ng maynila) gives 100% free tuition to kids from manila, they have to be valedictorians to even apply. my understanding is the city subsidy is total so long as the students maintain a certain average, if their grades slip below a certain mark, they start paying tuition. salututorians from other places can apply, but i’m not sure if they get a partial subsidy or not.

    To correct some info, Mlq3, they don’t have to be valedictorians to apply.They just need to meet a grade requirement in high school and preferably a graduate of a public high school. Private schools’ graduates can also apply but they would be paying a very minimal tuition fee if they pass the entrance examination and the panel interview. Attrition applies both to to the scholars and the non-paying. So from a freshman class of 300, only
    one third of the number may graduate after four years.

    Passing percentage for entrance exam is only 10 per cent.
    The cream of the crop.

    Last CPA board exam, a graduate landed in the fifth. The university has a record of almost 200 per cent passing in the Medicine.

    Most of the students come from the poor to middle income families of the city.

    A I have said poverty is not an obstacle to succeed.

    How do I know, I am a graduate of PLM and a former dean of a college at a young age?

    • BrianB on November 8, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    “BrianB, you might be reading Bishop Cruz’s words too literally”

    Mike, his words reminded me of a Trapo by the name of JDV.

    • BrianB on November 8, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    The best copywriter I’ve met came from Pamatasan Nang Lunsod Nang Maynila. Could write 10k words a day without grammatical error and all in elegant English.

    • BrianB on November 8, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    ALL, WE MUST ASK MALACANANG TO RAISE TAXES.

    Here’s the gambit. We demand government raise taxes so it can fulfill its constitutional duties. A heavy tax would practically destroy the Philippine retail market. We ask, it is all our fault that many kids cannot go to school and the emotional scar that this brings, in addition to taking away their opportunity to be better equipped for society, is intolerable. We need a solution now and the solution now is raising taxes.

    Imagine if our personal taxes suddenly spiked to 50% of gross. Imagine our vigilance against corruption. Maybe a high taxes would finally wake up the people.

    • cvj on November 8, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    Vic, thanks for the info on Ontario’s education system. It is always good to benchmark against best practices in Canada.

    • ronin on November 8, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    equalizer: thanks!

    • Dr. D. on November 8, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    The university has a record of almost 200 per cent passing in the Medicine.- The Ca t

    Not even close to 95% passing, at least in recent years. PLM ranks a far 2nd-4th compared to UP-Manila, percentage-wise. (Cebu Institute of Medicine and UST are also up there.)

    But I must admit, given the university’s resources, PLM is one of the better run public institutions around, if not the best (might be even better managed than UP).

  2. the salary of the college president -now adel tamano- is a measly 30,000 pesos a month.

    And the former president was investigated for corruption.

    the kids are bright, polite, they do quite well in the national board exams in law, nursing, etc. and their material equipment is far from ideal (they just started getting computers recently).

    They make do of whatever they have. One thing that they can e proud of is that the students are really polite and well-behaved.

  3. Let’s please include Rene Saguisag in our prayers tonight.

    What a terrible pain he must be suffering for his physical injuries and pain for the loss of his wife.

    A fearless lawyer.

    • Bencard on November 9, 2007 at 12:36 am

    allow me to digress for a moment from this very important discussion. i just want to express my deepest sympathy to rene saguisag for the tragic loss of his beloved wife and for himself sustaining a life-threatening injury. i hope and pray for his complete recovery.

    having left the country 4 years after passing the bar, i never had the opportunity of following rene’s political career. but as a sophomore in law school in the early 60’s, i had the (mis)fortune of facing him and the late raul roco (plus another excellent debater whose name i can’t now recall) in an inter-college debate (san beda law v. ust law). as you would probably guess, nilampaso kami ng aking mga team mates.

    as a lawyer, i see rene as a brightly shining star in philippine legal firmament, never flamboyant, and always dedicated to the “rule of law” regardless of his politics.
    i don’t always agree with every position he takes but i always admire and respect his competence, perseverance and loyalty to his cause. may he be comforted in his grief, and may he be able to continue serving as an instrument of justice for his fellow men.

