Skip to main content

After May 10, 2010

By Danton Remoto
Remote Control
29 October 2010

After May 10,2010, when Ang Ladlad Party List ran on sheer adrenalin and campaigned for only three weeks –when the other party lists campaigned for three months – and lost, I quietly returned to part-time teaching. But let me tell you the odyssey of finding a part-time teaching job.

In all humility, I took the grammar and writing test in a State University so I could teach part-time in its Department of English and Comparative Literature. But after a month and no word came from its esteemed chairperson, I called her up and asked about my chances.

“Well, you passed the grammar and writing test!” she enthused, for which I thanked her. “But we don’t have a slot for you as a teacher.”

“I’m only applying for a part-time teaching position,” I said.

“Yes, we have no slots for full-time teachers.”

I repeated my answer and she repeated hers. Now, I do not know why some state universities have English Department chairpersons with nothing between their ears except dry wax.

Next, I sent my CV to a Catholic college where my cousin taught. My cousin said the dean, who was a priest, was so happy about my application for part-time teaching. But the chairperson sat on my papers.

“But why?” I asked my cousin.

“Because the good chairman thought that one day, you’ll take over his job.”

“But I only want to teach part-time!” I said.

“Not in his insecure mind.”

Next, I sent my CV to another Catholic university, one of whose top officials was a friend of mine. You see, in all my applications, I never went to the top honchos, although I knew some of them well. I sent my CV, took grammar and writing tests, and would have wanted to attend interview panels and give teaching demonstrations.

This time, the chairperson wanted me to teach, but the Vice-Rector did not, “because he said that your media exposure in Ang Ladlad might prove detrimental to the teaching pedadogy in the university.”

I wanted to laugh, the way I laughed when I received the decision of Comelec Commissioner Ferrer (Eucharistic Minister of the Church), Commissioner Yusuph (Imam from Marawi City), and Commissioner Tagle (Director of the Christian Family Movement, Cubao chapter) calling me “Immoral” and “abnormal” for having the balls to found an LGBT party in a conservative and Catholic country.

This university is afraid of media publicity? Well, it is doing its darnedest best to attract media attention for its 400th year or something celebration. I could have helped them with the publicity for free.

Next, I sent my CV to a school in what Alma Moreno once called on TV “the University of Belt.” The chairperson was so glad I was applying, and so was the dean. But the daughter of the owner miffed, and sulked, and pouted, and mightily proclaimed, amidst lightning and thunder: “No, he cannot join our faculty. He did not campaign for Mar Roxas. Instead, he campaigned for that peasant Jojo Binay.”

My laughter when I heard this one reached all the way to the zig and the zag of Kennon Road. I was sending a CV which was called “a strong CV” when I applied for a teaching post at Rutgers University in the US (I got it), and here comes Lady Dementia telling my friend that I cannot join their university simply because I campaigned for a peasant and not a blue-blood like them?

I did not know that people – especially the greedy elite – take their politics so seriously in this country. I resigned from my cushy job in an international development organization when I filed the Ang Ladlad papers in October of 2009 and when the party lost, I just wanted to return to teaching. But Lady Dementia could not be appeased, sitting in her perfumed chamber in her university run like a corporation, with millions of pesos in net profits.

I’m the one who should have taken all this personally, because I was being vilified in public when myold and sick parents were both dying and we shielded them from this terrible news that was in all media 24/7. I’m the one who should have taken this personally, because I was rating high in the real senatorial surveys, only to be junked by the political parties because 1) I questioned their stand on land reform and the fake sincerity of the people in their elitist party, and I am not a landowner; 2) the other senatorial candidates are “scared” of me in the 2016 elections (their words, not mine); 3) they offered me PHP 30 million and I just smiled at them because that was too small, mere coins, for a national senatorial campaign; 4) I did not want GMA to raise my hands in public, and since I am 5’11” that would be very hard for her to do.

So where did I end up teaching? At the Ateneo de Manil University, where I taught for 22 before I retired, the only university whose faculty are not insecure about the chaos and color of my CV.

And now, I am back working for an international development organization, quietly working to spur progress in the land, especially in the poorest places.

Places where Vice-Rectors and Daughters of university owners and Deans and Chairpersons have never reached, stuck as they are not in the groves, but the graves, of academe.


journal entry said…
I like the way this was written. Soft and cunning with words.

Also, know how you must have felt trying as you may. Perhaps, if you permit, I can share too where I am now. The shift from broadcast media to corporate media has led me is seems on a pit stop.

Popular posts from this blog

The Heart of Summer, a short story

On the first day of April, we moved to a row house in a subdivision carved out of the Antipolo hills. A row house is a nice word for houses that somehow managed to fit into 120-square-meter lots. They looked like matchboxes, really, built near the riverbank. The larger houses, of course, stood grandly at the center of the village, in front of the chapel. We’d be renting the house from the mayor’s mistress, one of three houses she owned there.

The living room of the house spilled over into the kitchen. The house only had two tiny rooms, but it was enough for us. The owner of the apartment we had been renting in Project 4 wrote to us (in pink stationery with the letterhead “Dr. Antonina Raquiza, Ph. D.”) to say that she’d raise the monthly rent to five thousand. If we couldn’t agree to her new terms, we’d have two months to leave. Mama glared at the letter, then said something obscene about our landlady’s father. A day later, she began poring over the ads, looking for cheaper rent in …

A teacher's tales

by Danton Remoto
Remote Control

I’ve been teaching for 22 years – the longest job I’ve had. This will be my last year of teaching. I will take sabbatical leave beginning April 2009 – a paid leave for one year that senior professors take every seven years, to sleep the sleep of the and come back to school fully energized. But in my case, I will not just sleep and read and gain weight. I will spend my sabbatical leave organizing Ang Ladlad’s campaign, and my own political campaign, for the May 2010 elections.

But because I stayed here longest, that means I love this job. I admire those who’ve spent 30, 40 years teaching without repeating themselves. They’ve taught for 30, 40 different years, not just one year repeated 30, 40 times. Teachers like the now-departed Dr. Doreen G. Fernandez and the retired, but still teaching, Professor Emmanuel “Eric” Torres come to mind. Both have taught with us at the English Department of the Ateneo de Manila University.

Doreen and Eric …

Review of "Pulotgata" The Love Poems"

This is a review of my book that I just read in the Internet today. It was written by Ralph Semino Galan of UST and was published in the Inquirer. It comes in two parts.

Honeymooning with Words, Part I
by Ralph Semino Galan

Love is a favorite subject among Filipino poets, regardless of gender. For despite the influx of modern and postmodern ideologies, the pervasive influence of the Romantic spirit is still prevalent in Philippine literature, especially in poetry. It therefore comes as no surprise that even a gay-identified writer like Danton Remoto has composed extensively verses expressing the intricacies of love and lust, desire and devotion, passion and compassion.

In his third book of poetry aptly titled "Pulotgata: The Love Poems" (Pasig City: Anvil Publishing, Inc, 2004, 88 pages), Remoto delves the depths of the human heart through lyrics in English and Filipino that sing of the anxiety and the excitement, the agony and the ecstasy which accompany the act of love.

The …