Filipinos’ concern over a depreciating peso is due to a pathetic dependence on imports

A depreciating peso wouldn’t really be an issue if Filipinos are able to produce what they consume and sell what they don’t consume to an export market. The trouble is, the Philippines is not a producer of valuable enough stuff and prefer, instead, the lazy option of “producing” and selling low-value raw stuff. I enclosed the term “producing” in quotes in the latter sentence because chopping down trees or digging up minerals then exporting these after applying a wee bit of semi-processing isn’t really producing in the real modern sense.

It is also not surprising that the noisiest shrillest voices raising a stink about the depreciating peso come from the usual hipster “influencers” who rely on imported stuff to keep up their hipster personas on social media. The Philippines imports most of its fuel after all and an increase in the peso cost of jet fuel, of course, puts a damper on their selfie-by-the-piazza plans. To be fair, fuel is an important imported resource, specially in an islands nation like the Philippines where transport and logistics are a day-to-day challenge. So everything goes up when the peso goes down.

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You wonder, though, about these “activist” hipsters who shed tears over travel plans they’ve had to cancel or new iPhones they’ve had to forego because of higher peso prices. Are they really turning the weak peso into an “activist” cause that is relevant to all Filipinos? Perhaps they should consider that a weak peso is a boon to the armies of overseas foreign workers (OFWs) on whom tens of millions of Filipinos rely on for their daily celphone load. A weak peso also attracts foreign tourists and balikbayans. Wouldn’t real “activists” welcome the prospect of people coming to spend their money in the Philippines rather than sympathise with the “plight” of hipsters looking to take overseas frolics to spend their money outside their country?

At best, the exchange rate shouldn’t be made out to be such a big deal by Filipinos. The exchange rate just simply is what it is — a reflection of what the market thinks the Philippine peso is worth relative to other currencies. The only reason that Filipinos (or at least the hippest amongst them) give a shrill hoot about the exchange rate is because the Philippine economy is “globalised” in all the wrong ways. It is hooked to the global economy via a one-way street with imports flooding the domestic markets unfettered and consumption propped up by OFW remittances, rentseeking, and extractive industries soaking all that up.

As to the small matter of actually producing stuff of consequence to people with lots of money to spend and invest, well, that’s never really been a strong point of Philippine industry. Indigenous products that sell at a premium — high technology, luxury brands, and capital equipment among others — are virtual non-existent outputs of Philippine industry. Beyond labour-added-value products, Philippine industry has never really taken off. Thus, the Philippines continues to rely on the physical toil of its enormous wage-crushing population for much of its economic output.

In short, whining about the “depreciating peso” is a lazy activist “cause”. It does not take into account the bigger picture and the deeper vacuousness of the capital base of the Philippine economy. In reality, the foreign exchange rate wouldn’t matter as much if the Philippine economy was a truly smart and truly resilient one and not one that has all its eggs in two primitive baskets — OFW remittances and consumption. It’s time Filipinos focus on what really matters to the rest of the world — their economic value.

39 Replies to “Filipinos’ concern over a depreciating peso is due to a pathetic dependence on imports”

  1. Benign0 makes a very good point. If you notice people of progressive countries, the only time they really mention inflation is when they wax nostalgically of old times, when sweets can be bought by the pound at what are today ridiculously low prices and the only time they really complain about it is when they need to buy an imported car or electronic device which their country doesn’t otherwise make.

  2. What benign0 says is true, but there’s an extremely good reason why the Philippines does nothing except sell off its natural resources (including warm bodies) to the highest bidder: it’s what the government wants, it’s what the Constitution and the Law is designed to deliver, and it’s what the various government agencies enforce.

    Duterte has done nothing to change the country’s basic raison d’etre: to prostitute itself. If he wants this to change (and I’m fairly sure he doesn’t) then he’d have to put a stop to State aggression leveled at anybody who wants to make an honest living. It’s not enough to stop the corruption involved in the resource-stripping industry, or the drug trade. Unless people have something else to do, the only other option for them is to become unemployed.

