My Pen's CORNER
ARTICLE 1. Sentiments Of A Filipino Living Abroad - 22.02.22
Sentiments of a Filipino Living Abroad
I have been engrossed with the current political landscape of the Philippines in the last four months of 2021 that I have had to put aside some of my ’writing’ plans for lack of time. I spent most of my non-working time watching online news and information about the country, researching areas that caught my interest. Most often such news left me wanting for more. I spoke and chatted to some of my friends who also live in other countries, and they were the same. So, I thought it would be good to write and share my sentiments about why this period and the upcoming few months in the Philippines are crucial times.
The common denominator for this is the upcoming May 2022 national elections.
I have broken my first article into five different parts to give more prominence to each subject that I have chosen to write about.
1. The upcoming Philippines National Elections in May 2022
4. A Clamour for Real Change
5. A Plea to Foreign Meddlers
1. The upcoming Philippines National Elections in May 2022
As a quick background, the last Philippines National Elections was in May 2016, which saw the then Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte being catapulted into the highest officialdom of the country. A lot was said about the questionable results of the said elections due to apparent widespread voting corruption, which led to the most controversial winning of the second-highest position, the vice presidency.
This was contested and even when the court ruled in early 2021 in favour of the proclaimed winner, the result was highly tainted, and still under further dispute to this date. This largely left a ‘sour taste in the mouth’ of the many people who voted for the petitioner and believed they were deprived of their sacred vote to a truly elected official. One can hardly blame these voters for feeling so since there was much-alleged corruption by the then administration during that election time. One of these was that some of the ballot boxes that were chosen to be recounted as required by the courts during the protest, were wet and the voting documents could not be read. To cut a long story short, the decision of the courts was partly based on insufficient evidence because of this. Well, anyone in their right mind can put two and two together of course, aren’t wet ballot boxes tantamount to fraud, deceit, and overall corruption?
For purposes of this writing, only the Presidency will be our main concern, although, many other positions are being elected at this time such as the vice presidency, senators, congressmen, and other local official candidates.
The most intriguing part, during this election, is the candidacy of the vice-presidential candidates of the 2016 National Elections. The declared winner as Vice President (Ma. Leonore Robredo) and the candidate who contested the result (Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr) both filed for Presidency in the coming May 2022 elections, together with some other candidates. This time, would there be controversies and widespread voting corruption again?
Ferdinand ‘BongBong’ Marcos Jr, referred to as BBM by supporters, is currently the frontrunner in the presidential race based on various scientific as well as non-scientific surveys, garnering the majority votes of over 50%. Despite the constant trashing of his name by mainstream media, blaming him for his late father’s alleged martial law dictatorship in the 1970s-1980s, BBM remains very popular to the masses and therefore, the opponents want him out of the race. Many groups have since filed for the cancellation of his candidacy and his disqualification to run as president due to non-filing of tax for the period 1982-1985. Note that his family, the Marcoses were exiled in 1986 to Hawaii (although the family claimed they were kidnapped by the supposed ally Americans) and therefore could not have had the chance to look after their affairs in the Philippines, particularly his 1985 accounts that were for tax filing in 1986, and the actual basis of the protestors. This issue according to the legal team of BBM has no credence as the tax charges and penalties were already paid, and the conviction by the Regional Trial Court related to this case was reversed by the Court of Appeal. To date, out of the eight cases filed to disqualify and cancel BBM’s candidacy, seven have been dismissed by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and only one still to be decided.
At present, there are many issues that are happening in the Philippines that may potentially affect the preparations and even the holding of the upcoming elections. The biggest concern is the surge of the new Covid-19 variant Omicron in the country. Gatherings for political rallies and campaigns are not allowed due to the risk of spreading this dreaded virus.
There is also this alleged hacking of confidential information of absentee voters from the COMELEC database. Not to mention natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes that may come by. But whatever happens, there is big hope in the promise of the country’s President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to deliver a peaceful and fair election.
