The Freeman

Atom goes to Tawi-Tawi for docu ‘Write to Vote’


In two months, Filipinos will come together to cast their votes and start a new chapter of our history. But more than the noise of the campaign sorties, the more important question is how the country’s new leaders will deal with the problems they need to address – one of which is access to education.

In today’s episode, Atom Araullo embarks on a journey to Tawi-Tawi, the southernmo­st and one of the poorest provinces in the Philippine­s, for “The Atom Araullo Specials: Write to Vote.”

Amidst adversity, 50-year-old volunteer teacher Kansida Arances or Teacher Sidang patiently rides a small pump boat from one stilt house to the next to teach children and their parents. Each week, she visits 21 to 25 floating houses that serve as their unconventi­onal classrooms. Seven-year-old Marsila is one of her students who also dreams of becoming a teacher. But as Atom discovers, Marsila’s desire to learn has a deeper purpose: she wants to teach her own parents how to read and write.

Education for adult learners is a mission for Teacher Sidang, too. One of her students, Sali, wants to enhance his reading and writing skills so he can exercise his right to vote – a dream that he wants to pass on to his children. In past elections, Sali could only vote if someone assists him to cast his ballot, uncertain about what is written. For the first time in May, Sali plans to finally vote on his own.

Join Atom as he delves into one of the main issues that the country’s next leaders must address – the education sector and the social issues entangled in this plight. Catch “The Atom Araullo Specials: Write To Vote” this Sunday, 2 p.m. on GMA.

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