Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Conference - Japan's distinct work ethics and progress :An outcome of its teaching – learning practices

ME? will I be a presenter of international conference in Naga city?

There are always reasons to say NO, Reasons such as I am not a good speaker... I am shy to be in front of lot of people (oh, this is not true.) But I would like to say YES to this kind of invitation because I am not going to learn instead of teach others. Then, yes I did learn from the conference.

What I presented?
Japan's distinct work ethics and progress :An outcome of its teaching – learning practices was a given topic. It is challenging to discuss because I have to operationalize work-ethics and progress and limit usage of teaching-learning practice only in two social institutions such as family and school.

How did I approach this topic? 
I did approach this topic through interview, existing documents and observation to see whether there is a relationship between work ethics and progress (in terms of economic development).
If I prove this, then I also mention where ethics came from.

Theoretical framework
I thought social conformity is very suitable in this context by knowing collectives of Japanese people. But I felt it was not good enough then I add concept of "Mura shakai (village mentality)"and Wa-spirit. These two concepts are strictly speaking not "theories" but I believed these needed to be discussed.

I also refereed two works of big name: The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture by Ruth Benedict's work and protestantism and spirit of capitalism by Max Weber.

What I found out?

Ethics are fruit of socialization which is the life-long process to be a member of the society. In Japan, we have strong sense of normality. Normality such as being punctual, being honest, being responsible especially words/statements what person said in front of others s/he may not be able to cancel it.

Ethics are assured by societal structure. I did not mean that ethics leads to build the societal structure. Wow, it is quite Marxist view. The system such as seniority system, guaranteed lifetime employment ...
Japan's employment practice is premised long-term employment. This causes a low fluidity in a society. Another way to say, it creates predictable relationship. The relationship in the institution will be long-term as well. Eventually, the company successfully withdraw strong commitment of workers. On the other hand, the ethics will be served as "law", which may helps in creating the mood not regulating corruption.

Public > Private
There are tendency Japanese prioritize "public" matter. One of the person whom I interviewed often goes to work on Sunday. His job require irregular and additional work not only weekday but also weekend. He eventually goes for work. It is job..he said. If your excuse being late was sending their children to nursery, the boss may say something bad.  

Some questions
Q. Is there no competition in Japan?NO, there is fierce competition. But it is not obvious as here.
Competition start as early as kinder level. Entering good high school is peak of the competition of teenage. Interestingly during these period, grade/evaluation in the school won't help them to enter "good school". Therefore, in high school level, students go to cram school and focus on entering "good school". Students tend to not attend the classes because school evaluation won't help "their life to be better"
So, on the surface, there is no obvious competition but there is indeed competition.

Q. What do you think what value Philippines have to keep?If I am allowed to say, "sabay sabay spirit". My impression of this country is collective and communal way of doing. I thought it is problematic since I also observe sort of dependency. But if this country move forward, no one must be left behind. Inclusiveness, may be one of values "we" must keep as one of practices.

Q. (in your future, once you have children,) what cultural traits do you want your children to have, Filipino or Japanese?
Hybrid but 70% must come from Philippines, 30% Japan. What I appreciate Philippine culture in terms of character (based on my observation)are affectionate, lovable, romantic, sensitive and religious.

Q. You love people in the Philippines! 
It was not actually question but comment from a person after my presentation. Love towards Philippine and its people first or love towards my husband extends my love towards this country?
Deep appreciation 
I am deeply appreciated that I was given that opportunity which made me share my culture, learn and meet new friends. What I liked was presentation of another speaker and sharing of participants. I was inspired by what they shared.

Story behind the storyI was a goofy because I assumed I know the venue. I did not check it. If my friend did not come and fetch me, I might end up going their school.

In so many way, I am very thankful.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Radio program - Manindogan May 15th

Beautiful and very hot Sunday morning, I was in the radio station to be the part of radio program, Manindogan.

Topic was Mindanao peace! Yes, it is my concern.
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Once Mayor Duterte won the election 2016, Mindanao is in the spot light. I am not obviously from Mindanao however, I am happy that this consequence may lead more people think and talk about Mindanao.

I was invited to the radio program. I was hesitated in the first place to be the part of the program because I am just a foreign national and I thought my personal advocacy for peace cannot be represent the voice of Mindanao. However, if this is one of these opportunities to speak and share my concern...why not?

Who I am?

