Monday, April 16, 2012

IS EDUCATION ENOUGH? - for Philippine Progress, more specifically for the Native (Indio/Malay) Filipino

"The recent quantum leap in the ability of transnational corporations to relocate their facilities around the world in effect makes all workers, communities, and countries competitors for these corporations' favor. The consequence is a "race to the bottom" in which wages and social conditions tend to fall to the level of the most desperate." - Jeremy Brecher, historian, and author



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From the time of our Katipunan revolutionaries fought and died against the Spanish rule, and against American interference and colonization then, our society has been administered by a "cacique, " the socio-economic elite in cahoots with foreigners against their fellow native Filipino majority, kept them poor, illiterate, and thus ignorant.
A socioeconomic and political system designed to perpetuate a class-defined society, a class-conscious country, divided and never really becoming a nation.
We are schooled heavily about political democracy but do not know that economic democracy is a prerequisite to fully realizing it. We have been conditioned to believe that mere and regular election makes a democracy; an illusion in reality.
We native Filipinos keep ourselves ignorant of history, of “what’s really going on” in our homeland then and now; and thus, by default, never learn.
We continue to be lost -having failed or refused to look in the mirror- believing in fate rather than about us people causing the cliche “history keeps repeating itself” true and valid.
That is why it's Deja vu every time.
- BMD🤔
#primaryposts ****************************************

Hi All,
We native Filipinos have often heard, been told, or conditioned to believe that education will bring individual and consequently national progress. This is part of conventional wisdom. So our parents, many with so much sacrifice to themselves, struggle up to their golden years, just to see us through school.
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

  1. teach a vocation or profession as preparation for a decent livelihood together with
  2. developing critical thinking. to understand, decide and act to improve 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/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 many individual foreign investors who can be so influential); 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 -- may be a far second at that till the 1960s. At the time, 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, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, now throw in Vietnam and Cambodia soon ]
However, the prior questions that we need to address are:
  1. how do we implement that kind of education, how and who will finance it?
  2. 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, and are so 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 enlightened 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 native 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 by his damaged culture and continue 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 really his own since it is and will not be under his control.
A pretty bleak present and bleaker future for a country of 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 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.
- Bert

I recommended the following videos and book.


Ha-Joon Chang, Faculty of Economics, Cambridge University

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"Those who profess to favor freedom
and yet deprecate agitation
are men who want crops without
plowing up the ground;
they want rain without thunder and
They want the ocean without
the awful roar of its waters.
This struggle may be a moral one
or it may be a physical one
or it may be both moral and physical
but it must be a struggle.
Power concedes nothing without a
It never did, and never will."

– Frederick Douglass
, American Abolitionist, Lecturer, Author and Slave, 1817-1895


samchua said...

As much as I want to believe that one day that our motherland 'The Philippines' will be a country on its own and not be a 'developing country' also; unfortunately it is impossible for these things to happen. The Philippines is a beautiful country and the people too. But, the fact to the matter is with or without education the reality is; The Philippines will always be under the America's influences and/or interests or the great western countries unless;;;; a miracle happens?????

Bert M. Drona said...

Hi Sam,

Frankly I do not believe in miracles though it is quite safe to assume that many fellow natives believe in miracles and/or fate, thanks to the religious fervor drilled into us Filipinos (leaving their brains at the door of the church).

As we know there are other factors as alluded to: the colonized Filipino mind and damaged culture resulting from: centuries of foreign occupation and enforced mis-education; postcolonial mindset continued by European/western education/training established locally or attended abroad (with practically no exposure to Eastern thoughts); absence of any significant teaching for nationalist consciousness --suppressed during American colonization-- was nascent during the late 1950s to 1970s; thus now the native outlook is practically overcome by globalization, etc. In toto, a "caged" Filipino mind.

A look at our Asian neighbors, one sees in each a common thread of strong nationalism, some thanks to communism, through its efficient/effective organization though most had to go through a bloody revolutionary phase (note nationalism overcame communism and not the other way around, thus contrary to the end game of the Marxist or Maoist), etc. Without repeating myself, only to say I have dwelt on these subjects in other previous posts.

With sadness and anger, I see my homeland and its native people which have no reason to be poor being poor; its rich, non-renewable patrimony being taken by foreigners in cahoots with the native oligarchs and educated elite; its present and foreseeable future generations thus promised with more poverty of mind and body --making a vicious circle. All these if absent Filipino nationalism.

Thanks for your comment.