Sorry, Joe. No more boom-boom in Manila and Olongapo City

If I were a businessman of any sort in the Philippines, I’d be fuming. In most NORMAL countries, the arrival of shiploads of young, cashed-up, and physically vigorous American military personnel would be greeted with joy and eyes flashing with $$ signs. Not in the Philippines though. The other day, the United States aircraft carrier USS George Washington sailed into Manila Bay for a port call carrying 5,500 American navy personnel. The bad news is that none of them were allowed off the ship and on Manila’s streets to stroke the local fauna and smoke the local flora.

Tinapay na nga, naging bato pa.

visiting_forces_agreement_philippinesThanks to the fiasco erupting in the aftermath of the killing of Filipino transgender Jeffrey Laude allegedly by US Marine Pfc Joseph Scott Pemberton, we won’t be hearing too many gleeful “boom boom Joe?” calls ringing across Manila’s streets any time soon. There won’t be any cold beers served to partying sailors in Manila’s bars, there won’t be any quaint Filipino souvenir handicrafts packed in trendy paper bags being dispensed over counters at the Mall of Asia, and there won’t be any photos of Manila’s excellent sights being uploaded onto Facebook by the boys either.

It’s more fun in the Philippines. But not if you are an American soldier. Not anymore, at least.

“It’s a shame. Twenty to 30,000 service people come here for exercises and other events during the course of a year. They want to see the Philippines. They want to meet Filipinos. They want to engage and taste Filipino food and buy things. It would have been better for some of the shopping malls. We didn’t think that it’s good moment for shore liberty just out of respect for sentiment here,” said US Ambassador Philip Goldberg to reporters last Friday.

One wonders. Filipino sex workers are often painted by “activist” groups like GABRIELA as “victims” of Big Bad American Imperialism. But how many of them are really such? Indeed, how many of them now bristle with anger over the now empty quiet streets in Olongapo City, Manila, and any Philippine city where GI Joe once set foot to share Uncle Sam’s wealth with the locals?

The Philippines of the 21st Century is a far far cry from the pompous and cocky persona it exhibited back in the early 1990’s when twelve bozos duly elected by the popular vote (and as such presumably representing the Filipino people’s “will”) voted to boot the American Military out of Philippine shores

Thanks to the 12 bozos who voted against US military bases in the Philippines in 1991 — Senate President Jovito Salonga, Sens. Wigberto Tanada, Teofisto Guingona, Rene Saguisag, Victor Ziga, Sotero Laurel, Ernesto Maceda, Agapito Aquino, Juan Ponce Enrile, Joseph Estrada, Orlando Mercado, and Aquilino Pimentel — Filipinos have, right in their faces today, a sad lesson twenty years in the making in what it is like to languish outside the American sphere of what is globally relevant.

Thus Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III owes the United States big time. His mother, the late former President Corazon ‘Cory’ Aquino in the 1990s vowed to help the US keep its bases in the Philippines even as Congress successfully rationalised its decision to kick them out on the back of old national insecurities to do with its colonial past. Back then the US military presence in the Philippines pumped billions of dollars into the Philippine economy in the form of aid, employment, and local business. And so it is likely that the Second Aquino Administration is out to make amends to its former colonial master and make up to Aquino’s “bosses” for decades of lost revenue owing to “Pinoy Pride” by continuing his mother’s work.

Indeed, times have changed and the question of the benefits of American military presence in its old colony has become all but a no-brainer. The Philippines today is a humbled nation run by crooks. It sees attracting foreign capital as its biggest “priority” because it utterly lacks any semblance of domestic capability to create and expand capital owing to a pathetic predisposition to squandering its indigenous wealth. This sad aspiration coupled with a bizarre culturally- and religiously-wired mindset to multiply like cockroaches pretty much dooms the Philippines to a future of abject sub-mediocrity.

More importantly, the Philippines faces an enormous military threat from China which, even now, is slowly annexing Philippine territory in the South China Sea with impunity while the Philippine government naively tries to appeal its case with the United Nations and through an approach to “diplomacy” that has long proven to be an ineffective approach to dealing with the Chinese.

If I were an American navy man, I may as well be stationed in Afghanistan or Iraq. The Philippines, once a port call US servicemen look forward to visiting has now become no better than Taliban Town.


Post Author: benign0

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25 Comments on "Sorry, Joe. No more boom-boom in Manila and Olongapo City"

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Learn to live without the Americans. The Philippines need to stand on its own.

