Today is Philippine Independence Day, not three days ago. It was 110 years ago that the Philippine nation was born. There was no such thing as holiday economics back then, or even a government to declare holidays, truth be told.
Independence from what, naysayers may ask after they say their prerequisite nays. Our economy is tied to the dollar and is shit, our policies are dictated to us by the US, UK, Japan, Korea or whoever is the foreign investor flavor of the month. There are American and Australian troops running around in Mindanao, and Chinese overlords have our government by the balls as well as our Kalayaan Island Group by default.
Still and all, no matter how crappy our country has become, no matter how corrupt and inefficient its government, how brutal and and merciless its security forces, this land is our land. Look how far we’ve come, not just from the idyllic island paradise that we used to be, that’s mostly uninformed romanticism, but from the warring assortment of kingdoms and chiefdoms that we used to be.
About a century ago, the Flag Law made it illegal for the Philippine flag or any national symbol to be displayed. Now, the Three Stars and the Sun can be seen everywhere including, but not limited to, the skin of the almost-naked chick on the cover of a local girlie magazine.
A little more than half a century ago, we were a colony of the United States of America, without even separate-but-equal status. And then, we were a puppet state under the Empire of Japan before we won our country back for the Americans to grant us our independence in 1946.
So, yeah, the Americans are still here and running things alongside everybody else, but they are here in the Republic of the Philippines, not in one of their protectorates or colonies. The Japanese are here, but they aren’t bayoneting babies or raping our women wholesale anymore and we aren’t part of some Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.
The point is, no matter how fucked up this place is, this is our territory. We have the privilege, and it is a privilege, to call this place our country. These 7,107 islands are ours to develop, to exploit, to fuck up in 7,107 different ways. If we let these foreigners tell us how to run things, that’s all us, too. They just run things, we live here.