    In fact most Filipinos make exactly that choice: they don’t want the stress of working (either as a slave or a long-suffering business owner), and they don’t want to become criminals, so the obvious recourse is to do nothing. It takes a strong personality to expose yourself not just to the ordinary troubles of doing business but also to the arbitrary depredations of an all-powerful and malevolent State apparatus.

    The article on anti-intellectualism touches on this. The bottom line is that people are afraid to achieve. Putting your head above the parapet will get it blown off.

    1. Indeed, it is usually risk-takers who are rewarded. As the saying goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”!

      1. And in there lies a major cause of the Philippines remaining near the bottom of the economic food chain.

        I believe that the small number of companies controlling the economy – often strategically controlled by one person – have become so comfortable in their protected environment that they have become risk-averse. They are not prepared to enter the international markets because they know that they have to be competitive in terms of price, quality and reliability.

  3. Like what I’ve been saying all along.. You can thank the Chinese businesses, and their well-bribed political dynasties, for bringing in unregulated imports (legal and illegal merchandise) to the country, destroying our local industries, and devaliing our peso. When are we going to admit to our ourselves that we’ve been “pimping” and “whoring” our nation to anyone for the right price for a long time; and our being a “sellout” society is only destroying our nation and oppressing our people?

    1. Oh, stop blaming everyone except yourselves. It makes you look even weaker than you actually are.

      The Chinese have taken over the business environment because Filipinos are too apathetic, or too concerned with stabbing each other in the back, to take the same advantage. The Chinese bribe Filipino officials because Filipinos like to be bribed; they even make rules to ensure that bribes are the norm. The Chinese look down on you and treat you as slaves because that’s what you respond to: if you treat a Filipino with decency and trust he will take you for a fool (because who in their right mind would trust a Filipino?) and at the first opportunity he’ll steal from you or kill you. The Chinese work around the rules because the rules suck. The Chinese keep the economy working by flouting those rules; if they didn’t, this country would look like Somalia.

      Take a good hard look at your own character, your own rules, your own society, and then consider what it takes to thrive in that environment: what the Chinese are doing is the logical response to the mess that Filipinos have constructed for themselves. The Chinese have got it figured out, because they see what you are. The Filipino hasn’t, because to do so he’d have to look at the vileness in his own soul.

      1. Marius, what part of my comment(s) did you not understand to come back with an idiotic, “Onion-Skin,” reply like that? I knew it was only a matter of time before I “smoke out” some of the “sellouts” on this blog each time I talk about what the Chinese businesses, and their well-bribed political dynasties, are doing to the Philippines–I did it with Zaxx and have done it with you in the past, over and over again, and still doing it.

        “Weak”? Dude, I have never denied being weak and always included myself–directly and indirectly–a part of a corrupt culture that breeds arrogant and self-serving people, who will “pimp” and “whore” themselves to anyone for the right price. It’s you who’s weak, for being defensive each time I include the Chinese businesses to the equation of what’s wrong with the Philippines.

        Don’t think for a minute that the Chinese (foreign and local) are better off and saving us from from ourselves and our “country-destructive” ways; they’re only in the game for the money and will not do anything that will help our nation move forward for our people.

        If your comment above is your way of of justifying what the Chinese are doing in the Philippines, then you haven’t said “jack shit” to make me rethink and take back what I said about them. You’re just as much a part of the problem by making one wrong (the country-destructive ways of our people) wrong, and two wrongs (the country-destructive ways of our people and the Chinese’s exploitation of our society) right. That makes you a “pimp” and a “whore” like me and the rest of our people.

        My advice to you and the rest of the GRP writers and commenters–who are barely scratching the surface of redundancy by only bashing one political party against another, one religion against another, or one celebrity/politician after another–to dig deeper through that “Onion Skin” sensitivity of your ego and conscience, and start talking about the other “tabooed” factors that destroy the Philippines and it’s people, without waiting for foreigners to point out the obvious for you and you getting riled up as a result, if you want this blog to sound more “Real” and objective.

