Today Aga returned from Negros Oriental, he had gone there to help my sister in-law and her associates travel to their location on assignment. It was a bit of an eye opener for Aga as although he’s travelled around a fair bit it the location the girls are working at is in a mountainous region of Negros and a lot poorer than he had come across before. I notice a bit on TV from time to time when news teams will head off into remote parts of the Philippines with islands with little or no electricity as well as other issues such as no medical facilities. The odd thing about the highlighting with news teams though is they aren’t normally there to show poverty but such things as corruption in central government. A prime example of that is when entire islands seem to be owned by someone in Manila without the inhabitants being aware its been stolen from them by some crooked politician as they are so remote that very little of the outside world interferes in their daily needs.
At the same time the trip Aga made yesterday arriving back tonight he explained the kids were so poor that even the young girls were wearing boys clothes simply because they were handed down from older brothers because they had no choice at the same time didn’t complain either as its normal.
The odd thing is I was driving passed a yard the other day and seen a large brand new American styled pickup with two local guys loading it while a fat Filipino-American stood there waiting for it to be loaded I guessed Filipino-American based on his size not because of fat but also around 6ft and his dress sense was very American but as I was discussing with a colleague the other day it was the perfect image of what is wrong here. He stood by while two poor locals struggled to load him up and its pretty much how the country functions the exploiters of the wealth and corruption here are generally abroad and use the Philippines as a personal piggy bank. There are plenty of the rich families who are mainly in the United States but still reign power here to keep the millions of dollars flowing to themselves with the country kept in a grip of poverty to suit their financial greed.
Not my country to change though, just that I find many of the so called helping NGO’s are helping keep things the way they are on purpose same as Africa. Because most of their function seem to be about a constant state of poverty than create change. Change for the better part for poor involves education and a fair deal on the lands they inhabit. Fair price for crops and other industries rather than seeing everything controlled by the rich giving low prices at sale and high prices of things like fertilizers and pesticides as well as animal feeds. The other issue is the bad things that go on in what would be rogue regions due to their remoteness very rarely gets highlighted. I remember reading about a farmers blog trying to teach new techniques of farming in a remote region before at which point people started to threaten to kill him because it was moving people away from commercial production. The lands here in the Philippines are ridiculously fertile and no point going for over cropping as simply you don’t need it for a small holder it costs them more to put things in the ground than they will gain at harvest which is why lands lay empty. Lands are owned by a landlord who wants a high rent yet every market is squeezed dry of profit and yet these things could be very functional and very profitable even small scale. No wonder other Asian countries are flying ahead on rice production.
My definition of poor on Filipino’s changes as the more knowledge you find makes the picture a little darker. Often people would complain including myself why some people have simply given up looking to the OFW abroad for money instead of working themselves but in many cases its down to the fact there is no money in what they did before. You have to look at how the economy has been manipulated by greed as certain families exploit to suit themselves and often at any cost. True figure will never be known on the amount of deaths caused by it as it is pure capitalism at its worst.