Can Iron-fisted Leadership Turn the Philippines into a Major World Power?

Flipping through the pages of world history, we can in fascination observe how the great empires of the past have in their heydays taken turns standing on the world’s pedestal, with the fall of one succeeded by the rise of another: from the ancient times with Egypt, Babylon (Iraq), Persia (Iran), Greece, & Rome, and through the centuries to our more recent UK, Germany/Japan (WW2-AXIS), USA/USSR-Russia (Cold war), and now emerging China and India.

A major global power is a nation/empire that any neighboring country will think twice before pushing around or provoking. At the top of the food chain, they convene like vultures (such as G-7) to manage and chart the course of the world.


One may wonder: Where is the Philippines in all the power play among economic, military, and technological titans? How does this seemingly insignificant third-world country fit in the grand scheme of things?

Well, I like to kid around with the national-pride-tickling “prophetic” idea that the three greatest superpowers of all time will be three English-speaking countries that so markedly stand out above the rest that the article “The” is placed before their country names. And these three are

  1. The United Kingdom
  2. The United States
  3. The Philippines

Yes, I know. What a joke! But let’s pause for a moment and think: Looking back at the humble beginnings of visionary companies, didn’t they mock Walt Disney, Steve Jobs (Apple), and Elon Musk (Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX) for having unrealistically ridiculous audacious dreams as well?

Now what if by some fateful “aligning of the planets”, we can actually get our act together, unite, and become something beyond what we can even imagine possible. Is aiming to be a global power mere delusional daydreaming? Is it too much to ask or expect for a 100M strong nation blessed rich with natural resources and teeming with talent to become one?

Well if you ask me the question “Can the Philippines become a major world power?”, my simple answer is “Why not?”

To come to think of it, with the great Philippine diaspora, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are now in every corner of the globe, and even taking on management and key positions where they have settled? In effect, the “the sun never sets on the Filipino people”. What does that sound like? Exactly – the British Empire in her glory days. I am even inclined to think that if we recalled all our exported OFWs, entire economies/industries could stall or collapse.

Our national product (the OFW) is better than any other type of product in the world. When Japan exports a Toyota car, they only get paid once. But when the Philippines exports an OFW, that person remits back money again and again and again. With all the wealth/cash constantly pouring in, the Philippines is now becoming one formidable and resilient economic force to reckon with.

There is one crucial element that I believe this country needs though if we are to be propelled in such a grand and glorious trajectory.

Iron-fisted Leadership

What brought Russia, Japan, and Germany into accelerated advancement from being countries of lowly peasants into technological and economic powers of their age was strong military-caliber discipline-instilling leadership. They had leaders who had a flint-hard resolve to make their nations truly great.

The only major issue with the leaders of their times of transformation was that they ran over a lot of lives along the way (which I think was a big no no and totally unnecessary). But it is a testament to their past iron-fisted leadership that their nations are still the technological powerhouses they are to this day, way far advanced in the areas of military, aerospace, automotive, railway, and electronic/semiconductor technologies.

If we are seeking to take a fast-track approach towards becoming a major power, this nation needs a new breed of leader, one characterized by incorruptible and competent iron-fisted leadership that can handle and transform undisciplined dysfunctional zombies.

Let’s face it: time and again for 3 decades now, Filipinos have proven that American-style democracy does not work on zombies. Filipinos have simply perverted their liberties into a license to do anything as long as one is not caught. They have lost sight of the common good, living in a vain almost-unbridled pursuit of “freedom to…” instead of “freedom from…”.

As the idiom goes… “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.” Well, the cat’s been away for too long now. And we don’t need just a cat, we need a TIGER! We need someone who can make people fall back in line, relentlessly uphold law and order, rally and unify them with a common vision, equip them with nation-building tools (e.g. English books) rather than leaving them to feed on junk, and turn this country into one lightning-fast effective machine with every part contributing to the goal.

Leadership Style Matters

As voters, we need to observe closely the type of leadership a presidential aspirant displays. As the population has grown weary of the never-ending circus of corrupt and incompetent officials that plague the political arena, many Filipinos have now become more open to welcoming tough iron-willed leaders, those who command respect and obedience and who can serve as an inspiration and role model to all.

