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
Wondering what iklog is?

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

29   The Essence of Education

For now, I am over with my days of delivering school speeches such as this:

In the name of the Almighty, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

1 Read! In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher who created -
2 Created man out of a mere clot of congealed blood
3 Read! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful -
4 He Who taught the use of the Pen -
5 Taught man that which he knew not.

[Surah Iqraa: 1-5]

These lines from the Qur’an go on to talk about embarking on the road of Guidance and about enjoining Righteousness and upholding the Truth: about education and the lack of education and its dire consequences.

These words, for those who do not know, were the very first divine revelation received by Prophet Mohammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him. The word Read! was like a key which unlocked and spawned an entire civilization, an entire philosophy, a universal way of life.

If there was any stronger confirmation of the value and power of education, it is embodied in these Qur’anic verses.

Education, nothing more and nothing less, has brought us all together in this school. And tonight, we give due recognition to the efforts of our students in pursuing education with excellence. In so doing, we also give due recognition to the efforts of their parents and teachers who have guided them all throughout.

To everybody therefore, and most especially to our dear students, my hearty congratulations!

After you shall have received the awards tonight, your efforts, my dear students, do not end here. In fact it never ends even when you finally graduate from college. Education, as you might think – all the grade levels of preparatory, elementary, primary, secondary, college, graduate education – are simply what we call formal schooling.

Education however is much, much more than formal schooling.

Education is about seeking and acquiring knowledge. And knowledge is so vast, while man, as the Qur’anic verse aptly describes as but a mere clot of blood, is so small, that one cannot expect to learn everything through formal schooling and then say, I’m stopping.

You must realize that learning is a lifelong occupation, and it is best for you to realize this as early as possible so you do not waste your time NOT learning, or worst, UN-learning what you have already learned.

As you go through this process of learning, let me offer some guidelines which I hope will be useful to your development as better children, better students, better parents, better leaders, better persons:

Learn with humility. Learning is not about a piece of medal or a framed certificate that you can brag about. Learning is about improving your skills, your character, your worth. Always recognize the fact that you can be in error and, when that happens, accept the error and learn from it so you may avoid repeating the same error. This is how you improve and progress and develop into a better person.

Learn and uphold the truth. Knowledge, I can assure you, just like anything else, can be white or black, with all shades of gray in between. One learns not only the good things but as well as the bad things, and your success in this learning process depends on how well you can distinguish the good from the bad, the truths from the lies, and then uphold what is good in that knowledge and avoid what is bad. Only then can you truly say that you are benefiting from your education.

Which brings me to the next guideline : learn to be useful and of service. When one learns to detonate an explosive device, that knowledge becomes useful when you use it to flatten a hill to pave the way for the construction of roads to a remote area. This is being useful. What is not useful is when you use that knowledge to blow up a bank and rob it. When you use knowledge to become useful and of service to others, then the world becomes a little bit more rich because of the fact that you have acquired and made good use of your education.

When you keep these lessons in mind, your outlook transcends the limitations of yourself and you become a useful part of a larger being, your community, your society, the entire humankind. When you realize this, you will understand that the real strength of any community lies in each one of you as educated members of the community. The strength of a community lies in how well each one of you can harness your education, your abilities, your characters, with regard to each other, with regard to an objective, with regard to any problems at hand.

The strength of a community does not have to wait or depend on a leader outside yourself. Each one of you is both that leader and that follower. When you shall have fully grasped the meaning of being both a leader and a follower, only then can you learn to respect the people who are following you just as well as you can learn to respect the people who are leading you. The strength of your community depends on how well you can respect each other, and how well you can impart the goodness of your education to one another.

As you go on your vacation, think about what I have just told you tonight. Wherever you go, whatever you do, in whichever community you choose to join, always keep this in mind : you will always be that essential and significant unit. Always strive to be useful, to be of service, to contribute positively. This is the essence of being educated.

Again, my congratulations to everbody, the students, their parents, the teachers and staff of this school. It is my honor and my pleasure to be able to speak to this community tonight. Thank you so much and God bless us all.

24 March 1997


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