Nandeyanen No. 2

October 2001 Edition

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"Nandeyanen" is the monthly newsletter published by our Mindoro Office.
"Nandeyanen" means "Why is it?" in Japanese Kansai dielect. It represents the sentiment of our young Japanese volunteers when they encounter cultural differences.

Contents

(Click BALL)
No. 2
PDF (275KB)
GO!Development as enthusiasm(Hiro Kawashima)
GO!Interview with "Kuya Ding"(Interviewer: Satsu Kunikane)
GO!Journey to Manila (Mila Panagsagan)
GO!My Family(Precilla Rinangyan)
GO!One Lesson 'How to take a bath'(Satsuki Kunikane)
GO!Bulletin Board
GO!Editor's Comment (Shinya Shigaki)

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Development as enthusiasm TOP

Hiro Kawashima

Last March our chairperson, Ms Akiko Ikeda, attended the conference organized by World Bank Institute and FASID in Bogor, Indonesia. Attendants, who are seemingly professionals from various fields, discussed about 'the implications of decentralization on natural resource' and 'management and conflict resolution in Indonesia'. In the workshop she insisted that the will is the principal key to bring peace to the battlefield or development while majority claimed that lack of the communication skill or fund is the main cause of the long-lasted conflict. It sounds plausible to say that the lack of the technology or capital keeps the countries from developing. But is it true?

Often I heard the similar opinions from the people here: "Philippines remains very poor because we have no technology". "I can't go to school because my family is very poor". These comments are maybe derived from their hardship but not a many times I feel they have no urge to improve their life. There's a morbid inclination here that people give up their dream before challenging it. I come to learn that this sickness was nurtured by centuries long colonization and worldly known polarization of 'haves and not-haves'. True, you can enjoy luxury whole your life if you're born in the rich family while you likely have to look for a handful rice to feed many growing children if you're born in the poor here. The teaching, which we heard from our parents and teachers since childhood that 'study hard and work hard so that you can become rich or enjoy better life', seems illusion here. But what will develop the person or country if this cliche is nonsense?

Japan is suffering a decade-long recession now but after the world war especially in 60's and 70's there was certainly a kind of enthusiasm throughout the nation. Everybody believed that more work and more study could make the country wealthier and in fact the country enjoyed the record high GDP growth during the time to finally rank the second biggest economy in the world. It's not honorable to be called economic animal but this mania for work fueled the miraculous development. I believe that there's no secret for success but enthusiasm leads you to achieve your dream. And the enthusiasm is the automatism of the will of life. Look at the children! They are easily enthralled by something. Playing basketball or exercising guitar whole day is everybody's reminiscence and this is the mother of the mastery. Many successful scientists or businessman are enchanted by their study or expanding their market. For example Bill Gates of Microsoft and Mr. Honda, the founder of Honda Moto! r Company were really nuts on the invention in their small garages before becoming multi-millionaires.

Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize laureate on economics found out that the enhancing the freedom or functioning democracy will stop the famine and develop the country. Deprived of freedom are those who are depressed by the polarized society or lost their will to attain their dream. One of my mentors, a world best-selling Brazilian author Paulo Coelho said in his novel, "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."

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Interview with "Kuya Ding"
("kuya" means elder brother in Tagalog)
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Interviewer: Satsu Kunikane

This month we had an interview with "Kuya Ding" or Fernando Tuscano, who is the longest-served Filipino staff of our association. He joined our association in 1996 and since then is serving as a community organizer.

Q1. When did you meet 21st century association at the first time?
A. I was active in the church's community before. One day Father Ramon Bosh, who is the parish priest of Sta.Cruz, asked me if I could join the livelihood programs as a kind of social worker for the mangyan tribes. Then I decided to join the programs, which are the cooperation of 21st century association and the MIC (Missionary Sisters of Immaculate Conception) or parish. As a volunteer worker I tried to organize the people in some mangyan settlements like Calamintao and Talapa, who suffer the poor community and economy. I gave them many seminars and often worked together in the farm. Then the association employed me after my having served more than half a year.

