Contact information: email@example.com Updated: April 4, 2014
Why are you here to where will you be Address to graduating UST-AB Sociology Class of 2014
By Dr. Clarence M. Batan, a Filipino sociologist
The first day of class I asked everyone:
Why are you here?
All your answers were correct but
One said, “Am here because I want to
Study, and hopefully learn.
The other, “Happy to be here
To prepare for my future”.
I prodded, and asked everyone again,
Why are you here?
And there was silence.
At those moments, I think most
Of you know, that all the answers
You will give, you would have to explain
Even if, there is no grade to gain.
For the answer to my question
Did not require any of you to lie
And cheat your thoughts and feelings…
The fact that you really did not know
Why you are taking a course whose
Name you only know too little about.
I asked, why are you here?
Because I know this moment would
Come, where you will be asked
The next big question:
Where will you be after graduation?
Of course I should expect,
Sociologically shallow responses
Like, you will just be home -
Or you are looking forward to rest
And take the most deserved vacation.
Yet after studying Sociology for four years,
My hope is that everyone sees now
The connection of why are you here
With where will you be?
Is this a state of mind or a place or
A process of becoming
I do not know - only you
But what I know and what I want
To believe in, is that you are all
Carrying a precious gift of knowledge,
Of perspective, and of skills -
We call Sociology.
Carry this gift with pride, integrity,
Honor, humor, humanity and
A sense of the divine!
So that when you intersect with peoples
And cultures, you would know
The answer to the question:
Why are you here?
And with Sociology, I hope,
You now know:
Where you will be!
What BIARI means to me... It is Brown University's way of contributing to the understanding of relevant global issues of the day by providing a meaningful academic exposure to young scholars from the Global South like me. This research experience may be likened to an engaging sweet conversation between and among strangers where power and privileges to speak are diffused to create a dialogue of well-meaning discourses. In so doing, voices from different positions and privilege spaces make up a symphony of perspectives that in the end, conversing strangers become at ease, celebrating multiplicities of contexts which made possible a re-imagination of the contemporary world we live in.
FILIPINO BIARISTS 2013 (Photo by Rythum Vinoben) (From L-R:Mark Abenir, Clarence Batan, Helen Madamba, Albert Salamanca)
Kahuluga't Kulay ng Brown University Ni Dr. Clarence M. Batan
Isang Pilipinong sociologist
Ang brown sa wikang Filipino ay kayumanggi
Ang kayumanggi ang kulay ng aking lahi.
Lahing sa Silangan, matingkad ang araw
Araw na tumimpla sa lahing brown kong balat.
Balat kong napadpad dito sa pamantasan
Pamantasang Brown University ang pangalan
Pangalan na akala ko ang kulay ang dahilan -
Dahilang hango pala sa isang mayamang donor.
Ang donasyong $5,000 USD ni Nicholas Brown,
Kaya Brown University noong 1804 – ang ipinangalan.
Pangalang kumakatawan sa isang kulay
Ang kulay na nagbigay-buhay at saysay
Kasaysayang-kayumanggi ng mga kwentong Ivy league
Liga ng mga pamantasang sa Amerika’y astig!
Astig man sa pananaw ng mundong akademya
Akademya rito’y kalidad ng isip ang marka.
Minarkahang kaalama’y dulot ay kalayaan -
Malayang isip ng samu’t saring kulay.
Room 201, Maxcy Hall Department of Sociology April 21, 2013, Sunday, 4:30 PM
It is surreal to watch the tragic Boston marathon over TV while literally just being one-hour away from this place. My heart and sympathy are with those physically hurt, and those that in the future, would be socially prejudiced by this event. Once again, this would impact the way we travel, work and worship – and how we see the disordering of our contemporary world. Indeed, there is much to learn from this tragedy similar to the everyday local tragedies (of crime, violence and corruption) along the streets and secured spaces of our beloved Philippines.
@ Massachusetts Statehouse (Boston) taken last June 2012
NOW at Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island, USA) as a Visiting Fellow for International Studies
*** Mapagpalang Araw ng Pagdiriwang po sa lahat! (A blessed Holiday Season to everyone!)
(Meaningful Holidays) Ni Dr. Clarence M. Batan (By Dr. Clarence M. Batan)
Isang Pilipinong sociologist (A Filipino sociologist)
Minsan sa isang taon (Once every year)
Napapadasal ako, (I am led to pray,)
Mata ko’y napapapikit: (My eyes shut close:)
Upang damhin (To feel)
Hanging malamig, (The cold breeze,)
Mainit na yakap (The warm embrace)
Ng mga tao, lugar (Of people, places)
At pangyayaring (And events)
Nagbigay halaga (That gave value)
At mga kahulugan (And meanings)
Sa aking katauhan. (To my humanity.)