2. A Martial Law Childhood
The Philippines suffered from colonisation for many centuries and since we were liberated on the 4th July 1946, the country continued to endure political and economic struggle. This was manifested in the late 1960s to early 1970s with the rise of violent and bloody insurgencies, especially in the country’s capital, Manila. There was no choice by the then-late President Ferdinand E. Marcos but to declare Martial Law in September 1972 and bring peace and stability to the country. To date, many Filipinos believe that without Martial Law at the time, Philippines would have become a communist country like North Korea, Cambodia and other Asian countries who were heavily indoctrinated with this ideology. President Marcos' declaration of this state of the country led him to be called a Dictator.
However, no matter how the mainstream and worldwide media painted the most brutal notion of this man to the world, this reference as a Dictator, is widely disputed and refused to be used by many Filipinos who lived, experienced, and witnessed a better life than now, during the years under his presidency. In fact, many Filipinos now revere Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Sr. as a true hero.
My story is just one of the millions of Filipinos who lived and were part of those Martial Law years.
1976-1986 Elementary and High School years
I was born in 1970, thereby I call myself a Martial Law baby. I was born in a highland province and my family moved to another highland province when I was two years old when Martial Law was declared in 1972. My family lived in a tiny village where both my parents were teachers in elementary school. I, therefore, grew up and spent my early childhood there.
At a very young age, I was aware of a simple and poor life in the province. There was a lack of many material things that you find in an urban area such as nice clothes, gadgets at home and choice of food. However, we never missed a meal because there was always food from the backyard, any kind of vegetable that you can just pick and cook with salt or sauteed fish, then eat with rice. And there was not much employment opportunity. But looking back, it was a peaceful, joyful, and carefree environment that I witnessed growing up.
I started school in 1976 when I was six years old. During my early elementary years, I recall queuing for my snacks every morning during recess time. We had oatmeal, hotcakes, or freshly cooked biscuits with a cup of milk or rice tea. On Fridays, we got to take home some bags of ‘arina’ or flour and powdered milk, for our family. These were all free.
There were times that medical and dental teams came to our school too. They gave us vaccines and distributed some medicines, and the dental team checked and treated our teeth. I was not very keen on the dental part so I always tried to be the last of the queue with the hope I would not be seen haha!
For adults at the time, I remember there was a program about Family Planning and the team at the RHU (Rural Health Unit) gave parents contraceptive measures such as condoms. This, I fondly remember because they were just left on the table in a room in our home, and my sisters, and I would blow them up and play with them as balloons! Needless to say, the program did not work for our family as we were blessed with a few more siblings!
During my elementary years, I can only remember it as very peaceful and fun in our little ‘sitio’ or village of fewer than ten families. The elementary school for the whole ‘barangay’ or town is situated in our village, and it was the playground for us children who lived there. We used to gather at the school plaza in the afternoons especially during summertime and played ‘palatuntun’ or ‘patintero’, ‘shatung’, ‘kick the can,’ ‘hide and seek’, ‘chinese garter’, and all sorts of outdoor games we had at the time. We played there until it was getting dark or when it was approaching 7 pm when one of the parents or sometimes the ‘tanod bayan’ or village officer called us to go home for the curfew. We obeyed without any question. Most of us did not understand what Martial Law was all about at the time, of course, all we knew and were told was that it was something we had to obey because it was for our own good.
There was also a Kadiwa Center, a government initiative shop that sold basic food and goods at a minimum price. This was based in our municipality town centre, a few miles from our village, and where my parents used to buy our basic needs. I remember I always volunteered to accompany my mother to walk the miles to get some of our goods there.
There was a time when we had a severe typhoon and the little cottage we stayed within the school compound got blown off and our family had to evacuate in one of the classrooms in the school. Food was very scarce for many days at the time as roads were closed due to landslides, but thankfully, we had some supply of the flour and powdered milk that was provided for by the government through the school. These food provisions helped us to survive.