    • cvj on November 9, 2007 at 1:13 am

    equalizer, will do. bencard, very well said. i join you guys in praying for Rene Saguisag and his family.

  4. If Philippines is breathing a fresher air of freedom today we ought it to handful of people, among them is Rene Saguisag.

    During Marcos rule, I used to compare Rene and Jojo (Binay) as the “Starsky & Hutch” in the legal department whose relentless crusades for the regime’s victims and against the dictatorship may be comparable today to the combined efforts of the Pakistani lawyers against Musharraf.

    My deepest sympathy to Rene and family. And on your toes now, we still have a long journey, pañero.

  5. Re: Cvj’s “The whole point in abolishing private schools (yes, both religious and secular) is to destroy such difference in quality between public and private schools and force everyone (not just the poor) to work for the improvement of our public education system as a whole.”

    Pres Mitterand tried to abolish state grants to French private schools with a view to eliminating or rendering private schools ‘inconsequential’ in the long term because being a hardline socialist, he was mouthing Socialist Party dogma — equal opportunities for all, i.e., children of rich and “poor” or not so rich families alike. The educational system in France as a whole is not so bad, even judged excellent by many western standards but it could have been or be better. On hindsight, I say it became chaotic and almost self-destructed.

    Mitterand’s classic leftist view of how society should comport itself, i.e., liberté, égalité, fraternité, at least through the primary and secondary stages of the educational stages of young people’s lives could have been a reality had he managed to do what cvj espoused above “to destroy such difference in quality between public and private schools and force everyone (not just the poor) to work for the improvement of (our) public education system as a whole.”

    Instead, Mitterand created the unwanted effect: the levelling down of education. It is all very well to say — and in a perfect world, it should be — that by eliminating the difference between rich and poor studnet would force or ensure society to work for the improvement of public education system as a whole but to my mind, it takes a very innovative but hugely strong political will to make that happen because society is composed of people with different ideas, different vocations or motivations and even with different aspirations and as such are not easily maleable, i.e., to conform to a change ideology of change unless that ideology is backed by a strong and genuinely innovative political will.

    The effect of the Mitterand levelling down doctrine was deemed disastrous and we can say that it is still felt today. Instead of reducing the disparity between the elitist class and the masse populaire (the ‘masa’), it created an unprecedented toll on society — the wedge became wider when crunch time arrived at the end of year 13: the national baccaulaureat exams. The exams were so watered down to suit the requirements of the levelling down doctrine of the Mitterand presidency that most of those who passed the state high school exams were deemed not qualified for further education in the uni. Despite that, tens of thousands of young baccalaureat (French high school) graduates trooped to the free unis only to be turned out after one term. It was deemed for example, that for every 5,000 freshmen students accepted by Tolbiac faculty of Sorbonne, 4,000 failed their first year. Universities became overpopulated and the unis undermanned.

    So bad the educational environment became that even the more determined students started to drop out of uni by the thousands after first term. The effect of the ‘devolution’? Private universities or expensive specialist institutes of higher learning (écoles superieures) mushroomed everywhere in the country from 1985 onwards. The result divided social classes in France even more. The divide was inevitable between families who could afford to shell out 7,000 Euros a year for tuition fees required by these new private institutes to which a family had to add another 7 to 8,000 Euros a year for the living expenses of their child, and families who couldn’t afford the expense thus marginalizing the children of “poor” families all the more.

    The tide became almost became irriversible; we witnessed the suburban ghetto youth uprising some couple of years ago. Pres Sarkozy who is considered the anti-thesis of everything that is elitist is trying to put some order in the chaotic educational system but I say again, only a strong, bold, decisive political will can change what arguably almost became a failed educational system in France. The supreme irony of it all was that the system was instituted by a corps of leftwing but hugely elitist politicians led by the most paradoxical of presidents, leftwing hardliner Mitterand who in reality behaved more monarchial and more elitist than his predecessor ever behaved, aristocrat Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.

    There is no miracle for a “successful” public educational system. Solidly good but modern governance backed by a strong political will has got to be the key.

