BUGS & BYTES,
In Bigger Prints

Table of Contents

 

Section I
PROLOGUE, EPILOGUE, IKLOG (O MANOK?)

1 The Egg

2 Hatsing! (Bless Me)

3 Arthropodic Wisdom

4 Dear Decision Maker

5 Letters To The World

6   A Pain In My Head

7 Something Happened On My Way To School
8   A Discourse on The Grand Laws of the Universe

9 Black or White

10 Bayanihan in Jeddah

11 Chair of The Interim Board

12 Breakaway Telephonic Existence

13 The 'R' in Mrs. Regis

14 One City, One School

15 Eggs Breaking

16 PESJ History

17 The Chicken Fence

18 Believing The Man

19   My Own Version of The Jolo-Caust

20 My Sister's Version

21 The Rifle Guitar

22   Cat Stevens Unplugged

23  Landing on D-Day

24 The Great O-O-Os of the Late 20th Century

25 He Kept On Stumbling Over Chickens And Eggs

26   The Renaissance of Tilapia Farming And The Likes

27   The Saga Continues

28   The Pigeons In Our Lives

29 The Essence of Education

30   A School Is A Home

31  Gentle Fire From The Qur'an

32  At The Threshold

33  A Brief Discourse On Dancing

34  Being First

35   At The Edge of Light-Blue Metallic

36   Grappling With The Colossus

 

Section II
BUGS & BYTES
In Bigger Prints

The Power To Be
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 1 # 1

Of Crabs & Men
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 2 # 2

PathWalks
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 2 # 2

An Inability To Understand
Excerpts from A Speech by Prince Charles,
B & B Vol. Vol. 3 # 1

'Educating Miriam'
Excerpts from A Case Study of A Philippine School,
B & B Vol 3 # 2

 

Section III
BABEL RISING

A millennial short story

 

A Glossary of Pilipino
(& Near-Pilipino) Terms
Wondering what iklog is?

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Prologue, Epilogue, Iklog (O Manok?)
Copyright 1999 by Said Sadain, Jr.

9   Black or White

The Philippine consul general was a well-built, courtly person, and over the last couple of weekends leading up to that crucial juncture, I was helping him and his office secretary acquire the basic knowledge of desktop publishing at the consulate. He was reading some of my BUGS & BYTES issues. I was reading some of his memos. Up to that point, I also wrote him letters such as this:

BUGS & BYTES Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
26 November 1994

The Honorable Consul General Bahnarim Guinomla
Philippine Consulate General
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Dear Sir:

Assalam alaykum and good day.

Before anything else, let me ask for your forbearance in my writing you this letter. I do not want to make this a habit, and if you recall, the first letter I wrote you a few months back about school favoritism and cheating was done only because we did not get any relief from the Acting School Principal when my wife first brought the matter up with him. In fact, it was him who suggested to my wife that

(1) My wife and I should go to each and every teacher to talk to them about the matter;

(2) My wife and I should write you a letter regarding the issue.

Needless to say, we were disappointed by this response, but in any case took heed of his second advice, knowing that you will be a better person to talk to. In any case, we always welcome the opportunity to be able to consult with our Philippine officials, although we would not want to unduly bother you with these things if we can help it.

Having said this, let me proceed to my main purpose of writing you this letter:

We are all aware of the recent incident whereby a parent has physically hit a teacher as a result of an altercation about student grading and teaching method. This is a sad incident for the academe as well as for me, personally, because both parties are good and long-standing family friends. What had happened runs contrary to my earnest desire of a harmonious parent-teacher relationship and full cooperation from all segments of the academe to promote the interests of all our children in PSJ.

But be that as it may, I have taken the liberty to do two tasks, without anybody asking me to do them, for the sake of preserving the harmony there still is among us parents and teachers, and hopefully, for the sake of promoting and enhancing this harmony for the betterment of all.

With the help of other well-meaning friends of the families, we have mediated and reconciled the two parties to come to terms with each other and resolve their conflict amicably last Thursday, 24 November, lest it develops further into a more complicated and unmanageable situation.

With all sincerity and openness, I shall be appealing to your experienced leadership and good sense to take the lead in promoting a concerted effort to address the following issues that I would like to highlight here:

Not An Isolated Case

The unfortunate incident should not be viewed as just an isolated case of a particular parent getting into a heated argument with a particular teacher. Nor is it an isolated case of a problem parent that needs to be disciplined, or a tactless teacher that needs to be taught how to be more diplomatic. Settling the conflict between the two parties is just a part of the answer to the situation.

More importantly, everybody, from parents to teachers to school officials and even the students themselves, must be made aware that behind this incident is a crippling problem that needs to be addressed by everybody. With this problem simmering there for so long now, the recent incident was bound to happen sooner or later. In fact, it has been happening all of the time, except that these things never reached the extreme point as it did now. I am referring to the frequent squabbling between parents and teachers during every grading period and about the unhealthy quarreling and intrigues going on among the teaching staff. As a case in point, just very recently too, one teacher started shouting and chasing another teacher in the school. To the credit of the second teacher who knew her responsibilities and proper composure, she just went into a closed room and never even bothered to confront the belligerent teacher. A lesser level-headed person would probably have created a much more serious fracas.

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