Digitally colorized portrait of Apolinario Mabini. Presidential Museum and Library PH
MANILA -- History professors are baffled that some college students seem to have missed the widely-known fact that Apolinario Mabini is a paralytic.
Actor Epy Quizon, who played the role of Mabini in the film "Heneral Luna," recently commented on the state of history education in the country, after a group of students asked him why his character in the film had not been seen standing.
In a comment on a post on his page, Quizon wondered what students are learning from their history classes nowadays.
Quizon's experience, however, was not isolated. There were also some young people who shared their thoughts about Antonio Luna and Mabini on different social media platforms.
MORE THAN JUST TRIVIA
For De La Salle University Prof. Michael Charleston "Xiao" Chua, the fact that students do not know basic historical information is "alarming."
"Ang ibig sabihin lang nito, walang pagpapahalaga sa kasaysayan ang mga kabataan. 'Yun ang alarming dito," he said.
He also said that teachers, especially those teaching basic education, should make a conscious effort to include the likes of Mabini in their history lessons.
"Siguro sa mas malalim na aral ng kasaysayan, magkusa na ang mga guro na isingit man lamang si Mabini sa kanilang mga aralin, upang ma-inspire tayo ng lahat na may kakulangan sa buhay na maging dakila," Chua said.
Other professors of history however believe details such as Mabini's paralysis need not to be taught in school, as there are other issues that are needed to be discussed.
"Kailangan nga ba talagang ituro na lumpo si Mabini? Walang nagturo sa akin na lumpo si Mabini. Nabasa ko sa libro nung nasa elementarya ako na lumpo si Mabini," said Prof. Van Ybiernas from De La Salle University (DLSU).
For him, a student's knowledge about history should not be measured by how much they know about a specific historical figure.
"Hindi masusukat sa pagkaka-alam ng mga kabataan ng mga detalye tungkol sa buhay ng mga personalidad sa kasaysayan ang kanilang "alam" sa kasaysayan," Ybiernas said.
Mabini is captured: Apolinario Mabini in Guam, 1902 Photo by Presidential Museum and Library PH
He also explained that a lot of history professors choose not to dwell on small, personal details about a specific person.
"Lalo na sa mga unibersidad, lumalayo na ang pagtuturo ng kasaysayan sa pagmemorya ng mga ganitong detalye patungo sa mas malalimang pag-unawa sa mga isyu na kalakip ng kasaysayan (ng Pilipinas) at maski na sa buhay, katha at mga gawa ni Rizal," Ybiernas added.
For Chua, he said it is also possible that the students who asked Quizon about his role are just being sarcastic.
"Parang ang hirap paniwalaan na hindi alam ng isang Pilipino na lumpo siya (Mabini) kasi sa marami, kilala siya bilang dakilang lumpo. Alam ng tao na lumpo siya pero hindi kung bakit siya dakila," he explained in an interview with ABS-CBNnews.com.
"So ibig sabihin kung 'yung trivial thing about Mabini hindi nila alam, paano pa kaya 'yung mas malalim na aspekto ng kanyang papel sa kasaysayan," he added.