Friday, September 17, 2010

What American teachers needed

"Socially, attractive, possessing diplomacy , executive ability, tact, persistence, patience, hopefulness, and of course, teaching ability"--those were the qualities required of American teachers who came here aboard the "Thomas" in August 1901. Needless to say, none of them knew they were expected to be such paragons.

In her informative article "American Teachers and the Filipinos (1904) ," Helen P. Beattie listed all the above-mentioned virtues. She stressed the importance of "social gifts" because she found Filipinos to be "eminently social people" and if the American teacher wanted to be invited to "...their dinners, balls, dramas..."Thomasites had to refine their social skills.

On the other hand, Ms. Beattie cautioned American teachers about "surrendering" the ideals they had long cherished. Was she alluding to encounters with local government officials? She believed and was probably right that the Thomasites, "...can accomplish but little in construction, repair and furnishing of school buildings" without the aid of these local leaders. However, it would be wrong for them to assume an air of superiority and act as if "things not American are hopelessly bad."

In Mrs. Beattie's opinion, tact and diplomacy were indispensable qualities in dealing with Filipinos ," for a prouder , more sensitive people than these never lived." That was very true then but now we have all but lost it. (Source:"Bulletin of the American Historical Collection, July -September, 1984).


albert banico said...

Dear Ms. Araneta,

I wonder why despite of the contribution of Gen. Paciano Rizal to the nation. First for helping the parents of Rizal to nurture Pepe and second, in participating to the revolutionary war from its start up to the Phil-American War for Independence i cannot find any monument for him.

Paciano in fact demonstrated bravery and fighting skills in the battlefield when he was leading the war front in the province of Morong. The katipunan victories with Bonifacio and Sakay in the nearby areas particulalrly Marikina and Morong are important to cite where Paciano seems actively support the campaign at that time.

After the death of Rizal, it is said many volunteer for Paciano and together this big numbers of volunteers join the Katipunan with Josephine Bracken in Cavite where Bonifacio is fighting another front along with feud between magdalo and magdiwang cavitenos.

There is no doubt that Paciano's legacy is more heroic compared to the names of some street, province or town in this country. It is sad that even the Province of Rizal and the neighboring town never recognized his role and activities in the area during his time. Without the good guidance and support of the older brother, Jose himself perhaps will not be that great as how historian potrayed him to be...

Albert Banico

gemma cruz araneta said...

Dear Mr. Banico,

Gen. Paciano Rizal has a monument in Los Banos in the front garden of his former residence,on the shores of Laguna de Bai. His heroism is also commemorated by the local government of Santa Cruz , Laguna. Everything you said about him is true, he was indeed the moving and guiding spirit behind the national hero,Jose. He kept a low profile, stayed behind the scenes to keep the family safe. However, he was exiled to Jolo by the Spanish colonial authorities and when he was captured by the Americans, they could not believe he was THE Gen.Paciano Rizal because he had only one faithful soldier left by his side.

Please forgive the late reply. A happy New Year to you.

Gemma Cruz Araneta