Don’t you know that the Philippines was once the 2nd richest country in Asia?
The Philippines once ranked second to Japan among the richest countries in Asia before and after the Second World War. It only became poor when being ruled and managed by corrupt politicians and their cronies.
We, Filipinos, are just like any other peoples in rich countries who have the potentials; the knowledge of “know-how” in almost every field of human endeavours, be it in science, arts, inventions, management, leadership, discipline and skills, among others. We have so many achievements other countries don’t have that made us distinct from them, such that: we have produced Dr. Jose Rizal as the Asia’s First Apostle of Nationalism; the late President Ramon Magsaysay, whose inspiring leadership was recognized not only in the Philippines but throughout Southeast Asia; we have the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) making the Philippines once the leading exporter of rice in the region; we have produced the late strongman President Ferdinand Marcos who transformed the country among the feared countries in Asia and gave it a name in the world community, plus; the peaceful transition of governance displayed through the People Power Revolution of EDSA 1.
There are more that can be cited as good qualities to let us say, “Yes, the Filipino can!” But hey! Look at the Philippines nowadays. Millions of Filipinos are suffering from the long-delayed effects of corruption while only few oligarchs and elites are enjoying from it. Calamities and tragedies are also visiting us almost every year leaving billions of looses to the yet still recovering economy. Thousands of Filipinos are leaving everyday to try their lucks abroad because the government can no longer provide the basic services every citizen needs. We are producing thousands of high-calibered professionals every year and yet these professionals are meant not to further our economic recovery but meant to serve other peoples outside the country. Today, Philippines ranked only 32nd among the richest countries in the world.
However, just recently, the Philippine economy has been the subject of analysis and forecasted to leapfrog and become the 16th largest economy in the world by 2050, according to a study by the HongKong and Shanghai Banking Corp. (HSBC). If this is true, then it must be something that we have to deal with, to guard and to be proud of. Then truly, history will repeat itself.