    (I was, and to a certain extent still am, very much aware of the education environment in France because I was then a very young, fresh from uni graduate of the Giscard d’Estaing years who became a Paris lycée or high school teacher from 1979 for grades 12 & 13 until 1982 when I resigned in disgust over the new Mitterand doctrine and just as I was being offered a permanent teaching position with full-pledged civil servant status in l’Education Nationale.)

  6. “i don’t always agree with every position he takes but i always admire and respect his competence, perseverance and loyalty to his cause. may he be comforted in his grief, and may he be able to continue serving as an instrument of justice for his fellow men.”

    Amen.

  7. correction: I was then a very young, fresh from uni graduate who was FIRST SCHOOLED in the Giscard d’Estaing years…

    (Mlq3’s minesweeper on?)

    • supremo on November 9, 2007 at 1:52 am

    Back in the 80s, graduates of Manila Science High School along Taft Ave. are exempted from taking the entrance exam at PLM. I’m not sure if that is still the policy today.

  8. I didn’t know or heard of Mr Saguisag until a few years ago but have read about him a lot recently. My sympathies to him and his family. May God be with Mrs Saguisag and that she may rest in peace.

  9. btw, cvj, I posted a comment to your own “”The whole point in abolishing private schools (yes, both religious and secular) is to destroy such difference in quality between public and private schools and force everyone (not just the poor) to work for the improvement of our public education system as a whole.” but is being kept away by mlq3’s minesweeper…

    • rego on November 9, 2007 at 3:06 am

    All the things that were is said about PLM is really true. I am living with a very close cousin who is a BSN graduate of PLM. And boy, everything is free and for 6 years now. Her batch seems very very close that 20 years garduation they still regular meet. Almost very month I have to accompany my cousin to a lot of parties and I cant complain on their brand of freindship. Evry one seem so proud of their humble beginings. And they would always talk about how poor they were during their PLM days. NIf ypu look at them now, you wcan’t help it but really admire these group of people who made extreme poverty really a big challenge to advance in life.

    • d0d0ng on November 9, 2007 at 3:21 am

    “Sometime the poverty makes it as a challenge to strive harder and have a better life.”

    Henry Sy the richest in the Philippines used to clear out every night the counter of his father’s tiny grocery store in Quiapo so he has a place to sleep. He cried when the 12 yr old boy saw his dirt poor dad for the first time after escaping China.

    Manny Villar (the 5th Philippine richest in 2007 Forbes), the 2nd of 9 children started selling fish at Divisoria at early age. When he attended college at UP as working student, he was also putting long hours selling fish and shrimp.

    I have the respect for these 2 Filipinos (even if Sy is Chinese) regardless of sordid stories against them.

    • d0d0ng on November 9, 2007 at 3:40 am

    my sympathy to Ka Rene, a true lawyer even for unpopular times.

  10. After reading the various comments about Manila’s public university here, I wonder why other major cities (or perhaps there are already?) are not doing the same thing? Setting up a similar university in each province with the same criteria for excellence?

    I do believe that good, solid education costs money. The cost may be shouldered privately or publicly, i.e., by taxpayers but the bottom line is that there is a need to spend but at the same time, there must be a definite blueprint in imparting good education. Because in the end, society likes to thrive in excellence.

    • Ka Enchong on November 9, 2007 at 4:28 am

    Back in the 80s, graduates of Manila Science High School along Taft Ave. are exempted from taking the entrance exam at PLM. I’m not sure if that is still the policy today.

    No, we were not exempted, then. Only advantage was that we were allowed to take the entrance exams regardless of where we stood with our grades. Basta taga MaSci ka, pwede na.

  11. I remember seeing Rene on tv just last week and he was lovingly proclaiming to the whole world that he was married to the prettiest lady in the world.

    Such is life.Here today.Gone tomorrow.

    • inodoro ni emilie on November 9, 2007 at 9:15 am

    “We were a bunch of little Geo’s and Rego’s at that time.”

    cvj, luv this metaphor. who could tatay, er, tatad be?

