it was a joy to find Victor Agustin writing about the issue of U.P. Prof. Sarah Raymundo’s tenure vis a vis Randy David’s announcement that he would run for congress if GMA does so in Pampanga. this was long in coming for mainstream, i.e., print media, and has yet to happen on the pages of the big-time dailies like the “http://www.inquirer.net”>Philippine Daily Inquirer.
but i guess that’s no surprise? other than Randy being a long-time opinion columnist of the Inquirer, it is telling how the blogging world was all agog and celebratory when he announced his plans to run: idolatry much? the philosopher as king, they screamed! yey, the good one gives politics a try! let’s help him out! and yes, let us slap people who criticize randy!
much of what needs to be said with regards to Sarah’s case and Randy’s political plans has been discussed via stuartsantiago and kapirasongkritika. and while the virtual noise has died down — no one has taken on my challenge to prove Sarah culpable in any student-activist disappearance, nor have Randy’s fans been able to prove that he isn’t responsible at all for the refusal to grant Sarah tenure — some truths remain clear here.
somewhere in quezon city, in a tiny apartment, a woman who has proven herself a competent and well-loved teacher and scholar is technically jobless — without courses to teach — because her own Sociology Department has unjustly refused to give her tenure.
this woman is activist. the kind who lives her politics everyday, within and beyond the classroom, the way all teachers do. her difference is that her politics has been deemed unacceptable by the same Sociology Department — and University! — within which she grew and became, within which she had nurtured her love for nation and nationalism.
this woman is daughter, sister, breadwinner. now left without the one house and home she always thought the Sociology Department was, without the friendships she had nurtured there, without the stability she thought it could afford her.
this woman is friend. someone i grew up with, who affected my formative years in the University we both love, and whose life — yes, political and activist and kikay and baduy in turns — has taught me more than any of those theorists we read in school. more than someone like randy david could ever teach me through his writings.
the dignity with which Sarah lives her life — her refusal to sell-out, her ability to stand strong on principles that are important to and true of nation — over and above her competence as a teacher and her intelligence as a scholar, is what the current crop of UP students are missing out on.
THAT is the saddest truth of all.
and that is also enough reason to keep this fight going against the big bad wolves of this world. be it GMA or be it Randy David and his Sociology Department.