Philosophy 10 under Sir Bernard Caslib, Jr. is one of the most unforgettable GE Subjects I’ve had in my 4 years of stay in the University. I first heard of him when I was taking Philosophy 11 under Sir Agerico De Villa. My coursemate, Sarah Alemania who was taking up Soc Sci 3 under Sir Caslib told me about him. And then, Summer 2013 came when Sarah together with Hannah Timtiman and Stephanie Cabana had Philo 10 under him and they would always post on Facebook how much fun the subject was and how clingy they were to their classmates. When 1st semester came, I decided to take Philo 10 since I still need to take SSP subjects required by our curriculum. Of course, I wanted to have a fun GE subject especially that I am currently taking thesis and feasibility study, too. And as recommended by Steph, Hannah and Sarah, I enlisted it and fortunately got it in the first batch run. During the first meeting, I was surprised that most of my classmates are freshies. I felt uncomfortable for a moment because I felt old. But I said to myself that it was my time to “shine”.
Philo 10 is a very interesting GE subject. I never got to learn philosophy when I was in high school. I do know that Plato, Socrates and Aristotle existed but I never knew who they really were, what they contributed to society. We were required to read these thick handouts so that we would be able to have discussion with sir during classes. Most of the advices given to us how to survive in Sir Caslib’s class are saying that we should read, read and read. The moment the readings were handed out to us, I knew my reading comprehension skills were to be tested. There were times I did not able to read them because of the requirements from other subjects. Whenever that happened, I felt nervous that Sir Caslib might call me and I would not be able to answer. Fortunately, I got passed through all those times.
We had class activities where we sang, danced and acted. We had different groups each activity so that we get to know the rest of the class. My favorite activity was when we acted a skit about Maytismo and Marxismo. Our story was about the pork barrel issue. The script was crammed and we did not practice due to time constraints but we pulled it off in the end although it was not the best performance. Another activity was when we sang karaoke. We were asked to pick a Filipino song that would best describe our assigned readings which was about Filipino Language and Philosophy. We sang Kailan by MYMP to convey when the Filipinos will appreciate its own language. Because once we do that, we would be have our own definition of Filipino Philosophy.
We had outside activities such as field trip to Quezon, Laguna and Antipolo and charity at Kanlungan ni Maria in Antipolo. At first, I did not see the significant of those activities but I realized they were somehow application of what we learn from class. For example, we discussed about the meaning of life. We were tasked to interact with the elders in Kanlungan ni Maria not only to just make them happy but also to find out what life they had before. Since they are the more experienced, we could learn from them and maybe prevent the mistakes they had before. As for the field trip, we went to different churches in Quezon and Laguna. They were all beautiful, each having its own history to tell. I also loved the environment in Laguna. The class competition was also memorable for me because the whole class showed teamwork in order for us to win. We won the cheering competition.
Sir Caslib always asked us how our weekends were whenever the classes started. You don’t get to have a professor like him every day. I also found out he is fond of movies because he always asked us if we already watched this particular movie. In fact, he always related the movies he watched to Philosophy. I found it funny at first but I realized that Sir Caslib made sense every time he did that. He advised us to watch movies not only to enjoy but to contemplate on the philosophy behind them. I will start doing that after this semester. I can consider him as one of the best professors I’ve had in UP. I mean, I really felt like I was in UP. I actually appreciate the times when he scolded at our class about not performing well as class. I felt like it was a motivation for us to do better than the other. Besides, among the 5 classes, we are the Golden Mean according to him. I’m not really sure if that’s a good thing but according to Aristotle, it is the desirable middle.
Overall, my Philo 10 experience is unforgettable. It is not the easiest GE subject you could have but it’s worth to take most especially under Sir Caslib. I am thankful I enlisted in his class because I gained a lot of friends and learned a lot new things. Our class may not be as ideally close as it should be but nevertheless, it was fun being part of their lives. As a non-freshie, at first I felt uncomfortable being the “kuya” but in the end, it was fun answering their questions about UP Life. They used to ask what GE Subjects to take or what my course is all about. I felt like a veteran since I could answer most of their questions. Maybe that is something unique for me. I don’t get to have a lot of freshie classmates all the time and I even thought it was going to be boring. I felt like I was Aling Cita to them—giving them advices how to make their UP Life better. Another memorable experience I had was when we joined the 1st General Philosophy Quiz Bee held by the Department of Philosophy. I really wanted to join because ever since high school, I was fond of joining (and winning) quiz bees. The last time I joined one was during 4th year high school. That is almost about four years already since I last participated. Sir Caslib encouraged us to join. Actually no one from the class wanted to join for some unknown reasons but I was willing to represent WFU. I was happy when I learned that Kenji who is running for Summa Cum Laude by the way and ShelI were going to join. During the day of the competition, I did not review anything at all. I just relied on stock knowledge. Our team name was Socratres, the reason being the group composing of three members and not because we aim for a tres grade in the subject. I got surprised that we had the lead in almost all rounds. The scope of the quiz bee was Philo 1, Philo 10 and Philo 11. In the end, we emerged as the 1st placers! I felt so proud on behalf of my class. At least our class proved something. I admit that I was not able to give out my best for this class since I am having a heavy-load semester (thesis, feasibility), but I still feel that I have shared my ideas and insights. And also, I felt more obliged to become a better UP student because as Sir Caslib has told us at last day of discussion, we have the power and therefore it is our responsibility to use this wisely. I am not really aiming for a high grade (although having a line-of-1-grade would be a delight). I know that everything I learned from this class can be applicable to real life. So whoever plans to take an SSP subject, I recommend you to take Philosophy 10 under Sir Bernard Caslib, Jr. You won’t regret a single moment of your life unless you don’t read your handouts.