June 11, 2007

That Hah-vahd thing

Apparently, I have friends from abroad and also from the country who read my blog and also know the subject of my previous post and also HLS. Suffice it to say, I've gotten my fair share of ribbing and also a lot of information (from my students, current and previous) about the background leading to the commencement address. Suffice it to say that, instead of res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself), it is apparently a case of "there is more than meets the eye" in this Oscar Tan thing.

I cannot reveal though what has been sent to me because a lot of them, even if true, would be defamatory. Apparently, Oscar elicits the same reaction everywhere he is--either you like him or you don't. But the hidden story behind the Harvard commencement address of 2007 is apparently more interesting and funnier than the actual fact that Oscar Tan was "selected" to give it.


Anonymous said...

Can't resist eh?

I was one of the early receipients of the commencement address thing, and was also a subject of more than a fair share of ribbing -- being a close friend of quite a number of oskee's brods, and having been once "victimized" by Mr. Tan's... uhm...shortcomings, particularly that relating to his deficiency in the realm of interpersonal relations.

I am certain that you are happy and fulfilled with your advocacy, and your teaching, but just this once, I'm wishing that you were a senator or a congressman instead, just so that you can come up with a privilege speech, revealing the "hidden story" to which you allude, the one more interesting and funnier than the actual facts, without fear of criminal prosecution.

I will run into you again one of these days (in some coffee shop, probably the one at Bahay ng Alumni), sir, and for once will probably do more than the usual respectful tilt of my head, ask you about this boy's "adventures", with the hope that you will not hold back on account of possible defamation charges.

Keep on writing, sir. Yours is an excellent blog.

incarnadine29 said...

Alam ko din 'yan, sir. Hehehe.

Anonymous said...

I have never met Tan but all the fanfare about his recent commencement speech has made me seriously doubt his integrity.

The articles that have come out about Tan are incredulous. I was shocked when I read that he had to survive on "leftover" food. My initial feelings of pity were overtaken by incredulity when I read Tan say in one article:

"I am practically a fresh graduate so I was lucky to receive a generous financial aid package from Harvard Law School. It was funded in part by Harvard’s Ayala Scholarship Fund and by a grant from Mrs. Loida Nicolas Lewis. My law firm, Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz (Accra) Law Offices, also provided financial support, although I was not successful in requesting Founding Partner and Harvard Law alumnus Teddy Regala, Sr. for his “Regala Scholarship." The balance was paid for through what my brother calls “COD" (Care of Daddy)."

With such a "generous financial aid package", how on earth can he claim to be a starving student? Determined, I asked around. A brother of a friend who graduated from Harvard last year after four years of college told me that one could go on 3 full meals with $12-15 which is roughly converted to P500-700. Students with limited budgets can choose from a variety of part-time jobs which pay anywhere from $10-$15 an hour. Doing the math, Tan could have "survived" even on his "limited budget" by working just an hour a day rather than practically scavenging for food the entire year. Also, are we to believe that the son of a successful lawyer like Atty. Tan of the Tan Acut Law Office would be left to starve? Shame... Shame ...

Scavenging when one can survive by earning an honest wage is nothing other than sloth to me. We should not proclaim such acts of scavenging as pinoy ingenuity when it gives a bad impression of the country as one like Tan represents Filipinos at an international institution like Harvard.

The news about his general financial package also contradict his overly exaggerated claim that "homeless farmers" paid for his education.

Has media put a spin on Tan or has he put a spin on us?