Radio program started with introduction. I am no one but I have to give information to radio MC, Ma'am Mira. I hesitantly wrote my status such as my job, my educational background and my husband. Last part is the most important part..My husband is Bicolano :D

What was the impression of Mindaao?

2006 was the fist time to travel to Mindanao. Since then, I traveled there several? times. in different places such as..Davao, Kapatagan, Cagayan De Oro, Iligan, Bukidnon, Pikit. Kidapawan, General Santos, Coronadal, Butuan... All of them are work-related.

Place where I landed very fist was Butuan. It is dominantly Christian region. I enjoyed literally fruits of the land., which was Durian! This experience gave me certain impression...Mindanao is the land of Durian :) In fact, ever since I travel to Mindanao, I enjoy Durian.

When I traveled to Pikit, I noticed there are many military check points, which I could not see much in Butuan and Davao trip. Now I got more impression there is influences of prolonged conflict. There are military tanks as well. I was wondering how people see these...some expressed not prefer to see these military presence. But some said no choice.  

Why I care?/Why I started to work in the field? 
It was the Anime movie barefoot gen, which gave me enormous impact. It is the story of Hiroshima Atomic Bomb. I am careful when I bring this movie to my discussion here in the Philippines because Philippines experienced Japanese occupation during World War II. Therefore, people might think Hiroshima bombing is karma or "no choice" to stop the war. (I doubt its necessity when it was dropped twice not only once.)

In the movie, people who a main character love died in front of him. I imagined this kind of "personal incidence"is happening during any kind of war or conflict.

7 year-old elementary girl just cried after watching this...(if you are interested in it, you can search it in youtube.) but after that, deep sad feeling turned to anger.

At the age of 16, I read the book about conflict in Mozambique. Rape, order to kill your relatives...I could not stand it. I still remember this book even now.

They did not chose where they were born. Once they were born there is a poverty, violence, injustice... I was angry with the situation.

After the University, I got a chance to be a volunteer in Thailand  and Malaysia for a month. By the way, it is totally deviant act because majority got job before the graduation and started working immediately after the graduation. I simply disagreed with that idea.

In both countries, I was warmly welcomed by local people. However, I met some people with animosity against me. They shared the story which they learned from their cruel Japanese soldiers were with their demonstration how soldiers killed people. I could not find any word.

My history teacher was fair enough to tell us what Japanese people had done in Asian countries. I learned these and I was aware of these terrible events. But experiencing these made me reflect more than just reading the books or part of history class discussion.

Make my story short, sad feeling was the entrance of thinking the issue but anger bring me to the field and later learning of healing wound makes me stay in this profession and keep my advocacy alive.

In addition, more I stay here, more I will have connection. Very first time, my feeling is like "one-way-love". Later, happy to say, this love may not be one way. Time to time, some events such as workshop (being a lecturer, participant, facilitator), Job, research bring me back to Mindanao. I hope this is the sign Mindanao is calling me.

How can we engage ourselves to Mindanao Peace advocacy here in Bicol?
In the class-discussion, I asked my students why it is difficult to discuss Mindanao peace. One student honestly mentioned that she is locating far from Mindanao and she thought it won't affect her life here in Bicol.

I could not blame her because she honestly shares her thoughts and it might be a reality. We, peace advocate in Bicol to tackle.

1) to know what is happening in Mindanao/what happened in Mindanao
via News, Books, Movie ....I did this...
2) to meet people who are different from you in terms of sexual orientation, religion and culture.
You can probably participate workcamp, event and so on.
3) to take a small action
If #2 is challenging, why don't we care of our mother nature?
To appreciate nature creates inner peace. I can mediate more in the nature. To clean and care of environment, can be one step forward.

Healing the land where absorb blood...fear, anger, sadness....
One of the great learning though being the part of the NGO was I could observe the ritual healing the land by IP tribe.

Place where they heal was place where bloody incident happened. The owner of the land is Muslim (father of my friend.) He shared the story when the place was affected by exchanging the fire and bombing.

People tend to think Mindanao issue is Christian-Muslim affair. But we also call Mindanao as Tri-people's land.-Christian, Muslim and Lumad.
I, personally want to emphasis their presence can be little bit more highlighted.

The ritual might be treated as superstition in our society. But it functions when we have a common understanding we/our land must be healed. People who have these knowledge are very precious.

Interview in general, I was quite disorganized :( because I had many things to say...In this sense, I was bit shy if you listened the program. But I was really glad and thankful for this chance.

I hope Mindanao will be the place where lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.