While Sharing This Blog, We Hear More Stories

A friend of mine shared the overview of this blog on Facebook, which elicited a response from Rev. Jack Wilson, pastor and founder of Payatas Quezon City Baptist Church Ministries, Inc. His comment brought me to a blog called "Inside Payatas".  Specifically, the blog had two articles tagged under the category "DepEd School System". The first article, "Department of Education takes royalty type stance" talked about Rev. Wilson's observation of parents not given access or opportunity to share meaningfully in their children's graduation ceremonies, while a second article, "Reading Writing and ripped off", greeted me with the following photo:

Photo downloaded from http://escobia225.multiply.com/photos/album/153#photo=7
With Caption:  Have a seat!
On top of demonstrating how poor the facilities are, Rev. Wilson cited cases where students are charged anomalously (explaining the "ripped off" part of the title):

There are children who do not go to school because they are told they need to pay library card fees and other fees as well as lost book fees. The parents can’t afford it so the children stay out of school. Perhaps they will work in a garbage junk shop. 
We went down with one of our Church children to pay a lost book fee and the teacher said she had four lost books. The child denied it. On top of that, their were no receipts given only figures added up and written on a blank piece of paper to be paid. 
We investigated and found out from DepED that especially in the poor area which is Payatas, there are no fees and no charge for lost books. It seems the teachers charge these fees to make their own extra money.
On the other hand, the "royalty type stance" seemed to come from the way a legal officer of DepEd responded to the complaint raised by Rev. Wilson regarding parents not given the opportunity to share and witness their children's commencement exercises.  The lawyer said:
With regard to Rev. Wilson’s sentiments, it is a globally-accepted customary act to have the government officials and teachers seated in front during commencement exercises. This customary act is a manifestation of respect and due recognition to government officials who were chosen representatives of the people. As such, it is but appropriate to have them in primus as they are representing the citizenry.
The phrase "globally-accepted customary act" really caught my attention so I browsed the web and found this photo of a commencement exercise of Belmont High School in the US:
Photo downloaded from http://www.boston.com/yourtown/belmont/news/
I really did not need to go across the seas to find what the globally-accepted customary act is. Here are several photos from Paete, Laguna:
2006 Commencement Ceremony, Paete Central Elementary School
2009 Commencement Exercise, PEQMNHS, Paete, Laguna
I did spot someone who maybe related to politics. This is the wife of the current vice mayor, but she is escorting her daughter, who is among the graduating class, to the ceremony. I guess she is "in primus" (I do not even know what that phrase really means) for a different reason, she is one of the parents.

Nelda Bagabaldo as she accompanies her daughter Hiyas to her graduation
By browsing through other pictures and recollection of commencement exercises that I have attended, this is the customary seating arrangement. The front seats are always reserved for the students graduating. If there are rows of seats on the sides, these are provided for parents and families. Teachers and school administrators are on stage. Special guests, if they are going to address the students, are also on stage. Rev. Wilson surely raises an important point in complaining;
So here we are, children having their graduation day with politicians and officials seated comfortably hoping to be caught in a photo to show everyone that they care about them while the poor parents were in the back on their tip toes trying to catch a glimpse of their children.


  1. Hi Angel! It is the practice even now during graduation ceremonies that the parents of top 3 students joined their children on stage even in the entrance as the photo depicts. By the way, Hiyas happened to be the valedictorian of her class 2006. Glad to see our photos here. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. Thanks, Nelda, for your comments. I am not sure what really happened to the graduation ceremony for Quezon City students as related above.


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