Another thing that I vividly remember is that the local government at the time started some development projects in our municipality (collective term for villages and towns) including our village and the neighbouring villages. These projects included road widening, diggings, and construction of an irrigation canal system that would provide water to our neighbouring farming villages that were far off the ‘highway’, the only road we had. I knew this well because my friends and I would follow this canal trail when we went to gather some wild fruits such as guavas and berries.
In addition to this, all families were encouraged and helped to plant and grow vegetables in their backyards with seeds and seedlings provided for by the then-government. I remember we had a vegetable garden in our backyard, and most of those planted in it were pak choi, green beans, and corn, sweet potatoes and ‘sayote.’
Things drastically changed around the beginning of the 1980s in my village, the neighbouring villages, the whole municipality, the province, and throughout the country, as Martial Law was lifted in 1981. We started to hear about the presence of the New People’s Army (NPA), a communist rebel group in the country, in our place. There and then our fun-filled and carefree childhood experience turned to fear and worrisome.
We could no longer stay out and play freely as we used to. We would hear about ambushes and clashes between the army and the rebels every so often in our village and nearby villages, resulting in deaths of both sides, and even some innocent villagers got killed caught in between the clashes.
There was this event that I will never forget in my life. I’m not sure about the exact date but I think it was between 1981 – 1983, I remember either I was still in my late elementary years or I just started high school.
In line with the government’s development projects that I mentioned earlier, there were about a dozen of men-workers, we called them ‘cadastral surveyors’, they included an engineer, a foreman, and other workers in our town. They came to measure or survey the roads to be developed in our municipality and they stayed in our barangay (town). The roads they were supposed to build or improve were to make the travel from our municipality to the provincial capital much quicker and safer.
One afternoon, the surveyors were walking from the town centre and passed by our place which was located just along the ‘highway’, the only main road we had. They spoke to my father, probably talked about the area and they ended up stopping for a while by which we served them coffee. The next morning, we all woke up to a deafening firing of guns that seemed to last forever. After a few hours and the daylight appeared, we heard our ‘barangay’s horn’ (Tamfuyog) being blown. This was used before to gather people or inform them of an emergency or important messages. We soon found out from our male neighbours who went to the scene about the brutal killings by the NPA’s of the helpless surveyors. Our said neighbours helped gather the bodies of the poor victims. I remember feeling grief beyond comprehension for the first time at that point and being so young I didn’t fully understand why anyone would kill a person never mind all of the group who came to help make our place a better place. The whole village and town mourned that day and the days that followed.
It was so heartbreaking, they were there to help improve our lives but they paid the prize with their own lives. Right now, while I’m writing this, I feel anger and sadness building up in me. It was obvious that the rebels did not want any developments to happen in our place especially the roads as they wanted our place to be inaccessible so they could easily control us.
There were many more killings that we heard of after that dreadful event. But one that struck me most was that of our barangay captain at that time. He was the father of a friend and schoolmate. The rebels knocked at his door one night, and without any defense, they shot him dead in front of his family. There was a rumour that those rebels had a personal grudge with our barangay captain because the latter would not budge to their demands.
During my high school years (1982-1986), the rebels almost gained the stronghold in our area so much so that they occupied the detachments of the police/army along the highway road to the capital of our province. The rebels would stop the jeepneys or any kind of vehicles that passed by the highway to check their loads, looking for their enemies (ie Army personnel) among the passengers.
In high school, I stayed in a dormitory during the week, as our village was too far for everyday walk to and from our school which was based in the town centre and went back home after lunchtime on Fridays. One time when I got home, I saw a fairly huge ‘foxhole’ at the back of the house that my late father had dug with a neighbour. This was supposedly a safety place for us when we hear of any gunshots. Most of the villagers had the same because encounters between the Army and the rebels were so frequent those days that people were very fearful of their families’ lives.
