"You can fool me once, you can even fool me twice, you can even fool me thrice. But you can never fool me four"
- Melanie Marquez -
I had a lunch meeting at Le Souffle at Fernandos Rockwell Club. This is always a delicious treat as my friend Chef Jessie Sincioco always cooks up a wonderful continental meal.
The meeting was short - more eating than meeting. As it ended ... I got up to start walking towards the building lobby where I would stop as always to enjoy a panoramic view of the Rockwell pool and garden area. As I was both digesting and enjoying the view, an impecably uniformed server sheepishly approached me and said ... "sir, you falling your money..." . Huh? Apparently, a 500peso bill had dropped from my pocket. This honest worker (whom I have to commend) had taken the initiative to return it to me. Good news , bad news ...
The good news is that there continue to be honest people in this country - there is hope. The bad news is English proficiency is dropping to alarming levels.
English is recognized as a global language - a modern era lingua franca. It is an official language of both the European Union and the United Nations as well as most international scientific and athletic organizations. Proficiency in this language is a must to be competetive in todays world particularly in a country like ours that has dreams of becoming a center for global outsource services (call centers, transcription, software development, back room operations etc).
Decades ago, the Philippines was considered a country of proficient English speakers. Even provincial elementary or high school grads could speak English as it was meant to be. It was part of our early edge as opposed to other developing Asian countries. Then fundamentalist nationalistic legislators decided our medium of instruction in schools should be Pilipino rather than English. Today the newspapers are full of the alarm that has been sounded by both local and multinational employers about the poor quality English of graduates of the Philippine educational system.
If we don't wake up - we could lose this battle for the outsource industry to neighboring Asian countries in the same way we lost the battle to become centers of manufacturing and trade.
I opened an e-mail tonight from a college friend of mine that contained a picture attachment that completely makes the case for me - hayyyyyy naku :
Le Souffle at Fernandos
The Rockwell Club
Lobby Floor, Amorsolo Bldg.