Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What the hell is happening in the Philippines?

I've been pretty horrified the past few days about what's been happening in the Philippines, especially since the current president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (aka GMA), has declared a "state of emergency" on the entire country after rumors of coups were going around about a week ago. Considering that in the past 20 years, the Philippines has gone through a pretty tumultous time since Marcos, with most prime ministers being forced out, usually through mass demonstrations since the first one that kicked out Marcos back in '86.

For someone who's always had a very tentative and distanced relationship with the country of my ancestors, it's also given me a chance to really think about how I feel about the Philippines, a country that's had the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world colonized by the US, and how the country still can't shake off its blinders and see how that mindset has thrown it from the "Pearl of the Orient" to a place that's off-limits to investors and other people who could bring in potential capital because of the constant instability and corruption, and yet doesn't have a strong enough opposition that's able to completely overturn the government and establish something completely different. It amazes me that Filipinos who are of the upper classes are completely blind to the corruption that happens around them on a daily basis. I see the work that's being done on so many different levels to try to do something to change the Philippines, but it's just so sad that so many Filipinos feel that there's nothing left to give to the country and so many want to get out and come to the US. I'm not sure what it would take to bring the Philippines up from where it is right now, since it seems that all these crises are going to eventually tear the country apart unless they can do something to fix what's wrong at its core, which I'm still trying to figure out, though I know a lot of it has to do with a colonial mindset.

Here are some posts from some fellow Filipino bloggers: Gura, Tatang Retong, and Rona.


Rona Fernandez said...

hey efren--
thanks for your post. i'm glad more pin@ys are blogging about this in the US. one thing, though, is that the PI is maybe the FIRST country the US has colonized, but I think native folks in Puerto Rico and Hawaii--not to mention California Mexicans whose families were here before this was ever a state of the union--would beg to differ with you that the PI is the ONLY country to be colonized by the US.

Just to clarify-

Efren said...

Point taken, girl--my history isn't as good as I remembered it...thanks!

Though I guess I do wonder about Cuba and have always been curious why Cuba never had the same kind of issues that we do, and we can probably go off about how America's really colonized most of the world through its culture (something that's really disturbed me since it's a strategy used by American Big Tobacco to export cigs overseas).