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Mar 27th
Home Columns Reinventing the Philippines THE PHILIPPINES A HOPELESS CASE?
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Monday, 23 July 2012 12:00
If the millions of overseas Filipinos are given a choice, how many of them would return home? If there are 10 million of us are abroad, what percentage would go home? In my case, I have a good job, retired, cjildren are educated, a good home. Which reminds me a Ninoy Aquino relative asked me if I will register for "dual" citizenship. My answer? What for! The immigrants to US, Canada and Australia, if 20% would return home, we would be so lucky. There is a structural problem there, the glacial indifference of the rich and educated, the poverty of the common people. Three years ago I was home and was shown the "new" housing in Tagaytay. Impressive. I also saw 3 golf courses. My host plays in one of them. The houses there are only for vacation "bakasyonan" lang. A London based cousin made a mistake of buying a house there.No she has a problem reselling it. F Sionil Jose criticizes what we have. The rich Chinese or mestizo take their monies out first to Hongkong, then Australia, maybe Singapore. You can still see maimed children and their begging bowls haunting the traffic in Manila. Speak of the traffic. It took 5 hrs to manage the traffic from the domestic airport to Project 8. It took 45 minutes between Manila and Tacloban. I saw the sights there in half a day. Tacloban has 6 universities, including one ran by the SVD order. I visited a friend who taught at UP Tacloban. I expected to the fetched at the airport. 2 hours, later, i had two courses of action, go to the police dept, or go direct to UP Tacloban campus. She was in class i asked her for a hotel, she is a widow. She referred me to a small "pensione" a European style motel. It was only P900, at P41 to a dollar. The following day, we visited the cemetery, where brod Eddie Alegre was buried. We went to San Juanico bridge, the old Spanish church, with decorated "redwod" we went to the MacArthur landing place. Some of the improvements made the Imelda, were all for good The incubent mayor was a Ferdinand Romualdez, must be the son of Kokoy. In an old hotel, I saw framed pictures of the Americans,during the liberation,. I was encouragin prof. Dorado Alegre to make it a project, to copy the pictures and turn it into a Coffeee Table book.It can go be to the walls of Arevalo hotel, where I saw it. My last night, there was a "party"in my honor at the Alegre house. A group of student dancers/singers peformed by my benefit. It was the finale of my first visit to Tacloban How I wish, I were rich togive the students scholarships to US. Prof. Joycie Alegre wanted me to come back with my wife. Visiting the Philippines is still a MUST. I do not know if i can talk my American- raised son to visit the homeland. Ted (and Beverly) both born in the Phiilppines, visited only once in 1998. Many Filipinos would find the health care situation difficult. The education, not comparable to the education in foreign countries. Reading about the Noynoy administration, only makes my blood boil. He canot even solve the Hacienda Luisita PROBLEM.

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