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Little Tinker Fairy Speaks On: The Issues Revealed in Philippine Culture

(a Philippine History term project by Kimberley Rose M. Rodolfo, II – ABCAM)

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NEOCOLONIALISM

Neocolonialism defined in Merriam-Webstr dictionary is the economic and political policies by which a great power indirectly maintains or extends its influence over other areas or people. We’ve been a colonized country for hundreds of years that it has been a challenge on how we can build up our own administration. Up until now we still pattern how the government works from the western culture, which is in the form of economic, military and socio-political. When will the Philippines be independent if until now, we cling our dependence to the “richest country” in the world, the United States of America?

Also, neo-colonialism is defined to be an economic imperialism. This is evident with how the way the finances and businesses in the country work. For one, we are mirrors of how business transactions and taxes work in America. I also remembered the time when the USA is in deep economic crises and so do we, even if it is said that we are an “independent country.” Also, economic neo-colonialism reflects on how monetary currency works in the country. It greatly affects how our Overseas Filipino Workers or OFW earn their salary which is intended for their relatives here. If it isn’t for this principle that our country possess, there would be constant values and our fellow citizens will not be greatly affected with the never-ending changes. Another Western-influenced neo-colonialism perspective that is massively evident to our country is its cultural implications. I would specifically center this aspect in how the media works in our country. Films and other television shows are like patterned in the American culture. Only few movies features the family values for today, most movies are centered in action and intimate relationships. Also, our music changes which before we are known for love songs. As time changes, new genres and forms are starting to arose.

In the end, I still find our country dependent to the largest and richest state in the world. True enough that we have created, devised and improved our own government firm and we abide by the stand that we are an independent country. On the second thought, we still pattern how our country works in how western people think and moves. Maybe, (just maybe) we will be considered as an independent country if we free ourselves from the influences of other culture, specifically the elimination of neo-colonialism thought of the American colonialism.

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RELATIONSHIP OF CHURCH AND STATE

Haven’t you been once torn apart of choosing over your faith before law? Or law before faith? This is how the Philippine works and torn apart because of two contrasting beliefs and opinions. There was a massive separation of church and state when the Reproductive Health Bill was passed in the court. The country was divided in pros which seek to control over the uncontrollable state of population growth. They believed that through contraceptives, citizens of this country will be wise enough in terms of family planning. And because of the growing cases of Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STD, it will be a stronghold to the protection of the citizens’ health. On the other hand, the cons are more of those who believed that using contraceptives is a sin and evidently against the will of God; for they believed that it has a far greater purpose and use of such contraceptives will cause corruption to its reason and sanctity, therefore losing their control over life.

We cannot deny the fact that the greater numbers of the Philippine population are Christian. This is rooted from the colonialism brought about by the Spaniards. Also, it is most of the time the reason for the Filipino people to find their common ground. It is where we find faith and stronghold to challenges that torn us apart. On the other hand, the state that provides the law for organization is also the cause of our unity. It is where we find understanding and respect to other people’s lives. It is where we find discipline and establish orders and coordination.

These two are the root causes of how we are united as a country and how we find our common ground towards development. But it is deeply seen and felt the division for there are times, most of the time; the we have our differences in beliefs and principles. Although, this might be a great challenge, it is also the reason for us to be united and understand what one side seeks to achieve because in the end, it is the country and the citizen’s welfare that they both want to reach and attain.

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 OCW/OFW AND BRAIN DRAIN

How much from the graduating population seeks to find their future jobs overseas? How many people wait in long lines just to apply for international jobs? How much professional does the country loses?

OFW stands for Overseas Filipino Workers. These are the Filipino citizens who work outside the country for the sum of money. Most of them yearn to earn to send a larger amount of money to their families in the Philippines. On the other hand, OCW stands for Overseas Contract Workers which is somehow related to OFW but this time, these are the workers with existing work contract abroad.

