ARE teachers’ honors and pride cheap nowadays, that selling “tinudok and mani” is an option or, was it done out of fear? How many public school teachers are in this trade of selling goods, either in compliance to a boss or to make both ends meet? Are the millions of SEF (Special Education Fund) insufficient to finance this frivolous, yet important “hataw” uniform? In the end, was the SEF rightly spent to where it was purposely created?
Speaking of Honor, no one can beat Judas. Despite his hunger nearing death in the story, he did manage to throw the biggest rock he carried, just to respect his words “he was full” although he wasn’t. And arriving at the Garden of Eden, Jesus fairly subdivided the lot to all his disciples. The southern portion went to Judas. Decisively, he explored for bamboo shoots and other edibles, to satisfy his hunger. But none can be found. For in the last part of speech, which Judas didn’t hear due to hunger; Jesus said: toil the land first and water it from the sweat of your brow.
Born to be an enterpriser, not a farmer, Judas decided to sell his portion to anyone and retreat to faraway lands. Along the way he met the northern armies. Thus, in ancient terms he shouted “kala kala itungkal ko etan, embanao eshadin” to which Chonard, the general of the army in a modern language responded: “cha! ay wad ay pet nan nangenlutas na, ay kad –ay susurchachu, iyaliyu nan siping ay sinaku saku, ta lakwan ya fareyan taku”.
But going back to the SEF, it simply means, one percent tax from tobacco and real property which after collection, must be spent for educational purposes. At one time, Quezon City accumulated almost one billion in a year. In the mountainous city, the flower vase superintendent is still unwary how much would that be and where to spend it rightly? And when veteran Art was asked, he suggested: bond paper, floor wax, jacket, brooms and refrigerators.
In what way did this refrigerator connected to educational purposes, Superintendent Rico ask? To which Art replied: It’s like this, I’m sure your unaware of this old puzzle on how to put a giraffe in the refrigerator? That cannot be, it’s impossible is Rico’s response. But Art says: You’re wrong, just open it and put it inside is the answer, again let me rephrase, how do you put a cow in the refrigerator?
Rico replied: “just open it and put it inside”. Your wrong again, Art countered: open it, remove the giraffe and put the cow inside, you see, you really need experiences in opening, replacing and putting things inside; sometimes, you even have to consider the positions, those that are inconvenient on top must be put down and those favorable below must be elevated on top, in that way the refrigerator remains cool.
At this point, Sora intervened and said: I’m sure the two of you are discussing little things. You mean sizes, the two men jointly replied. No, Sora answered, did I not tell you I know nothing about sizes, what I mean is that, let us weigh up things where we can mine the SEF at a larger scale, like say buildings and other infrastructures directed for educational purposes. Ah! You’re talking about larger sizes, the two responded in chorus. Nonetheless, in Art’s mind, he sees Rico as the “flower vase” that can see extraordinary things yet he will do nothing, while Sora as the flower who wants it big, but does not know how big, it was.
To be continued...