Sunday, February 15, 2009

Not So Saintly St. Paul

When I was confronted with official tuition, the academic thing, I could see no relationship whatever between that and the music I'd been writing since I was 11. - Harrison Birtwistle

March is just around the corner and that means something to parents with school level children; A respite in bringing their kids back and forth from school to home and a lull in school expenditures and allowances. But for those with graduating children, it will be a momentous moment. A major event for both the graduates and parents; For the graduates, a much coveted diploma for their 4 or 5 years of mental labor, for the parents a fruit of their sacrifices. My brother is one proud parent; my niece is graduating this March. But in spite of this, my brother lamented on the way the school is treating its graduating students. As if they are trying to squeeze some more expenditures before letting them go.

At the very start, when my brother was scouting for a good school for his daughter, he has to make some choices; safety and quality of education. Manila is out of the question since we have a “girl” and we don’t have relatives there. Iloilo was the best bet. It’s near our province, just a 3 hour ride from our town, and my sister is living in Iloilo City. They’d also opted for St. Paul University because of its reputation.

St. Paul’s tuition fee is no laughing matter but its standard of education is at par with the other exclusive schools in Manila. My only take is the way they charge “miscellaneous” expenses. It includes “concert” tickets wither students attend it or not. School uniforms, including shoes, are to be purchased exclusively at the school’s store. Only their socks, panties and brasseries could be bought else where. But what really got my goat is when a teacher from a minor subject (Rizal) suggested that students must undertake an “affiliation” trip. It’s not compulsory, but their teacher hinted that, if they can’t go, it may hamper their commencement. This ominous suggestion is synonymous to “No affiliation, no graduation”.

“Affiliation” is a 3-day field trip to Manila. Past “field-trippers” said it’s a student’s orientation of important sites in Manila including popular malls and tourist spots. In other words “mag lalamyerda sila sa Maynila”. I’m not saying that St. Paul has a cut in the airline fare of these students. I’m not saying that St. Paul has a percentage from whatever hotel they’re going to stay there. All I’m saying is the P10,000 (excluding food and allowance) each student has to chip-in could be spend on other things like a college ring, a pin, clothes and toga rental fee and a “blow-out” in the restaurant for the whole family, instead of going on a tour which is not related to their course or their minor subject for that matter.

For a catholic-run, nun-supervised institution, it saddened me that these “nuns” has no sympathy for the flight of parents who has to shoulder these expenses. They are in a world of their own. Not caring that there is a financial crisis going on. That everybody is tightening their belt in order to save for their children’s education. They have a mentality similar to that of the friars of the Spanish colonial era.


  1. There's no reason as to why the so called Affiliation trip is necessary. It's an insult to everyone's intelligence and it's not like Manila is a foreign country to those kids. Yes, I can't help but feel that this is nothing more than a junket and worse, the P10,000 fee that was charged to each student also probably covers the fare of the university staff who are going on the trip.

    Ridiculous and insensitive especially during these hard economic times.

  2. uso na nga yan talaga..
    for my freshman english class we had to buy tickets after tickets of play done at ccp,meralco,metropolitan etc as part daw of our lesson.

    kaka awa yung mga parents who has to pay...

    i enjoyed the "lamyerda by the way" hehe

  3. hay blogusvox, we had faced the same sentiments not so long ago.. seems like there's no stopping so we parents has to face the beat. hay buhay.. the thing is, it also happens here not only in our home country..

  4. eto, point of view of someone from the Church: in just about anything, it's always the nuns' fault. hehe...

    This Affiliation trip is sending a wrong signal to the students: it's as they're saying that all the opportunities, the modernity, the culture, the good life can be found in Manila. They're placing an itch on these kids to go and pack for Manila and leave their home provinces.

    as for endeavors to make the kids cultured: DVDs of classical plays and music can be bought cheap. All the school needs is a DVD player, a decent projector and a good sound system. When I was in highschool, our teacher used to bring us to watch plays and recitals at Paco Park, which is at Faura, the same street where our school is. Kulturado na kami, di pa nagastos ang pamasahe namin.ΓΌ

  5. I don't think it was necessary to bring the kids to Manila for an affiliation trip. What were they thinking? Of course, Rizal can be read in books, and it's not as if he is alive when they would want to decide seeing him in person in Manila. For goodness sake, even the place in Luneta has it's wickedness, it's not even a nice place to visit anymore, and what are they gonna be doing in Manila, lalamyerda? Rizal did not live in MOA!

  6. P10,000 for a 3day field trip to Manila.C'mon, ang mahal nun. I've spent 12K for a 4 day 3 nights in HK (including food and lodging).
    besides brotherutoy is right, you can be "culturized" by just watching educational DVD/VCD and get "learned" while enjoying the comfort of your own home (or school in that matter).
    don't let me start in the idea that this is just a "minor" subject...

  7. Marami nang mga comments na nauna rito tungkol sa affiliation, at medyo sensitibong bagay ito. Doon nalang ako sa mas magaan...

    Bakit kaya nahuli sa curriculum ang minor subject (Rizal)? Dapat sa lower years pa ito ah.