Meantime, there was less and less of the freebies we used to get at schools by this time. Even the Kadiwa shop that my parents relied on to buy cheap basic food and goods, started to close.
1986 National Elections
I was in 4th year high school during the 1986 elections, I was not a voter yet (minimum voter’s age was 21 that time) but I helped during the counting of the ballots as my parents being teachers were both involved in the administration of the manual voting systems. After the voting day, I went with them to the town centre where the manual voting count was held. All ballot boxes from voting centres of all the villages/barangays of the municipality were brought into this vote-counting building, which I remember was next to the Kadiwa shop.
I was one of the youngsters and adults who alternately stood at the front of the blackboard, who put a line next to a candidate’s name when called on. There was a count for the COMELEC (Commission on Elections) and NAMFREL (a non-government body that was doing a separate count). I cannot remember the exact results then, but my father seemed to be happy. I was too young and uninterested in politics at the time, so I just listened to what my parents told me.
After the elections, I remember listening to my parents and some other teachers and friends talking about COMELEC, NAMFREL, and the issues surrounding the election results. Our only source of information during that time was a transistor radio and my father kept it nearby him all the time while at home. He kept switching between stations and I remember one of them as the Veritas radio station (a Catholic station). We then heard of the reported rally in the capital city of Manila and it was initiated by Catholic priests and nuns who called on people to join them.
Everyone at home had ears on the transistor radio as then-President Marcos replied to his Chief of Staff who called on him to give his command to use the military force to defend themselves. But the President said, ‘No, no, no! Disperse the people without shooting them!’
It was not long until we heard that the President and his family departed out of the country. My father was a staunch Marcos loyalist and supporter. I remember him being very sad at that time. No one seemed to believe what was happening in the capital city.
Then we heard about the proclamation of Corazon Aquino as the new President of the Philippines. She was proclaimed by an American.
Sad to say that this event in Philippine history was a classic example of the famous saying ‘history is written by the victors in their favour.’ All that was written of this period was the ‘evilness ‘of the martial law years and blamed under their so-called Dictator Marcos. Nothing was written about the heroic act of the then-President who gave orders NOT to shoot the Filipinos rallying in the streets, even though he had all the power to do so. Things would have been different.
Instead, he gave up his seat at Malacanang Palace and heed to the Americans’ intervention, whom he thought were his friends. He and his family were supposedly be taken to his hometown of Paoay in the North, but they were taken to Hawaii and left with nothing except the things they wore.
That event led to the so-called EDSA Revolution which the initiators claimed to have happened to uplift the nation from the cruelty of the martial law and Marcos Dictatorship and make Filipinos lives better. Ironically, it was instead the beginning of over 30 years of the country’s suffering and neglect.
While he and his family were in exile in Hawaii, the then former President Ferdinand E. Marcos died in September 1989 due to his illness.
3. Life Abroad
Living abroad opened my mind to so many good opportunities in life and the beauty and convenience of living in a more progressive nation. Since I came here to the UK in 1995, I always dreamt of a Philippines that was more progressive and peaceful too. That the good things I have and experience here daily could also be attained and enjoyed by all in my birth country.
This country is not only literally oceans apart, but also in politics, economy, culture, lifestyle, and every aspect of life, from the country that I came from. I had a culture shock for many years before I finally learned how to manage myself in adapting to this new life.
I arrived in the UK for the first time in December, wintertime. Everything was very different from what I was accustomed to, most notably the weather, I was constantly cold. The buildings, houses, shops, and the surroundings were all strange to me. I couldn’t get used to calling ‘flat’ the apartment that I lived in. And one of my many gaffes during my first few days in this country was that I thought the trees in the park nearby our place were all dead because they had no leaves, and I wondered why they were not cut!
Many years on, I have come to adapt to almost everything about this country and consider it my adopted home. I came to appreciate the place with its easy access to almost everything, such as:
Infrastructures – roads, paths, bridges, railways, buildings etc.
