As you might know by now, “MAJOHA” is the new millennial name for the three martyred Filipino priests popularly known in our history books as GOMBURZA: Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora. “MAJOHA” stands for Mariano, Jose, and Jacinto. The “HA” should be correctly spelled as “JA” and the acronym should be like “MAJOJA” but for the sake of “sound like” mentality and maybe just to show off one’s sophistication it was spelled as “MAJOHA”. Or shall we say: Welcome back Jejemons?

And SLEX is the new millennial name for the San Juanico Bridge. SLEX by now stands for “Samar-Leyte Express”. Funny? You have my permission to laugh. Hearing this story related to me by an officemate, I cannot help but laugh at the sheer obtuseness of the incident. For sure you know where this thing came from. It has gone viral in the social media this past few days and had captured the attention and imaginations of netizens all over the country. Whether the incident was scripted or not, I will not conjecture.

Nonetheless, this incident is no laughing matter. We only have to remind ourselves of another story that has gone viral, where a young student was heard commenting: “Lumpo pala si Mabini” after watching the movie “Luna”. If this incidence of historical ignorance will become widespread among our millennials, we will be in great trouble.

It brings to the fore the issue of whether we should be teaching in our educational system and curriculum the subject we call HISTORY. As of now history was removed from the curriculum of the K to 12. Off course there is always the explanation by our education experts that history is integrated in the social studies curriculum.  But how integrated is the integration is another question.

It seems that the social sciences have been sidelined by the K to 12 program. The emphasis is more on the STEM subjects or subjects that will make and develop students in order to pass the licensure exams. Hence for some colleges and universities, the elementary and secondary schools notwithstanding, there is that bias against the social sciences subjects. They try to relegate to the periphery the subjects of history, social sciences, literature, civics, and humanities. For them these subjects are irrelevant to the development and training of their students. They would rather give their students subjects that will increase their chances of passing the licensure exam.

Why history as a subject is necessary? First, education should not only develop the IQ of the student. Education must also develop the EQ of the student. Education must also develop the SQ of the student. And education must also develop the CQ of the student. CQ stand for Cultural Quotient. It refers to the Cultural Literacy of the student. And the subject History plays a big role in the development of the student’s cultural literacy.

The teaching of history contributes to the collective memory of the community, of the nation. And through that process of learning one’s history, the community and the nation acquires its collective identity and collective awareness or consciousness. This collective identity combined with collective consciousness become the vehicle for the community’s or nation’s advance for economic progress and development. Without this collective identity and collective consciousness, a nation fails to unite itself in defining its national vision and without that vision a nation perishes. And in this election period HISTORY is necessary and a much needed commodity for if we will not learn from our nation’s history, we will tragically repeat it again. For the truism is true: History repeats itself to a nation that is ignorant of its own history. And that’s what the Greeks calls tragedy. (SNIPER PATROL/BY: SEVZ VIDAL)