Q2. What made you decide to join the association?
A. I had two reasons. First mangyan people are very conservative and until now living excluded from the Filipino society because they have little chance to receive the education. I sometimes feel that our government neglects the obligation to protect their human rights. I want to arouse the question: " If we abandon our own people how we can build up the better society? To help them as a co-Filipino is rather our obligation. That's the first reason. Secondly I found that the programs of 21st century association well meet their needs. True, giving education is the best way to develop the society. I decided to apply the association so I can contribute myself to the justice.

Q3. Do you have any idea about how we can promote the education, which is the raison d'etre of our association?
A. Education is not only for students at school. I'm working together with mangyan volunteers everyday, who were once our scholars and giving them training in the farm. For example I teach them how to care vegetables or rice. Especially in the field of agriculture I believe that the best part of the knowledge are acquired through the experiences. "Experience is the best teacher." This is my philosophy. My mission is to teach them the agriculture or know-how of the management through the daily work or on-the-job-training.

Q4. How do you think about mangyan volunteers or their work?
A. They are like my younger brothers or sons. I think they much improved their skills. They have already mastered the elementary knowledge of farming like how to manage the rice paddy around the crop season or plant and care the wide variety of vegetables. But they still need to learn the delicate works or the decision-making. Observing the plants daily or the weather situation and making quick decision are the fundamental of farming but they often do nothing but wait for my instructions even under critical situations. They must realize that their traditional farming known as "kaingin system" or thrash and burn system, which need much less care, is great different from modern farming. I want to teach them modern but ecological agriculture.

Q5. Do you have any plans or suggestions for our future's programs?
A. I'm always thinking what the most suitable agriculture or livelihood for the mangyan people. And what's the more sustainable way, too. Planting more and more fruits trees must be the one of the best solution to kill the starvation, for example. They will protect the mountains and bear the food for the next generation. And I think handicraft business can feed them, too. They are very good craftsmen of rattan or bamboo-made products. But they lack the design and finish works. If we can give them good training to learn these works and management, it will lift-up their meager economy.

Q6. Lastly do you have any message to us?
A. I believe the total dedication to one's job will fuel the development of our society. Thank you!

He is the good interview. And he is the incentive to the better performance of our activities. (Satsu)

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Journey to Manila TOP

Mila Panagsagan

Mila Panagsagan, who graduated from high school last March, was one of our scholars and is working now as our volunteer staff, planning to proceed her study in college some day. Last August she ventured to take a few days journey to Manila with our staffs, leaving her homeland, Mindoro behind for the first time in her life. This is the snapshot of her experiences during the time written by her.

As soon as we arrived at Batangas port I got a severe headache and whole day I couldn't eat anything. I have never been to big city like Batangas and Manila and never seen such a huge number of vehicles. I think the terrible heat and air-pollution in the cities are the main cause of my sickness. In Manila for the first time in my life I took a ride on the train (MRT). I was so scared when I had to pass the ticket barrier because I didn't understand the system. Many things scared me from the very first day: Deafening noises of vehicles, uncountable number of people and so many huge buildings...

Next day we planned to visit the slums in Navotas City but couldn't get there because of flood. Water from the sea changed the roads into river. So we decided to proceed to Intramuros (the walled Spanish city survived until the end of World War 2). On the way in the cab I saw the never-ending squatter's area and well-known huge dump, "smoky mountain" along Manila bay. I was very shocked. I have never imagined there's such a terrible reality! In Intramuros we visited the Manila Cathedral, Casa Manila (beautifully restored Spanish colonial home) and San Agustin Church & museum. Their beauty is the great contrast to what I've seen on the way. We spent enough time to make rounds there and I enjoyed the beautiful old buildings and antiques. Then Manila Zoo! Since I was a small girl Manila Zoo is my dreaming destination. I was so happy to see the animals from around the world that I had seen only on the TV before: lion, elephant, tiger, crocodile and so on. For me the zoo is t! he m! ost fascinating place I visited during my journey. At night we strolled and enjoyed the window-shopping in the big department store. I was so happy whole day!

On the 3rd day we visited a Japanese friend of Hiro's in Makati City. She prepared lunch for us at her mansion but I was too tensed to eat and talk.