        1. What IS your problem with the Chinese? They keep their heads down, they support each other, and they get on with their work. Which is a lot more than can be said for Filipinos. I’ve met quite a lot of Chinese-Filipino businessmen, and the majority are smart, honest and trustworthy. That is WHY they are successful. People who cheat, lie, and scam their customers rarely get anywhere; and that is WHY Filipinos are (mostly) poor and miserable.

          Those involved in the drug trade (for example) are here because Filipinos want them here. The people making the money, setting up the ground-level deals, and basically betraying their own country are Filipinos. Same with mining companies and timber thieves: it might be Chinese buyers operating the ships, but it’s Filipinos operating the chainsaws and the excavators.

          And of course they’re in the game for the money. What’s wrong with that? What else would you have them do? And why SHOULD they help you “move forward as a people”? What business is that of theirs, especially since Filipinos (a) don’t consider Chinese-Filipino citizens as “proper” Filipinos and (b) are endlessly bellowing about how proud they are and don’t need any help from anyone?

          Basically I’m pointing out that the weak WILL be preyed upon by the strong. That’s been the way of the world since forever. The way to stop that happening is to stop being a bunch of whining, self-loathing failures, get up off your knees, and start copying the Chinese. Your bizarre conspiracy theories are not going to help you “move forward as a people”.

        2. Marius, are you blowing the same smoke you’re inhaling? I’m not even going to reply to any of your stupid arguments and engage in a tiresome verbal tirade. You’re obviously smoking the same illegal drugs these Chinese are smuggling into the country, like it so much that you’ll defend them against anyone who opposes what they’re doing.

          My problem with the immoral, unprincipled, money-greedy Chinese is the same problem you have with our arrogant and self-serving people. Both have contributed to the degradation of our society–no more, no less–and you shouldn’t be partial to one over the other; it only makes you sound like a “hypocrite” and a “sellout.”

          If you’re going to “talk shit” about the country-destructive ways of our people, then you should do the same for the outside (or inside) forces that are responsible for keeping them that way—-even if it means cutting out the illegal drug supply that keeps you in a delusional high on what’s really going on in in your own country and people.

        3. What I see here is another argument for Filipino exceptionalism. “It’s not fair! Why should WE have to submit to reality! We’re Filipinos! The laws of nature and the universe should bend to our will!”

          I also see the complete misunderstanding of business (which boils down to that “blessed are the poor” claptrap). I’ve noticed Filipinos think there’s something dirty or wrong about ACTUALLY WORKING; they think there is something INHERENTLY IMMORAL about running a business. It’s why the government persecutes business owners: they’re BAD PEOPLE, by definition. It’s why families send ate or kuya off to Korea to work, while the rest of the family sit around playing on Facebook 24-7. He or she is the sacrificial lamb, the one who takes it upon himself to – gasp! – earn an honest living. This also explains why Filipino parents see no difference between ate going to work as a secretary, or as a prostitute. Both jobs are dirty.

          Now, I’m not denying there are exploitative operators in the Philippines. Koreans and Americans too; it’s not just the Chinese. However your argument seems to be “it’s our country, we can do what we like with it”. You just acknowledged that Filipinos are also ” immoral, unprincipled, money-greedy”, and there are probably 10x as many pure-born Filipinos as Chinese. So, who do you think is causing all the problems? There are only two possible answers:

          – Filipinos outnumber Chinese, so all else being equal it’s Filipinos.
          – Chinese people are 10x smarter than Filipinos, so it’s the Chinese.

          Anyway, you could stop the exploitation of your country tomorrow by NOT EXPLOITING IT YOURSELVES. If you weren’t cutting down your own trees and slicing the tops off your own mountains, THERE WOULD BE NO BUYERS for timber and ore. It’s really, really simple.

