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Portrayal of Philippine Education System

Essay by   •  June 5, 2018  •  Thesis  •  2,626 Words (11 Pages)  •  667 Views

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Good morning Ma’am, Sir. Good morning panelists.

Today, I am going to present my proposed research. Please lend me your ears and I am hoping for your kind consideration.

Personally, this research is quite personal because I’ve been fond of reading comics for a long time. I started being fond of it when I was in high school and have been read comic series like Pugad Baboy and of course Kikomachine Komix. I chose this medium, the comics, as my subject for the study because I think it would be easier to work on something that you like.



So, why Comics?

Comics had shown its unique form through presenting visuals at the same time texts to convey messages and or stories. According to Spegielman, a renowned cartoonist in America, comix denotes the co-mixing of visuals and texts to tell the narration of the story.

In relation, Eisner (2008) defined the comics as a sequential art in which the images and texts are arreanged to tell a message or story.

With this set, according to Maryanne Wolf (2014), unlike other forms of print media, having visuals and texts give the reader’s opportunity to contemplate, synthesize and create more new ideas.

In Philippine context, according to Ardivilla (2010), comics were labeled as the “poor man’s reading fare and has been considered as the primary source of entertainment during 1960s until 1980s.

In addition, according to Valiente (2012), comics were able to gain its patriots because of its cheap cost and availability especially to remote areas like provinces where alternative media like televisions and radios were not affordable.

The total world reflected in the comics, according on Fernandez’ journal, the Philippine Popular Culture: Dimensions and Directions, definitely makes the comics a popular culture in the Philippines.

Fernandez elaborated that comics are created for popularity. However, rather than aiming for elite audience, comics targets the mass.

Although, motivated by profit, artists have their fingers on the pubic pulse, their ears cocked in the people’s voice and their minds tuned in the public’s dream.

So, it made comics really an avenue to communicate different societal and developmental messages.

In relation, one of those comics that play an avenue to relay important messages to its audience is MANIX ABRERA’S KIKOMACHINE KOMIX.

KIKOMACHINE have become famous with its unique way of portraying daily lives of people.

KIKOMACHINE KOMIX is created by a Filipino Artist and musician Manix Abrera. After entering the Philippine Collegian in UP DIliman, he started making comics in the campus paper. Soon, Kikomachine made its way to the public and was first published on 2005.

It features mostly nameless students and professors’ daily quirks such as commuting, dating, college life and more. The scenes were also mostly set in university premises.

Therefore, given those mentioned features of KIKOMACHINE KOMIX, I realized that the comic book series might be a good medium to study the Philippine education system.

But why Education System?

Education is very important matter in the Philippines.

Filipinos believed that education is the most effective vehicle for social mobility and to attain democratic ideals, according to Fernandez.

The education in the Philippines has been a long product of colonization and much influenced by invaders which are the Spaniards and American.

However, despite of that downside, Colby & Witte (2000) stated that compared before wherein only few Filipinos are privileged to attain education, in present, every individual were given the right to access education freely.

In addition, Sivakumar and Sarvalingan (2010) added that education is one of the basic needs for human development and to escape poverty.

So, knowing what comics as a communication tool and the importance of education in the Philippines, the statement of my problem is…

The study seeks to determine how was the Philippine Education System is portrayed in Manix Abrera’s Kikomachine Komix.

Specifically, it seeks to:

  • To analyze how the students and professors of Kikomachine Komix are portrayed based on:
  • Appearance
  • Language

  • To analyze symbolisms used in portraying the Philippine Education System in the comic book series.
  • To present the challenges in the Philippine Education System as depicted in the comic book series.

A study will be worthy if the study will somehow give benefits and will be significant to some people.

Therefore, the result of the study will be significant to the following:

Readers of Kikomachine Komix will be knowledgeable about what comics can do as a medium of communication. Also, the study will enlighten them to give ideas about the different perspectives about the current state of the education.  Therefore, the readers will be critical enough and analyze the possible situations that could help the current state of our education system.

Of course, to Komikeros and future komikeros of our country, they will know the importance of their job as a source, not just of entertainment but also critical information. They will be also aware that tackling such issues play a role in shaping the reader’s perception.

For future media practitioners, the study will encourage them to contribute insights and arguments through analyzing how the education system is being portrayed in the comic book series.

On another hand, Communication students will be enlightened that they have a responsibility giving perceptions about the current education system in the country.

To future researchers, this study will be a help in accomplishing further study about comics as well as the Philippine education system.

