February 18, 2015, The Aerie – Wednesday night became movie night for Gabayanos and Ateneans alike as Lente 2015 brought us the award-winning Cinemalaya film Pisay by director Aureaus Solito. Apart from taking us back to our own lives as high school students, we had also been treated to a closer look at the situation in the Philippine Science High School and the issues that surround it by speaker Mr. John Paolo Dalupang, a former teacher in the PSHS System and a Ph.D. student in Sociology at the Ateneo.
In his presentation entitled “In Pursuit for the Untarnished Truth,” Sir Dalupang outlines the system of Pisay and its mission to prepare its students as leaders in the field of science and technology. Pisay students sign a contract whereby they agree to pursue a career in science and technology. Otherwise, they would have to reimburse the school of their tuition fees during their stay at Pisay. While the school has consistently encouraged its graduates to apply for an S&T program for college, issues arise where Pisay fails to monitor the progress of its students after their first semester as college freshmen. They do not track if their graduates do pursue S&T careers in college and in the workplace. This fails to support their mission of producing leaders and professionals in science and technology. Pisay students who decide not to apply for S&T programs or drop out during their stay also add to their concerns as they owe about Php 32 million to the government for the costs of their high school education, while the government spends almost a billion pesos in supporting the PSHS System. This begs the question of how Pisay could start reassessing the ways they follow now to achieve their mission.
Mr. Dalupang provides us with the context of the movie Pisay and the PSHS System itself by answering questions raised by the event’s attendees. He also shares some reflection points for the film before it is screened.
After awarding the certificate and token to Mr. Dalupang, the lights were dimmed and the film started rolling. The attendees settled down comfortably on either the couches, chairs or the floor of the Aerie and passed around the popcorn provided by the event’s organizers. The film, which presented the lives of Pisay students in the 1980’s, told its story in four chapters: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior. It follows the lives of eight students in particular, showing us how they deal with personal issues such as competition, love, rejection, and failure, among others.
The film ran for about two hours before finally ending with quite the positive feedback from the audience. As the lights switched back on, Jen Pagay, one of the project heads of Lente 2015, concluded the event with closing remarks and expressed her thanks to everyone who attended.
Lente is a project under the Education Formation (EdForm) committee.
Project heads: Jennifer Pagay and Pamela San Luis
Programs: Joseph Lumba and Daniel Arboladora
Logistics: Lance Banez and Macneil Mendoza
Secretariat: Anne Berango
Finance: Gab Hernandez and Marjorie Chan