Do the US presidential elections really matter to Filipinos THAT much?

I mean, really. What relevance does the outcome of the presidential elections in the United States have on the future fortunes of the average Filipino schmoe? If an entire raft of Philippine presidents have themselves exhibited pratically zero influence on the fortunes of entire generations of Filipinos, what impact can the very miniscule difference between a Mitt Romney and a Barack Obama presidency have on the Philippines?

The way the Philippines’ chattering classes fixate themselves on the comings and goings of the US campaign, exchanging one inconsequential factoid or another, and “reporting” these on their social media timelines, you’d think the Philippines was still a colony of the United States. Hey wait…

Fact is, to ordinary Filipinos, the United States (or any caucasian country, for that matter) is just a nation of Joes. Filipinos look to Joe for their daily bread.

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Hey Joe, wanna buy a watch?

Hey Joe, ten dollah – love ya long time!

If it is not their daily bread they are hounding Joe for, they are looking to him for a reason why they are still a nation of pathetic panhandlers. As in: “The intolerable and unrelieved suffering of the broad masses of the people under the US-directed [insert name of current Philippine president here] regime is generating social discontent and the rise of the revolutionary forces. All-out resistance of the Filipino people will defeat the all-out war of the enemy. The revolutionary movement will continue to gain strength by fighting the current regime and will be ready to face the next regime and deal with it according to circumstances.” (Based on the usual commie “activist” rhetoric).

Beyond the next aid package or the next “meddling” brouhaha, lemme ask:

On what other body of traditional “thinking” do Filipinos regard America?

Cricket chirps…

I subsrcibe to an RSS feed that picks up all news to do with the Filipino-American community. Content coming through that pipeline on a normal day is quite trivial: basically news on petty politics and intrigue amongst the raft of “prominent” community members hobnobbing across various two-bit Filipino community groups. “News” on who’s been appointed to what council, committee, or whatnot. “News” on the latest feel good Filipino “Pride” event; i.e. the latest American of Filipino descent making waves in showbiz, one beauty contest or another, or the latest reality television show. Indeed, the biggest news to break the Filipino-American community in recent months is around how a prominent Filipino New Yorker was arrested for stealing from cancer foundation.

Beyond all that, one would be hard-pressed to find any kind of published insight on how the more subtle nuances of US politics really touch the lives of the average Filipino “homey”. One wonders then what is fueling this quaint interest amongst the Filipino “intelligentsia” in the outcome of the US presidential elections. Perhaps it is just habit coming from a long but now degenerated relationship with a former colonial master.

If there was a Facebook for nations, the Philippines will have “unfriended” Uncle Sam in 1991 after kicking his boys out of her military bases to make room for her golf courses and casinos, but since then continue lurking around his profile or timeline, checking out who he’s been dating lately and how he’s looking nowadays.

Filipinos love to pretend that US presidential elections matter to them in ways that run deeper than that. And yet, in the words of the eminent Filipino blogger Ellen Tordesillas…

But there should be no illusion of a major change in their foreign policy attitude towards the Philippines. Whatever party would be in power in the United States, whoever would wield the most power in China, they would all prioritize their national interest in dealing with other countries.

Noooo… really?

27 Replies to “Do the US presidential elections really matter to Filipinos THAT much?”

  1. the only interest is from the envious wannabees/politicians who want to launder money in LA, or las vegas – typical that they choose the 2 most superficial cities as their pinnacle of success and culture. everywhere else they would be blackballed from society – especially the golf and country clubs

  2. ‘If an entire raft of Philippine presidents have themselves exhibited practically zero influence on the fortunes of entire generations of Filipinos…’

    I am not usually one to nitpick but —

    Ramon Magsaysay and Ferdinand Marcos, anyone?

    True, the former you could consider a CIA patsy, and the latter sent us to hell via martial law, but you said ‘practically zero influence’ with no other caveats.

    Otherwise, I agree with what this seems to convey.

    1. For what it’s worth, my parents and the parents of most of my friends said that they would rather live under Marcos’ martial law than live “free” under an Aquino running our country to the ground. I can barely recall anything because I was born in the latter years of Marcos’ rule.

    2. Fair enough, although the Philippines, I believe, had already began its slow decline before Magasaysay’s term and continued on after it. Marcos may have aggravated the decline, but the trend continued nonetheless through his rule and consistently after it.

      But, yeah, Magsaysay and Marcos are what you’d probably call outlier presidents with the rest of them a largely undifferentiated lot of unimaginative and unoriginal bozos.

      Like country like presidents.

  3. Familiarization with US politics is another caveat of how America-centrism runs in the veins of our “intelligentsia” (keyword: broadsheet opinion sections). It also is a sign that anything America signifies how high-cultured and how intellectually elite you are in the eyes of these people much to the astonishment of the rest of the masses–aloof to the topic they’d tend to be but surely feel inferior to that impression. They think that America is that “politically mature” seemingly it’s a sort of neutralizing panacea — some sort of a relief — to the typical local politics we all generally consider as muddled and rotten. But please, aside from its irrelevance, US politics is not as clean as what Filipinos think it is.

  4. David Letterman’s Top 10 List Why There Won’t Be a Filipino US

    10. The White House is not big enough for in-laws and extended
    9. There are not enough parking spaces at the White House!!
    8. Dignitaries are generally intimidated by eating with their
    fingers at State dinners.
    7. There are too many dining rooms in the White House – where
    will they put the Last Supper picture?
    6. The White House walls is not big enough to hold a giant
    wooden spoon and fork set.
    5. Secret Service staff won’t respond to “pssst…pssst”.
    4. Secret Service staff are uncomfortable driving the Presidential
    car with a Holy Rosary hanging on the rear view mirror or having
    the statue of the Santo Nino on the dashboard.
    3. No budget allocation to purchase karaoke machines for every
    White House room.
    2. State dinners do not allow “Take Home.”
    1. Air Force One does not allow overweight Balikbayan boxes!

