Marunong Ka Ba Sumayaw?
Filipinos apparently take their proms seriously. Last night, there was four hours of prepared dances and promenades of class beauties -- and that was before the real dance actually begun! Samba, Pantomina, Waltz, Cha Cha. You name it, these kids knew how to do it. Of course, they lost about two weeks of school practicing for the thing, but, eh, you only have one prom, right? Hmmm.
Anyway, I forgot my camera. I would have liked you all to see the image of me dressed up and riding a tricycle over a bumpy dirt road to get to the town basketball court for the dance. Not your Madison Avenue affair, mind you. Just when I was feeling guilty for spending about 600 pesos ($12)on my semi-formal dress, I learned that some of the girls are spending 3,000-plus pesos to buy or rent a formal gown for the night. That is more than many families in my town earn in a month! That is 75 percent of the tuition for one semester at Bicol University!
But as I've quickly learned, appearances are important in the Philippines. And families will sacrifice a great deal just to put on a good party. Though I am trying to understand the logic of it all, I secretly wish sometimes that there would be this much expense and excitement devoted to, for instance, a reading program. Sigh.
Books, Books, Books
In other news, we are continuing to work on the school library. Many of you have asked whether I am still collecting. We definitely are. Please continue to contribute if you can. Dictionaries and simple reference books with pictures would be great. We can also use teacher resource materials -- guides for the teachers on all subjects. Plus, audiovisual materials -- learning CDs/DVDs -- are also needed. Again, please send to Linda Campbell, 4213 Whitacre Road, Fairfax, VA. 22302.
The librarian and I will spend some of the summer months -- April and May -- reorganizing the library, acquiring new shelves and equipment and getting things ready for the new school year in June. Thank you again to all of you have already contributed. I see the kids reading the books every day and I know they appreciate them and are learning a great deal. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat!