Why Filipinos are More Enamored with America than with China

It was reported that the Chinese Embassy in Manila has accused the United States (US) of stoking tensions in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). Chinese Embassy officials further claimed that the US is doing this to advance its own geopolitical interest in the region. Of course, right on cue, Duterte sycophants, who are likened to a bunch of Beijing Kool-Aid drinkers, have marched to the drumbeat of the propaganda arm of the Chinese Communist Party Politburo. So many articles and blogs are being disseminated by these Duterte worshippers that even Stevie Wonder could see their effort in shifting the narrative from Chinese aggression and encroachment of our territory and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to the “White American bad boys promoting their self-interest at Filipino expense” from a mile away. Such nonsense idea that the whole conflict is merely about America’s “Proxy War” against China seems so glaringly obvious to favor the Chinese position (besides being factually and historically wrong). For a while I thought these Duterte worshippers were just being useful idiots. Now I realize that they are just plain idiots. However, despite going on overdrive with their pro-China messaging, Filipinos still trust the US the most when it comes to the WPS issue, among other things. China, on the other hand, is dead last when it comes to being trusted by Filipinos. Where might this awe of America over China be coming from despite America having lost to China when it comes to military and economic strength, as Davao blowhard, former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (FPRRD) said?

I am not going to repeat my critique of the Duterte sycophants’ claptrap. I believe that I have already pointed out many flaws in their propaganda and the intellectual bankruptcy of the Chinese Brown-nosing Policy that their fentanyl-dosed deity seems to be championing. What I would like to dwell on are probable reasons why Filipinos still have a higher regard for America compared to China. Afterall, data shows that the US has the highest number of emigrants from the Philippines while China’s numbers don’t even appear on the radar when it comes to places Filipinos choose to move to. If Americans are so evil and dumb as what the Duterte Kool-Aid drinkers seem to be pontificating, why do Filipinos choose to pursue the American dream over the promise of Chinese luck and prosperity? Why do Filipinos still seem to trust gas station sushi more than China?

Don’t get me wrong, I do not intend to minimize China or its contribution to our country. Afterall, how else can I afford to buy a matching Louis Vuitton belt and a pair of loafers for five bucks? How else can our beloved FPRRD continue (pain-free) with his incoherent rants against President Bongbong Marcos (PBBM) and America without China’s role in making sure fentanyl supply is flowing like the Niagara Falls? So, shouldn’t China’s great contributions and values be looked at more favorably than those dumb knuckle-headed fascist “American Imperialists”? What makes America so great in the eyes of the Filipinos? Let’s assess these Yankee characteristics, in terms of military strength, economic status, (scientific) intelligence, and cultural impact, shall we?

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Throughout history there have been a few countries that have dominated the world in terms of military strength. There was Egypt, Rome, the Mongols, Spain, France, Britain, and others. Presently, America has the most powerful military in the world. What separates America, especially in recent history, is its magnanimity after defeating its enemies. American military greatness is not just evident in its firepower but also in terms of its use of power. Case in point, after defeating Nazi Germany and after levelling Japan, America helped rebuild those countries. After World War 2, America’s military force remained intact as it had the most battle-hardened navy the world has ever seen, it possessed sky darkening clouds of B-29 bombers, and it possessed alone (at that time) the atomic bomb and the will to use it. The world was still licking its wounds from the war in 1945 and America could have conquered any recovering country in the world back then had it been the same as any other military superpower throughout history. But what did America do with the once in a lifetime military advantage it had? America actually scrapped many of its naval ships, drove steel bars through the wings of their B29 bombers and began the largest demilitarization process in the history of the world. It also sent billions of 1940s dollars (through the Marshall Plan) to its former mortal enemies to get them back up on their feet. This isn’t just a one-off but actually a pattern. In 1991, the US military routed Iraq and drove them away from Kuwait, a country invaded by then Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. America could have taken the oil but what did it do? America helped Kuwait put out the fires that Saddam Hussein caused and went back home. Throughout the decades after World War 2, America has only gone to war in response to aggression and not to conquer or subjugate other countries (even though it could have). On occasion the United States intervened in other countries like Grenada or Haiti or Bosnia, but it never stayed to rule those countries. Now what about China’s history of invasion? Did any Duterte sycophants ever fact-check Chinese Communist Party spokesperson Mao Ning for her claim that China has never invaded any country? Yeah, not holding my breath on that one. If China cannot be trusted for its whitewashing of its blemished history in terms of military aggression and invasion, can we really blame the Filipinos for distrusting the Chinese when it comes to respecting our sovereignty and sovereign rights?

America, by far, remains the largest economy in the world with $28.8 trillion US dollars in GDP and $85,370 in GDP per capita. The runner-up, being China, has $18.5 trillion US dollars in GDP and $13,400 in GDP per capita. Interestingly enough, America has 332 million people compared to China’s population of 1.4 billion people. Since the world’s population is roughly 7.9 billion, it is interesting to point out that despite America only having around 4% of the world’s population compared to China having around 18% of the world’s population, America still produces more than 1.5 times the GDP of second place China even with just a little more than 23% of China’s population. Sure, things like Lebron Nike shoes or Apple iPhones may be manufactured in China but the ideas to create such money-making products still come from America. In fact, America has been on top of the innovation age in recent history. There have been about three waves of innovation ages since recorded history. There’s the agricultural age, the industrial age, and now we have the Information Age. During the 19th century America became the world’s largest grain exporter. During the late 1880s to the early 1900s, America became the world’s leading industrial nation. Now in the Information Age, America leads the world in terms of global information and communication technology market share. Sure, your laptop or your iPhone may very well be manufactured in China, but it is still America who keeps most of the money. It is worthwhile to point out that it actually is where ideas come from that is important and that many of the innovative ideas that propel the world’s economy primarily comes from America. Is there really anything new that comes from China or are they just good in stealing technology and reverse engineering American innovation? I’ll leave that question for my readers to discuss. What is important to point out is that America is not just economically massive, but it is economically nimble as well. Filipinos often migrate to other countries for a better life. Given America’s economic success borne out of its creativity, innovation, and economic nimbleness, is it any wonder why America’s grass looks greener than the shrubs of China’s Gobi Desert?