    [Huhmn, kung hindi naman compulsory huwag na munang sumama. Mas sobra pa sa mga malls at tourists spots sa Manila ang mararating ng mga graduating students kapag makakita na sila ng magandang trabaho. Whew!]

  8. There's no necessity for the affiliation. Organizing 'field trips' is very profitable. It's better if they just raise funds to be given to charity without doing the lamyerda.

  9. panaderos, maybe true. Students will also shoulder their "governess'" trip expenses.

    madjik, nakakainis no! Di bale sana kung concert ng Eraser Head ang pupuntahan nyo! : )

    Ms.Loida, that's our role. To carry the yoke of our children's future.

    brotherUtoy, hehe, that's why I'm for servants of God getting married eh. Manifestation of nastiness is evident on some sex-starved individuals. : )
    As for that concert in Paco, I used to watch that on tv when I was young. I think the program is called "Concert at the Park".

    sheng, tama. What has Rizal's life got to do with "Mall of Asia", besides that its near where he was shot? : )

    Theo, racket! It's nothing but a rackeeet!

    RJ, oo nga. Dapat ang Rizal e tinuturo sa freshmen (freshwomen?) at hindi sa graduating students.

    Ms.Jo, tell that to the nuns. I remember tuloy yung new film of Meryll Streep. Her role is a Mother Superior of a school but her attitude is similar to her role in "The Devil Wears Prada". : )

  10. whoa! php10,000 fee for a so called "field trip"... that's too much! as if all the students come from wealthy families. i'm not against field trips pero schools should realize they need not go that far to give the kids some sort of visual "education"... the parents concerned should be raising this up to a formal complaint. :) i remembered when i was in high school, a group of parents from our class lobbied against a "project" that forced graduating students to buy some commodity ... else, their clearance won't be signed and they won't graduate... DUH?!

  11. Not so saintly nga! And very impractical and very un-cool!

    Lahat naman yata ng schools ganyan. Kahit sa grade school, may mga mall tours na rin ang mga bata.

    It's business e. Education in the Philippines -- like politics -- is a very lucrative business!

  12. I don't think an affilition trip like that that cost horrendously is really unnecessary. I think it is also some sort of a blackmail that students should be threatened like that. I think panaderos said it best when he said that it is "ridiculous and insensitive". Not all students are as well off as the others. What if the parents of the student are just making all the things necessary to give their child a good education and in reality are having a hard time eking out a living?

  13. 7thstranger, that's what I suggested to my brother. The problem is how can he complain to the proper authorities when his here, an OFW like me.

    Nebz, I know that if you want the best education, either you go to UP or have a lot of mullah and go to UST, Ateneo of LaSalle. But IMO, misc expenses like this is not part of educating a child.

    Ka Rolly, my point exactly, pero parang apathetic and mga kinaukulan sa mga ganitong sitwasyon. I think what they need are some "exposure" and "immersion" as what brotherUtoy mentioned in his blog.

  14. 10T? As in 10T? that's less than 1,000SR, almost a month salary ng ibang mga kababayan natin dito. Kaya nga sa MSU (Mindanao State U ako nag-aral, 10 pesos lang ang per semester, you just have to maintain your grades):)

    Pero seriously, nag-aral ako sa Notre Dame run by the Saint Paul sisters, halos di ako naggraduate dahil sa pataas ng pataas ang tuition... tsk tsk, pag saint paul daw kasi, sosyal...sus!

  15. Kenjie, P10? As in P10! Abay baon ko yan araw-araw nung nag-aaral pa ako ah! : )

    Swerte naman ng mga estudyante sa MSU. Iskolar din ako ni Juan dela Cruz pero malaki-laki naman dyan ang tuition fee namin per sem.

  16. teka makasabat din ang laki naman 10 thou...di na lang ako sasama,marami pang dapat na magamit yang ganyang kalaking halaga.

  17. concert tickets as miscellaneous??? it's quite a sad news for an institution. i hope this feedback reaches them to at least make them aware of such concerns.

  18. Tsk..tsk...tsk... That's a bogus operandi of some travel agencies... They entice the teachers by offering them an "all expenses paid for trip" if they can come up with a big group for the so called "Affiliation" trip.

    That's hold-up in broad daylight.

    Shame to the educators who are hooked by the bait.

  19. ever, ayaw rin nga sanang sumama ng pamangkin ko, kaso sinabihan ng ama na baka pahirapan syang pumasa at grumadwet.

    donG, unless this issue is taken by mainstream media, I don't think this nuns care!

    DAForce, true, what some gullible people don't know is there's nothing free. Their expenses are shouldered by the students.

  20. I think if you have a chance to ask other students in other places around PI,you will find out that they might be paying way more than that. The schools are always finding ways how to fleece their students and not only for college students but for elementary pupils as well..

  21. I think paying an amount of P10,000 for just an Affiliation trip is really expensive. Why do they have to organize trips like that while in fact students can still get to know more about Rizal in books? I bet not a lot of students can afford this. I really don't get the point.