Itong buhay na (This life of mine)
Sa turing ko’y nagkasaysay, (Seems to have a storyline,)
Dahil ang buhay mo’t buhay ko (As your life and mine)
Upang sa panahong ganito (So that in times like this)
Meron akong ipagdiwang, (I have something to celebrate,)
At ipagsayang, (And happily affirm,)
Ika’y pagpapala ng Maykapal! (You are God’s blessing!)
Good news from Brown University By Dr. Clarence M. Batan
Last November 5, 2012, I received this email correspondence from Dr. Keith Brown, director of Brown International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI), which made me smile - BIG TIME!
With apologies for delay, I write with pleasure to inform you that your application for a BIARI residency for Spring 2013, to work with Professor Dennis Hogan, has
There was strong competition for residencies: this award is testimony to the inherent strength of your project, plus the very strong support of both your mentor/host and BIARI conveners.
Professor Hogan has made arrangements for you to be housed in the Sociology Department during the semester.
We hope and anticipate, should you stay through June, that you would spend time at the Watson Institute as well, during BIARI 2013.
Mahal ko ang UST dahil itinuro nito sa akin
Ang konsepto at kahulugan ng Diyos.
Ngunit higit sa lahat, ang Diyos na buhay
Sa bawat taong bahagi ng lipunan.
Kung ang UST ay isang lipunan
Batid kong ang Diyos ay nananahan.
Subalit paano kung ang koneksyon ng
UST at Diyos ay pinalamlam
Ng isang editoryal?
Kinatawan ba nito ang UST -
Ang mga natutunan ko’t
Mga itinuro sa akin
Ng pamantasan kong mahal?
Dahil sa UST, sa sosyolohiyang
Aking natutunan –
May lipunang nagtatampok
Sa kapurihan ng Diyos.
Hindi lang sa institusyon ng
Katolikong simbahan ngunit sa bawat
Bahagi nang mas malawak na
Lipunan – labas at lampas sa mga kalye ng
España, P. Noval, Lacson at Dapitan -
Iba man ang pananampalataya,
Oryentasyon o kredo.
Ang Diyos na itinuro sa akin ng UST
Ay di mayabang, di nang-uuri.
Mapagkumbaba, may mabuting-asal,
***Sa Batong Bahay, October 9, 2012
PLANTSA Ni Dr. Clarence M. Batan Isang Pilipinong Sociologist
Isang tribute kay Ninoy at sa Mama Volet kong mahal; interseksyon ng kasaysayan at buhay ng mga dakilang Nanay na walang inisip kundi mamalantsa para lang maging maayos ang damit ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay kahit mapaghamon ang lipunang ginagalawan. - Yayet
Alalang-alala ko pa,
Noong Agosto 21, 1983.
Habang ang Mama ko’y
Ang telebisyon ay nangusap -
Si Ninoy pinaslang
Sa tarmac ng paliparang
Ang plano’y plinantsa daw
Ng pinunong huwad.
Pinadilim man ang hapon
Ng dugong dumaloy
Ngunit nagpainit sa
Plantsang gamit ng
Mama kong naiinip.
Gusto na kasi ni Mamang
Matapos ang pamamalantsa.
Nais na niyang magpahinga
Sa diktaturya ng buhay,
Ng hirap at pulitika.
Nang tanungin ko siya
Bakit pinatay si Ninoy?
Walang sagot si Mama.
Basta lalo lang humigpit
Ang kanyang kapit
Sa plantsang mainit.
Namamalantsa pa rin si Mama
Kahit ilang Ninoy na
Ang namatay at
Nagbuwis ng buhay
Para sa Inang bayan.
Kahit pala plantsa
May aral na dala.
Sa VG Cruz corner Dapitan
Manila, Philippines August 21, 2012
HABAGAT By Dr. Clarence M. Batan, sociologist
Hanging Timog-Kanluran, kumalap ng lakas At tinipong lahat, ang tubig sa ulap. Baha ang dinulot, malupit na bagsak, Animo’y delubyong sa isip ang tatak: Ga-milya – ang epektong lawak. Ano’t HABAGAT ngayon ay nangusap Talino man ng tao, di kayang magagap!
*Dalangin ko po, kaligtasan ng lahat!
2012 Meaningful North American Sojourn By Dr. Clarence M. Batan, sociologist
East coast travel stories from my North American Sojourn including the cities of Providence, Boston, New York, Halifax & Detroit - coming soon!
