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
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
- 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.
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
- Empty “poe”-gi points borrowed from a late showbiz personality
- Gross incompetence justified by a perverted concept of “mar”-tyrdom and sacrifice
- 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!
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