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.

12   Breakaway Telephonic Existence

Over the subsequent months, we talked and conferred a lot more with Philippine officials in Riyadh, and DECS officials in Manila, than with the consular office in Jeddah.

We hired teachers from among the Filipino dependents with B.S. education degrees. We encouraged parents volunteers to staff the school offices.

Donations such as books, magazines, curtains, paints, flag poles, Philippine flags, sign boards, and yes, a public address system (!!!, you'll know why I get so excited about this much, much later), were sent to the school by well-meaning individuals and groups within the Filipino community at large. Some sectors offered the school carpentry, maintenance and transport services for free.

Even a grade schooler, Noel de los Santos, no more than 10 years old probably, donated all his piggy-bank coins to the empty school coffer. Our cashier patiently counted the coins to amount to more than 80 riyals.

We made sure that we had a very trustworthy and punctilious finance officer, Mrs. Helen Rodeo, who could account for the money down to the last Saudi halala.

Except for the teachers and the cleaners and some security guards, everybody else connected with the school were not paid any salary on the first year of operation, certainly not the much resented honoraria for high officials of the old school.

We set the tuition fees lower by at least SR 1,500 than those of PSJ. We posted quarterly financial reports on the school bulletin board.

I became more of an entrepreneur, although my family savings, even some of my home furniture and carpets, kept on flowing out of my house into the activities and assets of the school.

My wife, Liza, volunteered to clean one of the school toilets to assist an overburdened cleaner, since the school could not afford to hire more cleaners in those early days.

My wife also became my unofficial, personal secretary, often working out from our home phone set since the new school did not have any telephone line and the SaudiTel Company was not about to make that easy for PESJ - or for the other Jeddah residents either - to secure a phone connection.

Considering that all of us in the board cum management committee were busy during the working day attending to our expatriate jobs or administering the day-to-day affairs of the school (all the lady members of the board had their teaching loads as well as administrative functions), my wife took care of arranging most of the official contacts between PESJ and Riyadh, devotedly transmitting messages and correspondences between the school and the Philippine mission.

The telephone technology, as any Web surfer operating rabidly from his bedroom knows, became a direct lifeline to the existence of PESJ.

The Jeddah officials who continued to administer the old PSJ kept on calling us a bunch of disgruntled, breakaway radicals.

Meanwhile, we continued to screen more teachers and opened more classrooms. We organized more working committees, drafted school policies and composed a school anthem: P-E-S-J, P-E-S-J, P-E-S-J, We're here to stay ... (or something like that).

 

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