At first, I was amazed with all the infrastructures that surrounded me. The roads are all cemented and properly maintained. The walking paths are well designated, properly marked, and usually with tarmac and cemented. There are many huge and beautifully constructed bridges. The railways are vastly interconnected to all the four nations (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) albeit you have to cross the sea first or get a plane before you can go to Northern Ireland.
Transportation – trains, underground tubes, buses, ferries, etc.
There are no problems with transportation when you go to work if you don’t have a vehicle. Buses, trains, underground tubes, and ferries are easily accessible for travel, whichever suits you.
Healthcare – free healthcare in public hospitals and General Practitioners (Doctors) services
We have free healthcare in place for public hospitals. I and my family have benefited from this since I gave birth to my son in 1997. I was well cared for since the moment my GP (General Practitioner) or doctor confirmed my pregnancy. I had regular check-ups until I gave birth and even had after-care from midwives until my baby and I was settled at home. Everyone here enjoys free healthcare from birth until old age.
Education – free education in primary and high school
In some areas of the UK such as in Scotland, college and university fees are also free and students can avail of grants or loans to assist them in their other financial needs during their studies.
People here in the UK also enjoy some financial support from the government, here are just a few of them:
Childcare Benefits – government provide financial support for children from birth until their 16th birthday
Children with Special Needs – families are given support with their care
Social Work Services – are generally great for elderly people
Employment rights – strong rights for employees and you are free to join any Union groups
But having said that the above are free, we also pay a high-income tax of between 20% to 40% depending on one’s earnings, and this off-sets all the free services mentioned.
One thing that I was very impressed with during my first few years here is the efficiency of government services when you apply for documents or avail of certain requirements. There is no red tape like what I was used to in the Philippines. For example, when you obtain copies of birth certificates or renew your passport, they give you a timeframe as to when you expect them and usually you get the documents before that period. In other words, the overall system here is of a high standard.
What I like most in this country is that there is a strong sense of freedom and everyone is treated fairly.
There are many more benefits and opportunities you have living in a more progressive country. However, there are also some downsides especially if you are new to the country. Apart from the weather, you must get used to the language and culture of the people. The UK has four nations, and they all have their unique dialects and accents even though they all speak English. It will take time to get used to them and also understand their differences.
Another issue that one had to overcome is culture. Many things may shock a Filipino dealing with a British national for the first time as some of our cultures clash. This is a very broad topic to tackle which can be left for another article. But one example is this: we Filipinos, tend to keep quiet and avoid any form of confrontation thinking that we are doing someone a favour, whereas British people are generally straightforward. To them, our silence could be construed as dishonesty and deceit.
Every time I visit some beautiful places here in the UK, I always try to envision the Philippines having that opportunity to be developed similarly. My favourite phrases are ‘I wish we have this in the Philippines too’ or ‘this can be done in the Philippines.’ I have this in mind often when I go for walks in the parks, woodlands, hills, beaches, and even in cities.
I enjoy nature, and this is one of the best recreations that this country provides. The country is endowed with hundreds of thousands of beauty spots that tourists flock to every year. This include nature walks and outdoor activities. All of these have easy access and well maintained even some can be found in your neighbourhood areas. The most important of all is that you have the freedom to roam these places and feel safe.
When I did my master’s studies, my dissertation involved comparing the Scottish Highlands and the Cordilleras or the highlands of the Philippines in terms of literature and culture. I learned that there were many similarities of both places in terms of how they evolved to be what they are now albeit the latter needs more decades yet to develop to be at par with the Scottish Highlands. But it gave me so much hope that one day, with good governance and a bright vision of the government, Philippines will achieve its potential.