LIPUNAN: A Sociological View of Meaningful Leadership By Dr. Clarence M. Batan, sociologist
As a martial law baby, my first concept of a leader was born from the womb of political dictatorship. Ferdinand Marcos was my first president. But as history attests, being president does not necessarily mean being a leader. Positions such as being a barangay captain, a mayor or a student council president may be considered positions used as means to accomplishing goals of a barangay, a municipality or a school, but the crux of the matter is that these titles do not mean anything if they are not meant for “meaningful leadership”, or in Filipino, “makahulugang pamumuno”...
Am happy to share my thoughts about this Pinoy youth issue on what CHED called as "oversubscribed courses" published at Manila Times, September 8, 2011.
Mga kaibigan, read on and tell me what you think!
THE RECENT call by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines for students to avoid five oversubscribed courses (education, nursing, business....
SERVIAM: Service & Leadership By Dr. Clarence M. Batan, sociologist
Click to download this working speech entitled,SERVIAM, reflecting my views on service and leadership prepared for various schools, colleges and universities. This module was first presented during the 31st Annual National Convention and Seminar-Workshop for Campus Advisers and 15th Annual National Convention and Seminar-Workshop for Student Leaders, November 26-29, 2010 at Teachers Camp, Baguio City.
Pinoy Youth & Globalization By Dr. Clarence M. Batan, sociologist
Click to download the working speech entitled, A Reflection on Pinoy Youth & Globalization,prepared for the 2nd Mid-year National Convention and Seminar-Workshop for Campus Advisers and Student Leaders on July 28-30, 2011 at La Carmela de Boracay Resort, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, with the theme “Strengthening Campus Advising and Student Leadership Amidst Global Challenges”.
A Call to Share “Batong Bahay” Book Sharing Project By Dr. Clarence M. Batan
I wrote the book, Batong Bahay, to capture the sociology of my own family. After its formal release by the UST Publishing House last February, 2010, the first batch of readers including friends, relatives, teachers and students and some unknown individuals generally found the book to have captured the inner-workings of the ordinary Filipino family’s everyday struggles, conflicts, tensions and “little” victories amidst the ailing backdrop of poverty in the Philippines. I received numerous comments that Batong Bahay served as aninspiration and reflected human values that constitute the dynamics of Filipino life in the contemporary global world.
This sentiment was shared by President Benigno S. Aquino III in his letter to me:
“Natitiyak kong ang Batong Bahay ay magsisilbing inspirasyon para sa ating mga kababayan upang mas bigyan nila ng halaga at pagmamahal ang kanilang mga pamilyang lagi nating kaagapay sa pagharap sa hamon ng buhay at sa pagkamit ng ating mga pangarap.” (I am certain that “Batong Bahay” will serve as an inspiration to our fellow Filipinos in upholding the value and love to their respective families who are their beloved partners in facing life challenges and in fulfilling their dreams.)
In this regard, I am launching the Batong Bahay Book Sharing Projectto provide donated copies of my book to various school libraries, government, non-governmental and private learning resource centers and organizations, and selected individuals. The primary goal of this project is to inspire fellow Filipinos to develop a reading culture and encourage the writing of folk and local life histories.
To date, I have personally shared almost 300 free book copies to various organizations and individuals. Each book costs Php 220.00 (roughly US$5.00).
If you are interested in buying/donating a Batong Bahay book under your name, or the name of your organization, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 0906-528-0027 or 0933-934-8964. For North America, please contact Maria Rocy Tendencia at email@example.com or call 1-902-404-7965.
Batong Bahay music video on YouTube
I am very pleased to embed the YouTube version of "Awit ng Batong Bahay" (below), the song of my recently published book. Limited copies are available at National Bookstores nationwide. If you are interested, place an order so that more copies will be printed. Or, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that when I get to visit your schools, I could bring some copies. Just email me if you want to invite me to your schools.
Bicol Youth Congress By Dr. Clarence M. Batan, sociologist
Christmas Home By Dr. Clarence M. Batan, sociologist
There’s something about returning home,
after years of travels and studies.
There’s something about reunions
where once more, I get to touch, hug,
embrace, kiss and chat with my loved ones.
I thought I lost them but they told me,
“I was never forgotten!”
And I ask why?
“Because of the remittances and gifts
you always send us especially
during Christmas time”.
I chuckled and told my family:
“Now that I am here with you,
physically present and the present is just me;
will our Christmas be alright?”
And without hesitation, they all say, “Yes!”
For this year, the gift
this holiday season gives my family
is not distance nor absence –
but my being home.
November 29, 2010: My PACSA experience
For the third time, I was invited by the Philippine Association of Campus Student Advisers to be their plenary speaker before more than 1,400 national delegates at Teachers' Camp, Baguio City last November 27, 2010.
