Thursday, December 18, 2003

Don't run

Dear Mouse, A doctor discouraged the loony candidates to run for President while a national artist F. Sionil Jose whose speech about the reason why Philippines is poor became a hot debate item in several forums, does not want FPJ and Noli de Castro to run because they could not argue in English. In that speech he delivered in a seminar, he compared how Indonesia overtook Philippines in terms of education, infrastructure and economic development. I doubted if at the time he made the speech, he had gone to Indonesia and if he did, he must have seen only Jakarta and its multi-level highways built by Filipino engineers or must have met Indonesian diplomats and executives educated in Philippines' universities for their graduate degrees. A year or two, after he made the speech, trouble erupted in Indonesia causing the migration of several intellectuals that were afraid for their families' safety. Many expats were recalled to their headquarter offices or were relocated to other Asian countries where safety is more assured. Corruption, poverty and tyrannical government caused the downfall of Suharto's rule. I do not expect Jose to be a seer but even an average journalist with no award in his name could see that Indonesia may look progressive but inwardly there were more serious issues that could cause it to erupt like a volcano anytime and it did. Now, he is at it again, writing an article about ability to speak English as a prerequisite for running as a President. My US educated professor in English would have blurted out...MY goodness shakes... When I started working in the US, I avoided using big words in correspondences. My training was to use biz terminologies such as cost efficient as against cost effective, threats, opportunities, risk management, leverage, systems analysis and operations. I used to write kilometric sentences peppered with bullets, numbers or letters. Now I write short sentences, preferably one liner to send the message across. In the Philippines, even a lowly clerk has a college degree. In the United States, where academic qualification is not required even for managerial positions but only preferred next to hands-on experience, the person you may be talking to may not be able to spell the word that he is using in speaking to you. He may be an immigrant himself who cannot understand big words. When everything is available in the internet to be able produce impressive-grammatically correct resume (curriculum vitae for you) who needs the general education subjects. If the message of his article is more than the ability of speaking a foreign language, then there is no need to remind him that the Chinese prime minister cannot speak English; so is the Prime Minister of Japan. even if Italians and French can speak English, they won't speak the language in their own country. If you are in their country, speak their language, if you are in the United Nations Assembly, use a translator. Do not get me wrong mousey, I am for English as a medium of instruction in the Philippines. When everything goes global, the employability of a job hunter is greater if he can speak more than one language. But to consider speaking English as a reason to discourage one to run for presidency is simply idiotic. I dislike Erap not because he cannot speak English but because of his vulgarity and corruption despite his education from an elite school. I do not like FPJ not because he cannot argue in English but because I do not want to ride in a car with a student driver being directed by a back seat driver. The CA t Dear Cat, But you are no longer riding in a public utility such as a jeepney. The Mouse Dear Mouse, To be a driver of a jeepney in the Philippines, you should be a math wizard, one with a photographic memory (not to consider pornographic too) heeh heh heh and a multi-tasker. Where in thw world will you find a driver who can give you an exact change for your money, listen to people who are making paraaaaaaaaa mama, while oggling a beautiful young lady in the sidewalk and listening to a deafening hip hop music from the stereo? Here in the States, a bus driver is spared from troubling himself with change. Exact fare is a must, monthly passes are not even checked, destination and reminders are automated voice machines. Nakakabobo di ba? The CA t


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