Great that CTU apologized

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT - Atty. Ruphil Bañoc - The Freeman

We all make mistakes, and one proof that we are sorry about a mistake is to not do it again.

I am glad Cebu Technological University apologized for the mistake it committed when its dance presentation during the parade of the opening salvo of the Sinulog celebration did not sit well with our Muslim brothers and sisters.

Specifically, the presentation did not represent and insulted the Muslim culture and the Islamic faith. For example, although the Muslim community respects the Catholic faith, it does not worship the Santo Niño.

Cebu City Mayor Michael L. Rama was also quick to apologize.

“Yeah, we just have to (apologize)…apology is a precious (thing). Sometimes, it is too difficult when pride sets in, but for people with humility, it becomes very cheap….To the Muslim community, I apologize,” the mayor said.

CTU learned its lesson the hard way, and that’s how great lessons are learned. It’s not enough that we dance. We should also do diligent research on the context of the dance and it will affect a certain culture of faith.

Choreographers, directors, and even dancers should, from time to time, undergo training on cultural and religious sensitivity.

In all fairness to CTU, it is not alone in such misrepresentation of a dance. Others have done so in a much worse manner. The only difference is that the mistake was made during Sinulog. No one can also impute ill-motive on the part of CTU. In plain language, it appears to me that the school has no intention of demeaning the Muslim community.

That our Muslim brothers and sisters were up in arms when they learned of the misrepresentation of their culture and faith is perfectly understandable. That is the same way devoted Catholics or Protestants will feel if they see that their respective faiths are disrespected.

By the way, there are presentations --not just dance-- everywhere that even mock certain sectors, such as persons with disabilities, senior citizens, women, and the LGBTQIA community. This is sad.

The world will surely become a bit better if we all learn to respect other people’s cultures and faiths; in fact, people who are without faith or who do not identify themselves with religion deserve our utmost respect, if we want them to respect our faith. After all, the constitutional guarantee of freedom to believe includes freedom not to believe.

And if we should commit mistakes, let us not hesitate to say sorry, particularly an apology without explanation. A lame defense only makes matters worse.

I am glad that CTU did not try to justify its mistake. That’s why we saw how quickly the Muslim community forgave.

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