PHSA Students Prove That ART Rules!

Article excerpt

Perhaps what makes the pop culture hit Glee so gleefully inspiring is how it vindicates (with pats to boot) the geek in all of us. In a society where success is no more than the ability to “rock” a pair of pants and achievement is simply your “rank” on the popular-o-meter, it is heartening to know that not being part of the herd also has its rewards. It is a subtle reminder that life isn’t just a popularity contest and that “gleeks” have the power to change the system and prevail. Gleeks all aroundBut one school in the country harbors this growing breed of change-makers. In Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA), every student is a “gleek.” It is a mix that all of us, closet gleeks, could only dream of. “It is refreshing to live with like-minded individuals who understand and respect you. We are taught to be strong, to stick to our beliefs and yet, keep an open mind on what others believe in. We are so diverse here, different styles, different disciplines, different methods and yet, we all come together because we have the same mindset: we are passionate about our work. It’s ironic that our individuality is what binds us as a community,” says Student Council president Laui Guico. Closeted with people whose gift for the arts is surpassed only by their passion for their craft, they know that individuality is to be respected, their uniqueness revered and cultivated. Even the teachers are liberal in their methods. Students enjoy the freedom to express themselves without fear of ridicule or lecture. “Teachers do not tell us how we should write; they impose on us [however] the discipline of a writer, of an artist. But even with this freedom, we are still humbled. We know that we are never enough and therefore, we strive to be even better,” says Isabella Borlaza, a senior and current editor-in-chief of Variations, PHSA’s school paper.Art as a transformative agentThis is, for senior student Timothy Mabalot, the kind of environment that will not only produce great artists but leaders capable of making transformative changes in the country. …