          The flipside of that is: if the Chinese “criminals” all went away, the Philippine economy would collapse.

          When you show self-respect, others will respect you too. When you disrespect yourselves, they will not. This is a fairly fundamental rule of human society. Now, you can say, “oh no, that’s not true! It doesn’t apply to us, because we’re Filipinos!”. Fine. Keep doing what you’re doing. Just don’t whine about the results.

        4. Marius,
          I fully agree with you. Especially the part “the weak WILL be preyed upon by the strong.”. It is so spot on. Will it change? I dont see it happening in any near future with the culture they (PH) have. Only a radical change of the collective system into an individual focused system may be a start (Example: OFWs stop sending money back home and keep the salary 100% for themselves).

        5. @Robert: I agree, if OFWs would stop propping up the dollar-fuelled economy, the government would be forced to either (a) let it collapse, in which case the country would be promptly invaded by China or (b) fix the education system, the job market, and the business laws, and let people earn their own money. That won’t happen of course. OFWs have been brainwashed into thinking it’s their duty to provide for the layabouts back home.

        6. Is this the same Robert Haigton who frown upon the Roman Catholic Church (the strong) preying on the weak (the Filipinos) on the other thread; yet, agrees with Marius on his view that justifies the Chinese (the strong) to prey upon the weak (again, the Filipinos). It’s time to make up your mind on which side you really stand–the weak or the strong–and stop sounding like a chameleon. That’s how you lose credibility.

        7. @Aeta: you appear to be struggling with the is-ought problem:

          I did not “justify” anybody preying on Filipinos. I was describing what IS without making any judgement on what OUGHT TO BE. If Filipinos insist on behaving like victims, then others will victimize and bully them. It’s not nice, it’s not right, but it’s what happens. Always.

          The Catholic church is a classic example: they exploit you because you want them to. Don’t want to be exploited by them? Stop going to church, stop giving them money, stop playing with your stupid rosary beads and kowtowing to the priests. Problem solved.

        8. Marius, the “is-ought” is a common dilemma that all of us experience. No matter how things are in our present moment (“is”), we always feel there should (“ought”) be rooms for improvement. And if we can’t change the way things are (“is”), we should (“ought”) to change path and walk away towards more ideal ones. This “is-ought” scenarios can easily be applied to religion–like the example you gave–or other situations where you have more viable options. It’s not nearly as easy, and sometimes impossible, to exercise the same “is-ought” option in the Philippines, where the opportunity to change your current situation is very limited, or virtually non-existent, due to the oppressive environment that the business and political oligarchs have created.

        9. You’re quite right about the oppressive environment for business. Nobody said this was easy, but again, you are where you are. You can either throw up your hands and say, oh, it’s all hopeless (ie., “you can’t get there from here”) … or you can try to come up with a plan for fixing it. Those are your only two options.

          Many countries which are successful today looked exactly like the Philippines 200 years ago. Some were even worse. It’s a pity history isn’t taught in Filipino schools (except from a one-sided “foreigners are all horrible people” perspective) because there are some useful lessons there for removing kleptocracies and oligarchies and repairing social flaws.

        10. You make an enormous leap of faith regarding Filipino education.

          About a month ago I read an opinion piece in IIRC the Philippine Star online regarding federalism. One of the major foundations of the argument was that ‘federal states are continental in size and homogeneous’ and went on to offer the USA and Soviet Union as examples. It then continued by claiming that they espoused federalism as the were too large to be governed centrally. After wiping the coffee I had sprayed off the laptop, I carried on reading to the end. The author was there described as a retired lecturer (so presumably at college or university level) in History and Political Science!

        11. @Niall: was that addressed to me? I’m not really sure what you mean. If you’re saying Filipino academics mostly aren’t smart enough to be doing the jobs they’re employed to do, I’d agree.

          I was just pointing out that the Philippines (theoretically) has an enormous advantage: the benefit of hindsight.

