Friday, September 5, 2014

Education Amidst Danger and Stigma

        I dared not choose but accept. I complained but have pursued. I died but have lived.
        It was a dusky room when I heard my parents discussing. “How can we send our child to college? My earnings in driving “habal-habal” is just enough for our daily needs”, my father uttered. “We’ll try to find means”, my mother explained. “She should not be sent to Marawi because of the prevailing battle, what might happen to our child there, I cannot afford to lose her.” “If not in Marawi, where can we send her?”, my father added. Tears flew silently from my eyes and I pitied myself. “How can I fulfill my ambition of finishing a degree, of helping my parents and of making myself a role model to my nephews and nieces?” I asked myself.
        What then is MSU? Why does it have the stigma as a horrible place? Some unforgettable memories surface.
        Boom! Bang! Bang! Bang! Oh my God, what is it? I slowly moved from my bed and immediately closed the window. Bang! Bang! Bang! The firing of guns continued, as if it was targeted to me. “Oh my God, I should not be hit. I’m not prepared to die. I still have mission to accomplish.” Bang! Bang! Bang! “Kuya Jun!”, I shouted but he was deeply asleep. Bang! Bang! Bang! I hurriedly ran out from my room and asked for protection from the management. “Rachel, it’s a manifestation that the Ramadhan Season has commenced”, he explained and I sighed. “Huh, I really thought there’s an encounter between the rebels and the military. Thanks Kuya Sam, at least now I learned one of your traditions. “Thank God, I am safe.”
        I got my share of food and went home when a brick of hollow blocks hit my back. Why? What caused this? “Ouch, it hurts!” And the criminals ran swiftly and I could not find any of them. “This is really a horrid place.”
        My mother texted me and waited for a reply. I got no remaining balance and hurriedly went down to SM 1 to buy load. While going back to Ararat Cottage, someone attacked me and forcefully insisted, “Give me your phone!” “Ha?” I exclaimed. “Oh no! Please don’t get this.” The culprit immediately striked my left shoulder with a hard muscled fist and a weapon on it. I was petrified for a moment because blood flew from my shoulder. And then I begged, “Oh no, please give it back to me!” I thought he would not even think of snatching my Nokia 5110, a phone gone obsolete, but he had escaped with it!  I tried chasing him but to no avail. I reported the incident to the landlord and they tried to search the thief but couldn’t find him.
        Yes, I am a victim of traumatic experiences, a sufferer incarcerated in the dungeon of fears about the worse things that might happen to me here. Every other month, prattle spreads like a holocaust regarding unimaginable transgression. A boy killed, a girl raped, a student wounded, and a lot more. Oh no, these occurrences are life threatening, mind boggling and emotionally daunting.
        What made me persistent then, that even after graduation, I dared work here as a faculty? Faculty member? Have I not had enough? All my tragic experiences and the prevailing crimes should have discouraged me! Well, it is because this academe has consistently perpetuated its mission and vision of providing the students quality education despite the overwhelming odds. MSU humbly lives to the pedestal by integrating diverse culture and guiding the learners to be ambassadors and diplomats of peace. I believe these two impressive deeds are the epitome of proudly endorsing MSU graduates to the actual world of professions.
        Administrators of this glorious institution, you are given the challenge to meet the fast changing trends of information and communication, to gradually equip the students with innovative techniques and provide them sophisticated facilities to keep pace with the global call of modernization and the most important thing is to be exemplaries of promoting peace.
        Faculty members, never be tired of imparting your knowledge because the future depends on you. Be patient in inculcating the values one should possess to be competitive. Compromise if possible to mold the students despite the deprivation of using highly sophisticated facilities for instruction. And also, be like second parents to your students who will rear them with extra love and care. Be proud of your profession.
        MSUans, begrudge not on what students of the cities are experiencing. Never grumble that you are left behind or feel inferior of your education here. After all, knowledge economy workforce does not only call for enthusiasts fully equipped with all the technological academic facilities. It’s more than that. It simply awaits for individuals molded with a character, developed with attitude, making you MSUans, an edge over others.
        Truly it is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.

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