Sunday, April 12, 2015

What teachers, writers and students say about Philippine Literature

Dr Abe V Rotor 
 Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8-9 evening class, Monday to Friday  
Part 1: Ten ways by which teaching literature can be made more effective. 

This is a list from which the respondents chose in the order of importance of these methods and tools.

1. Hands-on and on-site activities (The respondents believe that students should have more out-of-classroom activities, an experiential approach to learning which includes stage play, on-the-spot composition, visiting museums, and other institutions.)

2. More Books and References (This aspect reveals the lack of printed materials as well as those available on the Internet, references and workbooks designed specifically for Philippine literature.
3. 3.Seminar-workshop (Although this ranked third, the respondents believe that seminars, workshops, and discussion sessions, are important.  They complement the first method – hands-on and on-site).

4.    Interdisciplinary approach or Liberal Arts (Going back to general education is actually the trend worldwide where balance of the various disciplines make a holistic education. Apparently there is lack of understanding in this method among the respondents.  
5.    Revision of college curriculum (This innovation, as well as the introduction of the general curriculum is vague to the respondents. They however agreed to the proposal.)

6.    New General Education, K to 12 (The general outline needs detailed explanation.)

7.    Incentives and Awards (The idea of Talentadong Pinoy or America Got Talent TV program did not ring in an academic setting.  There is however a general approval on incentives and awards as they stimulate interest.) 

8.    TV and Movies review and innovation (This method ranked low in the survey for its lack of clear-cut definition and governance in implementation. 
9.  Social Networking Although relatively new its impact in communication is tremendous, enabling millions of people across the world to communicate directly through hand-held smart phones and tablets. Its impact on literature is an interesting study.

10. Others methods: Contests, theatre, stage play, on-line course and instruction
Part 2: Selected Messages on Philippine Literature Today

Dr Florentino H Hornedo and his students in Literature, UST Graduate School. 

1. Re-visit our own literature - “To understand and appreciate others’ uniqueness is to first understand and appreciate our very own; thus there is really need for every Filipino, regardless of profession and status to revisit and appreciate our very own Philippine Literature.” - Mildred M. Crisostomo (Instructor in Don Homerio Ventura Technological State University)

2. Unrecognized Filipino writers
“There are great Filipino writers or authors who are unrecognized … they should be given the chance to share their talents.” -Mrs. Ma. Aurea B. Serrano (High School Teacher in Iba, Zambales)

3. Develop and promote Philippine literature and the Filipino way of life
“Please keep on developing Philippine Literature. Keep on writing your best idea on Filipino life and culture. Keep on reading good books on the Filipino way of life and rich history. … Enrich our minds and hearts, through the best works of our Filipino writers. Kudos to all whoever wakens in their love for writing and reading and promoting Philippine Literature at all cost.” - Corazon L. Abio (Director of Philippine Agricultural Journalist)

4. “Philippine Literature is the backbone of Philippine History. The latter cannot exist without the former.” - Mr. Benjamin M. Paner (High School Teacher in Iba, Zambales)

5. here is a great need for the Philippines to establish its identity in the international scene, as a country, as a culture and as a people, especially as its identity is becoming lost in the multitude of foreign influences. Most of all, internally, there is a need for the Filipino people to know and rediscover who they are. Philippine Literature can become that way both for the people to tap into their identity and simultaneously showcase this to the world.”- Kathrina Yolanda B. Montenegro (Instructor in Gateways Institute of Science &; Technology)

6. Music is interconnected to Literature   “Music is interconnected to other forms of literature. As we study our history, from our forefathers they express their feeling with words and these words were put into music. The rise and fall of their intonations as they sing depicted their emotions. The first form of musical instrument they had was their own voices. Most of the early forms of music were handed down orally. Music for me is a way of expression of our emotions and aspirations, may it be vocal or instrumental, formal or

As a music teacher for thirteen years, I found it very difficult to discuss topics that are not appealing to them (students). Giving them unnecessary textual information that they don’t have any personal experience of the topic is not enough. So sometimes I would bring a video for them to watch or recorded music for them to listen. Sometimes I let them sing some examples regarding the topic but I had to remind them of the background of the song they were going to sing. Then I let them recite the words of the song, although sometimes we didn’t understand what the words meant.  Afterwards we sang the tune of the song. They felt different than when they would just be reciting the words or lyrics.” - Dennis Ortega (Piano Tutor, Musician)

