Has the Philippines EVER been truly a country FOR Filipinos?

Think about it. The Philippines is named after a Spanish king. Its current sovereign territory was one defined by its Spanish colonial masters. Its current state religion is an imperial legacy of the Spanish Inquisition — an epic geno-“evangelisation” of an entire native culture by colonial forces.

Then the “Philippines” became an American colony at the close of the 19th Century. Modern-day philosophers can spin that episode in Philippine history as a narrative about how a “revolution” was stolen by the United States ’til the cows come home. But the reality is Filipino natives where outside of the loop when the deal was done between Spain and the United States to cede the islands over to the victors of the Spanish-American War. America merely proceeded to secure its loot much the same way as one would steam-clean the carpet of a newly-purchased apartment before moving in.

The next round of deals was between colonial master and the native oligarchs. That’s a work-in-progress that continues to this day. The Philippine government as we know it today is just a third party in this lucrative business triage that includes foreign capitalists and local industrialists.

The only real thing that makes Filipinos feel like they “own” the Philippines is their so-called “democracy”. Democracy is sort of like a convoluted contract. Filipinos sign “X” on the dotted line but routinely fail to read the contract stipulations. One of these stipulations is that voters need to use their brains before choosing their next leaders and representatives. Not doing so when filling their ballots does not, in any way, diminish the consent they inadvertently give the winning politicians to rule the Philippines and “represent” their interests in the legislature.

So when Filipinos lament how they “made a mistake” supporting and voting for one politician or another, it may make a quaint story about an instance of voter’s remorse. But, ultimately, that mistake cannot be undone. Unlike the retail industry, there is no return policy in the business of politics. Indeed, No Return No Exchange is the order of the day in democracy, Pinoy-style.

As an observer who’s always seen past “vice president” Leni Robredo’s idiotic Tsinelas rhetoric from the very beginning, it is often tempting to take on board with a warm heart news of someone who once supported Robredo changing his or her mind. But then I recall just how obvious and readily-evident the Yellow Camp’s bullshittery was during the campaign and the abject phoniness of Robredo herself and that warmness quickly dissipates. It is stuff that an otherwise lucid mind would have caught. Sadly, this is not the case. If Filipinos routinely take the trouble to apply a bit more modern thinking and less of the medieval superstition and quickness to embrace hearsay to the task of deciding who to support when it matters, we’d see less bozos like Leni Robredo in government and less of the pointless voters’ remorse being bandied around today.

In this sense, Filipinos do not really own their country. So it is really not that surprising that others — both foreign and local — are able to take from Filipinos with impunity. This has been a centuries-long tradition. The natives work the land whilst capitalists and imperialists reap and sell the harvest. To make it up the ladder from labourer to capitalist, you need thinking, not just hard work and subservience. And this goes as well for the way Filipinos regard their politics. To get truly great leaders in this “democracy”, Filipinos need to think of the ideas at stake and not regard the exercise as a mere decision on who to follow.

Unfortunately not much has changed despite all the technology and information at everyone’s disposal. Filipinos are still divided on the basis of who they follow. It does not seem to matter to most that many of the principles at stake transcend personalities and partisan lines. For most Filipinos, personal affiliations and loyalties take precedence over principles.

This seems to be the reason that political and activist alliances rarely persist on a big enough scale — because these alliances (whether in the form of political parties or more informal social media cliques) never endure without succumbing to in-fighting and eventually breaking into fragments and factions. More importantly, it is the reason Filipinos struggle to take their leaders to account — because they lack the context to do so (no stable set of principles and ideologies against which said leaders could be evaluated point-by-point).

To be able to build a country they could truly be proud of and feel a sense of ownership over, Filipinos need to take control of their thinking faculties and stop delegating this to personalities and ancient belief systems. The time is now for Filipinos to unite around principles and wean themselves off personality politics.


Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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19 Comments on "Has the Philippines EVER been truly a country FOR Filipinos?"

