Political campaign poster: An Araling Panlipunan/Social Studies project
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With only two days before we cast our votes in the 2016 Philippine presidential elections, I am sharing with you an Araling Panlipunan (AP/Social Studies) project that Motito submitted as part of his homeschool portfolio for the recently concluded school year. It’s a campaign poster, styled after US President Obama’s iconic Yes We Can graphic (an image so popular even the politically uninterested Motito is aware of it; in fact, it was his idea to fashion his poster image after Pres. Obama’s).
Because we have used AP textbooks written in Filipino, teaching AP has posed significant challenges for Motito and me. I’ve talked myself hoarse translating and explaining abstract concepts such as democracy, economics, civic duty, national pride, etc. It’s hard enough to comprehend these concepts by themselves, let alone having to grapple with intangible ideas in a language one is not fluent in. I suppose it would make our jobs easier if I supplemented with an English-language AP book, something like the “One Country, One People” series by Vibal Publishing, but I consider our current textbooks as a form of Filipino language immersion for Motito, and so we soldier on, clearing linguistic obstacles as we flesh out abstractions such as governance, citizenship, human rights, and nation-building.
Through the campaign poster social studies project I was able to explain the electoral process to Motito in simple, age-appropriate terms. Additionally it gave him a chance to review his lessons about local government and the qualities to look for when choosing our government leaders. The coming elections are probably the most viciously contested in our nation’s history. I’ve seen friends, lovers, and families lock horns over their chosen candidates. Social media have, in equal measure, muddled and illuminated the core issues of the current political debate . This race has become a contest of sound bites and slogans. My only consolation is that Motito has been spared from the ugliness of electoral politics, as he happen to have little interest in Facebook where election-related memes fly thick and fast. Still, he has asked me about who my choice for president is and who is the most likely victor among the candidates. I won’t disclose who I’m voting for in this blog, but I do my best to assure him that whatever the outcome, Filipinos’ resilience and love for country will always win out in the end.