Friday, October 06, 2006

The American Way?

A letter writer to the Inquirer gave her reasons for why she decided to seek residency in the USA. You can read her letter. Migrating to another country is a personal decision and the reasons differ from one person to another. It is because of this that a Pinoy in the Philippines cannot fault anyone for desiring a better life. But one thing is certain to me, the agony of giving up Philippine nationality is a private one, similar to Jesus Christ's experience in Gethsemane. I know this for a fact because as a global Pinoy, I have spoken to many kabayans who have migrated and felt a great loss in giving up Filipino citizenship.

But like some migrants our letter writer has fallen into the trap of criticizing the country she had given up. True the country may have progressed or regressed, but that is now the business of the citizens of that country. America may have regressed in so many ways after 9-11-2001, and non-Americans may give their opinion on what's wrong with Bush, Congress, the CIA etc. What non-Americans can't do is impose their way of solving the problem on the American people. The American people being a fair, work orientated, decent and liberty loving society can find the right way to deal with the problems.

This is where the letter writer falls into. She has this to say

"I remember the ad about the Philippines -- “Philippines 2000.” The only things I saw that changed there were the infrastructure and the people (they became older), but their way of thinking remained. Maybe, this is what we need -- the American way of thinking, so that we can compare or even move on a little."

I don't think as a citizen of the Philippines, that the American way of thinking will make things better in this country. Many of the elite of Inang Bayan, have been educated in this way of thinking and yet, what has happened to the country?

Butch Dalisay's advice to Pinoys scholars to the USA sounds apt. He says to learn from America and know her weaknesses and strengths and use this to build the Philippines we dream of.

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