Novenber 2001 Edition
|"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.
|No. 3||Education as a Best Safety Net(Hiro Kawashima)
Seek Your Best Match(Satsuki Kunikane)
New World(Wilfredo Bernardo)
We Thank for Your Donation!
What's "Nandeyanen"? (Shinya Shigaki, Editor)
Not many people know that the annual meeting of the World Bank and the IMF, scheduled in the last September, cancelled because of the historic terrorist atrocities in USA. There must have been severe frictions between the institutions and anti-capitalists or anti-globalization protests during the time. Presumably many anti-globalists have been exalted to conclude that those horrors were consequence of the exploitation, oppression and injustice of the international capitalism, thus the globalization, deemed to be absolute good for all, was an illusion. Worse, some scholars pessimistically declared the exciting march of globalization is over with this scourge. But I'm afraid of this sudden change of mood. Remember that the market economy is not newly introduced in this last decade but was precedented in a century ago. Early in the 20th century, after a short period of its joyful maneuver, the world plunged into the great depression and was shifted into the block economy and th! e wars. Some must read the anagram of the history.
There's no space to discuss about the globalization by and large here but I want to give a thought to the argument: if the market economy widens the gap between those 'haves' and 'not-haves' as the anti-globalists protest, what will prevent from its undesirable inequalization? I will preconclude it: it's education. Following facts are enough to prove it.
At the beginning of the 70's, Thailand and the Philippines had almost the same population with around 40 million (now 61 million and 75 million respectively), but the Christian state enjoyed the 2nd largest economy in the Asia, nearly double as large as the Buddhist's state. But now Thailand has emerged to become an elite of the developing countries with double size of the Philippines' economy. Some researchers then found out that this kingdom of the Malay Peninsula spent 2 times bigger national budget for education than that of the Philippines in the last decades and it spurred the GDP growth miraculously. Here's another interesting study by William Cline, Institute for International Economics: what are the main forces to widen the inequality in the last 2 decades of America? The answer gives us a clear-cut idea: While the education and training will drive down the inequality, the technological progress will increase the inequality. Succinctly say, the education serves both! bottom-up the poor and pushing up the vault.
Japan is another example. After the centuries-long seclusion, our new government, established late in the 19th century, was urged to adopt the new regime and technology from the Western to become competent in the world. Learning was really vital throughout the nation. As a result, the poor archipelago was rapidly industrialized and it is well known that the illiteracy rate there hit virtually zero even a century ago.
With a bit frowning, I acknowledge the globalization in general. I believe the world community with diversity is everybody's dream. My skepticism is derived from the fact that till now majority in the glove is deprived of human rights for education. No doubt, the education is the best-served safety net not only to protect oneself from greedy capitalism but also to establish one's life joyously.$B"#(B
You may have something you have longed for or a dream you want to make it come true. I also have one. When I was a junior high school student, I found a watch attracting me strongly in the magazine. It's a kind of "quality goods in the world" and enormously costly for me. Whenever I saw it again, I deeply sighed for its beauty and price. As you may think, the quality watch is not appropriate for such a young girl. I seriously asked myself again and again if my wish was from my inner voice and if I was qualified to own her. The watch seemed never subject to me but it even had an authority to reckon up my qualities. I felt so. I promised myself then: if I cherish the desire ever, I will purchase it 10 years later with my first salary earned by my vocation. And I will wear it as a lifetime partner. It was my secret vow when I was just a 14-year-old.
Now 10 years has past and I'm old enough to wear the watch. It's still costly for me as same as ever but I can buy it with my savings if I will. However, I don' t have it yet. I still can't signal myself for buy! I'm still not qualified to own it. I can't fancy such an elegant gem on its poor master's wrist! I feel a strong urge to develop my talent, personality and self-confidence to become a truly master of the long-dreaming watch.
Everybody is struggling for his goal in the different growing stages. What we have to do is to know exactly where we're now and seek our best match who will help us grow. Fancy that a people who can't write at all want to have a computer! Fancy that a person who doesn't have enough knowledge for farming buys a power cultivator at the expense of his meager farmland! It's really nonsense if we run after such sophisticated or luxurious goods that aren't agreeable to our skills or economy. Worse, it even damages our life. Do not assume a superior to such fancy goods if their qualities don't suit your actual ability. Instead, you must acquire the ability to manage and master the tools or goods you want. This is the proper way to become the master of the goods or things.
Here's my favorite story of a family living in Milan, Italy. A teen-age daughter studying at college said, "I'm yearning for luxuries my mother has, but I think the cotton shirts are the best-fit for me now because it's easy to wear and wash frequently." She relishes of simple fashion suitable to her generation and avoids too much accessories and make-up. Her mother has a white silk blouse and gold jewelry appropriate for her maturity. On the other hand, the gray haired grandmother wears draped silk blouse to add feminine volume to her aged body. She is very cute putting a gentle color on her lips naturally! Each woman in the different generations knows what's her best match. As a matter of fact, each woman looks so charming.
