It would be unrealistic to claim that there was ever a time when the Philippines wallowed in opulence or abundance, when the Filipinos had all that progress and development could give. The truth is rather this Country and its people are usually wanting in life and challenged in living. The fact is that it has always been a question of more or less resources, a matter of more or less possibilities – never much, much less too much. This is why simply for political correctness, instead of an underdeveloped nation, the Philippines is among those qualified as a “developing” one.
History is the witness that there are some particular similarities between the Japanese occupation and the rule of the present administration concretely in conjunction with the matter of depressing national economy. Presence of hunger and sickness, absence of work or employment, craving for education, revulsion at criminality, reign of corruption, rarity of honesty and integrity in government – all these socio-moral liabilities are then and now realities in this Country. Specifically as to regime of corruption that contributes much to the national financial crisis, it is tops during the regime of the incumbent administration. According to the World Bank, about a whopping 235 billion pesos yearly are lost to corruption in the Philippines.
There are even signs that the above cited concrete indicators of a practically bankrupt national economy is now much worst than before. Otherwise, it would be difficult to explain the phenomenon of OFW, i.e. million of Filipinos trying their best to leave the Country for them to make a living for themselves and their families, and at the same time willing to face all odds and dangers in foreign soil. In effect, such is their sad plight and pitiful lot that recently one haughty and triumphant character categorized the Philippines as a “Nation of servants” – or something the like.
But the good news over and above such financial crisis in the Philippines is the Filipino resiliency. Not really used to plenty and bounty, Filipinos will and do usually find a way to be able to bear it, seek means to survive it. Take away his chair, he will lie on the floor. Take away the floor, and he will just build another. In other words, not really used to an easy life, it is precisely in difficult times that the Filipinos demonstrate their “fighting spirit”, i.e. use his creativity, show his ingenuity, prove his flexibility. It is not altogether a pun to say that the song “I will survive” fits well a great attribute of Filipino soul.
Lastly, as the Filipinos survived the Japanese regime and all the economic woes that went therewith, they too will definitely survive the present economic crisis plus the present administration that is their burden and misfortune for all the past nine years – and counting.
April 20, 2009