(Scientific) Intelligence
So how many times have we heard that Americans are dumb? Social media certainly is replete with Americans deserving of the Darwin Award. We have American kids being shown on TikTok being clueless on what year the War of 1812 was, which state the State of Utah is in, or how many states make up the USA. But is it really true that Americans are stupid, and the Chinese are far more intellectually superior? So let us do a comparison of scientific output and impact of the two countries. America still leads the world in terms of the volume of scientific publications produced. The metrics remain consistent in terms of citable documents, citations, and if we look at citations per document China does not even come close to America’s numbers. Why is this information significant? We have to realize that each year, scientists around the world write research papers and these papers produce scientific citations which is tantamount to a measure of how much groundbreaking science is being performed and produced. From 1996 to 2023, America had more than 515 million citations whereas China only had 145 million. This means that America had more than 3.5 times as many as the country that the Duterte supporters glorify. Is this just me being an America worshipper? Maybe that is the case if there were no empirical evidence basis to support my argument. Unfortunately for the Duterte Kool-Aid drinkers, the numbers are there for everyone to see. America, by far, still trounces China in terms of scientific intelligence and America is beating China’s butt even with just around 4% of the world’s population and only 23% of China’s. Even just looking at inventions, America is the hub of all innovative inventions as most new technology was invented in America. Just by comparing the numbers of patent grants alone from 1980 to 2022, America has received a total of 6,184,653 while China received 4,570,636. Wow! It sure looks like a rude awakening for the Duterte worshippers to see that the country they worship is actually scientifically inferior to the “nation of idiots” they love to bash and vilify.

Cultural Impact
In terms of cultural impact let us look at the comparison of the highest grossing movies of all time. Data shows that America, by far, has produced the most in terms of highest grossing films. In fact, most of the movies (if not all) in the Top 50 were produced in America. The highest grossing movie of all time in China, “The Battle of Lake Changjin”, did not even appear on the World’s Top 50 list. In terms of music, America still holds the most number of albums sold in the world with Michael Jackson lording it over the musical world.

I am not, by any means, discounting the talents of people outside of America. There certainly are a lot of people with amazing talent all over the world and China certainly has no shortage of talent. However, the most successful products that came from amazing talents mostly came from American production. Jay Chou, is the all-time king of Chinese music record sales, yet his most successful album does not even appear on the world’s all-time top list. Empirically speaking, America still tops the list of countries that have the most impact in international popular culture. Remember, such cultural impact to the world with America having just around 4% of the world’s population compared to China’s 18%.

Look, let us not unnecessarily stretch this any further, although we could as it is so much fun bursting the Duterte pro-China bubble. The point is that it is not surprising why Filipinos generally still look more favorably towards Americans and America compared to the Chinese and China. Am I merely drinking the American Kool-Aid here? Perhaps. However, the numbers actually do show that America still seems to dominate China in aspects that are a lot worthy of awe and respect. We have not even touched on the current geopolitical turmoil between China and the Philippines yet. A study by Mark Gabriel Wagan Aguilar reveals that the primary drivers for Filipino distrust towards China point to the perceived Chinese threat, their displayed aggressiveness, and superiority complex. But that is for another day to discuss.

4 Replies to “Why Filipinos are More Enamored with America than with China”

  1. I agree that the U.S. military is one of the best. However, I have to disagree with the culture part. American culture is overrated. Before that, I like to add that this post only narrates the pros of American society. I won’t judge since the article asks why Filipinos are American wannabes/love America more than China. In reality, what you don’t realise is the idolatry that infests American society(e.g. political feuds, LGBTQ+ activism, Koreabooism, Weabooism, delusion, radical selfishness and individualism, and so on).

    The only reason why America is great is because of its immigrants, the Brits included of course. Without them, America would have been nothing but a collection of tribes. What’s more, the U.S. was originally only composed of the original 13 colonies. They were under the British. When the American Revolution broke out, the Brits and its strong army could have quelled the American rebels. It didn’t happen, because the British army’s leaders in the war were weak. The British soldiers were also unfamiliar with America’s terrain. Otherwise, America wouldn’t have existed. If it did, gaining its independence later like the other New World colonies, it wouldn’t be great now, only on par with Canada or Brazil.

  2. A holistic relationship with China is better. Just like Singapore we should be friends with both China and US. I like FPRRD policy until BBM’s decision to have USA build bases. Now Russia is preparing its missiles at Asia particularly at USA bases in our region. Straddling the middle line for both countries is crucial for our prosperity as a nation.

  3. We wouldn’t have been in this quagmire if previous administrations had the political will to modernize the AFP, equip the Philippine Navy to become a green-water navy, and the Air Force to have 4th-gen fighters instead of a handful of turboprops. This should have been common sense policy once the US got kicked out of their bases in the 90s.

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