DepEd chief schools students on birds, bees and classical opera
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte reminded some 800 high school students of the consequences of teenage pregnancy, saying some of those who got pregnant early were “derailed by their choices during their youth.”
Duterte took the opportunity to discuss the problem of teenage pregnancy before students during the general rehearsal of the Italian opera “Turandot” on Wednesday at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
“Hearing what ‘Turandot’ is all about… many of our learners here can relate, because you are just starting with your own love stories,” she said.
“Don’t get pregnant early because many of those around you who had children when they were young, both guys and girls, some of them [did] not overcome the hardship,” added the 44-year-old vice president who has three children herself.
The education chief, relating the opera’s plot anew, also told the learners that they don’t have to be in love to be happy.
“You can be very happy, very accomplished even if you don’t have a love life. Don’t mix that up with the things you need to do,” she said.
While the famous three-act opera by Giacomo Puccini is scheduled to be staged at CCP on Dec. 9 and 11, the learners were given an early preview of the performance to show, Duterte said, that “there is something more than TikTok and Facebook.”
The program was an idea of opera fan and Italian Ambassador Marco Clemente, who considered the event an accomplishment in his career as he was able to share the art form so that young people could discover its beauty and make their lives “better” and “happier” just as he experienced when he was a teenager.
According to the Department of Education (DepEd), Clemente also recently visited Mariano Marcos Memorial High School and Ignacio B. Villamor High School to orient the students about the art of opera.
In November, the Italian Embassy arranged free screenings of another Puccini opera “La Boheme” as well as “L’Elisir d’Amore” by Gaetano Donizetti, “Romeo et Juliette” by Charles Gounod, Cosi Fan Tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Eugene Onegin by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky for junior and senior high school students from M.L. Quezon SHS, C. Aquino HS, Ignacio Villamor SHS, Mariano Marcos HS, Manuel G. Araullo HS, and Manila HS.
To further strengthen and educate learners on opera, the Italian ambassador engaged in open forums with the students to explain and gather reactions and questions about the opera they witnessed, the DepEd explained.
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