Vol. 9 (2020)
Development issues and crisis situations continue to expose the vulnerability of communities, reveal the weaknesses of social and political institutions, and uncover adaptive capacities and coping mechanisms among societies. This year’s issue of Langkit highlights the experiences of Filipinos shaped by social and political phenomena. The contributions engage various dimensions of scientific inquiry in defining the prominence of Filipino adaptability amid social changes. The four articles underscores the consequences of conflict among children, the value of effective mechanisms towards better performance, the influence of culture and socio-political realities in our writings, and the powerful sense of promoting and protecting ancient traditional heritage as part of our identity as a nation. In sum, these articles highlight the influence of social events in shaping societies.
The article written by Labadisos entitled “Effects of Armed Conflict on Children’s Health: The Case of Libertad, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, Philippines” looks into the impact of armed conflict on children’s health and wellness in terms of physical, mental, and social conditions. Labadisos takes us back to 2008 when the proposed agreement on the ancestral domain between the government and the MILF faced indignation from different groups due to legal repercussions, leading to burning and looting in Lapayan, Lanao del Norte, displacing more than 15,000 people. Using qualitative and quantitative data analysis, Labadisos emphasized that stressful events weaken children's resistance against illnesses and significantly affects children’s behavior in general. Children’s vulnerability is aggravated in conflict situations as they experience trauma and fear. Labadisos argued that children’s welfare should be part of government institutions’ priorities in responding to conflict situations and in rehabilitating communities. The article of Labadisos draws us to contemplate on the conditions of the vulnerable sectors in times of crisis and to examine the impacts of institutional mechanisms aimed at improving their welfare.
Doria and Conui’s article entitled “Pagbuo ng Workbuk sa Kasanayan sa Kritikal na Pagiisip ng mga Estudyante” examines ways of enhancing students’ academic writing and critical thinking skills. Doria and Conui’s work addresses the longstanding setback in the education sector enlarged in the implementation of the structural changes in the country’s education system. Acting on our strengths and moving forward requires a deconstruction of the factors that influence performance. The experimental study of Doria and Conui identified the unavailability of effective instructional materials as the primary factor that influences students’ performance. Using a descriptive-quasi experimental study, the study shows significant progress on the performance of students based on pre and posttests results employing the enhanced learning material. Good instructional materials not only stimulate the learners but also enhances the overall performance of students. Similarly, policy responses when crafted and implemented meticulously, address not only pressing issues but also enhance the general welfare. The article of Doria and Conui contends that school administrators should initiate program evaluation to assess and address gaps in curricular offerings. Generally, the authors invite us to be critical of our mechanisms in addressing social issues and encourages us to be reflective of our role and contribution in nation-building particularly in addressing the seemingly simple yet fundamental issues that we face regularly.
The article written by Jimenez and Dalona entitled “Persuasive Faculty and Rhetorical Structure Analysis of Popular Filipino Fiction Book Blurbs from 1980- Present,” analyzes the persuasive utility of book blurbs. Using blurbs from twenty (20) fiction books gathered from Goodreads’ popular Filipino fiction books list – five each from decades 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010 to date, Jimenez and Dalona revealed the shifting patterns of writing blurbs across decades. The pattern shifts from a historical-political genre in the 1980s to sociocultural genre in the recent years which reflected contemporary social and political phenomena using “contextually motivated language choices.” The premise that literature reflects society accounts for the contribution of literature in nation building . Using content, style and forms, history affirms the power of writers to induce feelings of nationalism. While the relationship of literature and socio-political events is widely recognized, the work of Jimenez and Dalona significantly pointed out the eminence of Filipino fiction blurb writers whose persuasive strategies are a combination of logical and emotional appeals and “more informational, than promotional.” Using Gea-Valor’s (2005) framework on presentational strategies, the authors highlight the textual features in the writing style of Filipinos. Broadly, Jimenez and Dalona pressed on the influence of linguistic features on the rhetorical structure of the literary works and implied the challenge of exploring strategies, themes or topics that best entice readers.
Alauya’s article entitled “A Preliminary Study on the Meranaw Traditional Balod ``TieDye'' Technique in Weaving'' documents two of the most ancient living Meranaw cultural heritage which are weaving and tie-dyeing. Using unearthed crafts and artifacts, Alauya established the influence of Indonesian, Chinese and Indian culture on local Meranaw weaving patterns and techniques. With these influences, Alauya emphasizes the peculiarity of ancient weaving techniques among Meranaw against the weaving patterns and techniques found in other parts of the country and underscores the importance of preserving the Meranaw weaving cultural heritage by empowering younger generations to appreciate and work on the continuity of cultural practices. Alauya’s work points out that we are generally a product of our past experiences, social relationships and political undertakings.
These articles offer students, academics and practitioners’ perspectives of the nation’s current reality based on our evolving ways of addressing challenges, as well as on the impacts of socio-political phenomena in our lives. With the findings presented, we hope to inspire readers to be reflective of our collective potential to address issues that confront us, such as unaccountable political actions, declining quality of public service delivery, and prevalence of indifference towards our cultural and indigenous practices. As we face the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, let us take this chance to strengthen our commitment to be more critical in examining factors that influence institutional responses to crisis and to be more curious on the interplay of various social, economic, cultural and political forces especially on how these dynamic forces shape human interactions and relationships ultimately transforming our cultural and social institutions.