  5. What affects the world will affect the Philippines. Iran developing a nuclear weapon. North Korea problem. Israel-Palestinian conflict. Syrian uprising. The growing strength of Al Queda, to terrorize the world.
    No matter who wins. They will print more money. Inflation will go up. China is flexing its military muscles. Philippines runs for safety to Uncle Sam. Prices of oil will go up also, after the U.S. election.

  6. @ benignO

    To the simple minded people like you and your GRP minions, who think that the US elections is just another day in the lives of people in the US but to the policy makers here in the PHilippines, a major shift in US domestic policies that could mean more job loses particularly affecting Filipinos and other minorities in the US would mean disaster.

    Imagine the privatization of the US Postal Service where thousands of Filipinos are employed, the privatization of the Social Security System, the closing of government healthcare insurance systems like the Medicaid and the Medicare, the closing of the Dept. of Education, the privatization of states highway systems etc. These are employers in the US where thousands of Filipinos are known to be employed.
    Job loses in these areas would mean disaster to Filipino families in the US who send remittances to their families here in the Philippines.

    @ benignO, if you are not aware the $6 billion USD that the Philippine government use in paying its foreign debts to the IMF and the WB comes from Filipinos hard earned remittances. So, STFU because you are a just another schmoe like the rest of you at GRP.

    1. @LA702: ha ha! You just simply highlighted the very point I make – that US politics is relevant only with regard to the small-minded aspirations of the typical Fil-Am and their dependents back in the islands who spend their days looking up to the sky with their mouths wide open (thus the theme of our excellent logo): their employment in that mecca of glamour the US Postal Service, their cherished welfare entitlements, their umbilical cord to the remittances of their stateside papas.

      Beyond that, the imagined space of importance Filipinos think they occupy in the global scheme of things is but a mere mirage.

      Pinoy nga naman talaga
      Parang aso
      Matangkad lang kapag naka-upo.


      1. Ignore the troll benigs. With the way he replied defensively – as if his entire existence was being threatened by a simple blog post on the internet – leads me to believe that he will be lost once the remittances his relatives are sending him so he can sit on his ass the whole day trolling other dries up.

      2. @ benignO

        It amazes me how you belabor personal issues affecting Filipinos and the way they run their lives as if your redundant ranting would change how they live. I think you should stick to the issues and show that GRP is not another propaganda machine of some fallen politicians.

        1. benign0 has been around singing the same old refrain for MORE than a decade now. you may want to answer the question why he is using the handle? you may be able to know then who is his benefactor. 🙂

          He’s been watched.

        2. @LA702: in case you haven’t noticed yet, GRP is all about the “personal issues affecting Filipinos and the way they run their lives”. You need to do your homework first before you comment, dude. As that guy commented above, it’s been my thesis for the last 12 years.

          And as to what you believe to be some sort of sinister conspiracy around some sort of dark propaganda mafia backing GRP, well, I’ll leave it up to your imagination to keep on guessing about that. I actually find it kinda flattering that you’d imagine such things about our humble blog. It makes me want to put on a black suit and black tie, wear a pair of wayfarers, and drive around in a big black car. 😀

    2. @LA702

      Wait wait wait, what?!

      If these Filipinos in the states are legitimately employed, then if companies just suddenly fire them or replace them unjustly, then they can file a case against their former employer for discrimination because of race.

      If you are talking about TNTs then it is a whole ‘nother story because that in itself is an illegal practice which I do not condone myself. Yes, they bring in moneys from the US of A, but technically it was done so illegally. The problem with the mindset of just because it benefits us, therefore it should stick as long as it can is wrong. Self serving acts/decisions is what ruins it for the rest of us (not just Filipinos).

      You may be inclined to say “so what, the Mexicans do it (or put name of illegal immigrant here) does it also”. But what good does that do?

      Don’t you also condone/disapprove of illegal practices here in the Philippines especially when it saps from the local economy?

      But anyway, another country is free to do what best it deems for itself, as long as it doesn’t trounce upon other nations. If the goal of the new US policy makers is to prioritize their own citizens to give them jobs, would you blame them? Wouldn’t you expect the same from your own government? Singapore is doing this already if you don’t happen to know. The risk of getting your residency renewal application revoked is pretty high and they have raised the minimum requirements to apply for the right to be a resident as immigrants have abused their social security system and treated it like a bank once they renounce their citizenship which affected their very own citizens.

      1. ARF!!!!! WOOOOOF!!!!!!!! Again I really hit hit a nerve because 1) to incite that response out of you by simply stating you are making your presence felt in a place that based on your words you find no redeeming value. 2) for you to imply my education does not match your level. And all we have to go on from you LA702 are the shotgun insults that accompany every post you make here.

        Again- you have nothing nice to say about our efforts here “yet here you are” . There is a carrot here somewhere that you will not admit. I have no idea what that is. Maybe you were assigned here, I don’t know. Don’t resent GRP, resent whatever external force compels you to be here.

        1. Oh boy. The moronic attention whore is back again to tell us to “improve”. You always change your IP address because you enjoy and love to “murder” us do you? You’re just like vincensus ignoramus: you’re not just a regular moron. You were born to be a moron.

  7. Does it really matter? No, but it should. Sadly, the average Filipino knows less about US politics than RP politics. The morning chat show hosts like to say who they support but are incapable of giving a valid argument why. Same goes for the “survey” in which 75% of respondents say they support Obama. The only reason they appear to care is for the same reason anything else shows up on the various media. It’s all about the “drama” and nothing more.

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