          While historical solutions are (obviously) not applicable in cookie-cutter form to modern problems, several problems in this country were faced, and solved, many times, by other countries. Looking at what they got right (or wrong) would be a sensible place to start from. It irritates me that Filipinos think they’re so completely unique that the lessons of history don’t apply to them.

          I’m not entirely sure what the history syllabus looks like here, but I’ve noticed most Filipinos are blissfully unaware of even a vague outline of 20th century events. I met someone the other day (an intelligent person with a degree) who had never even heard of the Cambodian Killing Fields.

        12. @Marius
          Not meant in an adversarial manner. Mainly spurred by your wish for history to be taught in schools. If a specialist in the subject who is operating at a level that will produce the next generation of teachers can be so far off beam regarding the factual aspects, what chance is there of correct interpretations of past events being correct?

        13. >> Not meant in an adversarial manner.

          Oh, I know – I just wasn’t sure which bit of the argument you were referring to!

          You’re absolutely right of course. The reality is that NOTHING is taught with any competence in Philippines schools. The whole enterprise is a complete waste of time and money, a smoke-and-mirrors game to convince people that their kids are being educated, when in reality they’re just being indoctrinated to produce a new generation of compliant, unreasoning halfwits who will keep pressing the Skinner-box button in the voting booth in return for some pathetic freebies.

          In fact, once you accept that that is the goal, it is astoundingly effective. Whatever else the ruling classes might be, they’re not stupid.

        14. Marius, if you agree with me on the oppressive environment the political and business oligarchs have created in the Philippines, then why are you defending the Chinese for taking part in creating it (“strong preying on the weak” ), and condemning the Filipinos for not exercising their “is-ought” option to change their current situation?

          It sounds to me like you’re playing the “semantics” game and Robert Haighton–who also enjoys playing the game–is jumping on your bandwagon. I’ve already cited him (Robert) on his “chameleon- like” inconsistency of condemning the Catholic Church for oppressing the Filipinos, yet, sides with you for condemning the latter for not exercising their “is-ought” option against the oppressive Chinese.

          If you read “all” of my previous comments, I’ve always maintained the stance that there’s a lot of things wrong with our corrupt culture that breeds corrupt people. But I’m not just going to condemned our people for their arrogant and self-serving ways that destroy their society; the Chinese also plays a vital role in keeping them that way.

          You’re obviously convinced that it’s only our people’s fault why the Philippines is all screwed up, prompting me to keep admonishing you–and now Robert Haighton–on your lopsided view that, “one wrong (the Filipinos’country-destructive ways) makes it wrong; but, two wrongs (the Filipinos’ country-destructive ways and the Chinese capitalizing on those weaknesses to oppress the people) don’t make it right.”

        15. Aeta: we’re just talking past each other. Not once have I said that it is RIGHT that Chinese oligarchs and powerful businessmen exploit Filipino failures. But yes, it is 100% the fault of the Filipino. I’m not playing with semantics. Here’s why (again):

          Filipinos view every business interaction as a “win-lose” scenario: someone must win and someone must lose. The Filipino does not accept the reality of “win-win” business deals.

          So, when Europeans or Americans come to the Philippines with grand ideas of helping Filipinos succeed, they end up walking away with all their money gone, and nothing to show for it. The Filipino thinks that this is a good outcome: he has won, and the foreigner has lost. At no point does it occur to him that, if he had NOT cheated the foreigner out of all his money, they could have built a profitable business together; that’s the “win-win” that the foreigner wanted, but that the Filipino doesn’t consider as an option.

          Now, the Chinese businessman fully understands that the Filipino does not do “win-win”. He understands that there are only two possible outcomes in any deal:

          1) Chinese wins, Filipino loses.
          2) Chinese loses, Filipino wins.

          The Chinese businessman (obviously) does not want (2) to happen. He therefore ensures that (1) happens. This is easy for him, because he is smarter, more experienced, and more hard-working than the Filipino. It’s like taking candy from a baby. The Filipino thinks this is unfair because he’s not used to other people cheating HIM. He thinks it’s his right to cheat OTHERS.