To discern the best match is vital for our successful life whether it is human or goods. A craftsman is very careful when he chooses the tools because he knows very well that the best matching tools promise him to make a masterpiece. These things are no longer for consumption but best friends who will guide you to your goal or even develop your personality.
I am still challenging the watch.
My new town San Jose is much different from Mamburao and Sta. Cruz where I stayed and studied before. It looks like some place in Manila where I've never been to but seen on TV or newspaper. It's really big and nice place although there are some slums that I've never seen before. It's a kind of educational park, too. Most of the colleges in my province are concentrated here and I'm enjoying this academic atmosphere surrounded by many students and professors.
After having finished my fresh year at Occidental Mindoro National College (OMNC) at Mamburao, I transferred to Divine Word College at San Jose last June. My dream is to become a mathematics teacher and there are no colleges but this Divine Word College is offering the mathematics as major course.
In new college I'm so happy because our professors are very strict but give us quality lectures. Especially I adore one of our mathematics teachers for her mastery. My interest for the subject has even deepened by her lecture. My classmates too are good incentive to study. We often discuss and corporate together so as to complete good assignments or reports. In our vacant time, I often go to the library with my friends and read books. My favorite there is 'Geometry', a book written about the Pascal's theory.
I'm staying at the students' boarding house with my compatriot, who too is a scholar of our association. We have a very kind but a bit inquisitorial caretaker there. She always reminds us not play around with the girls but study hard. In fact she easily get angry if we go out without letting her know. Anyway I don't want to be bothered with anything but my study. I'm enjoying very much with my study!
Quite often in the evening we have visitors from church at home. We, some of board mates and religious ones, all together read the Bible and study it. This is another wonderful experience for me here. I feel my mind is awakening through the Divine Word. The following is my favorite quotation form the Bible:
"Now the message that we have heard from his Son and announce is this: God is light, and there is no darkness at all in him. If, then, we say that we have fellowship with him, yet at the same time live in the darkness, we are lying both in our words and in our actions."(1John 1:5-6)
My poor interpretation for this passage is this; if we truly live in God, we are never unhappy so that we will never lie and never commit sin.
I have an ambition. To finish my study at college is just a part of it. And yes, to help my family is, too quite important for me. But my real goal is to devote myself to build up the better society by exercising my profession, as a good mathematics teacher.
Friends are very important for me because they are the big help for one's life. Suppose you have a true friend, she will help solve the troubles you have even if it is very serious one but keep it secret among two. She must be the good adviser and will try to bring you back onto the right side if you err. For example, if I have hard time to do my assignment, she's always ready to help me to complete it. And if so does she, I do the same for her.
There are two kinds of friends: good friends and bad friends. If your friends are good, you can develop yourself through their advices and qualities. But if you have bad friends you must be badly affected by them. Good friends are those who tell me sincerely if I'm living in a moral life and if my deed is worthy for God
Friend is indispensable for the quality life!
(Translation by: Hermie M. Panagsagan)
Thank you for your hearty donation! We received many used musical instruments from Japan recently.
Our mangyan scholars play and enjoy them everyday. We have decided to share these gifts with the pupils of the elementary school in our town. Here is the acknowledgment from the principal who is very pleased with your kindness.
This is how your old stuff in your closet will be breathed life again here! It is of great help for our scholars if you kindly donate us your things like old clothes, writing materials, toiletries, towels, and so on, which are so long out of use. These goods are not only consumed by our scholars but also sold to our neighbors to raise the fund. We're struggling hard to weather through the financial crisis.
Our address is:
Shinya Shigaki, Editor
Here in Mindoro we are now late in the rainy season. Often our place is flooded and it brings us very monotonous life. It's a vivid contrast to the autumnal tints in my home country. In Japan most of the leaves are turned into red-colored beautifully and later will fall. I miss the wonderful scenery of Japanese autumn when I feel bored with too much rain or lights-out night here.
Under such circumstances I sometimes kill the time drawing a parallel between my hometown Amagasaki City, notorious for its terrible air-pollution and this Sta.Cruz in Mindoro Island. Shown as below are some examples:
Those differences are surprising, interesting and enriching my daily life here. I appreciate the diversity of the world. But some differences are not welcome. For example infant mortality rate or illiteracy rate in Mindoro is beyond the comparison. Especially amongst the mangyan tribes or indigenous people in Mindoro, the majority of the children can't reach the adolescent age and few of them can write. But why are so?
Sometimes I can't help but vocalize "nandeyanen" when I encounter these unacceptable differences. Nandeyanen means, "Why is it?" in Japanese Kansai dialect, which is my mother tongue. I believe asking question instead of being quiet is the first step to solve the problems. And sharing nandeyanen must arouse the people to action and lead the better society.
This is how this newsletter "Nandeyanen" was designed and born. Let us know if you feel "nandeyanen" and write us your free opinions!