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By Luc Loranhe (2005)
No other country in Asia has as colonial a mentality as do the Philippines.
Filipinos regard themselves as "natives" of the Philippines. While it is grammatically and semantically true, that they are the natives of the Philippines, it is also strange that they consider themselves natives, and it is a clear linguistic indicator of the typical Philippine inferiority complex.
"Natives" are second-class citizens in their own country. American natives, or the small number that hasn't been murdered by European immigrants, are those who live in reservations. In the United States, these reservations typically are located in the most useless stretches of land. It's basically the same with Australian aboriginals.
You can ask a Thai or Indonesian person, or even a Cambodian or Vietnamese, what he considers himself. Any of them would never come up with stating that he is a Thai native, or an Indonesian native, or a Cambodian native, or a Vietnamese native. He will identify himself as Thai, Indonesian, Cambodian, or Vietnamese. Basta. No "native".
Only when the Filipinos stand up and consider themselves proud people in their own right will they linguistically abandon that "natives" shit.
So, what is a "colonial mentality"? A colonial mentality is characterized by a willingness of its holder to consider himself inferior to the colonial masters. Filipinos never objected to being typified as "little brown brothers" when in fact their colonial masters where overweight pale grandpas.
The terms "natives" and "little brown brothers" fit exactly the idea of "the white man's burden", used as an ideological justification by Western powers to colonize the world.
Actually, Rudyard Kipling (1865 “1936, Nobel prize 1907) coined the term precisely for the US colonization of the Philippines.
White man's burden
In accordance to the white manâ€™s burden political theory, Western powers had a moral obligation to colonize the world (even if they would not have wanted to) in order to bring proper moral standards to the barbarians everywhere else. Which is why colonizing armies where always accompanied by hordes of missionaries.
While the US bases in the Philippines have been closed down, a typical leftover of the "white man's burden" in the Philippines is missionary Shay C ... who rescues child prostitutes in Olongapo, where previously a US military base was located.
I have pointed out in another article that I do not think that he is truly guided by moral contemplations. Anybody who is truly guided by moral contemplations would have to address the worst moral problem first, even at the greatest personal risk. Out of a truly moral perspective, non-dangerous assignments are suspect, which is why the Catholic Church canonizes martyrs, and not those who preach good deeds from a safe distance.
Missionary Câ€¦ is not on a dangerous post, but a comfortable one. He is unassailable and immensely popular. If he really would be guided by nothing but moral contemplations, he could make a difference for the millions of children who live and die in agony in Africa.
So, while missionary Câ€¦ likes to project himself as having a big heart, he really just has a big ego.
And of course, no environment is as suited for a missionary on a publicity trip as a country with a colonial mentality.
Being a Westerner himself, it is, and always was, easy for him to attract the Western media to report about his good deeds, and Western media attention means international recognition far beyond the Philippines.
I have read that missionary C ¦ has been nominated as a candidate for the Peace Nobel Prize, apparently more than once (and this is what prompted me to write this piece).
I think that it would be offensive towards Filipinos if the first Nobel Prize to make itself to the Philippines would be handed to a foreigner living there. It would be a powerful reinforcement of the idea of the "white man's burden", the idea that the "white man" has a moral obligation to tell the "natives" of "lower cultures" what proper sexual ethics are and how to enforce them.
There are numerous Filipinos and Filipinas, who could do the job of Mr. Câ€¦, not less but more effectively, just without the foreign media tamtam.
However, because Mr. C ¦ is the international star, no Filipino / Filipina will ever have an opportunity to profile himself / herself through the rescue of child prostitutes. And thus, Mr. C ¦ is an obstacle to the emancipation of the Filipinos.
Thais and Indonesians don't consider themselves as "natives", and as a matter of principle, Thailand and Indonesia would not accept a foreigner as the leading moral authority in the country. In China, the concept would be entirely ridiculous. It's about time that the Philippines adopt legislation that allows the country to grow up.
A sensible solution would be to limit the time during which foreigners can do missionary or moral work to 2 or 5 years. That limitation should also cover naturalized citizens who initially came to the Philippines to do missionary or moral work. This will give genuine Filipinos and Filipinas the opportunity to profile themselves as moral authorities in their own country.
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Copyright Luc Loranhe