          Now, the European or the American COULD do it the Chinese way, but they choose not to. Not only do they have ethical codes about it, they think that any sensible business partner aims for “win-win”. They cannot comprehend why anybody would want anything different. They do not understand the goal of the Filipino: it is not to better his lot, or to better his society, but to cause maximum harm to people he does not like, even if he hurts himself in the process, or comes out of it with only a small gain. So the foreigner loses … and the Filipino loses, even though, puffed up with Pride in his own cleverness, he believes he has won.

          In other words, the only way the Filipino can avoid being exploited is to stop exploiting others.

        16. Dear Aeta,
          I agreed and agree with Marius about how things unravel (what is actually happening on the ground). I understand the RC church (and other religions) how and why they operate the way they do. Personally, I dont need any religion to live a comfortable life and I am also – personally – against things they (religion) stand for. I dont like to be told how to live my life and then get some reward in heaven.

          All in all the strongest party was and is the population. Why? Because they (the population) outnumber all PH priests and cardinals together. Only they (the population) dont seem to realize that in PH.

          I am not pro RC church and not pro chinese-filipino. I just understand how both parties work in Philip land.

        17. Rober Haighton, you’re only explaining one side of it: the Roman Catholic Church and why you frown upon it as being the “strong” that preys upon the “weak” (the masses). Now explain why you agreed with Marius on his conclusion on why the Chinese (strong) should prey upon the weak (the masses). I’m confused with the inconsistency of your last comment on where you really stand on the strong versus the weak.

        18. I dont encourage the practise (strong preying on weak) but it is what it is. It is happening even closer to (your/PH) home. Isnt it the case, that most pinays are raised to be ‘humble’, simple and submissive to the pinoy (delikadesa)? That by itself is already a case of strong vs. weak. Is it not true that pinoys prefer their wives to stay at home (full time housewives)? (Or maybe pinays even prefer to stay at home). Anyway, its already a disaster waiting to happen and it happened and is still happening today.
          Get stronger, resist and rise to the occassion and raise the bar (as female).

          My point of view about stron vs. weak?
          It is NO fun to use and abuse a weakling. Its far more challenging to ‘beat’ someone with the same capabilities (level playing field). Why? Because I have to work harder, put more effort into it and stay more focused.

        19. Robert Haigton, if it is what it is then you should accept what the Catholic Church is doing, just like I should accept what the Chinese are doing, to the Philippines and its people. Afterall, these events are out of our hands to try to change. Filipino women being raised to be humble and submissive wives hasnt been the norm in the Philippines for the past 50 years–except in rural areas, maybe–but our culture were not responble for initiating that change; the rest of the world did, and the Filipinos just followed along so as not to be left out. By the way, the husband-wife relationship was never a battle between the weak and the strong; husband or wife is only role that each partner assume in a traditional household.

        20. >> if it is what it is then you should accept what the Catholic Church is doing,
          >> Now explain why you agreed with Marius on his conclusion on why the Chinese (strong) should prey upon the weak

          Again, I did not say this. Nor did Robert. We are pointing out that if you don’t like what IS, then it is within your power to change it; and furthermore that nobody is going to change it for you (principally because Filipinos reject the possibility of help from outside).

          If you don’t WANT to change it – if you’re happy to be exploited – then of course that’s your choice.

          Consider this: how to you imagine the rest of the world has managed to trade with the Chinese without being exploited? Most countries carry on business with them for mutual benefit, because that’s the most sensible form of business.

          There are plenty of countries that have been essentially “bought” by China. They get exploited. Why is that? It’s because those countries all have a zero-sum view of business. They think that it’s either “you win I lose” or “you lose I win”. They fundamentally don’t understand the idea of “you win I win”. Now, Westerners try to “play fair” in these countries, and they get nowhere. They get cheated and laughed at. The Chinese, on the other hand, accept the rules and play by them. They say to their opposite numbers: fine, you want to play a “win-lose” game? That’s OK. You are going to lose, and we are going to win. We’d like you to win too, but you don’t want to. Not a problem for us.