4. A Clamour for Real Change
As I write this part, it is the 36th Anniversary of the so-called EDSA revolution. I can’t avoid mentioning this event as it is the start of the downfall of our country and the deterioration of the lives of its people. However, we cannot go any further in discussing this without going back briefly to the history of the Philippines
Before the Spanish rule which started in 1521, there was no ‘Philippines’. What existed was a group of islands whose inhabitants led various ways of life and interacted and traded with one another accordingly. It was only when Spain colonised the country that the name Philippines arose, derived from King Philip who was the king of Spain at the time of colonisation.
For over 500 years, the Philippines was under the rule of Spain with a Feudal system of government, administered by priests or friars who converted the people to their faith. This is why the country became mainly Roman Catholic and the only country in Asia with a majority of people being Catholics for many years, up to the present. It is therefore not surprising that the church is still trying its claw on the political arena of the country even though there is a clear separation of state and church as provided for by our constitution.
The Spanish rule over the Philippines ended with the Treaty of Paris, wherein the direct transfer of sovereignty over the archipelago from Spain to the US was signed on 10 December 1898.
Revolutionary movements continued with the leadership of Emilio Aguinaldo, who wanted full independence. Aguinaldo, together with his adviser Apolinario Mabini, and the Katipunan (nationalist fighters) leadership gathered together and drafted The Malolos Republic constitution on 21 January 1899. Emilio Aguinaldo was then inaugurated two days later as the first President of the Philippine Republic.
Despite the Filipinos’ continuous fight for full independence, the country became America’s colony for the period 1901 to 1950 which is historically referred to as the ‘Benevolent Assimilation’. In 1935, Manuel Quezon became the second president of the Philippines under the Commonwealth government.
During WWII, on 2 January 1942, Manila, the capital of the Philippines was occupied by the Japanese and quickly expanded to occupy the whole country. Manila suffered the most when it was heavily bombed and flattened, and whatever infrastructures it had, were all reduced to rubbles. It took a while for the country to start rebuilding itself from the destruction of the war and the economy suffered. As a colony of America, both Filipinos and Americans fought against the Japanese.
A few years after the war ended, the Philippines finally gained its independence from America on 4 July 1946, terminating the Commonwealth government and creating the Republic of the Philippines, making it a sovereign nation. The political spectrum of the country prior to this period was dominated by only one party, the Nacionalista Party, whose leaders were pushing for full independence from America. But before giving the Philippines its independence in 1946, America was looking for the most suitable candidate to become a president who would be on their side and found it in Manuel Roxas. Roxas belonged to the Nacionalista Party but he broke away from it and started the Liberal Party. He went on to gain his political ambition and became the president from 1946 to 1948.
A few more presidents led the country after Roxas, most of them struggled to fix the social issues and economic state of the nation, which mostly arose from the WWII destruction. In 1965, Ferdinand E. Marcos was elected overwhelmingly by the people and became the 10th President of the Philippines. He was not one to bow down easily to America but he remained friendly with them.
Marcos was re-elected in 1969. His first term as president was lauded as a full-on rehabilitation and development of new infrastructures in the country. But around his second term in office, the communist ideology was rapidly spreading throughout the Asian region and infiltrated the Philippines. More than ever, the country was faced with riots, bombings, and rebellion, particularly in the capital city of Manila and the southern part – the Mindanao or the Muslim region. In September 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law and remained in power until he was forced out of his presidential seat during the so-called 1986 People Power and taken into exile to Hawaii.
Much had been written and talked about the late President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos and there’s hardly anything positive about it. All the books and articles I read about him in my adult life, predict him as an evil and monstrous person that should be detested. I do not agree.
I’ve written about my Martial Law childhood years in Part 2 of this article.
After Marcos was exiled in 1986, many Filipinos thought they would have a ‘better’ life with ‘better’ leaders. In contrast, what they witnessed was the deterioration of the country and the continuing destitution of most Filipinos. One of the best physical analogy of this was the state of Manila Bay, which once during the Marcos era, was a beautiful tourist spot. In the following thirty years since 1986, it became almost a dumpsite, that from miles away, the stink would greet you.
