geeks, greeks, 11/9, 9/11, and lost filipino dreams

09/5/06 at 2:34 pm | Posted in INQUIRER.net, Tech | 2 Comments

Here’s an excerpt from my INQ7 Infotech @play column piece this week:

The wonderful thing about the flat world is that it has made us more competitive as individuals. If you’re talented, you can offer your services to employees all over the world, without even having to leave your own home. But the other side of the coin is that countries have to find more creative ways to survive in an incredibly competitive world, where every nation is interconnected.

The Philippines is blessed with world-class individuals, as shown by the success here and abroad of many Filipinos. Unfortunately, we do not have a world-class government, or a world-class infrastructure, or a world-class economy. More often than not, Filipinos reap success in spite of the failure of government to provide any support. Even sadder, they end up finding the life they’ve always dreamed about, not here, but in other countries.

Read the full story.

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  1. Nice article on filipino dreams and our role in the global affairs. I would like to add on you comments regarding the recent world basketball championship where USA can only manage to win bronze despite having the most talented players in world. They lost because their style of play does not suit the FIBA rules but more adopt to the demands of the NBA. In NBA the premium is on individual talent, highlight reel style of play and impact moves such as dunks and alley-oops. You can blame them becuase in the US the expectation is high and they project themselves as superior. They even call they domestic champions (whether NBA, MLB or NFL) as world champions.
    I think that is what we should do as a nation. You’re right that we should “feel proud of ourselves as Filipinos and rekindle nationalism to the highest level”. We should exercise discipline and we should elect the correct leaders. It does’nt matter what talent or expertise that we have but we should be fundamentally strong.
    Take the case of the OFW’s. Indeed it is very difficult to be away from your love ones for a long period of time. This is one of the reason why the gov’t calls the new heroes (their dollar remittance is the obvious main reason). But the downside of these is that most of our best talents are fueling the economic engine of other countries. For instance, an engineer who graduate and acquire their basic skills here until he is technically proficient and then he goes abroad. Doctors on the other does’nt even bother to work here.
    Here, we never really developed our industry, our agricultural lands are being converted for commercial use and the dollar remittances are given back to other countries in the form of debt services and imports.
    I think it is not late for our country to move forward and become “one of the world leader”. We have to maximize the benefits of globalization and develop our internal economy. This is similar to what Singapore and Taiwan has done and to what China is doing. Goverment should market the Philippines not as source of cheap labor (we are not like that anymore) but a source of value adding workforce.
    Mabuhay ka at ang lahat ng ating kababayan!!

  2. thanks. marvin, i really appreciate your feedback.

    you’re right, we should go beyond positioning the philippines as a source of cheap labor (we’re not anymore, actually, as you pointed out).

    i don’t have the answers, but i do know it’s time to dream of the future instead of dwelling on past mistakes.

    the worst thing that could happen to you in a flat world that’s moving so fast is for your country to have a flat tire 🙂


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