Lastly, to the researcher, where this study could be a reference and basis for further study related to this study.

The study will cover the five volumes of the comic book series namely KIKOMACHINE KOMIX BILANG 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13. As you can see, I skipped the Volume 12 because the twelfth volume is a special volume which features silent comics. Rather than using that, I will use the 13th volume released earlier this year.

In addition, the volumes were selected based on the study’s objectives and the five selected volumes complements the current state of the Philippine Education System.

Just like what Daniel Chandler said, humans are meaning-makers. We like to make meanings in everything.

To further understand the study, the following terms are defined operationally:

Appearances refer to the physical qualities of the person.

Challenges refer to the struggles that might have threatened something.

Comics are communication tool that express its message through graphics and texts at the same time.

Komikeros tend to refer to the creator of comics in the Philippines.

Kikomachine Komix is a comic book series in the Philippines that features daily quirks of students and professors.

Language refers to how a person communicates to the other people verbally.

Philippine Education System refers to how the education works in the Philippines. It also includes the culture, norms and traditions that the education and university has in the Philippines.

Portrayal is how something was being represented.

Professors refer to the people who teach students in a university.

Students here, refer to the college level learners.

Lastly, symbolisms are signs and symbols that might have deeper meaning that could help to further understand the intended message.

According to Pierce, signs can take forms of words, images, odors, flavors, actions but such signs have no distinctive meaning until we invest them with meaning. Anything can be a sign as long as it signifies or stands for something other than itself.

To further analyze the study, the researcher will use the Saussurean Dyadic Model which is of course, proposed by Ferdinand Saussure, one of the pioneer linguists.

In Saussurean Dyadic model, he defined sign as being composed of two parts namely:

Signifier and signified.

According to Saussure, the sign is the result of the association of signifier and signified.

The signifier is now commonly interpreted as the material or physical form of the sign which something that you can hear, you can touch, taste, see and smell.

However for Saussure, both the signifier and the signified takes form rather than substance.

As for the signified, most commentators who adopted Sausurre’s model still consider the signified as mental construct although they note that it could refer indirectly to things in the world.

Saussure elaborated that the signified is a concept in mind and not a thing but a notion of the thing.

To sum up the relationship of the two elements of the model, signifier is the form that takes the sign while the signified refers to the concept that the signifier represents.

And the relationship of the two is presented through the arrows. And the bar, notes the distinction of the signifier and the signified.

However, Saussure emphasized that despite if being of being distinct, signifier and signified are inseparable and interlinked with each other. They are interdependent making each triggers the other.

In the study’s context, this diagram will help to further analyze the study.

As Saussurean Dyadic model discusses, a sign must have a signifier and signified.

In the study, Kikomachine Komix will be the signifier as it is the form that takes the sign. As discussed earlier, although Saussure argued that signifiers are purely psychological, the model was commonly adopted and takes the signifier as a material form of the sign which we could acknowledge through our sense.

On another hand, the Philippine Education System will represent the signified element as it is the concept that the signifier, the Kikomachine Komix, represents.

As I introduced earlier, Kikomachine is a comic book series that features daily lives and quirks of students as well as professors and is usually set in the university premises. There are symbolisms used and of course, tackled different issues that involved them.

With this, I aim to analyze the concept, the Philippine Education system in the signifier, the Kikomachine Komix.

The research will be conducted in Lucban, Quezon as this is where the researcher resides temporarily and the researcher does not require certain locations to complete the study.

The study is a descriptive research. The researcher will use purely qualitative analysis that contains both visual and content analysis because the researcher will provide conclusions based on the gathered information from the comic book series.

In relation, the method of collecting the data will be through studying the selected volumes to accomplish the said objectives. In addition, the researcher will use a matrix to further gather essential data to complete the study.

The researcher uses the purposive sampling in order to select the chosen volumes in the comic book series that will help the study to answer its objectives.

On another hand, since comics are shown through texts and illustrations in a panel and or strips, the strips will be used by the researcher as the study’s unit of analysis.

To be able to start the study, the researcher consulted the professors about the study. After being approved, she referred to different studies, journals and books to be her basis on the study. To continue, the researcher will start gathering the essential materials such as completing the selected comic book series.

After that, the selecting of unit of analysis will take place and the researcher will make a matrix which is to be validated first by the adviser, to further gather and analyze the necessary information. And with this gathered data, the researcher will make conclusions based on the given objective of the study.



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