I chose to stay, Prof Monsod but what happened?

      9 Comments on I chose to stay, Prof Monsod but what happened?

“I cannot do everything but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do. And with the grace of God, I will do it” – Prof. Monsod

Economics 11 is just one of my required subjects in my BS Food Technology course . The year 1976 was my Junior year in UP Diliman and I made sure that Prof. Solita Monsod was my Economics teacher because she was known to be kind. None of those terror teachers, please. Economics is not exactly my cup of tea. Science subjects were my forte. I didn’t know it then but it was also the semester that my mother died of breast cancer and Monsod’s kindness helped me pull through with make-up exams.

It was Martial Law times and I don’t recall her talking much about the state of the country like she did in the Honor and Excellence video taken by one of her students last October 5, 2010.

Honor and excellence was ingrained in all UP students. I don’t recall the people responsible for placing it in my thoughts. Prof Monsod however elaborates that the ““fruit of honor and excellence” is ““competence and integrity”.

What hits hard is staying in the Philippines even after graduation.

“The Philippines needs you more than you would ever think. And if it is not you, who else will do it?” says Prof, Monsod

I have often heard the monicker ““Iskolar ng Bayan” in all of my college life. Prof. Monsod drives the same point . As scholars of the people, UP students owe a debt of gratitude to the Filipino people, whose taxes paid for part of that education. Fighting the dictatorship was a struggle that I fought for as a student in the state university.

I understand Prof Monsod.

Carlo Osi suggests that “UP alumni can repay this debt by serving underserved communities, engaging in public service, running for public office, organizing communities, spearheading humanitarian service projects, or simply volunteering. You don’t have to be a social worker or community volunteer to do this; you can easily be a professor, a doctor, an engineer, a store owner, a pilot, an admin officer, a priest, a bank officer, a retiree or an overseas contract worker, and still serve the nation.”

I chose to stay.

As a young mother in 1986, I received an immigration application to the USA from my sister. Full of hope that our country would prosper under President Cory Aquino, I tore the application form. I wanted my kids to stay in the Philippines and be a part of the transformation. I had so much hope.

Twenty four years later under President Benigno Aquino III, our country is still where it was in 1986. Where did I go wrong? Was it because I was too engrossed as a mother taking care of my children? By being apathetic and letting the President do all the work?

While Prof. Monsod’s message is inspiring and idealistic, the sad reality is that it is not practical for all.

I stayed, didn’t I?

Many of us have fulfilled or are fulfilling our ““social contracts” with the ““donors” of UP scholarship, the Filipino nation.

I tried to be a good citizen and mother to my children. I wanted to help my country by being a mother to the future citizens of the Philippines.

I know I am just one.

If only we all play a role and be part of the solution. Then one, becomes two , then three, and more .

The point of Prof. Monsod’s message is to serve the people in the best way you can, given one’s circumstances.

My children are now adults. This is my time to serve the best way I can, by being a citizen journalist, being an active blogger even if politics is not my thing. I hope our President is listening to me now because all I want is a good future for my children’s children.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1385 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • A very nice blog.

    I thank you for your decision to stay. You did what you can for your country-by taking care of your children. You have done a great job.

    I would rather see a mother with his own children growing together than a mother miles away from her children growing up. Though I’m not against working abroad, as I am also working abroad, I have never supported or encouraged my friends or anyone for that matter, to work abroad (even to this day). I just have my own reasons for working abroad.

    My take on this is still the same as what Randy David wrote a couple of years back, “a Philippine society that affords every Filipino the chance to grow and to use his talents without having to leave his country would be a far richer society.”
    .-= rolly07´s last blog ..A Note to a Great Leader =-.

    • I know I did the best I can. I hope everyone does the best they can too and we will all be a big force/

  • I don’t think anyone need apologise for “not doing enough” for their country whether they are abroad or living in the islands. That is just guilt tripping over the pompous words comimg from people who PRESUME to br an authority on who does enough – or not enough – for the country.

    At the end of the day all of us are accountable for our own personal success – and that includes all these poor sods that we “more fortunate” folk are made to believe we owe our charitable efforts to.

    Nobody has any right to tell any law-abiding person how honourably or dishonourably they had lived their life. That is only for the state and God to be the judge of.

    • thanks. Each person’s circumstances differ. My decision then to stay was based on the state of hope in the country in 1986. I am just so dismayed that after 24 years, nothing changed. That is why I won’t look down on those who left.

  • Hi Noemi!

    My mom (a UP graduate) and I watched this video together over breakfast and we kept laughing at the part about haunting during honeymoon.

    Anyway, my mom also chose to stay in the Philippines and I think she has instilled in all of us a deep love for our country. I don’t think you feel “guilty” at all since you have done a great job (even during the Cory administration) of raising wonderful daughters who are also great Filipino citizens. Now you’re not just one, you have raised more amazing Filipino citizens. 🙂

    I’m still very young and optimistic but I do believe that the country is slowly progressing. I may not be a UP student and I don’t technically owe my tuition fee to anyone but my parents but I want to stay here and help build the nation.

    Of course I don’t know if I might also look back in the future and feel a sense of disappointment but I believe we have and still are playing a huge role in the country’s progress. We might have influenced one of the key players in this country in our own small way and we just don’t know it.

    Btw, Prof Monsod is now known as one of the terror professors in UP. Haha. 🙂

    Thanks for posting this video Noemi!
    .-= Smarla´s last blog ..Maginhawa Streets Cocina Juan- The Winner Central American Dinner on 10-10-10 =-.

  • I’m turning 27, doing development work. At this time, I believe that people should stay. It’s a critical time for us. We as citizens and those in government should make the right choices. I have two kids (one has special needs). Their future means most to me.
    .-= angela´s last blog ..Childhood Dreams =-.

  • someone should check out that class some years from now and see how many took prof winnie’s words to heart… anyway she should do a part two for those who stay but can’t figure out how to help the country ba talaga. talk economic and foreign and trade policies hopefully with a highly filipino bias too, for a change ;))

  • armenggay

    I am a UP graduate as well and I have migrated here in Canada after working for 4 years with the Philippine government and 6 years with a muti-national company in the Philippines.

    In some ways, I feel that I agree with Prof Monsod. I wouldn’t have migrated to Canada if my home country can give me the life that I feel is needed by my family. It’s the same reason why after having been here for 5 years already, I haven’t applied for citizenship yet. There is that part of me that feels I “betrayed” my country for leaving it, but at the same time, I am in that stage of my life where I have to choose and prioritize things in life. Will it be my family’s needs or my country.

    I am not proud to say that I chose family over my country, but I will not regret it and will continue to think of ways on how I could love both at the same time.

    Each of us has our own reasons and our own beliefs. As long as we continue to think of ways to contribute to our country’s betterment, whether we are in the Philippines or not, then we can still call ourselves Filipinos who love our country. This I think is better than those persons entrenched in our government and those people saying that they are “serving” the country, but in truth, they only have their own interests in mind.

  • Ito Rapadas

    Congratulations po! You raised a family- your children are now able and responsible Filipino citizens. My wife and I are just starting to start our own. It’s just the “middle of the beginning” and yet there are so many family challenges already. Mabuhay po kayo at ang inyong buong pamilya!!

    From Ito (UP Diliman, Batch ’88).