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(c) Economy: I admired the resiliency of the Filipinos in representing the largest single ethnic migrant workers of the world. Business executives, physicians, nurses, blue collar workers, entertainers, hospitality and IT professionals yearly raking in more than 10 Billion Dollars that made Philippines one of the hottest economy in Asia after the 2009 financial crash and even until today. Today if you remove Filipinos working in Saudi Arabia or UAE, the country will cease to function. Or remove all the merchant marines of Filipinos and world trade is severely bottlenecked.|
While these migrant toils in foreign lands, their families left behind endure the social deprivation from the absence of their primary caregiver or both parents, bureaucrats tax them sytematically. Returning migrant workers are nickled and dimed by the many paperwork so that they are eligible to return to their workplace. I heard from my domestic helper that she paid to attend a required session on proper conduct to avoid being sexually taken advantage of. Wow , being an old man, I would have taken this as a compliment.
(d) Tourism & Internal Security : Almost non existent. Indiscriminate kidnappings, unsolved murders of foreign retirees and High profile collateral damage in the not so recent Garcia hostage taking and indiscriminate collateral massacre at Luneta of Hong Kong tourists. About 2 years ago, an incumbent feudal family (Ampatuan) massacre a rival family who was on the way to declare candidacy for a township position in Maguindanao. His wife, relatives, several journalists and a van of unlucky travelers who were in the wrong place at the wrong time were rounded up, tortured and summarily executed, A bulldozer waiting nearby to burythe evidence suggested premeditation. The wife and her pregnant sister-in-law were raped and shot at cross range into their genitalia. In November 2012, a member of the police used his position to legitimize the killing of 13 people who were reported to be their targeted rivals in illegal gaming of this policeman's sister. Among the 13 victims are policemen too. Special forces of the army were deployed in what is now believed by the National Bureau of Investigation as an execution made to look like a legitimate police operation. Cops against cops and territorial turf war.
The only good news that I read is the gutsy landing of the brother of the Sulu Sultan into Sabah, Malaysia to reclaim their ancestral rights. I think it is about time that he finishes what Marcos failed to do in 1964. Thsi well documented and I urge you to pursue this injustice to Filipinos and recover what malaysia and England have sequestered illegally all these years for a lousy US$ 150 Dollars a year which Malaysia still pays since Januray 22 , 1878.
(e) Human Rights : Hong Kong allows free medical treatment of Filipino domestic helpers and even reduce annual levy. Canada allows outright permanent residence status for Filipino domestic helpers. The Philippine Immigration & Deportation Department still levy annual Head tax on 2nd or 3rd generation foreigners because it is made it so costly to become a Philippine Citizen. Latest quote about US$ 200,000 and about 2 years of process. More than 200,000 recent South Korean, Chinese and Indian Migrants are on temporary status of residency so that they can come across with facilitation fees to speed up updating their status to avoid being arrested for being undocumented aliens. This is the only Immigration body in the world that has a swat team under their deployment 24/7. Every effective I think for Sabah to help your Muslim brothers.
(f) External Relationships: It seems Filipino psyche tends to be instinctively outspoken. It is sometimes advantageous but quiet diplomacy may be more productive sometimes. Look at your talented national Hero Jose P. Rizal. He was outspoken and executed by Spain in 1896. Aguinaldo hijacked the revolution by eliminating Bonifacio (another outspoken hero) and in the end Philippines still ended up the colony of Spain and was bartered off along with Puerto Rico to USA after Dewey shot down the Spanish Navy in Manila Bay.
(G) Paradise Lost or Regained: It is your choice. Philippines have been way ahead of even Japan and Taiwan after the 2nd world war. I remember wearing your MaComber Jeans, savoured your Colgate tooth paste, bathe with your Palmolive soap and trade ladies nylon stocking that we treasure so much in Taiwan in the 1960s. Your Sycip Gores and Velayo (SGV) accounting did the top company books so that USA partners can invest in Taiwan. Thanks to SGV, Taiwan now makes cars motorcycles and Iphone for Apple and even migrated to China as Foxconn. Your executives today still head many major corporations doing business in Asia like Nestle, Goldman Sachs, J P Morgan Chase. The most notable of whom is Manuel V. Pangilinan, who worked for Bancom in the Marcos years, then moved to American Express Hong Kong whose client is Indonesian Chinese Salim. He was eventually made by Salim as their chief financial architect in his world wide empire. His reward? He was bankrolled to acquire PLDT in the Philippines during Estrada years. His yatch at Aberdeen is next to ours so I know. The rest is history.
You have the world's most beautiful marine diversity and the loveliest of physique in Asia. Both man and women. You have the natural artistry, free spirit and resiliency.
I wish you can regain the Paradise that was.
Happy Power Power Day. Enjoy....make it last.