October 28, 2004

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CRAZED By Patricia Chanco Evangelista

The Philippine STAR 10/22/2004

Interesting article about good causes. (Or interesting exposition of how we're so used to being able to dig up information that stuff that looks somewhat fishy gets checked quickly.)

I love the Philippines, and would like to spend my life helping in whatever way I can.

You can get it from the Google cache. Philippine Star's site is slightly broken.


If you're looking for more information on "Faye", check out the following links. I've compiled them from the updates below to make your browsing life easier.

Static pages:

- We%20lied%20because%20no%20one%20loved%20us,%20says%20'whiz'%20kid%20ma%20-%20INQ7.net (2004.11.14)

End to the saga. Faye story hoax by emotionally disturbed mom.

- Church group apologizes, says whiz kid story not true (2004.11.13)

Retraction by Bread of Life Ministries

- Despite doubts, 12-yr-old girl keeps faith in RP (2004.11.09)

More detailed account.

- Elevate Faye without stepping on anybody (2004.11.07)

- Faye being used in political attack on gov't? (2004.11.04) The

Postscript article points out that this is not just about the existence or nonexistence of Faye or even the veracity of the story, but also the political criticism in the story.

- Is Faye's story true, or just another fairy tale? (2004.11.02) The

previous column raised questions that need to be answered.

- Misplaced priorities can mislead the nation (base article) The article

from Bread of Life Ministries.

Dynamic pages, discussion:

- J. Angelo Racoma's blog - (Hey, long time no see. I know him from

way back.) Has archived copy of Evangelista follow-up and link to Philstar article, which will be broken really soon because Philstar doesn't archive articles. Odd, that. Anyway, the blog is probably the best resource you'll find. Check the Nov 5, Nov%204 and Nov%203 entries.

- The Faye Story (ongoing), a blog entry with a lot of discussion. A

number of people in the discussion are convinced it's a hoax. Others claim it is true. The discussion becomes racist near the end, but is otherwise interesting. Another discussion from the same blog has degenerated into puns and kneejerk proofs of how it's impossible to verify identity on the Internet, but may eventually contain something interesting. <shrug>

- GovPH thread (2004.10.29 - present) Another discussion forum with a

handful of posts. Patricia Evangelista's first article is reposted here. cetacea commented that the constant references to Jasmine Trias seems to be a display of crab mentality.

- PinoyPC - Noteworthy because of the scan of the original ad,

if you're into that sort of thing.

Here are my past updates:

UPDATE: Anyone have any other information? A Web search (even news.google.com) doesn't turn up any other articles about this Intercontinental Science Quiz Net in Australia, which is odd for an international competition.

UPDATE: 2004.11.03

Apparently, the only source for the Faye story is a paid advertisement, so the info is iffy. That's a pity, because there are so many other stories out there that are less outrageous and yet more inspiring. We don't have to have against-all-odds stories to take pride in being Filipino. There is also courage in the little things we do.

I find the original speech also a little over the top. I should get around to writing down my opinion on the thing. I guess that's why I'm not a debater, eh?

I also find it rather strange that a number of people who arrived at this site looking for information on "Faye" and the Intercontinental Science Quiz Net were strongly convinced that it was a hoax, and rather vocal about saying so. I think those people are focusing on the wrong thing. It's not about the existence or nonexistence of one person, nor is it even about this preoccupation we might have with media. I think the most important thing to remember here is that there is a world outside our cozy little niche with stories we do not know and perhaps never hear of, the truth or falsehood of which we do not personally know and cannot because we have not yet stepped outside our comfort zone.

You may think it's easy for me to say that, surrounded by autumn leaves in a First World country, but there is more to this than I can find the words to explain.

I miss the Philippines. I miss the way the streetchildren's stares shock me into realizing that all I have done so far is lacking, that there is still more to be done. I miss the way the squalor of squatter communities reminds me that I need to find something I can do to ease the urban pressure. I miss the questions in my students' eyes, questions that I try to answer but fail to explain to my satisfaction. The Philippines is not perfect. Far from it, even. It is that very imperfection that brings me out of myself and makes me reach for greater things.

What is one more candle in a land lit by a thousand suns? It is in dark places that light is needed most.

UPDATE: 2004.11.05

Followup stories. Posting because people who read this blog might be curious.

- Faye being used in political attack on gov't? (2004.11.04) - Is Faye's story true, or just another fairy tale? (2004.11.02)

- The Faye Story, a blog

entry with many comments. Turns into a racist discussion near the end, but oh well.

There's apparently a followup by Patricia Chanco Evangelista in the 11/05/2004 Philippine STAR, but I can't find an online copy. I saw it on a mailing list, though, which means people will probably forward it again. <wry grin>


Congrats, Kendra!

The School of Science and Engineering is proud to annouce that Charlotte Kendra G. Castillo (BS Physics and Class Valedictorian of Batch 2004) was one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines proclaimed during the awarding ceremonies in Malacanang Palace on Friday, 22 October 2004. Kendra was among the 30 national finalists who participated in a leadership laboratory from October 14-22. Congratulations, Kendra! We are truly proud of you!

Not that it should surprise anyone that Kendra's an outsanding student, but I'm proud of her, and I'm glad I know not only the academic side of her but also her as a friend.