The Grey Chronicles


Philippines: Still the Sick Man in Asia?

An overseas friend sent me a web link, and I found this article by Dr. Philip S. Chua (2009) poignantly moving. Having opted to take a sabbatical from this blog during this Holy Week, I am publishing this article in its entirety:

“Figuratively and literally speaking, the Philippines is a sick country. It is afflicted with a chronic malady of graft and social injustice that saps its economy and the spirit of its people.

“The cancer of corruption in the Philippines has shamefully earned us the stigma of being "The Most Corrupt Country in Asia ," if not in the world. And sadly, deservedly so.

“Practically without exception, the whole government, from the Executive to the Legislative to the Judiciary, has been immersed in the culture of open and pervasive graft and plunder for at least the past four years, sinking our national economy deeper down the rung just above Bangladesh, the very bottom.

“To protect their own turf and each other, and continue their "kurakot" and plunder as usual, majority of these traditional politicians are simply looking the other way. These unconscionable public officials victimize the very people they have sworn to serve, protect, and defend. They could not care less about the more than 25 percent of our fellow Filipinos languishing in the gutter of poverty and desperation. Making the Philippines the laughing stock of the world evidently does not bother them, either, and so with destroying our nation by robbing, not only its coffers, but its dignity, honor, and pride.

“How can a country as beautiful as the Philippines, endowed with vast rich natural resources, the envy of Singapore, Thailand, India, Vietnam and other Asian countries five decades ago, be so poor and devastated? Even the war ravaged Viet Nam is today much more progressive than us. [Emphasis supplied]

“A corrupt national leadership can never bring social justice, peace, and, much less, prosperity to a country and its people. This is precisely what has happened to the Philippines. This cancer of corruption in our government is eating into the very core and spirit of our nation and our people, as majority of our elected traditional politicians allow the decadence within its houses and the humiliating status quo to continue.

“The people have only two options: to do not nothing and accept the rape of the Philippines and the sad state of our homeland, or for "We, the People" to unite and change the political landscape in our country by putting up and supporting a new breed of leaders for our nation, non-traditional politicians, men of integrity, honesty, transparency, and accountability, leaders who genuinely love our country and our people.

“What we need is change. What we need is a revolution. Not a revolution of arms where blood shall be shed and stain our land, but a revolution of ideals, principles, discipline, and responsibility among the people, whose sweat and tears shall be shed to bathe our nation clean.

“Mahatma Gandhi once said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

“To be honest with ourselves, we must pull our head from under the sand and admit that we, the people, are part of the problem. Our lack of love for our country, our indifference, apathy, selfishness, pettiness, and lack of vision prevent us from achieving solidarity and harnessing the potential herculean power of "We, the People." Many prefer to sit idly by and do nothing, and simply curse the darkness. And worse, some even refuse to light a candle. Unless this irresponsible mentality in us is replaced with love of country and a sense of duty and justice, the Philippines shall remain shameless and without honor in the eyes of the international community of nations.

“The Filipino United Network in the United States ( last year launched the Dollar Moral Crusade Against Poverty and Graft and Corruption in the Philippines . FUN (USA) aims to galvanize the more than 9 million Filipinos overseas and 4 million in the United States and wake up the sleeping Global Filipino giant outside the Philippines and our fellow Filipinos at home into a potentially powerful tsunami of a force to rebuild out nation.

“Just to make a point, a minimum of one-dollar donation from each of them would easily, painlessly, and instantly provide 13 million dollars (more than 2/3 of a billion pesos) for a war chest to fight corruption and help rebuild the Philippines. And if united, these Filipinos and those at home, with a ballot in their hand, can dramatically sweep the 2010 election clean and bring about the political change our country direly needs. With solidarity, there is nothing impossible, not even for a miracle that can save our suffering nation. My faith in the Filipino tells me we can do it.

“The inspirations behind this advocacy group are leaders of substance and integrity, who are advocates of good governance, like Pampanga's Governor Eddie Panlilio, Isabela Governor Grace Padaca, Ifugao Governor Teddy Baguilat, Jr., Naga City Mayor Jess Robredo, San Isidro, Nueva Ecija Mayor Sonia Lorenzo, who, without much money, have fearlessly fought corruption and the well-entrenched, well-funded organized political machineries of traditional politicians, and have won against all odds, courtesy of people power. From the private sector, we have compassionate visionaries, like Tony Meloto of Gawad Kalinga, lawyer and good governance advocate Alex Lacson, Harvey Keh of Kaya Natin movement, and others. A well informed electorate, who chooses and votes with wisdom, is the essential key to national reconstruction.

“Our country and our people have been suffering for decades from neglect and abuses by our own government. Enough is enough. We need a change. A drastic one. We, the people, deserve better. A lot better.

“Allow me, then, to sound the clarion call to our fellow Filipinos, especially to the youth of our country, to all those within the reach of my voice today, and to those within the reach of yours tomorrow, to discipline ourselves, organize, unite, and speak with one voice, especially on election day, to rid our country of graft and corruption and poverty, and to transform the Philippines into a new nation, with peace and prosperity, dignity and honor, a nation our children and the future generations of Filipinos could truly cherish with adulation and pride.

“The time for change is now. Let us unite and save our nation, and finally make our appointment with destiny.”

May our political leaders heed the call for good governance. In time of the Holy Week, may they find it in their hearts to contemplate the plight of all of us, Filipinos!


Chua, Dr. Philip S. (2009). Save our nation, Cebu Daily News. Online: Inquirer, 02 March 2009. back to text

Disclaimer: The posts on this site does not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.



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  3. It is distressing that most of the Filipinos are keep having deaf ears about it and that they don’t have the resolve to act for their change. Everyone is also to blame.

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    Comment by payday loans — 2009.August.27 @ 19:39 | Reply

  5. This is the sad thing about the Philippines, with the corrupt leaders and other bad elements in the country it is now being branded as a sick country…. but doesn’t realized that that nation is superbly gorgeous in terms of culture, people, resources and a lot more. Filipinos are generally helpful, honest, and most of all trustworthy….

    it’s just that these selfish people still roam around and that’s the sad thing about.

    Comment by Gawad Kalinga — 2009.April.17 @ 05:38 | Reply

    • Yes, very sad indeed! When will we ever learn?

      Comment by reyadel — 2009.April.18 @ 19:31 | Reply

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