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.
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Thanks 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.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.
25 Replies to “Sorry, Joe. No more boom-boom in Manila and Olongapo City”
Learn to live without the Americans. The Philippines need to stand on its own.
The same way to the Americans…
you mean the US needs Philippines ? Really ??
Yes, they Need Philippines just to exercise, nothing more
US not gonna miss Philippines lack support
Many other countries are lining up, and are even investing money to secure US Bases
@acer: How is that going?
Filipinos in general are to incompetent for that.
Yeah right like how smartass? By keep shouting “proud to be pinoy” while charging our enemies with only our puny bolo while our incompetent politicians, leaders and generals are hiding under the rock? Your death will be meaningless that’s for sure.
It’ll be a cold day in hell before that will happen.
I see you’re doing real well @ standing on your own. This country could not stand on its own if it had crutches and a wall to lean on.
How the hell are you going to do that?
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 vendor, sari sari stores, to the market, restaurants, tricycle and jeepney drivers not mentioning the clubs will benifit from the sailor’s spending spree. It created a good business for everyone. Including the crook drivers who would charge first timers with sky rocketing fares, street hawkers who sell juicy fruit gums at P25/pack from a P2.00/pack. But hey, its still a good business to everyone. One more thing, we could go fishing back then at the scarborough shoal, no more than half a day trip for some finger lickin good grouper, wrasse and sweet lips, fun are the days with friends and family, but I guess not anymore, pinoys are no longer aloud to fish in there by Chinese Coast Guards. 21 years after Subic Naval Base, went back to see my hometown, impressed with the changes economically, Olongapo is better off. But militarily? I dont think so…
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 pumped in, into the common man’s hands, not into the govt
That is apart from the charges being levied to the US for replenishment, stores, Chandling, services, repairs, husbanding etc. etc, estimated to add up to another 3 or 4 billion peso equivalent into the economy
And for Philippines, there is no money need be spent as the Dock Yard is there, infrastructure is there, and even the airfield for use by USN aircraft rushing urgent spares etc is alrady there, all built by Uncle Sam !!
That is proper thinking.
But in Philippines Politicians stoking anti-US emotions are just ensuring that kind of filtering doesn’t happen
I wonder what goes through those drama kings’ minds, doing everything to ensure poverty remains as it is ..
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 keep earning big bucks and can afford to have all the housemaids, yaya’s, drivers, and houseboys that they want.
This has fostered and spread a growing resentment among some of the upper and middle class wannabe’s towards foreigners.
Fortunate the Philippines is still a place where foreigners are made welcome by many other fantastic filipino’s.
as a matter of fact, the rich cream of the society funds the politician’s war chest and the elected are at the beck and call of the rich .. damn the poor, the poor can always be bought over with a few thousand peso at a time
Did Trillanes call Binay’s farm as Exhorbitant ?
the lifestyle of the rich and politicians in this poor country is VULGAR, and exploitation roars.
The rich here, only when you know, you find out they are rich beyond what they show.
Helicopters, private jets, Bentleys and Rolls Royces etc are kept overseas and the poor locals think the rich arr not that rich
The sad fact is the poor don’t know they are being squeezed dead
Now if the few vocal can say Marcos was a good president and they are clean, forgetting that the development that happened would have happened whoever was in power, though the Marcos developed so little considering how many billions of $ they stashed away, gets lost in the haze
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 the government because they think they have some sort of “special privilege.”
At the center of this all is a lawyer-politician under the Liberal Party banner who has plans to become Baguio’s mayor. Furthermore, his SJW wife turns her back and keeps silent over John Hay’s wanton environmental degradation, and rather be more vocal against the earthballing of trees at SM Baguio.
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, but instead it is a laughingstock. How sad it all is.
Philippines: Population 100 million. No nukes
China: Population 1300 million. Has nukes
Get a life. There will never be any chance in a military conflict with China.
@ Stefan, is that directed at me ? the Chinese were the most backward country on earth until 1980. From 1948 to 1980, the Philippine wealth could have established a Military second to none in S E Asia, but instead chose to plunder the ca$h and be subjugated by all foreign entities….that is a fact.
…and BTW, do not worry about me and my life. I have a really good one, while you ,on the other hand, you…well….you are probably stuck in a shit-hole.
@Flint Beastwood: “…the Chinese were the most backward country on earth until 1980.”
Highly doubt this. In fact, your claim is total BS, if you had actually did some research.
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 gas there then they would exploit it by themselves and also take the profits. No advantage for Philippines. Or they don’t want the gas. Then they would keep neutral and won’t help Philippines to secure it.
American presence will have littele effect on Philippine GDP but will also increase the risk of terrorist attacks.
@ Stefanie, ur last statement is unknowable.The way the GDP is figured out is bad enough, but just look at where the bases used to be, and compare that what they look like now, to what they looked like when JOE USA was there, any questions ? DUH!
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 have regrets of what they did here in PH and will not return. Now with the internet the RR is dangerous, no longer a secret. Back then I worked w/ the local bar girls, many of them like the easy work, one even a nurse at Gordon Hosp. some are naive victims. However build the reputation of your country on the positives not the ability to ignore your own laws and exploit your own people. Visitors may enjoy the quick visit but they certainly won’t be returning with the big bucks and neither will other tourists. Clean up the country, habits of the people and the beautiful land will bring you success. Stop relying on the women the most beautiful and the beaches most beautiful….we can all surf the net and see what we wish. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Long term economic success will take social change not visiting ships.
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 to how absolutely stupid a nation and almost all of its people can really be. Now they beg borrow and steal thinking it normal and OK and people do it in other countries is the excuse bandied about which only a retard would use because it shows a total lack of the ability to think. I am surprised how people can still function with so little grey matter. The continual justification for their useless existence has the world baffled and after stealing the relief supplies they will no longer help them out. It is like trying to fill a black hole, impossible, and most of the world will give the idiot nation its wish, stand on your own two feet and don’t call again because your nothing but a bunch of liars who would steal your dying grandmothers blood to satisfy your greedy pathetic useless lives.