Sunday, September 22, 2013

National conference on Language and Literature : Conferring Conference

Wazzup Pilipinas!

I have attended several seminars, conferences and gathering of educators which all aim to refresh teachers with certain pedagogies, to discuss new trends in education as well as academe-related issues which I think are a rehash of the old ones. Hence when someone invites me for another conference I would just smile and blatantly say “thank you”.

Last Sept 10-12 2013, I was asked to join the National Conference for Language and Literature sponsored by CETA. Thinking it was like any other usual conferences, I didn’t bother to prepare. I just took my pen and my notebook and wait for the dawn of the great ennui. Seated at the last row, I browse at the copy of the program, wishing for the seminar to start. Then my eyes caught a familiar name, the keynote speaker in this conference is no other than the national artist F. Sionil Jose. I began to be uneasy. I want to go home to get the book THE PRETENDERS and ask him to sign it.

The program started and I could not wait to see him. Then he walked to the stage. I couldn’t feel the aura of being the national artist in him although I must admit that there was something in him that I couldn’t explain. He got the microphone and asked if there were any among us who lives in Rosales, Pangasinan. I wanted to raise my hand, stand and forget that I come from Rizal. However, he might talk to me in his dialect and it would really be embarrassing if I would not be able to respond properly.

As his speech ended, I rush to the door and with so much gusto I asked him if I may take a picture of him. He warmly smiled at me. However, due to my excitement I failed to bring my camera with me. I was too embarrassed. Imagine the awkwardness that I ask a national artist to have a pose with me but I don’t have a camera! It’s a good thing that another delegate had a camera and we all take a nice shot with him.

Indeed F. Sionil Jose showed eloquence in his address as he elucidated the many reasons that we should read the works of Filipino authors. He made me realize that we should revisit, review and invigorate the passion for PHILIPPINE LITERATURE.

The once in a lifetime chance to talk to F. Sionil Jose made me even more thirsty to listen to all lectures and discussion. I made it a point to listen intently to the speakers and take pictures of the various activities that this conference has offered. The speakers ( mostly from UP UST UAP St. Scholastica) have shown not only their expertise but also their strong enthusiasm. The fire that I saw among the speakers and organizers gave me an ardent desire to continuously learn the field that I once despise.

It may be to plain to say that it was fruitful because it was more than that. How I wish there will be more conferences like this who really responded to the demands and the issues in education. How I also wish that next year more educators will be able to experience what I did.

Contributed by: Maricar E. Esguerra

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