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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
9 posts • Page 1 of 1
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia_p ... 457448.stm
Benigno Aquino sworn in as new Philippine president
The son of an assassinated opposition leader and a former president has been sworn in as the 15th president of the Philippines.
(Click on URL to read full article)
Quote from article:
"The Philippines has been wrestling with poverty, corruption, and armed conflicts for decades. A third of the population still live on less than $1 (Â£0.66) a day."
p.s. The World Bank defines poverty line at $1.25 per day.
Last edited by momopi on June 30th, 2010, 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I don't know which Philippines anyone here is talking about. The one I know well has a lot of poverty. I mean real poverty.
I'm involved with several organizations what work at the grassroots level. I spend time in shanty towns. These are not happy natives weaving baskets. What I see here is the usual rationalizations of the west.
Sure raising your own food helps a lot. If you are one of the many millions of urban poor, you do not have buffalo and you have no
space to raise your own food. And whether urban or rural, poverty is poverty, and it sucks. It means you do not have enough money
for any extra expenses your children have in school. It means you cannot afford to buy them shoes. It means you cannot afford to
have an infected tooth removed. It means your children essentially have no future in most cases, except to inherit your grinding poverty.
It means one of your daughters is in Cebu being f***ed by assholes from the west. It means you have no voice and you are powerless.
It means that you don't count. It means watching grandma die in agony with a Kidney that needed to be removed and is now infected and killing her. It means that the politician that managed the money that could have built a barangay health center, is instead in Cebu taking in profits from the bar he opened with the stolen money.
It means that Westerners fly in and out of the Philippines and use it for what they can, just like Filipino elites.
It also means that users may someday run across a western expat that does not say much, and does not respond to the monger's blather. He simply insures that someone has a really really bad day.
The arrogance of many Westerners in the face of poverty eventually will come around to haunt them. Those who think and act otherwise
are a real minority, and pretty well accounts for why to this day, when I see a western tourist/monger walking down the sidewalk, I cross the street if need be, to avoid him. I would rather talk with illiterate Philippines mountain tribes people. At least some of them still have souls.
While what you say is true a lot of it really is the fault of the culture though. The culture basks in corruption and graft. The people have a distinct "colonial" mentality that has enforced a hierarchy and lackadaisical mentality. There's no "can do" attitude but one of capitulation and fatalism. The situation in the Phillipines is not unlike the bone grinding poverty experienced in the rest of asia at various times in the last 100 years. Except many of those nations managed to lift themselves out.
The Phillipines even had some distinct advantages (with its ties to America and western education) that were squandered in interncine feuding.
What else is it ever? Its ALWAYS the culture. Culture determines the fate of nations and peoples. People caught in the net of their own culture are not somehow less poor, or less human. Keep in mind that at this time, the USA benefits from a culture that was created by better men than most who now live in it. Essentially they are parasites living on the lives and mores or others.
Is there one poor country on earth where one cannot say it is due to the culture? I don't think so. Of course, any meaningful help given to poor people anywhere, should involve tools to overcome the disabilities of a particular culture.
What can one say to a poor child or an impoverished mother..."Obviously, you failed to choose a productive culture to be born into. Now you will have to suffer because of your bad judgment. Next time try to do better!"
I am not a professional aid worker or a missionary, though I have some dealings with both of those. I'm just an expat who
pays attentions, and sees opportunities to make a difference in others lives. The best part is, it works. I see dozens of families
on a much better path, in ways that are self perpetuating.
I don't actually condemn the poor in the Phillipines as I realize the most downtrodden have no choice but to go along with the program. The problem is that there is a sliver of an educated middle class and upper class who keep the country down. The Phillipines is positioned in a distinctly advantageous area where it could raise its economic status fairly easily. The reason why it doesn't happen is because of endemic corruption and a total failure of the people in positions of power. When this happens it's up to the same people to spark a change but since the "can't do" attitude is so prevalent amongst Filipinos it's doubtful that it will ever happen. They will just middle along in low tiered mediocrity forever while the rest of Asia zooms right by.
If you look at ancient times this was kind of the situation in the Phillipines island chain too. All the surrounding areas had highly developed kingdoms and cultures while the original "Malay" and other people were running around in tribes trading natural resource goods for luxury items with the NE and SE asian kingdoms.
The exact same has been said of China for most of the past 100 years. In 1850 Japan and China re-discovered The West and found out that they were 400 years behind.
Never assume that the past will continue into the future with events unchanged.
Yeah, I don't assume the situation continues indefinitely but for the present I see no behavior that indicates that the Phillipines is planning some large scale revival of the country. It's been middling along for 1500 years and chances are high that it will continue to do so.
The thing about Japan and China is that the decline only happened during a critical era when industrialization and modern inventions were just coming around. Prior to that they were innovators and cultural leaders. It's a short historical anomaly during an unfortunate time that's now just going back to normal.