    As for the miscellaneous fees, "concert" tickets are included? What if concerts don't appeal to you? You'd just be wasting money and with our current economic situation right now, I bet parents will certainly complain. I strongly disagree with this kind of scheme.

    What I've read made me a little bit disturbed because I'm also planning to take up my college course there.. :(

  22. Ay grabe! I don't think these nuns read the news. Don't they know most people are having difficulty financially nowadays. Yes, you're right. They seem to be in a world of their own. And what would they learn about Rizal if all they'd do in Manila is go to malls and tourist spots. If they go to Luneta, all they'd see lang naman is the statue of Rizal. Why don't they just read books or watch a DVD documentary on the subject na lang. Yeah, you're right, mag-la-lamyerda lang talaga. And not good of them to give those subtle threats.

  23. truth is, the teachers get a cut or commission from these activities. they actually do this every semester and have become a steady source of income. pathetic, indeed.

  24. dapat ipabasa sa mga taga St. Paul ang post na ito!

  25. ed v., educators are supposed to be vanguards of morality. But with these kind of "expenditures", they're showing to kids their first glimpse of graft.

    Aya, since you're at it, why don't you ask St.Paul about these misc. fees and extra curricular activities. It'll be fun to observe their reaction and reasons. BTW, thanks for dropping by.

    Dee, I think early monastery life and deprivation of intimacy turned these once sweet young devotees into what they are now... trolls.

    R-yo, teachers are in a position to intimidate especially to students who are weak on their class. Parang gangster tuloy... "Buy this or else... ".

    Abou, may kilala ka bang nagtatrabaho sa St. Paul? Paki link 'to para matauhan ang maykinaukulan.

  26. business is business. i hate it when schools ancillary expenses like that.

  27. It is unfortunate that schools are departing from their primary mission of educating students. Instead, they're spending unnecessary money for social trips and lamierdas which do not optimize learning. The question is - is this expensive trip "absolutely necessary" ?

    Para tuloy naiisip ko na patin ang schools natin ay nahawa na ng Pinoy showbiz mentality. tsk tsk..

  28. hay naku kakainis naman yan! my old highschool was also run by nuns, but it wasn't as bad as that. they shouldn't force kids to pay up if they don't want to. atsaka buying the shoes from the uni? huwaaat? i know some highschools do that, but at uste, all we bought was the material for the uniform. everything else we got outside. man, ok na raket yan ah!

    ay naalala ko pa, ang in na gimmick sa grad ngayon is an extra fee for the onscreen presentation when you get your diploma.

  29. Mari, yes, schools' business is suppose to be education not fleecing.

    bw, eh ano pa ba? Some of these schools' side-trip is going to "Wowowee". Part daw of their education in Journalism. Marami talaga silang mapupulot sa kahanghungan ni Willie.

    caryn, my brother is an Uste alumus (ECE) too. The only thing unreasonable I know about it is when a "group" broke a test tube in their Chem class experiment, each one should bring one test tube to replace what they'd broken. Ang daya, lima ang kapalit ng binasag na test tube!

  30. Ten thousand pesos? Wow, that's too much. It's unfair for the school to require this of their students, most especially because of the current economic crisis.

    This made me think of my old school---I also had to buy everything from there, including books that were written by its resident professors. Mind you, many of those books are not very good/complete reference materials and were not used very often.

  31. I'm very sorry to disturb your tranquility but I can't help it cuz ur the only ones I can run to in times like this (parang Juicy Fruit gum ano?)

    NJ(Desert Aquaforce)Tagged You!

  32. Katcaneo, books? Isa pang racket nila yan. Buying of your prof's books. Lahat ng sagot sa test andon sa libro nya kaya mapipilitan kang bilhin.

    DAForce, tag lang pala, okay. Akala ko, uutang ka. : )

  33. yay ang mahal naman.
    I had the same experienced with saint paul in bulacan but (but not 10,000 hahaha) the all the students should bring canned goods every month to the school (according to the teachers for the priests and nuns) pero bawal ang sardines, ok lang maling, meatloaf, corned beef and sausages (sosyal hahaha).

    and my niece whos studying in a Methodist school are obliged to attend retreat at pag di dila sumama sa retreat(which they will sleep for 2 nights in school like a camping and they are obliged to practice what methodists do) at pag dika umattend you have to give a project,5 original DVD's (take note di pwede pirated) na interesting movies at kelangan sikat ang mga artista sa movies hahaha.

  34. to, this is nene... A lot of paulinians that went on the trip had the same sentiments as those who sent their comment. We're pissed of especially that we know that we're being ripped off of our money - our parents' money for that matter. We were thinking of our parents who were paying for the trip and at first, about 95% of would not go but our teacher said that she would give us a research work if we wouldn't go with the trip. D na nga namin matapos tapos ung research namin na req'd for the grad, eh hihingan pa kami ng isa?! Oh well... Even though halata na namemera, wala nanan kaming magawa...

  35. TZ, kita mo nga naman ang utak ng mga pari't madreng yan. Akala nila panahon pa rin ng kastila.

    nene, meron tayong magagawa. Like exposing their sytematic fleecing of their students, just like what we are doing now. Spread the words.