MGA MUNTING TINIG
“At every step, the child should be allowed
to meet real experiences in life; the thorns
should never be plucked from his roses”
-Ellen Key, Swedish reformer and educationalist
The realities that besiege Philippine society nowadays greatly affect Filipinos, men, women, young and old. Children are at high risk of suffering the enormous effects of poverty, illiteracy, poor health and insurgency to name a few, effects which could corrupt their hearts and minds, and rob them of their “childhood” and future. At a young age, children do not have the grasp of understanding the realities that surround them; they become victims of circumstance, deprived of the opportunity to “grow”, live a normal life that every child deserves, and undergo the holistic process of psychological development.
The film “Mga Munting Tinig” gives us a glimpse of the experiences of children in a rural community, living a simple life yet full of hardship, surrounded with illiteracy, hopelessness, and insurgency. The children’s daily experiences at Malawig Elementary School, where the main character Melinda teaches and pupils like Popoy and Ida are schooling is an epitome of the still existing poor quality of education in rural schools, characterized by incompetent teaching staff, dilapidated buildings and equipments, scarcity of books, student absenteeism, and many other things considered “normal” and typical scenes in the localities that badly need concrete and immediate actions of the concerned agencies of the government.
The movie, generally, directly presents said irregularities in rural schools to the extent of “inferiorating” the image and competency of teachers, the “intentional” ignorance on the part of the supervisors and education officials to see the pitiable conditions of schools and students, and the government’s continuing neglect of providing Filipino children quality education and their families’ economic opportunities to fight poverty. Despite of this, the movie did not fail to highlight the “greatness” and the passion among teachers in educating children thirsty of nurturance and knowledge, as in the case of Melinda. The teaching profession is a noble profession as many people would say. Indeed, it is not an easy job to do. Self-less service, commitment, passion, and love for teaching and the students as well are the