          I’ve noticed most Filipinos are like this. They view every interaction as a war in which only one person can win. It’s the basic reason they never co-operate, are paranoid about foreigners, and are always stabbing each other in the back for short-term gain.

          If you want to fix this, you have to learn how “win-win” works, and that’s something that only young children can learn. It’s very hard to change an adult’s mind on something that basic.

        21. Dear Aeta,
          I really do think that Marius (^) answered your question. The question(s) you posed me. But since you asked ME, I will respond myself.

          “It is what it is” means what we see today is reality. And we have the option to either accept it (and thus NOT change it) or change it. So, it is all up to you (you personally and your fellow Filipinos).
          The problem with the Philippines (the way I see it) is that it does NOT provide options (a choice between (at least) 2 or more options). Look at your laaws; and look ast the bible and finally look at your culture. But you know what? Even that can be changed. BUT I am very pressimistic about PH people initiating change.

          In case you want to discuss/debate about husband/wife relationships in the Philippines: let’s start. And it is about the strong and the weak. Well not even so much about the strong. Because pinoys (the males) are not strong (they think they are but they are not). Anyway, lets leave that subject/topic for later.

  4. The Philippines has no manufacturing base. It has a few manufacturing industries; mostly run by foreigners, because of our cheap labor. There is no steel industries, or other industries, that would support industrialization.

    It relies mostly on export of agricultural products, and export of human resources, like the OFW. the country’s brains have migrated to most industrialized countries.This is the reason, we cannot industrialize.

    Our country mostly rely on imported goods. Most of these imported goods, are: Made in China.

    The Philippine peso will go down more, as the U.S. Dollar will become stronger, because of the sound monetary and economic policies of U.S. Pres. Trump.

    If we consume less of imported products and produce. We may help the Philippine peso from going further down.

    1. Hyden, more than 31 years ago, the Philippines had a promising small-to-medium manufacturing base of local and exportable merchandise, a productive agricultural output, an up-and-coming banking system, a thriving retail and service industry, and a work force that ensured a balance of manpower abroad and at home.

      This picture of a hopeful nation changed for the worse when we allowed these supposedly “Heroes of the EDSA Revolution,” and their Chinese counterparts, to take over power and eventually raped the country of its political and economic stability, and robbed the country of its wealth and deprived the people of their quality of life.

      Surprisingly, the intellects on this blog refused to admit to those facts and avoided the topic of exposing the Chinese’s unscrupulous involvement in our country’s affairs, which kind of makes me question if GRP is really living up to its name.

      1. Aeta: that brief period of history you’re referring to: run by the Americans, with American money.

        I have a book about that period, written by an American businessman who was there at the time. Most of the deals were made with the best of intentions – the Americans WANTED to hand off a functioning country to Filipinos. At least the businessmen did; what the American government wanted … who knows.

        It might actually have worked, but Marcos imagined it was HIM running the show, and told the Americans to leave. We all know what happened next; the book documents those years like a slow-motion car crash. It wasn’t the Chinese. It was Marcos who allowed it to happen, in the most Filipino way possible: he let his ego get in the way of reality.

        1. Marius, I’m not a big fan of Marcos, or any Philippine president, either. Each one was a puppet, of some sort, by other countries or political and business entities. In Marcos’ case, the United States let him have his way because they needed the U.S. bases in the Philippines during the height of the Vietnam War. So, it became a reciprocal relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines, with the former pulling all the strings. Marcos allowed the Americans full use of the bases, and the latter allowed him to run his country any way he wanted.

          One of those ways is to declare Martial Law in 1972. The U.S. were scaling back on its military presence in Southeast Asia at the end of the Vietnam War, and the bases in Philippines is one of the areas of consideration to stay or go.

