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Jun 09th
Home Columns Reinventing the Philippines Answering the Question Why the Philippines “Went Awry” and Continues to Retrogress. And the Way Out
Answering the Question Why the Philippines “Went Awry” and Continues to Retrogress. And the Way Out PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Reinventing the Philippines
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Sunday, 03 April 2011 12:52

By Lolo Bobby M. Reyes of Bacon-Sorsogon (Bac-Sor) City, Philippines

(Part 11 of the “Filipino Psyche” Series)

T hus, Auggie Surtida, my childhood friend and fellow Sorsoganon, posted today in the Facebook after I commented on his “Generation ‘60s” thread. I told Auggie that actually the Philippines had the best years in the 1960s when the Filipino homeland had the second-best economy in Asia. It was also the decade when many Asians were studying in Philippine colleges and universities, as they were learning not only English but also engineering, agriculture, medicine and other courses.

I actually began to answer Auggie’s questions in 1988, some 23 years before my good friend asked them. I started a series of articles in March 1988 for the Philippine Journal magazine and the Manila Standard—Los Angeles edition bi-weekly newspaper, after I contacted then American Express Chairman and CEO James Robinson, III, as related in this article:

The Philippines’ Foreign IOUs Are Beyond "Debt Management" But . . .

Some of the articles that I wrote after visiting with, and interviewing, Mr. Robinson in his New York office are reprinted in this section:

Then I started to write a series on “Reinventing the Philippines,” the articles of which I have been reprinting, as updated, in several online publications in Chicago (then PhilippineTimes), New York (, Washington, DC ( and other periodicals in Houston, Texas, and Los Angeles, California.

But to understand the Filipino, we must all first discuss his psyche, as the only way to answer the question of why the Filipino remains poor and his homeland retrogressing to the Third World is to know what is in the collective minds of the Filipino people.

T he series on the “Filipino Psyche” is up to 11 parts (with this article). Here are the links to the previous chapters:

Reinventing the Filipino Psyche (Part One)

Restoring the Dignity of the Filipino (Part Two)

How to Get Back the Dignity of the Filipino (Part3)

The Filipino: The Master and Lord of Suffering (Psyche, Part4)

Revisiting "The Religion of Blame" (Filipino Psyche, Part5)

RP Must End Its Participation in the "Alms Race" (Part 6 of "Filipino Psyche" Series)

Many Filipinos Suffer from Amnesia and Alzheimer Pandemic Diseases? (“Psyche” Series’ Part7)

Filipinos Are Indeed the Italians of Asia (Part 8 of the "Filipino Psyche" Series)

Nick Joaquin Stereotypes the Filipino People and Forgets to Discuss their Heritage of Greatness

(Part 9 of the “Filipino Psyche” Series)

The EuroFilipinos and the MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration

(Part 10 of the “Filipino Psyche” Series)

Now Back to Auggie Surtida’s Queries

For my childhood friend Auggie to know fully the answers to his questions, he (and the interested readers) and our mutual friends must read all the articles enumerated in this article (with the hyperlinks provided for convenience).

But to follow the example of Abraham Lincoln and give an answer to Auggie Surtida’s queries, let me explain in 272 words (as in the length of then-President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address) the reasons why the Filipino Nation "went awry and why it is in the dumps" (like the Smokey Mountain garbage dump) and how to solve the national problems. I intend to deliver this as my keynote address in the Land of Lincoln on May 13, 2011, during the induction/dinner and dance of the Bicol U.S.A. of the Midwest:

T hree score and almost five years ago our American colonizers gave back our archipelago a semblance of a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all Filipinos are created equal.

But while America bestowed a legacy of a government elected by the people, the national economy remained in the control of “The Imperial Manila (TIM)”, the new colonial bastion of some one-hundred families, their in-laws and cronies.

When Uncle TIM took over, it widened the gap between the rich and the poor, the educated and the ignorant, the landlords and the peasants, etceteras, etc.

Uncle TIM and its taipans made themselves richer while the majority of the people continued to live on less-than two-dollar per-day income. The Middle Class, the engine of any economy, never got developed. The elite continued the control not only of manufacturing, wholesale-retail businesses, the media but also elections that are often ruled by popularity created by Uncle TIM’s broadcasting companies and their guns, goons and gold.

The marginalized Filipinos started to work abroad. Now Overseas Filipinos compose the Middle Class and their remittances keep the country afloat socio-economically. The Overseas Filipinos must do the unfinished work, which their elders fought and died for. They must save democracy by exerting more sweat, blood and tears and funding it. We have the great task remaining before us, so that our dead would have not have died in vain. The Filipino nation, under One God or Allah, must reinvent freedom – as guided by Overseas Filipinos – so that not only their government but also their national economy become of the people, by the people, for the people.

Of course I will be providing Xerox copies of a four-page formal address that I will not deliver orally. Because as I have been telling friends, people ought not to read the writers’ lips but they must read their written work. # # #

Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2013 05:39
Comments (2)
1 Friday, 13 July 2012 07:46
Those familiar with the novel f sionil jose will enjoy this one. Especially the 5 volume

ROSALES novels which can be looked upon as Phil history in fiction. It deals with

the Ilocano migration to other area, and up to the Huk movement, with the two brother

protagonists. The other novels are BEN SINGKOL, AND SHERDS is the latest one.

Jose writes about Phil history in fiction form and therefore more memorable. He

hasd written essays, and short stories. One of my favorite short stories,

is TONG,

He wrote about the martial law years, post war years, bout the Samson

a rich fmly.

He is rare among the writers, for he is also a publisher businessman.

Solidaridad bookstore, is visited by students and professionals. It took me

3 jeepney rides before I got there.

One way of looking at SHERD, is a betrrayal novel. About a bright young

assistant, who stole from the hero and join the radicals in the mountain,

As a pretty, radical young lady, he stole from his employer, which is considered


The obvious queston is why> She was a trusted employee and friend, who had

access to his professor/employer. But motives are never simple, reading it




orange park, floridal. elusive for Mabuhay Radio
2 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
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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