Like a gazelle panting for water after breaking free from its pursuing prey, the Filipino people are seeking change and see hope in the tough and fearless “iron-lady/iron-man” brand of leadership in the likes of Miriam Defensor Santiago and Rodrigo Duterte, which is in stark contrast to the low-quality “hay, wood, and stubble” politics offered by those who have little to show but

  1. Empty “poe”-gi points borrowed from a late showbiz personality
  2. Gross incompetence justified by a perverted concept of “mar”-tyrdom and sacrifice
  3. The waning support of paid voters (mga “binay”-aran na botante).

Unless we have surrendered to a despondent regression into a nation state where the only thing organized is crime, we need a leader who can arrest the downward spiral in our society. We need a super cop, a glorified law enforcer, as chief executive – someone who will live out and execute the full force of the law, one who is unafraid to “hang” plunderers/corrupters and fire incompetent officials regardless of affinity, making a public spectacle of them to announce to the whole world that in the Philippines, no one is above the law.

As one high-school teacher of mine used to say: “Discipline makes a man.” If Filipinos cannot attain self-discipline as individuals making up a society, we need a leader who can instill and model it in the same way a teacher trains a bunch of unruly ill-mannered grade school pupils afflicted with a chronic contagious form of attention deficiency disorder to such a degree that discipline becomes a habit second-nature to them and transforms them into responsible, orderly, and productive citizens.

So is thinking we can someday stand on the world’s center stage as a major global power too big a dream? Maybe, but we don’t lose anything trying to reach it anyway. As it is said, “It is better to aim at the moon and hit a bird, than aim at a bird and hit a rock.”

It’s time to wake up from our current dysfunctional reality of corruption and incompetence! It’s time to dream big, think big, and press hard towards the goal! It’s time Filipinos choose a strong iron-fisted leader that can catapult this nation to its grand destiny!


Post Author: zaxx

Zealous revolutionary advocate of bringing back common sense for the common good in a land of dysfunctional and delusional zombies.

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86 Comments on "Can Iron-fisted Leadership Turn the Philippines into a Major World Power?"

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It’s an interesting thought experiment, but I think you have a rather simplistic view of ‘development’, zaxx. Neither 1, 2 or 3 is likely to be (or remain) a world power during this century, and for the exact same reason: cultural failure. The US and the UK will probably keep chugging along because economic momentum will carry them along. The Philippines didn’t have any momentum to start with. As for the other examples you mentioned, the reality is far more interesting than you suggest: Russia was a world power BEFORE the revolution. Russian engineering, science, and the arts were legendary… Read more »
Great leaders are rarely born, rather they are created through rigorous trial and error. Great leaders grow into their roles and remain dedicated to their mission, regardless of the personal costs. Sun Tzu and Machiavelli were the masters of leadership, and their philosophies, through their respective masterworks – The Art of War and The Prince, have taught generations of leaders the basics of being an effective leader, and their philosophies still hold true today in today’s cutthroat top-tier corporate environment. Of their lessons, several are of paramount importance to today’s aspiring leader. First and foremost, consistency is the key to… Read more »
Dick S. O'Rosary

Cue the people claiming they just wan’t “simple lives.”

Dick S. O'Rosary

I do hope we fall under iron-fisted leadership again. Honestly I don’t care if it isn’t even one of those “benevolent dictatorship” types.

Then if Filipinos ever want their “beloved” democracy back, they can fight for it and pay for it with Blood.

Nothing makes you value anything more than if it was paid for with blood.

ice cube

Given this author’s way with words, I’m surprised there was no talk about iron fisting with gloves.😀


American-style democracy – it’s base on protestantism and ethic of hard work. they were built by wealthy-educated europeans who went west (america) who are actually immigrants. uneducated Filipinos will never learn the concept of liberty. specially the bill-of-rights.

on Disclipine and obedience
Let me share a quote from Rody Duterte: Rappler Interview
“Alam mo kasi ganito iyan Ressa eh. Dito sa pilipinas there is this thing obey the law. and problema, halos lahat . . . because if you become the president you dont only change leaders but you have to change the Filipino himself.

Full Interview:

We still have Miriam and Marcos.


The cancerous Catholic Church will never allow this to happen unfortunately. They have too much at stake in this current laggard society, that they’re going to fight tooth and nail to keep their privilege. Even worse, they enjoy full support from mainstream Filipinos unlike the politicians.

