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