After 300 years of colonization, the only legacy Spain left to us is our indolence and doubtful national identity. The Americans, in just a quarter of a century, did better in introducing us to the modern world and paved the way for mass education of Filipinos, and allowed the rise of Indio politicians and businesses.

The Americans would have like to keep us a protectorate or commonwealth like Guam, if not for some meztisos who thundered aloud that it is better to have a nation run like HELL by by the natives… And that is exactly what we got a century hence — HELL. a government run like hell by corrupt, greedy politicians.

Nationalist Filipinos (Americans call them leftist and communists) fought hard — from the mountains, to the streets, to the parliament —- to oppose American imperialism. This culminated in the Mt. Pinatubo-induced evacuation of American presence in the Philippines. Our nationalist brethren are such rabid anti-americans — and only anti-americans — that they can smell american imperialism 10,000 miles aways.

But why are our nationalist so quiet about another form of invasion or imperialism by a new breed of foreign powers?

I am talking about the blighting and suffocating presence of Chinese and Koreans in the Philippines.

First on the Chinese:

I can understand why our usual ‘anti-imperialism’ nationalists are quiet about Chinese commercial invasion of the country. You know why, it’s the ‘great leap forward’ camaraderie.

But how come that even the government is in cozy accommodation with the Chinese? In the name of foreign investment? How many Chinese-owned companies were accused of anti-labor practices and abuses? How many underground pirated CD machines were Chinese-operated? Triad? Illegal fishing? Shabu lab? NBN? ZTE?

I don’t understand why we immediately howl ‘imperialism’ against the US, and show apathy at the abuses we suffered from the Chinese-posing-as-investors in our own country.

Where are our nationalist to defend us against this oppression and modern day invasion by the power of investment that has reduced our nation to below-minimum-wage labor force, killed our retail trade and indigenous businesses, crafts and inventions…

The Chinese and Korean commercial imperialism are far more successful than the Japanese, American and Spanish combined.

Just look at African nations, where hordes of Chinese businesses overwhelmed the homegrown economy by dumping cheap, smuggled chinese goods into the unwitting nation, killing its local manufacturing capability and made it dependent on chinese products.

Now on the Koreans.

You know that Korea was Japan’s Worl War II colony. And their soldiers were conscripted into the Imperial Army and sent to the Philippines.

After the war, with American aids pouring and by the grit and determination of the Korean people, and unselfish contribution by their industrialists, the people’s patronization of their homemade products, they rose from the proverbial ashes of destruction to become one of Asia’s leading industrial economy, side-by-side with former colonizer Japan.  Koreans have overcome their colonial mentality and came out of two wars like roaring tigers in rebuilding their economy.

I have nothing, really, about the Korean’s love for our country. In some ways, their investments and tourists contribute something by 0.001 percent to our economy. the Koreans are poised to dislodged the Chinese in being the urban blight in our towns and cities.

The first presence of Korean big business in the Philippines started in the 70s (i assume) under the construction company Green Trans-Asia Engineering. They specialized in doing business in Mindanao.  They built most of the Mindanao highways, starting from Cotabato highways. Later on, GTA disappeared in public infrastructure scene. When it came back, it carried a new name – Hanjin. It became the favorite roads-and-bridges contractor because it is the only one that can offer the lowest bid. And it is the only foreign construction company that is lovestruck with Mindanao

Both Hanjin and GTA were hounded by rumours about its side project — treasure hunting. there were stories about the company taking on a project at lowest bid. Then it will build side projects like some diversion roads and do some excavation, Later, the excavation will be abandoned and the diversion road left unfinished after they have supposedly recovered something in the side project.

Koreans have also abused our immigration law by using religious cover in bringing Koreans in the guise of missionary workers.

Take for example this Emmanuel Mission School. This is a Korean-run missionary project. At first, Korean missionaries come and preach and establish their local community members.They usually build small schools and churches. Then they acquire some properties under the church name and built into this, hostel for visiting Koreans. They even have a school bus.

Sure, there is nothing wrong with it. But wait, since when did a religious mission school hosted Koreans whose obvious objective into the country is purely tourism? You will see the bus full of Koreans going into the mall or into the golf course. And not doing any preaching at all. Just plain tourists. And their local members? Servants…

Then there is the chicken-pox-like growth of Korean-owned retail stores stocked with Korean consumer goods, from electronics, to textiles, to food items. These reminded me during the heyday of the barter trade. Now our markets our flooded with cheap Chinese and Korean goods, effectively killing our small manufacturers and local producers. These Korean businesses operate with impunity that they can maltreat their employees —- sub-standard working and living condition and utterly low salary which is often delayed for 3 months —- with neither LGU, DTI or DOLE doing something against it.

They also overtook the Chinese and Japanese when it comes to dumping of old (used) cars in the country. In every city in the country, you will see a lot of open garages selling used Korean cars. Was there any revenue to the government on this dumping?? We didn’t hear any whimper from Customs and DTI about these cars They might as well build a car factory in Mindanao, or operate a junk metal recycling factory.

Such is the impunity of the Koreans in flaunting their influence in our midst that they can abuse government officials and ignore ordinances, like those incidents in Davao City.

And to top it all, even our mass media was also successfully invaded by the jewel of the Palace thru the charm of Dae Jang Geum. Colonial mentality.

The big question is, Will our economy collapse without these Korean and Chinese investments and tourists?? Are we that desperate for their investments and tourists that we can turn a blind eye on their excesses and abuses?

Why are we afraid to slap the full force of the law on these erring tourists and illegal foreign-owned businesses, or travel agency-masquerading-as-missionary-work?

If Chinese and Koreans, or any other nationality, would want to do business in the Philipines, they must do so by complying with our laws. After all, if they are located on designated economic/industrial zones, they are amply protected and liberally given business privileges.

We have become insecure, and even abused, right in our own backyards. Bombarded with this ‘foreign-is-better’ mentality, we are steadily losing our sense of national pride and patriotism. It has come to the point that we are more proud as Filipinos when we are overseas, than when we are back home. Now, i understand why a college-grad filipino would endure abuse and humiliation working for 200 USD overseas — to escape the same abuse and humiliation from foreigners in the Philippines.

And so, the exodus continues…

We have become a nation of ‘used’ products. ‘Used clothings’, ‘used cars’ and ‘used’ national identity.

After you read this blog, count how many retails stores are operated wholly by Koreans and Chinese in your town. Ask how they pay and treat their employees…

Advertisements