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Comic book writer Budjette Tan’s Facebook status woke us up to another kind of horror on Tuesday morning.


He narrated a harrowing story about a student, who conducted a chat interview with him, for his assignment on Trese.

The student failed miserably — more for his attitude than his ineptitude in conducting an interview.

Budjette posted a short transcript of the interview, which ended with the student practically making Budjette do his homework for him, cursing him, and flipping the bird through the creative use of the cactus emoji.

If only this were fiction.

It was exactly how interviews should not be conducted. At 10 years old, nobody is expecting the child to go Christiane Amanpour on Budjette. But at least he could’ve been polite, right? Below are five wrong things the student committed.

  1.  He asked his resource person to do his homework for him. The child started the interview by explicitly asking Budjette for the summary of Trese, which is what the assignment was about. And this was at the very beginning of the interview!
  2. He was rude. You asked the person for his time, the least you can do is be polite — and that’s the least, okay? Two ways the student violated this rule: He opened the interview asking Budjette to give him the summary of Trese, no greetings or salutations whatsoever. Sure, he used the respectful “po,” but that’s like Leila de Lima punctuating her angry tirades with “po” — our point being, it doesn’t count!

And second, when Budjette spoke in Tagalog, he replied saying “pwede naman pala Tagalog ehhhh.” Holy, that’s the letter H times three. “It scares me that this kid struggled with answering me in English and when he found out that I could reply in Tagalog, he reacted as if I was giving him a hard time, that it was my fault he having a hard time communicating with me,” Budjette said.

  1. He nagged his interviewee. That’s our polite way of saying he was practically ordering Budjette to answer his question. Look, everybody wants to save time. If you’re interviewee isn’t answering your question, be creative and ask another way. You don’t say, “pakisagot na po” and hope your “po” will save you.
  2. Don’t curse your interviewee. When Budjette didn’t give him what he wanted, the student said “tangina, sungit.” Dude, you are not President Duterte and even then, that’s not cool.
  3. You don’t speak in codes. The student ended the interview with three cactus emojis. Budjette wonders if it’s the middle finger. Many of Budjette’s friends think so, too. Look, you’re going to flip the bird, do it straight. Don’t be a coward and hide in codes. And if you only want to make the other person feel dumb for not getting it, then that’s tantamount to hitting below the belt.

We’re not sure what exactly is going on but that’s a harsh reflection of how we’ve failed the next generation. That’s a 10-year-old, for crying out loud, and the dissolution of morals and values is frightening.

But it’s not too late. At this point, it on us teachers, parents, and elders to make sure we pass good morals on to the young ones. Yes millennials, you’re no longer the youngest in the room. You’re in on this one, too. Good luck to us!

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