By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Education Secretary Leonor Briones urged teachers and other stakeholders to teach culture in the 21st century with great emphasis on “good morals and character.”
Briones underscored the significance of the country’s culture and history during the launching of “Adbokasiyang Pang-Edukasyon Para sa Paglinang ng Iniingatang Pamanang Kultura” held recently in Malolos City, Bulacan.
The Bulacan-initiated advocacy in safeguarding cultural heritage aims to promote nationalism and patriotism through the preservation of cultural heritage; raise awareness on cultural heritage and safeguarding its identity; develop the skills of education program supervisors and teachers in crafting supplementary learning materials on history, arts, and culture; and enhance learners’ artistic talents in promoting and valuing Philippine arts and culture.
Briones, in her keynote address, emphasized that “culture and history are essential aspects of basic education” as she urged the teacher-participants and stakeholders to teach culture in the 21st century that focuses on the promotion of good morals and character among learners.
“Ang kultura ay hindi lamang sinusuot kundi laman ng ating puso… iyon ang mahalaga. Hwag nating kalimutan na sa panahong ito, tayo ay humahabol sa mundo – sa science, technology, engineering, at mathematics. Tayo ay humahabol sa technical-vocational training (Culture is not juts something that we wear, it is contained in our hearts – that is what’s important. Nowadays, we are trying to catch up with the world – in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and we are pursuing technical-vocational training),” Briones said.
Despite this, Briones underscored that there should be a balance between teaching technology and the preservation of arts and culture. “Huwag nating kalimutan na tayo ay Pilipino. Hindi tayo robot, hindi tayo cyborg, hindi tayo mga machine, tayo ay humans. Tayo ay may kasaysayan, may kultura, at may sariling pag-iisip (Let’s not forget that we are Filipinos. We are not robots, we are not cyborgs, we are not machines, we are humans. We have a history, a culture, and a mind of our own), she added.
Briones also challenged the participants to “find lessons in every Philippine song and dance.”
Meanwhile, Briones thanked the province of Bulacan for “promoting their cultural heritage” – highlighting Region III’s “great contributions” to the country’s history and culture.
“Sinasabi natin na ating bigyang pugay ang ating kultura at ang ating history, ipagpatuloy natin ito. Para sa akin, it’s not only pamana ang mga sayaw, musika, literature. Hindi lamang ulit-ulitin natin, matutuwa tayo, kundi i-apply natin sa ating buhay (We say that we honor our culture and our history, let us continue doing this. For me, dance, music, literature are not just a legacy… it’s not just entertainment but something that we can apply in our lives),” Briones added.
Meanwhile, DepEd Region III OIC-Director Nicolas Capulong shared that they conceptualized the launching event to show the region’s unity in promoting their rich culture, arts, and history. “Ako ay lubos na naniniwala na ang kaluluwa ng isang bayan o lalawigan ay masasalamin sa kanyang kasaysayan, sining, at kultura (I strongly believe that the soul of a town or province is reflected in its history, art, and culture),” he said.
“Ang pagkakakilanlan ng ating bayan ay marapat lamang na bantayan, pagyamanin, ipagmalaki, at higit sa lahat ay ating palaganapin upang higit na maunawaan ng salinlahi ang pagkakakilanlan ng lahing Pilipino, ang lahing Gitnang Luzon (The identity of our people should only be guarded, enriched, be proud of, and above all, be promoted so the identity of the Filipino people, of the people of Central Luzon will be better understood),” Capulong ended.