Of people maligning native-made technology
while contented in ready-made imports
"What a waste of talent!!!! Design a real vehicle Prof with real materials. Not a vehicle made of bamboo."
These are the words this writer had sought in one of the comments section about a professor who afford to use domestic materials in his so-called creation.
Known as "Bangkarwayan", that creation, rather than invention from a University of the Philippines-Manila Professor Benjamin Mangubat had afford to use both solar and wind power as its source of energy, and yet what is been heavily featured much is the use of bamboo and other native materials as its body.
Technically, the name Bangkarwayan comes from the Filipino word "Bangka" (boat), car, and "Kawayan" (bamboo); and aside from its Its dark brown coat gives an age-old appearance reminiscent of early 20th century experimental vehicles of the west. On land, it can reach 40 kilometres per hour, drawing power from two sets of five 12 volt batteries; while on water, it has rudder, a propeller, empty plastic bottles for floaters, and a separate smaller engine.
According to Mangubat, he wanted his students to think out of the box when it comes to creating things and ideas, and often cites Dr. Jose Rizal as his model of inventiveness and creative thinking his students should ought to emulate. However, he said that most of his students are simply bookish rather than being creative and expressive. "I want to show my students that I can also walk my talk." He added.
However, in spite of his contributions, as well as others trying to instil resilience and creativity, most people rather chose to criticize these people as anti-progress if not wasting time, or worse, crazed in making those creations. The quote stated above showed the narrow mindedness of a "learned person" that as if trying to offer something "better than bamboo."
But since he and others is trying to offer something, or even babbling about science, then how come they can't speak about industrialisation? Mangubat may have succeeded better if the Philippines had been industrialised, and industrialisation involves utilizing things for the greater interest even those of Bamboo.
Remember: there's a designer whom used Bamboo in making a bike, as well as speaker for Iphones.
But actually, they can't say something other than downplaying their contribution. Yes, the Bangkarwayan is also prone to accidents and likely to fail due to its appearance, but Professor Mangubat afford to ride in it, that he tested the speed of the vehicle as it ran by wind and the sun; people whom afford to heckle are just plain contented in petrol-powered vehicles, that they treated their vehicles as primarily a source of pride, a status symbol than a means of transporting themselves.
Much more that they enjoy the imports while doubting the credibility of what is carefully crafted in its own backyard. Massive influx of foreign goods had crippled domestic ones as the government fails to protect no matter they urge people to "buy Filipino" via its own propaganda mill. Cheap advertising tricks had urged many to equate something foreign as absolutely modern not also knowing that some, if mot most parts are also assembled in the processing zones around the country like microchips for computers and cellphones, if not the age old shoes and apparel being sold expensively while its workers low paid and crisis striken.
And yet in spite of having processing zones afford to assemble for their foreign clients and their familiar names, few people like Professor Mangubat had kept the Panday Pira spirit of forging new things out of existing knowledge in pursuit of contributing to its own community. People may still cling to their slander but did they try? Did they also think out of the box to create new things and ideas in par with the modern?
For sure some of them had once tinkered with science and technology, that also some of them they took courses whose emphasis is on science and technology, but out of practicality their jobs are far from its supposed interest; if there is then they less took part in forging and more of spending. They afford to criticize the prevalence of the Filipino Jeepney, and yet they can't speak, even once about industrialising the society and develop the countryside in order to utilize resources and develop what's anew and beyond the familiar.
The Department of Science and Technology had afford to create a mass transit vehicle such as those in UP Diliman and in Taguig; but the present system that overseers the said department, in its issue about its own mass transport such as its Light Rail and Mass Rapid Transits, failed to resolve and hence became a subject of criticisms and heckles, much more that the budget they afford to say about 'for rehabilitation and improvement of stations and buying new trains' is all but a hollow rhetoric as they continue toying with the idea about privatising the entire Mass Transport System.
And since they afford to brag about rehabilitating and buying new trains, did the system afford to support campaigns for industrialisation, especially in realising the nation's need for a bigger and greater heavy industry? People had seen jeepneys that had been assembled in Parañaque, but the engine comes from Japan. Men like Mangubat did afford to create their own engine, but these are embryonic, experimental with the system failed to support them through what's been said earlier.
Simply because it harms their interests such as those of oil companies and compradores benefiting in selling cars. Industrialisation is a rhetoric to be dabbled upon by these people in order to sneer the idealistic through the ears, but half-hearted in realizing its importance in a growing society.
Back to what's been said earlier, these so-called critics had no words to say other than contented in imports and letting foreign investors move freely in its motives. Nothing's wrong in foreign investment on the first place, but has to be tempered with domestic development such as stimulating production and the encouragement of a patriotic, scientific, and mass oriented education in order to cultivate Filipinos creativity, ingenuity, and deeply rooted in its heritage and identity (more than the usual flag waving and cheering for imports). Mangubat wanted his students to cultivate in a way Jose Rizal insist in his written works and actual deeds.
But since they afford to assail, rather than criticise, what did they do? Just contented in imports simply because they are modern? Brand new? That Industrialisation is passe in favor of letting a country be just opened and contented in foreign investments, prioritising profit-oriented tourism and redescribe outsourcing as industry?
For sure most of them are butt-hurt in reading these words, much more that they would insist that the Philippines should be contented in things imported, if not forcing the nation be opened altogether to the world without focusing on its own, no matter how beneficial it is but too lowly as compared to high-end of the west.