  12. “The whole point in abolishing private schools (yes, both religious and secular) is to destroy such difference in quality between public and private schools and force everyone (not just the poor) to work for the improvement of our public education system as a whole.” — cvj

    Pres François Mitterand tried to abolish state grants to French private schools with a view to eliminating or rendering private schools ‘inconsequential’ in the long term because being a hardline socialist, he was mouthing Socialist Party dogma — equal opportunities for all, i.e., children of rich and “poor” or not so rich families alike. The educational system in France as a whole is not so bad, even judged excellent by many western standards but it could have been or be better. On hindsight, I say it became chaotic and almost self-destructed.

    Mitterand’s classic leftist view of how society should comport itself enough to heed French 1789 revolutionary cry, i.e., liberté, égalité, fraternité, at least through the primary and secondary levels of the educational stages of young people’s lives could have been a reality had he managed to do what cvj espoused above “to destroy such difference in quality between public and private schools and force everyone (not just the poor) to work for the improvement of (our) public education system as a whole.”

    Instead, Mitterand created the unwanted effect: le nivellement par le bas (the levelling down of education). It is all very well to say — and in a perfect world, it should be — that by eliminating the difference between rich and poor studnet would force or ensure society to work for the improvement of public education system as a whole but to my mind, it takes a very innovative but hugely strong political will to make that happen because society is composed of people with different ideas, different vocations or motivations and even with different aspirations and as such are not easily maleable, i.e., to conform to a change ideology unless that ideology is backed by a strong and genuinely innovative political will.

  13. The effect of the Mitterand levelling down doctrine was deemed disastrous and we can say that it is still felt today. Instead of reducing the disparity between the elitist class and the masse populaire (the ‘masa’), it created an unprecedented toll on society — the wedge became wider when crunch time arrived at the end of year 13: the national baccaulaureat exams.

    The exams were watered down to suit the requirements of the levelling down doctrine of the Mitterand presidency that most of those who passed the state high school exams were deemed not qualified for further education in the uni. Despite that, tens of thousands of young baccalaureat (French high school) graduates trooped to the free unis only to be turned out after one term. It was deemed for example, that for every 5,000 freshmen students accepted by Tolbiac faculty of Sorbonne, 4,000 failed their first year. Universities became overpopulated and the unis undermanned.

    So bad the educational environment became that even the more determined students started to drop out of uni by the thousands after first term. The effect of the ‘devolution’? Private universities or expensive specialist institutes of higher learning (écoles superieures) mushroomed everywhere in the country from 1985 onwards. The result divided social classes in France even more. The divide was inevitable between families who could afford to shell out 7,000 Euros a year (tuition fees were 35 to 45,000 French Francs at the time) for tuition fees required by these new and strictly private institutions, to which a family had to add another 7 to 8,000 Euros a year for the living expenses of their child, and families who couldn’t afford the expense thus marginalizing the children of “poor” families all the more.

    The tide of discontent became almost irriversible; we witnessed the suburban ghetto youth uprising some couple of years ago. Pres Sarkozy who is considered the anti-thesis of everything that is elitist is now trying to put some order in the chaotic educational system but I say again, only a strong, bold, decisive political will can change what arguably almost became a failed educational system in France.
    ¤
    The supreme irony of it all is that the system was instituted by a corps of leftwing but hugely elitist politicians led by the most paradoxical of presidents, leftwing hardliner François Mitterand who in reality behaved more monarchial and more elitist than his predecessor ever behaved, aristocrat Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.

    There is no miracle for a “successful” public educational system. Solidly good but modern governance backed by a strong political will has got to be the key.

    • leah on November 9, 2007 at 9:59 am

    I had a friend from Luxembourg, and he said there are no private schools there. Maybe the public schools are decent there so there is no need for private.
    but any suggestion that private schools be closed in the Philippines is just stupid. the public system is already so overcrowded.

    • ronin on November 9, 2007 at 10:01 am

    MBW: Makati, Pasig and Muntinlupa already have their own city universities.

    • ronin on November 9, 2007 at 10:07 am

    Leah: I agree. Private universities have a better chance of offering quality education due to laissez faire. Fiercer competition among private schools will force them to offer better curricula, faculty and facilities in order to attract more enrollees. Even tuition fees would be a relative issue as schools try to outdo themselves in offering better rates.

