Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Visitation of the Gods (Gilda Cordero Fernando) review

The short story is about the reality of the process of death of Filipino idealism in the administration of public schools. It shows the difficulties of sustaining one’s interest and motivation in improving the standards of education in the country. It highlights the visitation of the officers who act as assessors of the efficiency ratings of the teachers and the schools.
The setting is in the provinces where the bureaucracy in the education system is very evident. The importance of obtaining a high efficiency rating by the school, its faculty and students has compromised the principles of most of its administrators. It not only affects the efficiency of the schools and their faculty but it also contributes to the decline in the actual performance of students.
The story also shows how the activity can be turned into an opportunity to punish insubordination by assigning the most problematic and difficult tasks to the most “not-liked” teachers and students.
The story also exposes the Filipino’s mentality towards competition. Sometimes one’s pursuit for personal and professional growth can be mistaken a threat to another man’s job or authority. More likely, it would be interpreted as “showing-off”. Unfortunately, the conflict between different interests not only affects those involved but usually extends to all the faculty, which in turn causes polarization in the workplace.
A visitation announced a month in advance defeats the purpose for such an activity, as was clearly shown in the story. It gives the school administrators the opportunity to prepare and hide the infirmities of their respective schools. The results are usually not reflective of the true status and situation of the schools because only the good things are highlighted while the bad things are hidden. Sometimes overnight makeovers are resorted to so that there will be the appearance of compliance with the educational standards. The whole activity boils down to making an impression and satisfying a group of assessors, who are treated like gods by flattery and gift-giving.
The irony of this is that the death of idealism starts from the school, which is supposed to be its cradle. Students are exposed to the practice of conformism and favor-currying by their teachers. The school is supposed to protect the students from such corrupt practices.
Due to this kind of bureaucratic practice in the public schools, the standard of education is lowered. The true progress of our educational system can not be assessed. Teachers are not promoted based on efficiency, competence, professionalism and other criterion used in the merit system.
The story is a microcosm of the corruption existing in our country. Apparently, corruption is already in the grass roots. It would seem that the only way a person can climb the bureaucratic ladder is to allow himself to be eaten by the system. Good people in the government are usually punished for doing their jobs, while bad people are rewarded for doing things other than their jobs.
Indirectly, the story shows the direct proportionality between success in the government and the ability of one to compromise his principles, values and character. The more one compromises his principles, values and character, the more likely he will succeed.
Justice is indeed hard to find in the Philippines. Those who sacrifice and dedicate their lives for the good of the country usually end up getting nothing and having nothing. In the end, it’s always the children who will suffer. They are the ones who will taste the products of the mistakes of their fathers. Ironic though because fathers usually resort to these malpractices to ensure a good future for their children.


  1. Yes! absolutely you are right. The story were all part of my experience. I have studied from a public school and your criticisms are entirely acceptable for me.

    Thank you! Bow!! wahaha

  2. sadly, it's happening in private schools as well. (Exhibit A: ADDU). I've seen renovations and palm trees shooting out from nowhere come PAASCU time. Guess it's not only prevalent in public schools.

    And whether we admit it or not, it's also apparent in other institutions.

    I've always wanted to read that story, kaso I can't find a copy anywhere. Though I have read the other story of Gilda Cordero Fernando.

  3. actually you're right atty. paul ryan... anyways... hows everything... no more post..... cguro ur busy... still remember me... jojo cortez.. ur classmate from 1- manresa... congrats..... more power.. hope to see you on my next visit in davao....

  4. jo musta na? san ka na? i'm going to write soon. ngayon ko lang nabasa to. meron pa lang bumabasa nito. hehehe.. busy lang talaga ngayon..

  5. i really agree with this. mga people of the Philippines, dapat na kayong magising!

  6. i suppose this is a great challenge long long time ago that was never taken into action ... yet, i am still hopeful

  7. I have read this book when I was a junior student in high school, Now I'm already a public school teacher. I did'nt expect na hanggang ngayon nangyayari pa rin to.Its hard to be in a situation na wala kang magawa kasi mas maraming teachers na ang nakain ng siste,a...You are right Attorney!

  8. yes you're all right. unfortunately, this is still happening in our country not only in academic institutions but also in other agencies both in private and public sector.

    -from a student-

  9. totoo nga sinabi ni Dr. Jose Rizal na “Ang Kabataan ang pag-asa ng Bayan”...

    -->me noob<--

  10. Just proctored NAT yesterday at public school and unfortunately this story was written somewhere in 60's but is still happening in this generation...sigh...Philippines doesn't grow at all

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. “Good people in the government are usually punished for doing their jobs, while bad people are rewarded for doing things other than their jobs”

    This is right. I'm a mayor who manipulates corruption on my town and still accepted, rewarded and praised. This is not our problem but rather we point to people who accept our money during before elections. How ironic this nation, we can freely show our misses.

    Lagi ninyung tandaan “Ang dagang marunong tumanaw sa kanyang harapan hindi masasaktan”.

    Hindi ba kayu nakatanggap nang pang tanghalian?

    P100.00 para sa 4 na taong panunungkulan.

    Sipag at tyaga wala paring nilaga. Hapag kainan nyu kami na ang sasagot nyan. Maniwala lang kayu, gaganda rin ang buhay ko.

    - Code metic
    - This is what the truth.

  14. Nice analysis.Very enlightening

  15. So true. I've seen it with my own eyes. Too bad I haven't realized this when i was in elementary. I thought we were only helping our teachers get bonuses, but it's way beyond that.