The historical month of April was utilized by Museo Valenzuela Foundation as an opportune moment to gather Social Studies educators for two isolated symposia dubbed as, “Seminar sa Pagtuturo ng Kasaysayan at Kabayanihan” and “Symposium on Rizal Education and Nation-Building,” held on April 19 and 22.
Valenzuela City, referred to by many as the place where “Good Education is Good Governance” resides, was fully supported by the Order of Knights of Rizal and the Philippine Historical Associations (PHA) by sponsoring free lectures on Philippine history under the consciousness that “if Social Studies teachers, students, and Rizal college instructors will have better grasp of the subject, the sense of nationalism would be deeply inculcated in the minds of Valenzuelanos.”
Mayor Sherwin T. Gatchalian favored Museo Valenzuela’s concept of utilizing the seminars as springboard to unite Social Studies teachers in the city, through forming an organization that would provide them of venue where they could further enrich their knowledge of the Philippine history.
“Our social studies teachers in Valenzuela are respectable scholars who play an important role in molding the minds of our youth towards nation-building,” Mayor WIN said.
The “Triumvirate Monument,” erected at the city hall grounds of Valenzuela, is the historical icon of Emilio Jacinto, Andres Bonifacio and Dr. Pio Valenzuela, were the personalities highlighted during the first symposium at Museo Valenzuela attended by 132 elementary and high school social studies teachers and college history students.
The speakers during the symposium were PHA President, Dr. Luis Dery, DLSU Manila history professor, Michael Charleston “Xiao” Chua, University of Asia and the Pacific history professor, Alvin Campomanes, and UST Assistant to the Rector for Student Affairs, Dr. Evelyn Songco.
According to Dr. Dery, it should be Emilio Jacinto, not Apolinario Mabini, who should have been given the title, “Utak ng Himagsikan.” The title Utak ng Himagsikan (Brains of the Revolution) was given by the Americans to Mabini only after he died. This is a misnomer because Mabini had very little involvement with the Katipunan. He only got involved when Emilio Aguinaldo had him fetched from his home in Los Banos, Laguna to attend the declaration of independence in Kawit, Cavite. Jacinto wrote the Kartilya ng Katipunan, Saligang Batas ng Katipunan, and Hojas de Juramento y Compromiso – Patakaran at Panunumpa (sa pagsali sa Katipunan).
For Professor Chua, the songs, poetry and essays penned by Jacinto reflect ideals of brotherhood and love of country. This belies the common idea that the Katipunan is a group composed of “bobong masa na sugod lang nang sugod.”
Professor Campomanes’ discussion, on the other hand, dwelled on the notion that there is a “confused nostalgia” for President Marcos’ regime among many Filipinos today.
Dr. Songco introduced the constructivist method of education to the teacher-participants. In the constructivist paradigm, learning is achieved by drawing connections among a person’s experiences. Hence, true learning is transformational because there is a change in the person’s attitude and actions.
Museo Valenzuela curator, Mr. Jonathan Balsamo, correlated Mayor WIN’s good governance on educational development with Jose Rizal’s similar ideologies. He shared in the vernacular, “Coincidentally, Mayor WIN’s commitment to increase the number of school buildings is similar with Rizal’s supreme aspiration which is to establish a school. In fact, Ibarra of Rizal’s novels, El Filibusterismo andNoli Me Tangere, pushed for the building of school houses for the natives.”
The Rizal symposium at the Valenzuela City Center for the Performing Arts Auditorium was consisted of talks by National Historical Institute chairman Ambeth Ocampo and Order of the Knights of Rizal Supreme Commander Sir Reghis M. Romero II. During the event, the former was conferred with medal of honors together with Professor Chua, for their outstanding historical researches.
Dr. Ocampo emphasized that the last four years of the national hero in Dapitan from 1892 to 1896, should be given focus by the educators of Rizal. To effectively teach the subject, he said that, “we have to remember Rizal as a live person because young people wants heroes that they can relate to.”
April, a historical month for Valenzuelanos, was further accentuated by the unveiling of the Battle of Malinta marker last April 22. Officer-in-Charge of Valenzuela City Cultural Affairs and Tourism Development Office, Ms. Ahna F. Mejia and Chief of NHCP Historic Sites and Education Division, Ms. Gina C. Batuhan, stood as witnesses during the signing of the Certificate of Transfer.
The marker, a canon which measures approximately 10-feet, denotes that it was at one time a memorial to Colonel Harry Clay Egbert, who commanded the 22nd Infantry Regiment in 1899. Egbert was killed in action during the battle in Malinta on March 26, 1899.