A common scenario in riding a jeepney from Sarangani Merchandising going to Uhaw last weekend gave me an idea of how to craft this article. The jeepney conductor said to another boy, "Pasagdahi gud ko sa akong pagkondonk. Diskarte nako ni." It adds to my assumption that I am in an environment of where people are keep on believing that diskarte is very important to survive. I cannot exclude myself to this. Most of the time I would say ‘diskarte gyud para makapasa.’ In courting girls, boys would laugh at saying ‘giunsa man nimo pagdiskarte si Inday, Noy?’
Diskarte is not uniquely Filipino. In the general sense, being wise and clever is being madiskarte. In an article by Jaime Biron Polo and Michael Francis Espiritu of the Institute for Popular Democracy entitled Elections and the People’s Diskarte, the concept of diskarte is defined as the ordinary people's tactics for survival, the ingenious ways in which the weak make use of the strong in their everyday lives. Though the concept diskarte is dependent on the situation a person faces, generally the concept is described as having guts and self-confidence.
My adopted definition follows a pattern of first presenting the goal of diskarte. As I stated above the goal of diskarte is survival. Aileen, a student in the College of Agriculture, said that it is a technique to survive. How does it work? Diskarte is performed to get through the different challenges in life: an unemployed undergraduate has to invent ploys to receive an employer's sympathy, a businessman has to skillfully employ tactics to gain clients, a politician has to deploy all strategies to win the voters' hearts and minds. Diskarte suggests a field of experimentation, of possibilities. It is an arena where every Filipino performs in a number of ways. People act very differently according to the environment they find themselves in. Thus, it might be that this is where the capacity of people's diskarte to generate differences lies.
What is involved in diskarte? Diskarte as a method of survival involves various techniques solely dependent of the situation an individual faces. My friend, Ireneo, said that it involves practicability, workability, and affordable plans. It also involves ability to achieve something regardless of the method employed. People may question how you attain your goal, but the point here is, the goal is being reached. A marketing student, for example, said that an attracting customer to buy your goods require a human skill of diskarte. She added that a company supervisor for instance should find a way to deliver goods and services effectively and efficiently. Another professor in the College of Agriculture, added that making jokes or using sense of humor in the class is his own diskarte to sustain enthusiasm and energy in the class.
It cannot be discounted that this article is a product of my own way of diskarte as well. I have to employed my own strategy just to be able to submit this requirement on the due date. I have to requested friends to be interviewed. I have to 'disturb' a faculty to be interviewed also. Second, I tried to look at the writings of my classmates and asked them how they crafted their own articles and compared them with me. Third, because I am not good in computer technology, I have to asked my friend to help me in encoding these ideas. All of these in the name of being able to submit this requirement on time. I hope I made this not just in the name of complying but in the deeper essence of being able to write and express my thoughts and reasons. Those were my own diskarte. And if diskarte is a means of survival, then I have made one step to survive. (But I know, more perseverance is needed.) The product is here now. You have just finished reading it.
(This article was written on February 28, 2006)