I will never forget the experience of getting an extraordinary attention from extraordinary students and campus advisers. All of them melted my heart and inspired my soul to continue the ordinary things that I do and the special sociological ideas that define my being.
LAST JUNE 9, 2010, six days before the formal opening of classes in the Philippines, 72 children from Kasile Barrio School in Talim Island (Binangonan, Rizal) benefited from the Building and Bridging Education (BaBE) School Project sponsored by the United Church of Christ (UCC) – Elmsdale Pastoral Charge and some generous benefactors from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada. This BaBE School Project envisions building a relationship of goodwill between the Canadian and Filipino children by establishing a bridgeofhope to the less fortunate children of Talim Island whose community is still recovering from the damages brought about by typhoons and floods last year. (Click here or the title to read the full blog.)
Over the past few days, I attempted capturing in words what transpired during my thesis defence. But for some reason, I found the experience very difficult to describe – somewhat telling my deep self to shut-up, to stop writing. The sentiment just wanted me to listen and to feel. I was deeply overwhelmed by the experience. Everyone who witnessed the defence was telling me that it was a huge success! But for me, it felt unreal. It felt like a dream.
(Click the title to read the full blog)
Generosity from afar By Marilyn Smulders
PhD student Clarence Batan rallies his department to raise money for flood victims in his native Philippines. (Click image to view article.)
From Halifax to Talim Island, Philippines:
A breeze of generosity for flood victims
By Clarence M. Batan
(PREVIEW) ONE HUNDRED FIFTEEN FAMILIES from the flood-affected fishing village of Barangay Kasile, Talim Island, Binangonan, Rizal, Philippines benefited from the $1,085.00 CAD donation, which I generated from the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University. There were also friends, both known and unknown to me, who sent donations upon learning about this fund-raising initiative. For this, I am so grateful for the trust and generosity of people who took part in this project.
(Click this image of rice cavans to see the full report in PDF.)
The community relief project was implemented last October 29-30, 2009 through the assistance of Mr. Jefferson Aquino, a colleague from the University of Santo Tomas, and the leadership of my local research assistants, Ryan Daita and Carol Ceremonia. For three weeks, I facilitated the money transfer and preliminary coordination with the local community officials and volunteers through online banking, emails, text messaging and online chats. The implementation of the project was delayed due to two storms (named: Parma & Ramil) that immediately followed the destructive Typhoon Ketsana (local name: Ondoy). Again, these typhoons brought heavy rains and winds to Rizal province; making travel to Talim Island unsafe. For more report click the image above.
Damaging flood in the Philippines and my research site
Yesterday morning, I was interviewed by Don Connolly and Elizabeth Logan on their radio program, Information Morning at CBC Radio One (90.5) about the damaging flood that struck the Philippines last September 26.
(Click the image to listen to the radio clip.)
While the condition of my family and relatives is relatively good, after this flash flood and two typhoons (storms), Talim Island, the community where I do my research needs urgent help. I came across this news link entitled, ‘Ondoy’ brings windfall to lake fishers(http://inquirer.net/specialreports/ondoyreliefdrive/view.php?db=1&article=20091005-228418 ), which specifically urged relief workers to reach Talim Island. Salvador France, the local fishing organization (Pamalakaya) vice-charman explains that “the victims in Talim seemed to have been forgotten. No relief operations have been conducted or relief goods delivered to the island”.
Talim is about 30-40 minutes boat ride from my residence at mainland Binangonan, Rizal. The surrounding barangay (villages) around the fish port are still submerged into 2-4 feet of water making the travel to Talim more difficult. My family members confirmed that the water level in my research site rose beyond normal level and some families need assistance.
I am in touch with my local research assistants to identify those families who are severely affected by the flood. I hope to generate enough funds to help them.
My intention in having this website is not to advertise myself or my work, but to examine how many of those who have access to the Internet get to discover my existence. To date, I have a good number of online interactions as by-products of this website.
One was with an undergraduate student of the University of Santo Tomas (Manila, Philippines) who discovered my research works through googling. He was writing a thesis about the media and the Filipino youth and sought my help on the subject matter. With this, I realized that a website can be a powerful tool in ‘bridging connections’ among those who share similar interests.
I, too, have had rekindled conversations with old friends who re-discovered me over the net, and new friends who shared fascination with the works that I have done or are currently doing.
Overall, I view this process likened to ‘growing-up’. This is because I have yet to really understand the technical logic of maintaining a website and exploit the power it endures.
What this website offers are links to my personal blog, biography, creative works, current research, selected publications and picture gallery. I may still be on the margins of this virtual world, but should you find this website interesting, please let know, email me. I look forward to hearing your comments, my virtual friends.