Written by Lyka Pacleb
Ateneans delved into Ateneo Gabay’s education advocacy through film in LENTE, the organization’s film-screening activity for this year’s Talakayang Alay sa Bayan (TALAB). Held at the Faura AVR last October 8, 2019, LENTE featured the 2017 film “Maestra: An Educator” by Lemuel Lorca. Mr. Agustin Rodriguez of the Philosophy Department also connected the film to current social realities through a preliminary talk.
Rodriguez opened the event by invoking the audience to reflect on the privileged education Ateneans get. He reminded them to “stop complaining about your lives”, as he told them that the underprivileged are constantly robbed of their right to education every day.
In addition, Rodriguez also stressed that receiving education “isn’t enough [to give the poor a better life].” Instead, he observed that the reality of “whiteness,” or fitting into the privileged, Western standards imposed on Filipinos, bestows one a good life.
Afterwards, “Maestra” narrated how Filipino teachers face the challenges which transcend generations. The film brings a seasoned teacher, an Aeta educator, and an Education student together as they overcome their hurdles.
The program ended with a short gratitude speech from Alana Ferrer and Thea Dianito, LENTE’s project heads.
For Raphael Suapengco, a participant of LENTE, he expected the film to mirror the “harsh realities within the poverty sectors of the Philippines.” More than that, Suapengco also said that “Maestra” was a reality check on how education has become more of a privilege than a right in the Philippines.
In relation to Gabay’s advocacy, he appreciated how he had learned it through “Maestra.” “It was a good choice to show a film that gives real life examples of how some sectors are not prioritized,” he said.
On the other hand, LENTE’s project heads deemed the program to be a success.
Although she recognizes that the project had encountered several setbacks, Ferrer found the project to be fulfilling. “Despite so many obstacles and difficulties it went through, I’m glad that Lente was a success in the end. The movie was a cinematic masterpiece, and Doc Gus, the event’s speaker, gave a very good insight of his own regarding the film’s social reality of teachers,” she said.
Dianito shared that it was the first time LENTE became a part of TALAB, but despite this change, the event still pulled through. “Before, it was only the members of the organization who can participate in the event. LENTE’s participation in TALAB paved way for the organization’s advocacy to be sent effectively across the audience — the Ateneo community as a whole — which was received well,” she said.
LENTE 2019’s core team included Thea Dianito, Alana Ferrer, Linar-Mae Orbista, Richmond Rodriguez, Nina Gil, Micheal Renfrew, Joyce Pua, and Aira Cunanan. There were a total of 70 attendees for the event.