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A few days ago, I was on Facebook talking to high school friends when I stumbled upon the controversial Pol Medina Jr. comic strip.
This reminded me of two things I am proud of about my high school self: One, that I was a Pugad Baboy fan. I collected all Pol Medina Jr.’s books. I tried to copy his facial expressions and mimic his clean inking style. I repeated his jokes to my friends over a three-way telebabad.
And two, that I was a Scholastican.
The president of St. Scho released a statement. Yes, they were definitely offended. They even threatened to file a lawsuit if Philippine Daily inquirer does not do something about it.
I understand why they have to do it though. The school president together with the academe are expected to be representations of the school’s and the Catholic order’s supposedly infallible ideas. It’s just right for them to be sensitive and take offense. After all, they have to be righteous.
Luckily for me, I don’t have to be a walking, breathing translation of St. Scho’s mission-vision statement. But still, my school spirit got awoken. I am a Scholastican after all. With that said, before I get offended or form an opinion, I thought of 8 things I learned in St. Scho, that should inform everyone about this issue:
[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/8.png" width="100%" type="subheading"]8. It is partly true and that what makes it funny.[/text_image]
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Just like the intimate act of farting, the funniest things are taboo but all-too-human truths. I think what makes the comic strip funny is not the lesbians in St. Scho, but the very existence of people who still cannot accept homosexuality and actually think it evil. What actually offended me was the statement: “Wala kang makikitang magandang Kulasang walang girlfriend.” Not true. How about all the heterosexual Scholasticans...like me. (I joke.)
There’s this beautiful moment in DC Comics’ Amazons Attack! series. Hippolyta, Wonder Woman’s mother, waged war against the human race. Batman asked Wonder Woman which side she’d pick, the human race or her mother. Wonder Woman’s answer was quite simple, but it struck me: “You know I only choose one side: The side of justice.” Do you see the parallelism in this situation? Go figure which side I am on.
[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/7.png" width="100%" type="subheading"]7. St. Scho’s credo is supposed to be: “Education for Justice.”[/text_image]
[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/6.png" width="100%" type="subheading"]6. Art is not strange to us at all.[/text_image]
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In my four years in St. Scho, I have acted and sung in a stage play, composed a song, painted streamers and backdrops, and wrote short stories and poems. Creation was pretty much integrated in almost any school-related activity. I think Scholasticans know the value of art, if not, at least the significance of freedom of expression.
I was in high school at the height of EDSA 2. I specifically remember that our former president Cory Aquino even went to our school’s open forum to personally discuss what was happening. We even had a sanctioned school bus that shuttled those who wanted to participate in the rally. Seriously, to Scholasticans who are socially conscious, I think biting commentary to us, should just slide like water off a duck’s back.
[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/5.png" width="100%" type="subheading"]5. We’re encouraged to form an opinion on what’s happening in society.[/text_image]
[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/4.png"]4. We know what to do with a generalization.[/text_image]
For four years, we had a subject called Speech which I think felt more like Debate Class. We mastered the Oregon Oxford and British Parliament formats. Imagine spending one or two quarters identifying logical fallacies. In Latin! Ask our boyfriends or girlfriends - we probably mumbled a phrase like, “Oh that’s a non sequitur!” in a fight.
I think with this specific Pugad Baboy issue, I believe Ad Baculum is not the way to go.
The number ‘2’ used to be a terrifying image to me, especially when written in red ink. Our junior year Literature teacher (definitely one of my all time favorites) introduced us to Albert Camus, Milan Kundera, Franz Kafka, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and many other brilliant writers. We were supposed to write papers based on formal theoretical criticisms. The test scores were either just be an abject 2 or a perfect 10. By now, we should all be competent in examining literature - may it be a novel or a comic strip.
[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/3.png" width="100%" type="subheading"]3. Criticism is a comfort zone.[/text_image]
[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/2.png" width="100%" type="subheading"]2. Feminism is a virtue.[/text_image]
Feminism has many schools of thought. Probably the top-of-mind is sexual politics, as popularized by The Spice Girls: The girls-are-better-than-boys kind of thinking. But we were introduced to a different flavor of feminism - the kind that fights for equality. “Feminism is also about lifting the burden off men,” my teacher said once. So I always had this notion that St. Scho supports equality. Thus, it should also support acceptance of homosexuality.
We can take a joke, you know.
[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/1.png" width="100%" type="subheading"]1. Scholasticans are the funniest women I’ve ever met.[/text_image]