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The Legacy of Ignorantism   By: (1857-1925)

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The Legacy of Ignorantism


An address delivered before the Teachers Assembly, Baguio, April 23, 1920


Dr. T. H. Pardo de Tavera

[English and Spanish]

Manila Bureau of Printing 1921


By Dr. T. H. Pardo de Tavera

An address [2] delivered before the Teachers, Assembly, Baguio, April 23, 1920

Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge; ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered Luke 11:52.

I have the honor to appear before you accepting with great pleasure an invitation which the Assistant Director, Mr. Osias, kindly extended to me. Having left the choice of the subject to my discretion, I deemed it worth while to speak on the Lay Education which has been in operation in our public schools since the implantation of the new régime which rules the destiny of the Filipino people. I am going to confine myself to facts, and shall speak as frankly and as faithfully as the case requires, altho in so doing I may hurt the feelings of some.

Satisfying Movement

For some time in our society there has been a growing concern against immorality, against vice, against idleness; in short against those which can rightly be called social ills. Such a tendency is certainly good and satisfying; a sign of a notable social progress altho for the majority it is a cause of alarm and regret because of the seeming increase of such ills. Is there a positive increase of immorality? Is there real cause for alarm because of a moral retrogression of our society?

After having asked myself these questions and after having considered the bases for the public clamor and for the excited opinion before the sight of growing vice and immorality, I can say that this tendency of public opinion is satisfying a sign of betterment, of progress of general morals. In other words, it is not immorality which is growing. Rather, it is the moral consciousness which is gaining ground in individual consciences, thus forming a public opinion which formerly did not exist, completely awake to existing social evils and which are combatted. Not that social morals has been decadent. On the contrary, a moral consciousness has been rapidly formed in our society, a consciousness which formerly was found only among an inconsiderable minority, and which resulted in the new movement against vice and immorality.

Public Opinion in Favor of Hygiene

To better understand this phenomenon and to explain it as it really is and not as it apparently exists, it is worth while to compare it with the appearance of a new sentiment which was formed since the implantation of the American régime: the hygienic consciousness. Formerly, hardly anybody spoke of the unsanitary conditions of Manila, and only a few in our society had a true idea of its deplorable state. Now that our individual education has enabled us to understand what hygiene is and its importance has been demonstrated, we have not only improved our sanitary condition but a collective sentiment equal to the sum total of the individual sentiments has been formed, and a public opinion in favor of hygiene has been established. Since this opinion grows more rapidly than sanitation itself in Manila, we see that every once in a while the Bureau of Health is censured to the point of attributing to its fault the increase of anti hygienic conditions, when in reality what increases is the clamor for hygiene by virtue of the increase of the individuals who understand hygiene and demand strict application of its laws and principles... Continue reading book >>

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