          With the Americans’ declining support for the Marcos administration, the growing threat of Communism (New People’s Army) in the country, rampant contraband smuggling from South China Sea, Muslim insurgency in Mindanao that threatened to spread throughout dthe archipelago, and political and business enemies craving to oust him, Marcos had no choice but to declare Martial Law to stay in power and maintain some semblance of control over the entire nation.

          Although Marcos abused his power and enriched himself during his reign, the country still experienced relative peace and economic prosperity: infrastructural developments were at full swing, Filipino-owned businesses were thriving, and the social welfare programs (public education, health care, housing and food assistance) were fully-funded.

          I can go on and on with all the rehabilitation programs that were in place–to keep the people living in relative comfort and never in the need to resort to extreme means–during Martial Law. Yes, Marcos was a thieving scoundrel but there was only one of his kind. Today, hundreds, even thousand–in business and politics–are impoverishing the entire nation with no end in sight. When will the madness stop?

      2. @Aeta:

        I know what you are telling us and others. The Filipino Oligarchs, 31 years ago were not interested in our country’s industrialization.. They are only interested of their status, of controlling the nation’s economy.

        Cory Aquino was of a Chinese heritage. Her family is one of the oligarchs families. So, with her Chinese friends; together with the , Lopezes, Ayalas, etc…they turned this country into a shithole…

        1. Hyden, thank you for understanding what I’m talking about. You apparently lived through Martial Law, like I did, to make an objective comparison of what it was like then and now; and which direction this country is going to go, with the way things are today. The “Shithole.”

    1. Niv, keep subscribing to the Chinese businesses and their well-bribed political dynasties’ products and services in the Philippines, and your foreign currency will have more buying power. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Philippines turn into another HongKong someday, with the oligarchs owning the entire country and the struggling masses living on “bangka” (a small dugout canoe), because they can afford to live on land anymore.

    2. Robert Haigton, if Marius already answered my question then there’s no need to reply to your comment, or you making further comments on this topic in the future, because you’re just mirroring everything he says without adding further value to anything that you might add to the discussion.

      You’ve already lost your credibility with me by failing to dilineate your view on why you would condemn the Roman Catholic Church for oppressing the Filipinos, and not the Chinese for doing the same—in your own words and not Marius’.

      You also keep throwing in irrelevant examples, domineering Filipino husbands over submissive Filipina wives, to support Marius’ semantic theory of the “is-ought” of the Filipinos’ refusal to change their current situation, in order to get out of the oppressive situations they’re in. Next thing you know, you’ll throw in the example of why you think Filipino cats are more superior than Filipino dogs, or vice versa.

      I know exactly what you’re doing, Marius—ahem, Robert Haigton. You’re avoiding answering my question on how you feel about what the Chinese are doing to the Filipinos because you might say something that’s not in line with Marius’ view–and, for that matter, what the majority of the pro-Chinese writers and commenters on GRP also believe–and fall out of favor with them and get blocked out.

      I don’t think the publisher of this blog will do that. If anything, your objectiveness will helpi paint a clearer picture of what’s really going on in the Philippines, and give this blog a more objective impression on its subscribers as being a “No Holds Barred” publication, and you restoring the credibility you’ve lost as an impartial contributer.

  5. If you want to be a slave in life, then continue going around asking others to do for you. They will oblige, but you will find the price is your choices, your freedom, your life itself. They will do for you, and as a result you will be in bondage to them forever, having given your identity away for a paltry price. Then, and only then, you will be a nobody, a slave, because you yourself and nobody else made it so.

    1. Hoarding the Earth’s resources, more than what’s needed for survival, deprives other beings of the same resources; disrupts the natural order of the ecosystem and pollutes the environment; creates animosity, competition, conflict, and, eventually, destruction; and, prescribes the need for masters and slaves to take part in the legacy of endless suffering.—Buddhist Wisdom.

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