    Now if only the owners won’t be that greedy…

    • hvrds on November 9, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Is there an area on Planet Earth where unfettered capitalism exists?

    Unfettered means no impediments or a pure market economy.

  14. Thanks for the info Ronin (btw, Ronin sounds Irish or Gaelic to me)…

    Leah,

    In France too, majority of primary and secondary schools are state schools — I know there are only very very few in Paris and they include international schools and faith-based schools like Jewish schools. In fact many private but otherwise profoundly secular schools in France were created to absorb the rejects of most public schools, particularly those who fail the grades to make it to the lycée (which are years 11, 12 & 13 or when kids are in age bracket 15 – 18)

    System in France is not so bad and truth is many people say it is good, even my English husband who is from an English public school (term English public school is a bit the opposite of what it means, it is actually very expensive and exclusive private school, i.e., Eaton, Harrow, Wellington, etc.) was impressed by the quality of education and educators in French primary and secondary schools, lycée included.

    This despite the Mitterandist Socialist policy of opportunities for all that resulted in “nivellement par le bas” (levelling down) of the French education system.

  15. Oh dear, my comments are under mlq3’s minesweeping operation again! Grrrrrrrrrr!

    • hvrds on November 9, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Oh, I forgot, capitalism is a societal format encompassing economics, politics and culture.

    The word is synonymous with an industrial society. The so called shift from agricultural soceities to industrial societies occured for the leading economies of the world during the 18th-19th and 20th centuries.

    Prior to this the most advanced society was the feudal agricultural society of China.

    The Philippines like all developing economies are transitioning from agricultural societies to what?

    However the neo -colonial enclaves established by the architects of empire have distorted the normal historical evolutionary process of agricultural to industrial development. Now we have the huge gap. The same gap that forced the Government of the Peoples Republic of China to institute the one coutry two systems for HK and the rest of the mainland. Slowly the eastern coastal areas of the mainland are duplicating the HK story. In another generation there will no longer be a need for the SAR. (Special Autonomous Region)

    The masters of China are after all students of economic determinism as espoused by Marx and Smith. The struggle to fill the stomach rules the human unitl he is assured of a filled stomach then he can worry about filling the mind.

  16. All the things that were is said about PLM is really true. I am living with a very close cousin who is a BSN graduate of PLM. And boy, everything is free and for 6 years now.

    The PLM Alumni abroad are playing big sisters and brothers to the students in the PLM by providing them stipends and books thru scholarship programs. That’s paying back what they owed to the city. But then the donors’ name are not revealed to the recipients.

    During the first years of the PLM, uniforms were free, books were loaned out from the library and a small stipend is provided to the needy students.

  17. Is there an area on Planet Earth where unfettered capitalism exists?

    Yes, in google. Even if you enclosed in qoutes, “unfettered capitalism” still turns up 51,100 entries or 348,000 without quotes. (sorry but I can’t find the right emoticon! ha)

  18. Not even close to 95% passing, at least in recent years. PLM ranks a far 2nd-4th compared to UP-Manila, percentage-wise. (Cebu Institute of Medicine and UST are also up there.

    Sorry my mistake in writing 200 per cent. That should have been 100. I agree not one hundred per cent. Just like the College of Law, the College of Medicine accepts applicants who have already finished a degree from any university preparatory to Medicine Proper.

  19. My understanding is first we have the “state of nature,” then the “primitive communal system,” then the “slave system,” then “feudalism,” then “capitalism,” then “industrial capitalism,” then “managerial capitalism,” then “financial capitalism,” then “unfettered capitalism,” then “post-capitalism,” then “socialism,” then “communism,” and then “state of nature” again, each system presenting an “advance” on the last one. But then, I’m just really surmising. (still no emoticon!!)

    • Jeg on November 9, 2007 at 10:51 am

    cvj I share your opinion, but as i said before, the countries that developed recently did so with the participation of their State sectors.

    Im all for State participation, but in the Philippine setting, the State sector has to be checked and prodded by the citizens. Yes, the solution is not to withdraw, but to engage the State. Engage it in battle if need be. State-led development here is a dream. Im reminded of a quote attributed to Gandhi: “There go my people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.” That’s my ideal State.