 7. Philippine Literature is not exciting to students
“Philippine Literature is not so much exciting to students as per observation in class. Reasons for this are: first, the subject is taught so much in English that students have difficulty understanding the literary text. Second, books are not available, and (many) are not beautifully or systematically written. Educators (and professors) should make ways to alleviate these problems.” -  Lovella G. Velasco (Assistant Professor in Nueva Vizcaya State University)

8. Local mythology
“I have some original myths of creation and my students have also their own. I can contribute some with local color about how the world began.” -  Loida L. Garcia (Assistant Professor in Bataan Peninsula State University)

9. Teach literature in proper context
“Philippine Literature is performing art that shows our cultural identity, thus, teachers should be taught how to teach our own literature in its proper context.” -  Leo Andrew Biclas (Assistant Professor in Capiz State University)

10. Write about realities of today.
“Please write fiction and creative articles, and non-fiction as well that capture the realities of today’s  social, economic, cultural, and political life.” - Susan R. Mercaida (Assistant Professor in De La Salle University)

11. Literature helps in overcoming crisis and finding new meaning in life
All of us may have lost something important or someone we loved at one point of our lives, or another, and it is painful. We enter into stages from denial to anger to bargaining to depression – and to acceptance, if we succeed. There are those trapped in the cycle, but others successfully find the road to acceptance… onto the road to happiness.

The road to acceptance takes a long time, but is worthy as well, it leads to several realizations and lessons…  I have learned to accept things as they are, and I am happy. (Literature helps us deal with this inevitable experience; it gives back meaning to our lives, or even find a new and greater one.  Victor Frankl in his book In Search for Meaning reported that prisoners who passed through this ordeal had a better chance to live through the war and resumed normal lives. Similar themes are found in the world’s great novels like Les Miserables, War and Peace, and our own Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere)    - Mary Joy Demausa, UST Graduate School Program (Quoted part supplied by the authors.) 

12. Comic character inspires, humbles
“I will definitely not meet Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman in real life but I have such admiration for him because it was through his stories in the comics that I realize I don’t need superpowers to be a hero.” - Frederick Ray A Manubay, UST High School Faculty

13. “A time to laugh and a time to cry” 
“There will surely be several instances by which one would cry and would laugh…That’s life, and that’s literature.”  - Heydeliza A Santos, UST Graduate School Program. 
Literature Books written by Dr Rotor 

14. Keep litter out of literature “With the present campaigns against litter on the highways, we ought to keep litter out of our literature.” Anonymous 
 15. “Literature hones languages. I can relate with other people’s dialects and languages… I can write and speak in Tagalog, English, a little Spanish and Korean. Thanks to literature” – Angelica Cyril C Adivoso, RN, UST Graduate School Program 

16. Literature and Ecology
 “Nature’s cycles have to do with how the earth renews itself.  The living things with the ecosystem interact with each other and also with their non-living environment to form a larger ecological unit that is self-contained.  Sometimes this renewal process is gradual and gentle.  Sometimes it is violent and destructive.  Nevertheless, ecosystems contain within themselves     the resources to regenerate themselves.“Literature cultivates such awareness and the ability to communicate it well… both orally and in writing, perhaps in several languages.”  - Precilla C. Delima, Ph.D., Research Director Isabela State University

17. Literature across the world and in different eras
“Literature appreciation (reading and writing) should be encouraged at all levels.  The study of literary works of different writers across the world and from all eras can help educate, inform, inspire readers and would-be writers.” - Leah Love Soriano, RN and Instructor,. Writer, OCD-DND Professor

18. “Why I am here?”
“Life is worth living for through achievements that help the less fortunate members of society by empowering them to improve their socio-economic conditions – the key to the answer of ‘why I am here.’  One becomes an instrument in developing people’s skill, knowledge and better attitude towards life …” – Romualdo B de Guzman, Professor Bataan Penninsula State University

19. The power of Literature - I just believe that teaching Philippine Literature is very important today to be able to preserve and make young people aware of the .”  Karryl Angelie G. Abon (Instructor in Central Luzon State University)

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