Viral ‘PBB’ quiz bee revives calls to bring back Philippine History in HS curriculum

April 12, 2022 - 1:25 PM
PBB Kumunity Teen Edition
Screengrab from a video posted on the "PBB Kumunity Season 10 Plugs" playlist on "Pinoy Big Brother's" Facebook page on April 10, 2022. (Facebook/PBBabscbntv)

Calls to bring back the Philippine History in the high school curriculum were raised after “Pinoy Big Brother” teen housemates gave incorrect answers to a time-bound quiz bee.

A clip of two contestants in the “Pinoy Big Brother: Kumunity Season 10 Teen Edition” went viral after they wrongly answered a question about the collective name of the three martyred priests who were sentenced to death by Spanish authorities.

“Ang tatlong Catholic priests na sina Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, Jacinto Zamora na hinatulan ng kamatayan noong panahon ng Kastila ay mas kilala sa tawag na…?” host Robi Domingo asked.

The housemate who first touched the buzzer attempted to answer “MarJo,” an attempt to unite the first names of Gomez and Burgos.

The second contestant answered, “MaJoHa,” another attempt at combining the priests’ first names. However, the martyrs have always been known in history as “GomBurZa,” taken after their last names.

The GomBurZa were garroted by the Spaniards for supposedly instigating the Cavite mutiny despite doubtful evidence. Their martyrdom led to the first stirrings of the Philippine Revolution.

The mutiny referred to the uprising of Filipino soldiers and laborers who revolted against the Spaniards for voiding their exemption from the payment of tributes.

READ: How Filipinos can honor Gomburza on their 150th martyrdom anniversary

The clip, uploaded on “PBB’s” official Facebook, garnered about 3.8 million views so far.

The viral video caught the attention of two groups, the High School Philippine History Movement and the Philippine Social Conservative Movement.

The High School Philippine History Movement resurfaced its 2018 petition for the Department of Education to bring back the subject of Philippine History “as a dedicated subject in the secondary level of basic education” and “return it as a reinvigorated discipline.”

The organization also posted some infographics which included a card saying, “GOMBURZA, hindi MAJOHA.”

“DepEd Order 20, 2014 removed Philippine History as a DEDICATED SUBJECT in the high school Araling Panlipunan curriculum. We seek its return through our advocacy,” it said on Facebook.

According to the organization, the Philippine History and Government used to be studied in first-year high school in Social Studies. Asian Studies, World History, and Economics came in the succeeding years, respectively.

Now, the revised curriculum states that junior high school students (or those from Grades 7 to 10) in the same subject have Asian Studies, World History, Economics, and Contemporary Studies.

“Tulungan niyo po kaming ibalik ang purong pag-aaral ng Philippine History sa high school curriculum! Pumirma po tayo sa petisyon para maibalik ito!” the organization said in its post.

The Philippine Social Conservative Movement, meanwhile, expressed its dismay over the “PBB” housemates’ clip and called on the Department of Education “to look into the matter.”

“This problem on education is not a light thing to pass on. This is already alarming,” the organization said on Facebook.

“As early as Grade 1 in Elementary School, the name ‘GomBurZa’ (Gomez, Burgos, and Zamora) was already taught in the consciousness of the Filipino youth to forever memorialize the greatness of our forefathers and instill in the hearts of the next generation the spirit of Nationalism and love for one’s country,” it added.

“Seeing the ignorance of the youth to the even most basic nuggets of our history as exemplified in this segment could not help but bring to tears the concern of what will the next generation of Filipinos will be?” the org further said.

The org ended its post with the hashtag “#SaveHistorySavetheFuture” and with the following phrases:

“Save our History! Save our Future!”

“Reclaim History subject in the School Curriculum!” 

Robi, the host who acted as quizmaster, also expressed concern about the telling quiz bee.

Sa una, nakakatawa pero habang tumatagal, ‘di na nakakatuwa. Sana maging daan ito para makita kung ano ang kakulangan sa sistema ng ating edukasyon. Sa lahat ng content creators, let’s battle #MaJoHa,” he tweeted on Tuesday.  

Other gaffes 

There were other answers in the game that similarly caught the attention of Filipinos. These were separately compiled as a post and a video.

In one of the clips, one housemate answered “Intramuros” when Robi asked them to identify where “The Mansion,” which initially housed governors-general during the American occupation, is.

He hinted that the place is dubbed the “Summer Capital of the Philippines.” The answer is Baguio City.

Robi also asked them what another alias revolutionary figure Melchora Aquino was known for, to which one answered “Ninoy Aquino.” The correct answer is Tandang Sora.

He likewise asked them about the nickname of national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal, to which one answered “J. Rizal.” He is known as Pepe.

The teen housemates were also asked to identify the bridge connecting Leyte and Samar, also considered the longest bridge in the country.

One answered “SLEX” or South Luzon Expressway. The correct answer is San Juanico Bridge.

Apart from the perceived gaps in the education system, other Facebook users blamed it on the youth’s supposed behavior and lifestyle nowadays.

“Too much Tiktok, puro pa-cute sa Instagram, panunuod ng walang kwentang vlogs, too much showbiz, pag o-online games, etc. Hindi na nag-aaral at walang proper guidance ng parents dahil busy din sa social media. Kahit kumakain nakahawak pa rin sa phone. Ano na??” a Filipino commented on the post.

“TikTok pa more!” another Facebook user exclaimed.

“Ayan puro landi, TikTok, socmeds (social media) at Wattpad pa more pero (‘yung) mga bansag or muka ng mga bayani sa school, nganga. Aral (kasi) muna,” a different Filipino commented.

Vice President Leni Robredo, a presidential bet, previously said that she will declare an “education crisis” if elected. According to her, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the access to learning and the quality of education being received by students.

Robredo made the same call last year when she urged the government to declare such a crisis following the World Bank’s report that more than 80% of Filipino students do not meet the learning standards for their grade level.

READ: World Bank deletes Philippine education report from website after DepEd’s demand for apology

The report was decried by DepEd while other senators told them to “don’t shoot the messenger,” referring to the World Bank.

RELATED: Numbers back World Bank’s report on Philippine education system in ‘crisis’