Easily, on the surface, two important concerns come to mind for many Filipinos:

One (1), will the Business Outsourcing (Call Centers) finally moved out, and go back to America? We know that around seventy percent of our Call Centers are from the United States, and their departure will gravely affect our economy; it is like removing the wheels that propel the engine.

Second (2), will the Military agreement or deployment of US soldiers under EDCA, abrogated? This question will lead us to another question,

  • Will the US still assist us with our territorial dispute against China? Or we will be left on our own, at the mercy of Duterte’s so-called independent foreign policy?” A president who is willing to lay aside our claims to preserve his friendship (status) with the Chinese?

  • Last but not the least, Human Rights. If America opts to focus more or put America first and chose to ignore the plight of other countries like the Philippines, “will it embolden” Duterte to continue his war on drugs? Then we should expect further deterioration of the rule of law and more violations of human rights.

Citing these concerns, yes, we have to be worried. Let me elaborate further – many Filipinos are worried about how America thinks, speaks and act, because, we, are a by-product of America in many ways, time immemorial, from being a colony to becoming an independent country; our political structures, economics, and even our culture and traditions are one way or another, are attached and influenced by them.

These influences we learn to embrace and was freely accepted because it allows us (the people) the freedom to be who we are; speak freely, as enshrined and protected under our constitution, as one of our many rights. Though for some, these so-called privileges are arguable, but the fact remains that democracy offers more space compared to a communist or dictatorial type of governance.

Though in reality, we are a fusion of many cultures, starting from the Malays, British, Spaniards, Japanese, Chinese, and the Americans. But clearly, we cannot deny that our dominant way of life, from education and orientation, from politics to economy, is clearly derived or patterned from the Americans.

On the other side of the scale, our old aged traditions and religions are from the Spaniards. The Spaniards, who by consequence, for three hundred and thirty-three years occupied our land and enslave us; trained our DNA to be their loyal subjects, or is “Indio” a better word?

As to the other influences, like the Chinese, I am not referring to the mainland communists rather to the locals (Filipino-Chinese) who have been staying or living in the country with their families for as long as we can remember; we have learned to accept them as fellow citizens and major contributors to our economy. They became part of our society that many of us learned to practice their cultures and traditions, like the Feng-shui, and how they celebrate their moon festivals, Chinese New Year.

Our country became the melting pot of many cultures and traditions, thus probably, we are the only nation in the world (disputable), considered as the most hospitable; willing to embrace anything and everything, to a fault, forgetting our own. But can anybody among us (Filipinos) really claim that we are distinct and brag that we as a nation truly have our own identity? I guess….

Global trend: major countries are now being ruled by populist leaders, or absolute leaders whose intentions are very clear, “to each his own” or “my country first” before anything else. And, many of them are known to be ruling with an iron hand.

Question is, are we moving in that direction? Or are we now in the same state? What a very grim picture to paint for our country (the Philippines), its economy and political structure are still very young, developing, and, its democratic principle is apparently on the verge of being challenged.

As a citizen, all we can do is “let our government know” that we value and willing to fight and protect our democracy; we must not give up that easy. We must continue to be vigilant and outspoken; quoting the words of Doctor Jose Rizal, “there can be no tyrants where there are no slaves.”

Regardless of what America thinks and choose to do – we must show them and the world that we are willing to fight for our own freedom! And, to hope that the world will help us, we need to show them – first and foremost, we are willing to help ourselves.


Sy Reeko Nga Ako

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