To the pursuit of earning more outside their country, this caused the lack of professionals in the Philippines. Have you ever wondered why there is a low quality of or lack of nurses in this country? It is for the reason that a huge number of graduating nurse students seeks to find a job in other countries to earn more. Also, most of the professors here in our country travel overseas instead of dealing and educating the next generation of Filipino professionals here in the country.

High demands and higher income offered triggers the hope of working overseas. I cannot blame these people for they believe that the value of their work is deserved to be paid for its worth because if they stay here for long, there will be no hope for an increase to employment fees. In my opinion, the government should face the consequences cause rooted from financial issue. If there is equal distribution of payment and work value, less Filipino professionals will seek to train their knowledge overseas, thus, an increase to employment and decrease to the amount of brain drain.

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COLONIAL MENTALITY

GOYA or HERSHEY’S? Well indeed, this question from the day’s reporter struck into my nerves. My immediate answer would be Hershey’s. It is not for the reason that it’s more tasteful than GOYA because in my opinion, there are no differences in terms of its taste, both came from the same ingredients. But why do I even choose International Brand over Local Brand? Believe it or not, it is the same if you are to choose Havaianas over a local unbranded slippers made in the country. As long as you have the budget, I bet you would choose Havaianas.

An article blog by Jake entitled “Colonial Mentality (Weaknesses of the FIlipino Character)” said, “Filipinos have a colonial mentality which is made up of two dimensions: the first is lack of patriotism or an active awareness, appreciation, and love of the Philippines; the second is an actual preference for foreign things. Filipino culture is characterized by an openness to the out-put side —- adapting and incorporating the foreign elements into our image of ourselves. And yet this image is not built around a deep core of the Philippines history and language. The result is cultural vagueness or weakness that makes Filipinos extraordinary susceptible to the wholesale acceptance of moderns mass culture which often western. Thus, there is preference for foreign fashion, entertainment, lifestyle, technology, consumer items.”

I wouldn’t negate his statements for this is true. Branding became a source of lifestyle identity. Today’s unruly reality states that nobody wants to feel inferior over the other, thus, we bring it through material things. This then cause the decrease and deprivation of our local market. We, Filipinos will choose over the western brands for they believe that it is more reputable than products and services offered and made in our very own country. The devastating reality has caused lower economic values in local brands, thus decrease in demands.

If we are more educated and made aware of these possibilities, this might help improve our colonial standards. For products and services offered here in our country is no different from those made in other countries. We should start to look into values brought about by its creation rather than values written in price tags. We should start to ground our lifestyle not from its market values, but rather the pride we bring to these products.

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LGBT ISSUES

“ Ang ipinaglalaban ko lang ay karapatan. You know, ang hinihingi ng mga bakla ay hindi naman doon sa sobra sa karapatan ng tao. Ang hinihingi lang ng mga bakla ay EQUAL CHANCES, EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES, EQUAL LANG.” -Boy Abunda (PEP.ph)

LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. It is widely known as a community of Gays. There have been massive issues that involves the right of gays, most especially their acceptance in the society and their fight to acceptance. STatistics shows from the global survey by Inquirer.net by Philip C. Tubeza that among 39 countries covered by the global survey, 17 countries accepted homosexuality. The Philippines in that cased ranked 10th as the most gay-friendly country in the world. Although the ranking is high, is it enough to consider that we accept the “third sex” in the society? Also, statistics shows that among gay-oriented sexuality, in 2010 most suffered from verbal abuse, physical asault and homopobia.

Some of us accepted the gay company for we find the notion that they exist to make us laugh, but no. These demographics brings about professionalism and pride in our country. Take consider those who excel in the fashion and beauty industry like Ricky Reyes for his successful beauty salon and the internationally acknowledged fashion designer, Michael Cinco. In the marketing business, there is Joel Cruz who is now a mulit-billionaire owner of the international perfume brand. They should be accepted in the society because they are equally created, and as a Christ-centered country, we should accept them in the society and eliminate stereotypes and isolation just because of a “confused” sexual orientation.