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Sanie Lou Rubio 2009 - 53552

BS OT January 7, 2011

The 21st Century Invasion

“Mutatis mutandis. For new men, a new social order” Jose Rizal said in his essay on The

Philippines a Century Hence. Despite the suppression of the Spaniards for three centuries of the

Filipino spirit, the flame of nationalism propagated and grew to a conflagration that brought

down the Spanish flag, as well as those of the succeeding conquerors. As the people evolved into

the Philippine nation, they became increasingly aware of reality and determined to lay the roots

of true democracy despite adversities. However, they are stifled by the Spaniards, Americans,

and Japanese of the 21st century – the very institution which has pledged to serve them.

As we are faced with the issue on budget cut, it seems that the new government has a

different understanding of Rizal’s quote. “Mutatis mutandis – commercialized education.” By

not approving the proposed increase in budget for state universities and colleges (SUCs) and

implying an increase in tuition fees, it is not heeding to the cries of millions of Filipinos who are

deprived of their right to quality education.

Coming from the upper-middle classes, the government leaders are ignorant of the basic

tenet of education – the quality of education depends on the kind of learning environment. They

do not know, understand, and feel what it means to study in a small and crowded room with

insufficient tables and chairs, dilapidated building, and school with obsolete books, facilities, and

equipment, and inadequate number of professors. Denying an increase in budget has adverse

effects on the progress of education in the country. What would other countries say about
Filipino professionals with outdated knowledge? What will become of our future health

practitioners, engineers, and teachers who are trained in such conditions? What would be the

future of the Philippines that is founded on insufficient and maladaptive information? As most of

the students in SUCs come from the lower class who work and whose parents work their hearts

out to sustain their education, studying in schools under such conditions seems to pointless and

unreasonable. They struggle to balance their academics and job just to get what? What is the use

of going to college if they will just be fed with knowledge, skills, and trainings that are of no use

to the fast-paced modern world? By repressing the growth and development of the quality of

education received by students from SUCs, the government likewise promotes discrimination

against them. They will have a hard time looking for a job as many employers or companies

prefer graduates from private universities, like the blue and green schools. This will aggravate

problems on unemployment and poverty, thereby adding to the socio-economic burden of the

country. It is indeed a shame that our very own leaders are the ones who are capsizing the flag

carrier – UP – of the country. By promoting the backwardness of the quality of education of

SUCs, the government reflects its incompetence in leading the nation. In other countries, their

SUCs are the ones that are advanced and updated as compared to the private schools. This is not,

however, the case in the Philippines. By opposing such proposal, our leaders further the

underdevelopment of the nervous system that innervates the tissues and organs of society.

It is even more disheartening to face the reality that the very institution that is tasked to

guard the liberties of the citizens violates such rights. The consequence of the budget cut is

inevitable. Tuition fees will increase by rates that are out of reach of millions of families.

“Mutatis mutandis. Pay as you order,” the government simply wants to say. Education is no

longer a right; it is a commodity. It is disappointing to anticipate that many will not be able to go

to college while some will stop their education and give up the years and awards they have

worked hard for since they can no longer afford the increase in fees. Instead of being the future

bright professionals of the nation, they would end up as waiters, janitors, and worse, beggars.

Lack of education results in unemployment and poverty which are the breeding areas of crimes,

drug addiction, prostitution, and other social choleras. Aside from further weakening the political

and economic stability, the situation also puts the country’s name and pride at stake. How would

the people and government face the ridicules and insults of other countries that the Philippines is

the world’s source of domestic helpers and caregivers? Like the friars who denied the natives of

their right to be educated and enlightened, our leaders encourage the label of indios to be

associated to the Filipino people. As the Padre Damasos of the 21 st century, they teach the people

to just stay in their homes, pray, and wait for a miracle that would lift them out of their lowly

status in life.

“Mutatis mutandis!” protest the students. In the face of this new invasion, the

Katipuneros and Katipuneras of the 21st century march and fight for their rights in defiance of the

Spaniards of today. Despite the efforts of the friars to deprive them of their right to education,

they show that as the new men and women who are the hope of society, they are not blinded,

deafened, or handcuffed by the encroachment of capitalism and commercialism in education.

They need a social order that has long been robbed of them – equality. With their minds, will,

and unity as weapons against the new invaders, they secure the independence our heroes have

won for the people.

As a student of UPM, I should, therefore, raise the flag of the youth in expressing and

fighting for its rights. With my knowledge, skills, and concern for others, I can be the Rizal or

Bonifacio of today by writing and enlightening the minds of the youth or actively participating in

protests. Together with my fellow students, I shall shout “Mutatis mutandis!”