Gratitude not hostility
THE FILIPINO people have the most pleasant personalities in Southeast Asia because of our nation’s exposure to American, Spanish and Chinese culture. Foreigners extol us for our hospitality, friendliness, love of family and deep appreciative nature; I am witness to this, having heard such being said by former US soldiers, tourists who had visited our country, and non-Filipino professionals with whom we were working with.
Recently, derogatory articles appeared in social media, warning the country of American intrusion as can be seen, they say, in the US military presence and by the American exploitation of our country. As a student of history, I find this view revolting. May I remind our misguided countrymen about America’s past contributions to our nation’s development, for which trust and appreciation, not hostility, would be more appropriate as a response.
Had destiny not led US Admiral George Dewey to Manila Bay in his pursuit of the Spanish Armada under the command of Spain’s Admiral Patricio Montojo, maybe our grandparents would still be kissing the hands of Spanish friars in the fearsome presence of the strict Guardia Civil.
And had Gen. Douglas MacArthur not made good on his word to return to the Philippines and liberate us from the Japanese, how many more heads would have rolled by the Japanese soldiers’ katana?
Now that China is determined to control the West Philippine Sea to our disconcert, isn’t it time to call our “Big Brother” for protection and appreciate the United States for past assistance, instead of being a country of mga walang utang na loob (ingrates)?
—SANTIAGO A. DEL ROSARIO, MD, former president, Philippine Medical Association
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