Emulate Emerita Quito’s ‘selfless contribution’ to Filipino philosophy writing, Thomasians urged

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A FILIPINO researcher lauded the late Filipina philosopher Emerita Quito and urged Thomasians to set her as their role model for “selfless dedication” to philosophy writing.

“[H]indi lamang niya inisip ang kanyang pagkasariling kapakanan sa mga works, bagkus binibigyang kilala niya ang mga bagay na hindi napag-uusapan tungkol sa bansa,” said Leslie Anne Liwanag during the “Pagbabalik-tanaw sa kaisipan ni Emerito Quito” at the Martyr’s Hall last March 8.

Liwanag emphasized how Quito showed her dedication to Filipino philosophy by taking higher studies in foreign universities and applying them in the country upon her return.

“Ginamit niya ang pamimilosopiya at pagdidiskurso upang mas mapaunlad at makilala ang ating sariling bansa,” she said.

Quito, who passed away in September last year, took higher studies at the Universite de Fribourg in Switzerland and the Sorbonne in Paris where she was also awarded with Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques—France’s highest academic decoration.

“Marami na sa atin […] ang pinipili ang pangingibang bayan. Pero si Emerita Quito na nangibang bayan ay bumalik sa bansa at sinabing ‘Pag-usapan natin ‘yung Filipino philosophy,'” she said.

Liwanag advised Thomasians who wish to go abroad to return soon with the intent of contributing something “like Quito.”

Quito is also known for advocating Filipino language in the country’s philosophy writing.

“Kung hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa tayo nakalilikha ng matatayog na panitikan o pilosopiya, ito ay sapagkat tayo ay nahaharangan ng wikang banyaga. Nahahati ang ating pagkatao sapagkat hindi natin maipahayag ang ating damdamin sa isang wikang akma sa ating kaluluwa,” Quito wrote in her 1987 journal article “Ang Kaugnayan ng Wikang Pambansa at Edukasyon.”

Quito graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in UST.

Quito is among the recipients of the Parangal Hagbong, a lifetime achievement award from the 33rd Gawad Ustetika, the country’s longest-running campus literary derby.

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