"Damaged culture" and "the sick man of Asia" are just two of the many phrases used to describe the Philippine situation today. Questions such as "what's wrong, what's right with the Filipino?" have set many Filipino minds upon some deep and not-so-deep soul-searching and brainstorming. Is American democracy fit for the Philippines? Is Catholicism brought by Spain partly responsible for the failure of the country to become another economic "tiger" of Asia? The questions have not been answered with finality, although short-term and medium-term responses have been proposed and realized.
Many seem to agree, however, that the root of the crisis facing the Filipinos in the past two or three decades is moral in nature. This calls for a long process of social transformation, of value recovery, formation, or transformation as the case may be. Education plays a crucial part in this process, and indeed teachers in both the private and public sectors , since the People Power Revolution of 1986, have responded to this call by introducing reforms in curriculum, content, style, and even mission statements. Such groups and institutions as The Association of Philippine Colleges of Arts and Sciences (APCAS), The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), not to mention The Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), have produced various programs for value education. The Senate passed a resolution, calling for a task force that would inquire into the "strengths and weaknesses of the Filipino with a view to solving the social ills and strengthening the nation's moral fiber". The task force was composed of academics and its results are included here. Teachers with low salaries and academic institutions of meager budget responded magnanimously.
Sometime in 1988, a need was felt by Filipino philosophers belonging to the Philippine Association for Philosophical Research (PAPR) to lay down the theoretical philosophical foundations of value education. Many teachers at the elementary and high school levels were then practitioners of various programs and projects on value education without being aware of the philosophical underpinnings of the practice. In January of 1989, DECS and the Ateneo de Manila University, with the encouragement of George F. McLean, O.M.I., of the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, held a roundtable discussion on "The Philippine Context of Values Education". The forum gathered experts from various disciplines and focused on the value resources of the Filipino people, the contemporary transformation of values and their implications for education.
This volume contains most of the papers of that roundtable discussion. It also contains the contributions of professors belonging to The Philippine Association for Philosophical Research and to the Ateneo de Manila University whose work has been published in Pantas, a journal for higher education.
It is our hope that this volume will contribute to the moral transformation of Philippine society.
Manuel B. Dy, Jr., Ph.D.
Ateneo de Manila University