    In general, if you are a market fundamentalist as i think you are…

    I dont think I can call myself a market fundamentalist. Im wary of corporations as well. Im just more wary of the State because it has an army.

    hvrds: Is there an area on Planet Earth where unfettered capitalism exists?

    I can’t think of any. But Im certain there exists on Planet Earth an unfettered State, hence my position. 😉

    (I join all of you in praying for Atty Saguisag and his family.)

  20. The tale of Marianette who killed herself because of her family’s poverty is front page news in UK’s Independent

    www. news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/article3143286.ece

    Report says:

    In her diary, Mariannet wrote that she had not attended school for a month. Her parents said she had actually been absent for three days. But they had not had money for her food or transport. In one entry, the girl wrote: “We were not able to hear Mass because we did not have fare and my father had a fever. So my mum and I just washed clothes (for money).”

    In the Philippines, nearly 14 per cent of the 87 million population lives on less than a dollar a day, despite government claims that the economy is booming.

    President Gloria Arroyo told a business forum yesterday that her economic reforms were bearing fruit. “The common people are now feeling the benefits of a growing economy,” she said, announcing that an extra one billion pesos would be given to “hunger mitigation programmes”.

    In a recent survey, the Social Weather Stations institute found that about nine million Filipino families regarded themselves as poor. Most live in the south of the country. Many of them said they had experienced “severe hunger” in the past three months.

    The Global Call for Action Against Poverty, a coalition of anti- poverty groups, said its own research showed that economic growth was not trickling down to the people who needed it.

    • rego on November 9, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    oh i forgot to mention, I have two sister here NYC who are DLSU grad and Ateneo grads. But I cant stand living with them. After two months I have to move out from DLSU grad. As for Ateneo grad only 3 days. Sagot ko pa ang kalahati ng expenses nila nong college sila huh…

    • inodoro ni emilie on November 9, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    is this forum turning into a personal confessional box or resume building page?

    go boost your ego in your own webpages.

  21. 10 Questions I would really like to ask GMA.

    * Define honesty

    * Is there anything you agree with Senator Lacson on?

    * What do you want your young apos to read about you in their history books?

    * Who do you want to succeed you?

    * What makes you different from President Marcos?

    * Is the presidency worth it?

    * Do you personally believe in Karma?

    * What do you plan to do after 2010?

    * Do you read blogs?

    * Did you vote in PinoyBigBriber.com?

    • cvj on November 9, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    I dont think I can call myself a market fundamentalist. Im wary of corporations as well. Im just more wary of the State because it has an army. – Jeg

    In the private sector, they’re called mercenaries.

    Now if only the owners won’t be that greedy… – ronin

    That betrays the reality that even with the private schools, there’s really no fair competition when it comes to education in the Philippines. The parents are caught between low quality public schools and greedy private schools. The private schools in turn do not really have that much incentive to increase quality because the parents have no recourse to alternatives like public schools. That’s market failure.

    Anna, will wait for your response to come out.

    oh i forgot to mention, I have two sister here NYC who are DLSU grad and Ateneo grads. But I cant stand living with them. After two months I have to move out from DLSU grad. As for Ateneo grad only 3 days. Sagot ko pa ang kalahati ng expenses nila nong college sila huh… – Rego

    HA HA HA. 2 months vs. 3 days is about the right proportion. My sympathies.

  22. Hi Manolo,

    Just discovered your blog. Love it. Mind if I like you in my own blog?

    Hugs,
    Walter

  23. Aristocrats of the mind? Many are already aristocrats in their own minds….

  24. “PAGPAG”:Recycled Garbage Food for the Poor

    I just watched the episode on” Poverty in the Philippines” on ANC’s “Crossroads ” .I got so depressed when I learned about a coping mechanism of our very poor called “pagpag”.In the vernacular,”pagpag” is a verb that describes the act of dusting off dirt.One does this with food, such as a piece of bread, when it accidentally slips your hand and you rescue it from the floor. You can still eat it, just dust it off or “pagpag” it.

    In Payatas, people makes a living by recycling garbage.”Pagpag” is apparently a very common practice there.

