Today is the 115th anniversary of the independence of our country from 333 year rule of the Spaniards. 115 years ago, Emilio Aguinaldo waved the our flag for the first time in his residence balcony in Kawit, Cavite. The independence declaration was made possible because the Spanish rule in our country was crumbling due to American’s intrusion at the Manila Bay and a decade-long insurrection by the Filipinos to overthrow the Spanish rule. However, Emilio Aguinaldo’s declaration of independence was not recognized by either Spaniards nor by the Americans as when the United States handily defeated Spain, the Spanish government decided to cede Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico into American control with $20 million (1898 price) payment by the US to Spain after 333 years of Spanish rule in the Philippine archipelago. Filipinos tried to kick the Americans out of the country in the early 20th century, but they never succeeded it because of American’s’ superiority on warfare and the cholera outbreak that killed lots of Filipino civilians as much as the casualties at the battlefield. The Americans controlled our country for almost 50 years, with the exception of 3-year Japanese occupation during WWII, and granted our independence on 4 July 1946.
However for the past 66 years, we have not achieved the real vision of our founding fathers to have our citizens a sense of independence like well-off life for example. Many of our compatriots thinking that we would have been a lot better right now had the Americans never granted us a political independence, but for me, that is wrong because from the start, Americans did not want to rule our country and they only colonized our country to serve as a platform for American business interests to have a trade with our larger neighbor, China. Many of our compatriots have left the country and prefer to be servants of American, Chinese, European, Japanese, or other employers because our government due to our rotten constitution, does not give an opportunity for businesses especially foreign to generate jobs for our compatriots in the remote areas. Our government for the past 66 years have failed us of fulfilling their empty promises during election campaign periods and swindle our tax money paid for them to supposedly spend for social services.
For the recent years, our neighboring countries like China, Taiwan ROC, and Malaysia have threatening our sovereignty while we Filipinos cannot properly think on how to counter them because of our inferior economy and lots of our compatriots are working with those countries. Our political and economic systems enshrined in our 1987 constitution are inadequate to address these external threats. Our shallow sense of knee-jerk national pride does not help either.
A month ago, I posted on my Facebook account and Skyscraper.com forum my suggestion to maintain our independence as a nation in the future like reserving the economic model we have right now from exporting our workers to importing foreign MNCs with 100% control of their investments across economic sectors and flooding our country with African, American, Chinese, European, Indian, Japanese, Korean immigrants to strengthen and diversify our country’s culture. While the first suggestion was acceptable, the second one was intriguing for most commenters on my FB account and Skyscraper.com especially the suggestion of mine of flooding our country with Chinese immigrants where some of them branded me as “racist” or so on. Diversifying our culture and demographics are the most essential way for our country to adopt and survive with this global cultural, economic, and perhaps, political integrations. I want to have skilled immigrants from around the world to develop our country’s economy that current Austronesian Filipinos cannot fulfill at most.
I have come to think with that because it will be impossible for our country to defeat China, Taiwan, and Malaysia if we agitate for a war which no one will win but more casualties. Defeating them especially China will be futile if we never understand their culture because their civilization has existed for more than 5000 years and it will not demoralize them if our demographics are mostly Austronesian, but rather it will motive them to harass our national sovereignty. I believe the only way to defeat China is not fighting them with our firearms but aping their culture to be like them because China will only stop threatening our national sovereignty if our culture and demographics are at least similar to them.