On our last day in Manila it rained so hard that we couldn't go out till it stopped late in the afternoon. We watched the movie "Planet of the Apes" in the fancy shopping mall. Which is also one of the most unforgettable experiences.

Now back in Mindoro, breathing the pollution free-air and surrounded green landscape I'm recalling all the memory there and realizing how the journey has widened my world. I saw very different life there and learned the diversity of the world. Natural though it may be I felt very small and even scared facing to the much-advanced places and often was too timid to talk to the people with good manner. Some day I will come back again there but with more self-confidence and if possible I want to live there for my study or work. This is my challenge.

In the last place I would like to thank those who set my wonderful journey for their kindness and supports. I will never forget their gift for my graduation.

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My Family TOP

Precilla Rinangyan

We are a family of all 7 and I'm the eldest of 5 brothers and sisters. Now I'm the 4th year student of high school and staying at the boarding house (of 21st Century Association) near from the school (in town). My house is so far from the town where the school is located that I can't commute to school from my house.

I'm the scholar of the 21st Century Association and well supported by them. If I were dependent on my parents I have never got this opportunity of studying in the school. My father has no stable job because he couldn't finish the high school. He always looks for day labor in the farm to earn the meager money while my mother can't do nothing but attend my 4 small brothers and sisters. His earning never meets our daily needs and we often lack even the food.

I want to finish my study so I can help my family and give education to my younger brothers and sisters. I have an ambition; to become a good teacher and lift-up our life through what I acquired by education.

(Translated from original Tagalog by: Reah Barraca)

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One Lesson From Satsu TOP

Satsuki Kunikane

Hi! How are you? Today's lesson is about taking care of your body, Part2.

Everyday you take a bath and some have even more than a couple of times a day. But are you sure that you know how to clean your body properly? Have you ever learnt the best way? That's the one of the basic and important daily activities. Check it!

<How to wash your body properly>

Do you have bath soap in your hand? Are you ready?

1) Wash yourself from top to toe with soap and water.

Hair->neck->arms->chest->waist->hips->legs->foots

Don't forget the hidden parts!
+Back of the ears, Armpits, Back, Soles, Between the toes

*Scrub all parts with enough bubbles

2) Rinse out all the dirt completely.

Some of our scholars (especially boys) seem not to pay enough attention to keep their body clean while others (many girls) are inclined to wear too much perfume from cologne or soap.

But the most important you have to do is to clean the dirt away from your skin to get rid of microbe. Proper bathing will protect you from the terrible skin troubles like kurikong (scabies) and make you feel refreshed.

Now you've learnt the first step to become more beautiful and healthy.

See you next...

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Bulletin Board TOP

<We Did>
*10 pcs of melodica (piano-like mouth organ) have been donated to Sta.Cruz Central Elementary School on Sept 13th. We received a thank-you letter from the principal. (Satsu)
*Rice has been transplanted on Sep.21 in our rice paddy (Kuya Ding)
*Soybean has been planted on Sep. 20 (third-time experimental trial). (Shinya)
*Sales of used-clothes from Japan enabled us to buy several sacks of rice. Rice from our paddy has almost run short. (Reah)

<We Do>
*Final exam of 1st semester will come soon! We do our best! (College students)
*Cultivation of our vegetable garden in Calamintao will be started soon. (Kuya Ding)
*Preparation for maize planting will be started soon. (Baluan)
*School at Pakpak will be reopened soon after rainy-season recess (Hermie)

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Editor's Comment TOP

Shinya Shigaki

"Going my way": This is one of my professors during my college days bestowed on me. When he was disembarked on America in early 1950's he was just a 19 year-old sailor with only $50 in his pocket. But his dream was as big as Pacific Ocean he crossed. After he got the degree there he joined UNDP of United Nation and now he is senior adviser of UN. I admire his adventurous and willful life.

I don't remember very much about his lecture but I learned from him what "Going my way" means. I realized it is constituted of "having faith", "consistency" and "being ambitious". I try hard to "seek my way" and "go my way" every day here. It's the great fun for us to share "your ways" with ours. It must strengthen each ones' "my way".

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