    They gather the thrown away plastic, papers, and whatever they can find, including food, that could still be recycled. They sell the papers and plastics to the factories and the recovered food items, usually half-eaten meat, to some stall-owners who cook them again and sell them to the customers. This dish is “pagpag”. The verb has become a noun.

    One angry viewer called the “Crossroads” program to express outrage that the “Pinoy Big Briber” can give away P500,000 packed in brown bags to Governors and Congressmen while the very poor are eating recycled garbage food called “pagpag”.

    Gloria ,your callousness cries out to high heaven, your stinginess to the poor cries out to high heaven!You remember them only during elections.

    • qwert on November 9, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    “Gloria ,your callousness cries out to high heaven, your stinginess to the poor cries out to high heaven!You remember them only during elections.”- Equalizer
    __________________

    Equalizer,
    She does not care about “pagpag”,what she cares for is “dagdag”.

    • vic on November 9, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Postsecondary Education in Ontario and the rest of Canada…

    For those interested:
    Provincial Overview

    Postsecondary education in Ontario is delivered through 18 publicly funded degree-granting institutions and their affiliates; 24 publicly funded colleges of applied arts and technology; three agricultural colleges affiliated to a university and one school of horticulture; several hospital-based programs; 14 privately funded institutions with restricted degree-granting authority; the federally funded Royal Military College; about 500 registered private career colleges; and many more non-degree-granting private institutions offering postsecondary education or training that do not have regulatory oversight in the province (e.g., not-for-profit organizations; language schools).

    Most degree-granting institutions offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs, although some, such as Brock, Nipissing, and Trent, tend to focus on undergraduate education. Two universities — Laurentian and Ottawa — offer programs in both English and French. As well, York University’s Glendon College offers liberal arts programs in French.

    In addition, there are two specialized institutions that operate at the university level — the Collège dominicain de philosophie et de théologie, which is provincially funded, and the Ontario College of Art and Design, which is authorized to grant degrees in design and fine arts and is treated as part of the university sector for funding purposes.

    Ontario’s 24 colleges of applied arts and technology provide students with the opportunity to develop skills for careers in business, applied arts, technology, and health sciences. Two of the colleges — Collège Boréal d’arts appliqués et de technologie and La Cité collégiale — offer programming in French
    .
    The colleges offer hundreds of full-time and part-time career-oriented programs for secondary school graduates and mature students who may not have completed high school. Most college programs fall into two categories — two- and three-year diploma programs or certificate programs requiring one year of study or less. Recently, colleges have begun offering four-year applied degree programs, baccalaureates in an applied area of study.

    Although college programming across the province has much in common, individual colleges have established areas of specialization. The program in natural resources at Sir Sandford Fleming’s Lindsay campus and the internationally recognized animation program at Sheridan College are examples of the diversity and range of programs offered within the system.

    The province’s three agricultural colleges affiliated with the University of Guelph (Collège Alfred de l’Université de Guelph, Kemptville College, and the Ridgetown College of Agricultural Technology) and the Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture offer various diploma and certificate programs of one, two, and three years’ duration.

    A number of privately funded institutions have been given statutory authority to grant degrees in restricted areas, mostly in religious education.

    All other for profit post secondary education institutions are registered for consumers protection and training for occupational skills and all other careers, like computer skills, technicians, driver training for heavy duty equiptment, etc, etc. but not authorized for granting degrees.

    The same is true to all other 9 provinces and three territories. To find out more how a Publicly funded postsecondary education works you may check this site…

    http://www.cicic.ca/en/page.aspx?sortcode=2.20.24.27.31.32

    Unlike elementary and secondary education which are fully funded post secondary education is partly funded by students’ user fees. Students’ loans available to qualified students for board and lodging and school fees, payable upon gainful employment after graduation. Foreign students pay the full fare…

    But even with all these opportunities, some students would rather start working full time after high school instead. Well, somebody has got to drive the garbage trucks and sweep the streets, and clean the washrooms, otherwise we all be wearing ties and jackets and nobody going to flip that burger.

  25. “The Philippines like all developing economies are transitioning from agricultural societies to what?” — hvrds

    Indeed! I’d like to know the answer…?

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