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Were we consulted? On the fourth of July, 1946, we sentenced generations of Filipinos to live their entire lives in a country run like hell by their compatriots. How does pride in self-rule stack up to the reality that in the more than 50 years of independence, the majority of Filipinos lived in absolute poverty and countless others suffered, died, or disappeared as a result of the greed and lust for power of our leaders.

Our country is sick in every sense of the word and we are a morally, intellectually, and spiritually bankrupt people. Our virtues, once comforting when invoked, now, at best, point out disturbing ironies about us: packed Sunday masses and images of presidents, mayors and congressmen knelt in prayer, ‘third largest English-speaking country in the world’, ‘where Asia wears a smile’, ‘Asia’s most vibrant democracy’, etcetera, etcetera.

It’s time we face the truth about Filipinos.

Culture is the collective character of a people who have given themselves a collective identity.

What is it about the Filipino character that dooms us to chronic failure at worst or consistent mediocre performance at best? Hang around and find out.

I would rather have a Philippines run like hell by Filipinos than a Philippines run like heaven by the Americans” — Manuel L. Quezon

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