I blame it on the hype I cooked inside my head.
We met two weeks ago. I was with the COCOPEA Congress Secretariat and them the Presidential Management Staff. Both contingents sat on opposite sides of a very long table. The meeting was to ensure that protocols are followed and presidential security in place. We met with those in charge of security, media, and good manners and right conduct.
No surprise questions for the President. Check!
Speeches must be submitted. Check!
Don’t bother with food. Check!
Only the UST President should welcome him. Check!
Elevator must be reserved. Check!
The DepEd Secretary should be the one to introduce the President. Check!
We need to do many ocular inspections. Check!
Let us have students in the background so it will look good in the news. Check!
I never knew until then how much it takes just to have the President at a gathering. But nevermind.
He will deliver the Keynote Address to a congregation of education leaders and private schools heads and owners–the government’s partners in providing education. They need to hear about the government’s educational reform agenda (K to 12 and CHED’s Quality Assurance Framework, among others). They need to be assured that the government is committed to it’s 10-point educational agenda. They need to hear that the President is still the same education President that we elected a couple of years ago.
The preparations were exacting. It had to be, most especially because, according to the PMS, this is the President’s first activity for the day.
And so it happened this morning.
The PSG men and women were all over. They inspected our IDs, they frisked us, and they also required me to turn my laptop on and off in front of them just to see that I am not carrying a bomb detonator. For some reasons, the bottle of water I was carrying was not allowed to come in with me, it joined the other water and juice bottles (probably from students) that were deemed as threat to national security. And before I reached the second floor there was another inspection. When i looked back, the queue behind me was as long as forever.
His arrival was announced 5 minutes before 10AM. I got to my seat just in the nick of time. And I still had time to set up my voice recorder, I have been planning to start producing podcasts and I thought this was a good time to start.
The moment had arrived. Then it was gone. It never happened.
He spoke relaxedly and without a script. He joked and we laughed. Naturally, we waited for big servings of substance but nothing was dished out. He even mentioned “They gave me several speeches yesterday and they gave me this speech immediately before I proceeded here. And from the joke up to the ending I didn’t like any portion of the speech.” Good thing that he admitted it, “I’m sorry if my speech goes here and there.” And for the first time, I got insulted by his penchant for referencing to his parents.
The congress theme was REFORMING PHILIPPINE EDUCATION: ISSUES, CHALLENGES, SOLUTIONS.
After the keynote address was the photo ops, which the association presidents and the members of the board practiced beforehand just so protocols will be followed.
I blame it on the hype I cooked inside my head. Who’s to blame I don’t know but it all come down to the question of whether he is really the Education President we elected. I don’t know. Surely, it was underwhelming and I can’t let it pass.