Those thirty years passed with the election after election promises after promises, but nothing happened to uplift the lives of most Filipinos. Instead, almost all areas of society went downhill and the illegal drugs problem was at its worst.
Thanks to the present administration under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who made an impact for a real change since his famous election in 2016. The country started to see some ‘bright lights’ for the future. He did (and is still doing) great things in the six years that he led our nation. One of the many achievements he has done was to stop the country from heading into a narco-state. He may not have eradicated illegal drugs in the country, but his policies stopped the continuing destruction of many lives because of this. And of course, he rehabilitated Manila Bay for the enjoyment of the local as well as tourist people.
I can make a huge list of the ‘downfalls’ of past Administrations between 1986 to 2016, but what is the point? We have to look forward to a better tomorrow and listen to those aspiring leaders who have this vision.
Filipinos, except those minority rich ones, are now tired of constantly scraping off the table, in almost all aspects of their lives. Filipinos who work abroad and left their families behind which caused the breakdown of some of these families are constantly suffering.
The majority of Filipinos have now woken up to the reality and the truth that there was a time when life was easier, peaceful, and was heading towards a more progressive nation during the time of the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
The time has now come back for this chance again with the leadership of the frontrunners Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr, the son of the 10th president of the Philippines, and his running mate Sara Duterte-Carpio, the daughter of our current president.
The tandem of these two candidates has the best platform that caters to the upliftment of the lives of Filipinos and the country.
It is the only tandem amongst all the candidates that is committed to continuing the good works of the current president.
And most of all, they are the only candidates who are calling for unity, no matter what colour you are, in the country.
5. A Plea To Foreign Meddlers
In almost every corner of the world, you can find a Filipino or groups of Filipinos, including in the forlorn areas of the seas.
Why? Because most of us have to find better opportunities to improve the lives of our families since we do not have much in our country. Sadly to the extent of leaving our families and loved ones behind for many months.
Why so? Let’s just say to cut a long story short, during the past three decades our beloved country was greatly mismanaged up until 2016 when our current president came into power, and we have seen hope and have dreamt of a much better future for us and the generations to come.
Who benefited from all these ‘misgivings’ that Filipinos have experienced in their own country hence most of them flock abroad to find new pastures?
It may not be a surprise that the answer is: the World.
As I mentioned earlier, you can find a Filipino wherever you go in the world. They work hard and do great service to the country that they currently live in. They work in the healthcare services, in the hospitality sector, in offices, in factories, in agriculture, fishing and shipping crew services, and many other areas of work. Their talents and skills essentially benefit the people in the country that they live in.
So in essence, we Filipinos, have done a good deed for humanity.
This time, we want to do good service to our own country firstly by electing the leaders who we believe will take us to a better standard of living and uplift the nation as a whole, so that no Filipino will go to work abroad out of necessity, in the future. Instead, let their talents and skills be used in their own country, to begin with.
As one of the 64+ million Filipino voters on 9 May 2022, here is my plea to Foreign Meddlers:
Please let the Filipinos SPEAK UP this time without you dictating and enforcing your self-interests in our country.
When you go back years or decades ago, you will find that foreign countries such as America had always tried their hand in every national election in the Philippines. You may read more details about this in the Declassified US files that are publicly available online. Suffice for me to say that there was clear evidence, in their own words, of their meddling and interference in our domestic and national affairs.
Please let FILIPINOS decide for their future. We have already done more than enough for the world as Overseas Workers, it is only fair that we do a lot more for our beloved country, the Philippines.
I would like to end this article with, again, a plea to you Foreign Meddlers.
Please keep out of the domestic and national affairs of our Sovereign Country.
Canoy, Jose R. (2020) An Illustrated History of the Philippines
Shultz, George P. (1993) Turmoil and Triumph
Tiglao, Rigoberto D. (2019) Debunked: Uncovering hard truths about EDSA, Martial Law, Marcos, Aquino, with a special section on the Duterte Presidency
Online search for declassified cia documents