I still believe, as many fellow native Filipinos do, in education as a possible solution to the long-term improvement and common good of the Filipino masses; but for me that kind of education would teach a vocation or profession as preparation for a decent livelihood and a critical understanding of our society's realities.
More specifically, to acquire the critical ability to identify/differentiate the symptoms versus the roots of the daily personal misery and/or that of his milieu. I think our good schools have done a fairly good job on the first but gravely fail in the second.
Of course such education, i.e. nationalist education in our globalized, corporate-controlled world will need to touch on the geopolitics of international economics: neocolonialism aka neoliberalism, the WTO and global corporations (in terms of individual persons as investors versus corporate/transnational and institutional investors, etc.)
We still hear a lot of talk via advertisement, more aptly propaganda in the mass media about the "foreign investors," (as if we still have much individual foreign investors); let us realize that in a globalized economy the ordinary, individual investor is really a non-factor.
[ I find it a tired, worn-out claim that the national economy of our homeland Philippines was second only to Japan -- maybe a far second at that till the 1960s. Education- or literacy-wise, ours was 72% versus 54% for Taiwan (the first of the Asian "miracle" economies); our per capita income was almost double that for Taiwan at $200 vs.$122.
Despite our supposed higher educational level, since then the ”Taiwan Miracle” has accomplished one of the best economic growth performances in human history while our homeland did poorly; Taiwan's per capita grew ten times than ours ($18,000 vs. $1,800).
Apparently, there are more things than education that determine a country's economic growth performance and real progress - that which lift its common, native citizens. We can look at other so-called Asian tigers, which were behind us then and now all much ahead of our homeland/people: Singapore, HongKong, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, now throw in Vietnam and Cambodia soon ]
However, the prior questions that we need to address are: how do we implement that kind of education, how and who will finance it? Can we see that happening in present realities where the national leadership and our so-called technocrats have been/are corrupt and have only demonstrated selfish and subservient interests, beholden to foreigners?
Can we see that occurring when our educational system was/is designed to follow the International Monetary Fund/World Bank (IMF/WB) "recommendations" as preconditions to continuing loans; and we know these supposedly neutral and benevolent international institutions are prophets of economic and cultural globalization, under different guises/terms like free trade or free market; but applied to us in particular and which we did not and still do not realize is equal to neocolonialism/neoimperialism) -- and which in turn doomed our national economy and our past, present and foreseeable future.
I frankly do not see such an education being realized in our homeland without a strong motivation from a leadership, supported by a nationalistic populace, that would push for a nationalistic educational program.
Here again, the prior issue asks how can we have a nationalist leadership and a nationalistic majority? Not from the recent, present and foreseeable governments and institutions. But it really has to start somewhere, somehow.
It is discouraging indeed. I feel and think that we Filipinos seem to have significantly lost nationalism among the younger generations since the Marcos Dictatorship, but we just have to continue fighting for Filipino nationalism (that's what I try to do and rant about in my own little way).
Else, a nation of decolonized Filipinos will not come to reality. And the Filipino will perpetually be characterized with his damaged culture and continually living his life of selfish individualism, which he at best unknowingly/unconsciously inherited from his culture and reinforced by the historical neglect from his government; with no sense of national community (Filipino nationalism) beyond his circle of family and friends. A country not his own since it is and will not be under his control.
A pretty bleak present and bleaker future for a country and a mostly good native people that only a thinking native Filipino can appreciate and sadly long for, especially when he looks at his homeland from afar -- in a foreign soil.
While many, if not most, of us so-called educated native Filipinos, go along our merry ways; since we and our family are OK, to hell with the rest.
Ha-Joon Chang, Faculty of Economics, Cambridge University
- THE FILIPINO MIND blog contains 532 published postings you can view, as of December 12, 2012.
- The postings are oftentimes long and a few readers have claimed being "burnt out." My apologies. The selected topics are not for entertainment but to stimulate deep, serious thoughts per my MISSION Statement and hopefully to rock our boat of ignorance, apathy, complacency and hopefully lead to active citizenship.
- All comments are welcomed for posting at the bottom window. Comments sent by email will also be posted verbatim. However, ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL BE IGNORED.
- Visit my other website, click --> SCRIBD/TheFilipinoMind, or the SCRIB FEED at the sidebar, or type it on GOOGLE Search to read or download ebooks and PDFs of essays I have uploaded. Statistics for my associated website:SCRIBD/theFilipinoMind : ALL FREE AND DOWNLOADABLE: 123 documents, 207,458 reads
- Some postings and other relevant events are now featured in Google+, BMD_Facebook, BMD_Twitter and BMD_Google Buzz and Google+.
- Translate to your own language. Go to the sidebar and Click on GOOGLE TRANSLATOR (56 languages - copy and paste sentences, paragraphs and whole articles, Google translates a whole posting in seconds, including to Filipino!!).
- Forwarding the posts to relatives and friends, ESPECIALLY in the homeland, is greatly appreciated. Use emails, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc. THANK YOU !!!
- Songs on Filipino nationalism: please reflect on the lyrics (messages) as well as the beautiful renditions. Other Filipino Music links at blog sidebar. Click each to play.: