In Bigger Prints

Table of Contents


Section I

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
In Bigger Prints

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

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

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

A millennial short story


A Glossary of Pilipino
(& Near-Pilipino) Terms
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Prologue, Epilogue, Iklog (O Manok?)
Copyright © 1999 by Said Sadain, Jr.

17   The Chicken Fence

The International Philippine School in Jeddah campus at the Ghornatah District was at least five times as large as the PSJ and PESJ campuses combined. It occupied a whole block, with a circular road within it connecting a dozen two-story buildings scattered along the walls of the block, and two buildings at the center front. Behind the two buildings, at the center of the circular road, was a wide fenced area consisting of a basketball & tennis court, a swimming pool and a function hall.

The PESJ parents, before agreeing to settle their children into the new location, demanded from embassy officials for a wall between the two sections.

The good ambassador thought this was a small request and should not become a reason to delay the re-unification (at least in a physical campus) of the two schools, and thus relented.

There was a counter-proposal: the fence should be constructed as gates which can be opened anytime, and which should be left permanently open after a transition period, most probably after another school year.

There was a counter-counter proposal: the PESJ should keep the keys to the dividing gates.

The late-night hotel room negotiations would have put to shame the likes of Allbright and Holbrooke if they were around.

We worked late into the night to prepare the final texts, and in the early morning, over breakfast, when the ambassador had barely touched his coffee, we asked him to sign the documents.

When the gates, constructed from some three-meter tall steel wire netting strengthened by steel tube frames, were finally completed, two sets to cut off the circular road of the campus at two points, and a third one to cut off the middle path-walk, the sight sent goosebumps up my arms.

One gate was situated just a few meters from the main entrance, blocking the road leading to the left side of the campus, which the PESJ occupied. Because the PESJ parents did not even want to use the main entrance, we had to dig through the thick-cement walls to establish a side-entrance to our side of the campus.

During a piano recital on a makeshift stage erected near the back of the campus beside one of the monumental dividers, I got clear camera shots of my two daughters behind the pianos, and from a fortuitous angle, also a wide swath of the wire mesh. When, much later, during a vacation to Zamboanga City, I proudly showed this set of pictures to my parents, my mother, who is a public school teacher herself, cried out: Are your daughters serenading a chicken coop!?

The Ambassador & Director of All Philippine Schools in the Kingdom took the rap when pictures of the wire fence reached Malacañang and the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila.

Berlin wall had long fallen down, but other walls were being erected.

an adventure into personal publishing


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