I agree with you Benign0. I grew up in a US Mlitary family, I remember well my growing up days in Subic Naval Base and Olongapo, went to college in Manila. Im a full bloodied Filipino, my heritage is the Philippines, but had sworn my allegiance, to protect the constitution from enemies, foreign or domestic and still doing my part of service to this nation I chose to live in protecting the skies of Washington DC. Back in the heyday, once the news of a battle group with no less than 12 ships would pull in Subic, from the newspaper… Read more »
I can never see why there is so much hate for US, but given a chance, 90% will migrate in a second to US Anyway, some nearby Asian country sunk a billion $, so the US Carriers can dock, instead of ligthering from anchorage the said Asian country sunk so much money, as they know 4000 AmericansX200$ Spent per day X 5 days = 4 Million US$ being fed into the local economy And the country sees an average of 20 plus visits a year = 80 Million, being pumped into the economy. or more like 3 billion plus peso… Read more »
The greed of the wealthy elite (whom mostly all happen to be senators as well) don’t want foreigners here as it mke take away from some of their profit earning businesses. There are too many laws preventing foreigner businesses and people from operating here, and even owning land so that the rich elite can rape the country all for themselves. The greedy crooks want it all for themselves and that’s partly why the country is in a mess. Not much has improved since the 70’s in terms of infratructure and improvements. But tht’s ok for the rich as they still… Read more »
Jim DiGriz

Back in the day, the bases brought the Philippines about 5 Billion US$ a year. But it seems that the Philippines was so bloody rich that they did not need any financial bread buttering. All this hate against the Americans is just fucking crazy looking at Philippine history and what the US did for the Philippines. Typical Filipino bullshit, extending the hand asking for help and after getting some, shouting “fuck you Joe”. Filipinos are really people without any shame. Time for the US to shout back “fuck you too Philippines”.

Camp John Hay (Baguio) is a perfect example of this. Back when the US bases were still existing it was touted as the best R&R facility for US military personnel in the Pacific. Unfortunately, much of Camp John Hay now, despite its purported “corporate care,” is mired in stacks of intricate court cases. Hotels which are supposed to bring in cash to Baguio are still closed due to litigation. Around a dozen old bunk houses have been bulldozed for faux-log cabins nobody uses anyway. The corporations which supposedly take care of Camp John Hay’s well-being refuse to pay taxes to… Read more »
Flint BEastwood
LOL, the U.S. Military can topple the puny gov’t. of the Philippines at any moment, just like the Chinese miltary could. Pick your friends Filipino’s ,and be nice to them. As anyone knows: The friends you have today can be your worst enemies tomorrow. it is also a shame that the national wealth was not spent on defending the country but rather pillaged by the oligarchs who ,in turn ,have to appear as beggars to the world’s military strongmen: The USA & Chinese militaries. this pillaged wealth could have transformed the country into an industrial and military powerhouse of S.E.Asia,… Read more »
Hyden Toro 767

The Whores lost their businesses…

We also lost the protection of Uncle Sam…learn to stand on ourselves…it is hard, but is the way to Maturity…

Well, the issue is not that much easy. Large US bases have their own infrastructure. There are shopping and recreational opportunities inside the base. But such a base provides jobs to Filipinos. On tho other hand attracts American presence Al Quaeda. Al Quaeda has ties to Abu Sayaf in Mindanao. If Americans have bases in Philippines Al Quaeda would provide more training and funds to Abu Sayaf so that abu Sayaf can prepare direct attacks to these bases. American presence in Philippines will not change Philippine standing in the South China Sea conflict. Either Americans are interesten in the natural… Read more »
I was a visiting US military in OC in the 80’s. I live in SBFZ now. The “stroke the local fauna” was the success & downfall of the area. Not mentioned by the Ambassador it is the #1 thing used to motivate troops “cheap women/beer” on RR. PH is known as the cheapest, this is not a good thing. Peddling the women has cheapened the value of the people. Not all countries have ports that set up to “host” the visiting forces. Prostitution is illegal in the PH..foreigners get nabbed for it. Many illigitimate children exist. Many of my friends… Read more »

No more real life “Miss Saigon”, huh?

I think most people are missing the point. The Pinnes had a huge payday from the us for the bases filling the gov. crooks pockets and the sailors went on shore leave filling the locals pockets and all that is gone now because of your stupid peenoise pride. The Pinnes has basically shot itself in booth feet and both hands while gleefully shouting their stupid idiotic pride slogans that make them look like the fools they are. The total lack of common, let alone any sence, is so prevalent that it defies any logic and leaves a person dumbfounded as… Read more »