Date > 2023 > Mar
Activity > Slice of Life
Mar 29, 2023
Judging an Essay on Gender Equality
Location : Siquijor Provincial Science High School, Siquijor Poblacion, Siquijor Island, Philippines
When Siquijor's LTO chief invited me to judge an essay contest by grade 9-10 students about gender equality at the Siquijor Provincial Science High School, I was initially reluctant. Why?
Why I Don't Want to be a Judge
I've judged 3 events in the past and while it's flattering to be invited to play such role, I realized it's not that desirable. Why? Let me count the ways.
Why did I Accept the Invite?
Good question! In my unique world-view of causation, synchronicities and correlations, my universe is sending me a message: red pill or blue pill? Blue pill means life goes on as usual. Red pill means I'll be pushed out of my comfort zone to experience whatever I want manifested.
How does judging the essay contest manifest my desires? Indirectly. Maybe I meet people who open doors for me. Maybe something unexpected happens along the way...maybe. There are a lot of maybes that won't happen unless I take the red pill.
Again, in my "Yes to Life" paradigm, when life asks me to do something, I don't hesitate and ask why? I ask when and where!
March being the month for Women's Rights, Siquijor Provincial Science High School celebrated the event by having a gender equality essay contest and a 'puso' (coconut leaves woven to contain rice as it cooks) making contest. I would be one of 4 judges to pick the best essay.
I didn't realize until after the papers were submitted that there was a lot of reading involved - 13 contestants, writing between 1200 to 1500 words. And we were to read all of them, rank them by theme, relevance, grammar, etc., given a short time frame. How could you be fair to everyone in judging their essay when you have to slur the words to make for time, when your comprehension is impaired by virtue of reading something under pressure, when you have to struggle against mental fatigue when the brain is inundated by repeated words mashed-up one after another on every essay...gender equality, double standard, LGBTQ, social injustice, social media, etc?
Ahead of their Time
In fairness, I came away from that contest, an illuminated man. These were just 9-10 graders but they spun their narrative with compelling conviction, passion and pain. Yes, pain! Their English was impeccable, their choice of words was appropriate and their train of thought was coherent. A good number of them were promising writers, journalists and literary contributors.
I had to ask the organizers if these students were the cream of the crop or just a random selection from the gamut - they didn't know as the teachers made the selection.
This is just a perk. This event was attended to by Siquijor's iconic figures - the governor's and congressman's mother and aunt were on the presidential table together with LTO Chief Gerald Dominguez. Jazzy, teacher at Siquijor's State College + contributing writer to several publications was one of the judges. Atty Dale (chief of staff of the governor) and Atty. Ace (who had many titles after his name), were both judges as well. It's always good to know these people because they can influence public policy. I can call their attention to any dis-order that might escape their view. They are young, vibrant and seem to be there to make a difference.
I've always had a strong opinion about gender equality - and I had been attacked by my peers for my views. But it still escapes me how any society can relegate women as not-equals when these genders are clearly 2 sides of one coin - inseparable with their own function in society and family to make things work.
Furthermore, despite my gender paradigm, I found myself insufficient with the issues because I have always seen them from a man's perspective. But reading the essays of these vocal 15-year-olds gave me a glimpse of how women see the issues from their lenses. As I said, I came out of that event, an illuminated man.
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
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The Talk at United Church of Christ(April 2, 2023) Siquijor's LTO Chief, Sir Gerald invited me to speak before his church congregation at the UCC. To talk about what?..more »»
Siquijor Poblacion Info
More on Siquijor Island:
Siquijor Island Local Info
Jeeps - there are only 2 routes for jeeps within Siquijor Island - and they are rare. Most people have their own motorcycle transport.
Food - these were suggested by a local to me
Siquijor Island Map
Siquijor - Dumaguete Boat Trips(as of Jan 2023)
Siquijor - Tagbilaran - Cebu City Boat Trips(as of Jan 2023)
En route to Cebu City, the ferries usually make a stop-over to Tagbilaran (Bohol) to pick-up more passengers or unload.
Siquijor - Plaridel Boat Trips(as of Jan 2023)
Siquijor - Cebu (Liloan) - Cebu City BUS Trip(as of Jan 2023)
There is only one bus plying this route - Sugbo Urban. Tourist class coach, a/c, comfortable, Sun-Fri (these dates keep changing). P420 for bus, P275 for ferry to Liloan. Larena Port around 5 am, makes a clockwise roundtrip around Siquijor Island - Larena, Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi (stops at Lazi market for breakfast and leaves 6:50 am), San Juan, Siquijor (arrives 8am, P50 from Lazi to Siquijor Poblacion) and catches the 1pm ferry at Larena Port (Sundays at 3 pm) for Liloan, Cebu and resumes its land route. Arrives Cebu City (South Bus Terminal) 10 pm.
Sugbo Urban is the cheapest and most convenient way because it goes around the island (clockwise) along the circumferential road, passing through - Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi, San Juan, Siquijor...and back to Larena where it takes the ferry at 1 pm. This saves you the hassle and high transport cost of a tricycle. Besides, it's a long trip from the other side of the island to be taking by tricycle.
Suggested Destinations After Siquijor Island
These are the nearest popular destinations from Siquijor by boat
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- Freediving in Siquijor's Marine Sancturaries Apr 23-24, 2010
- Island Tour of Siquijor Apr 22, 2010
- Kram's Siquijor Wedding Apr 21, 2010
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