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thanks to MOST past “leaders of government!” thank god for duterte.

Gunther Benavidez
Majority of Filipinos doesn’t know how democracy works. These people only cares their freedom and excludes the consequences entailed with it even with simple things. For example, in public utility jeepneys, a common sight is that a Filipino have the freedom to use a cellphone or headsets however this person will neglect the notion that he or she is in a public transport and should be mindful of other who need to take a seat or pay for a driver. Worst case is sometimes the person intentionally pretends to be busy to not hear anything or not seat properly. The… Read more »
The Philippines has and continues to be used by foreign corporations and special interests. The same garbage goes on in other countries. The imperial Americans had no right to dictate to Filipinos how to live after the Spanish-American war; they should have ceased operations and left. Authoritarianism is still seen today, in how the UN is lecturing Duterte about the death penalty. This could be construed as modern colonialism, I suppose. Once a country’s politicians are bought off by various predatory capitalists, the people are fucked. I often wonder where the massive VAT tax goes to when I am there… Read more »
The Philippine people will not now or possibly ever let the country be free for three reasons. 1. Most people think the world should give the country stuff for free. Every disaster every military problem with China the people ask where is the world. After the emergency is over the people then reply screw the world and all the foreigners. 2. Most people do not understand that business is business and it is not personal or religious. The top economies in the world do business with enemies like the US and China for example. They are enemies but perform billions… Read more »
Walter P. Komarnicki
early in the 20tyh century, there were moves to make New Zealand another colony of Australia but these overtures were rejected and NZ developed its own unique style. During Prime Minister Lange’s leadership, he forebade any nuclear-armed ships entering NZ ports and so was cut out of the intelligence loop by the U.S. There are now moves to change the name to Aeatearoa, a Maori word, and it may well happen, probably about the time the new NZ flag will be unveiled. Can not this nation do something similar? Does it always have to wait and get permission before it… Read more »
David Roxas
“The only real thing that makes Filipinos feel like they “own” the Philippines is their so-called “democracy”” HAHAHAHA! Oh man so funny. Actually democracy is Greek and the Philippines is a republic and not a democracy. I know in this day and age that the two are usually convoluted. Either way democracy is definitely not for Filipinos. It is alien to them in every way and the past century has proven this time and again. Take a listen to what one observer had to say about it over 100 years ago. “There are two prime characteristics of the Filipinos” he… Read more »
The Philippines , was renamed by the Spanish explorer, Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, in honor of King Philip II of Spain. Our original name was, St. Lazarus Archipelago. King Philip II of Spain, lost being the world’s naval power to England, after the defeat of his Spanish Armada… His government was bankrupt. He lost the Dutch Province , in his reign… Sounds, like our country now. We should change the name of the country… Then, we were sold, to the Americans for U.S. $20 million , in the Treaty of Paris in 1898. We were part of the booty of… Read more »

Filipinos are still the frustrated lords-wannabe who decided to try and cling to whoever has the most power in the country in order to gain favors. For voters, they seem to treat voting like the lottery, just pick the name you remember and hope they can give favors. If they don’t, it’s the politicians’ fault and not theirs. Here’s the result of non-thinking, which the Filipino culturally is more wont to do.

Mystique Girl
Mass Filipinos can’t progress because of the followings reasons are I observe: 1. No empowerment -this country still rely in Bible to realize things. They can’t decide aside from it than their own realizations and experience. No proper skills training, absurd education system. 2. Superficiality for example.. they believe overseas products is good because they were imported, they don’t think they are good because they were done perfectly with hardwork, skills and quality materials. Just because they too lazy to do it with their own. 2. conforming culture. Filipino are only mindset to find jobs not to create jobs. They… Read more »

The problem isn’t that Failipinos in the Failippines can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Failipinos in the Failippines can’t think. The problem is that Failipinos do not know what thinking is; Failipinos confuses it with feeling.