Said iron leader will have to come up with a way to let go of the Catholic Church’s grip on the country while convincing the people that it’s for their own good. Easier said than done!

Leadership is a talent, they are inborn. You may have it, or you don’t have it. The only problem of this country, is: the political leaders are the first lawbreakers. Where the leaders go; the people will follow. So as where the Mind goes; the body will follow. Enforce the law to all; and you will have discipline. It is like the “Lag Lag Bala” syndicate. It is done by Honorado and his henchmen. Honorado is the cousin of Aquino. Did De Lima and her driver lover, ever did some investigation on the syndicate? No sir, De Lima is quiet.… Read more »
Gagong Lipunan

Sigh. Another blind follower of the “dictatorship=progress” philosophy.

You forgot another factor that forged empires: blood.

A lot of great empires were built upon piles of corpses. They are willing to destroy weaker nations and civilizations to preserve and expand their own. To be a great power means to prepared do the unthinkable, to be willing to destroy the status quo, and to have the resolve to jump straight into hell anytime.


Zaxx article is so inspiring to awaken the country and its people from humiliation and poverty. This article is what Filipino needs not the destructive criticism article.
But these arrogant and self proclaim gurus comments doesn’t help. They instantly destroy the moment we need for Filipinos to change for better.


No, Iron-fisted leadership will not turn the Philippines into a major world power because of the inability–and unwillingness–of the Filipinos to work together as one people; but, it will definitely suppressed their self-serving and arrogant nature, and keep them from destroying the country and each other—like what they are doing now.

Kari Normann

Congratulations Zaxx! You wake me up. Please keep writing.


lol…..major world power daw…lol

This is the case of “Rome didn’t built in a day” and #WalangForever ang empire building. Yes, someday our country could become a superpower state in the future and this will our national wet dream, however there’s a BUT thing… and like I said empire building is not an infinite one and if we could become a new superpower in the future, there’ll be a huge price, and that price will be we’re gonna be an easy target to our enemies like the terrorists and in the case of Spratlys issue, China! Just ask other countries like USA, Great Britain,… Read more »
Not realistic in the short term and/or in the present condition the Philippines is in. We have been and will always will be the “sick man of asia” for reasons already mentioned throughout this blog… Colonial mentality and loss of identity, strong religious ideological hypocrisy, a preference for mediocrity, and many other symptoms of weakness and decadence now plague our present society. There are no conditions, no stimulus for radical change to happen. What we need is a national or even a global trauma or catastrophe, either natural or man-made, a form of cleansing, for this to happen. It is… Read more »

We are two (2) centuries behind any industrialized country. To become a world power; we must be advanced in Science and Technology. Our Brains are drained and migrated as OFWs. Most don’t want to come back anymore.

We will remain a basket case for many centuries, if we keep electing these idiots and crooks. No…not even in my wildest dream, will we become a world power…

Grande Dame

The FAIL-IPPINES a WORLD POWER ? You really have to STOP TAKING DRUGS, they are making you delusional.
The oligarchs that run the economy will not let it happen, even if the people somehow got together and tried to build a new economy, they would be stopped. NOTHING short of the annihilation of the elites will promote progress in that shit-hole country, nothing !

Biffa Bacon

The difference between the successful person and others is not a lack of strength or knowledge,but the lack of will. This is wherein the problem lies…CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN ZAXX FOR YOUR FORWARD THINKING !! ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE !! ALL IT TAKES IS A PARADIGM SHIFT IN THINKING !! YOU ARE STANDING ON THE EDGE OF A CLIFF…DO YOU FALL OR FLY ?????


OKAY. Enough with the world power. I don’t believe that we can attain such anyway.

How about we start with having an IRON-FISTED LEADER instead? We’ll start our way from there and then work our way up.

How’s that?

And ZAXX, your article is truly inspiring. You did an excellent job at expressing what most of us can only feel.


I believe that DepEd should come up with a subject like Current Events or something like that which openly discusses everything current about our beloved Philippines.

I would highly recommend for them to make Get Real Posts a website for reference in most of their discussions.

With all the talented writers here whose minds mirror those of Jose Rizal’s,(i’m pretty sure i’m gonna be criticized for this as well..hehehehe..anyway..)the younger generation will be sure to be practising critical thinking instead of following the same crooked thinking by their elders.

What do you think?