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What Do Foreigners See That We Don't?

Did the Spaniards, Americans and Japanese invade the Philippines just because they could? Is it possible that they saw much more—e.g., strategically or economically—than the natives did? If these foreigners did not find our land "interesting," would they have even bothered to come?

Well, at a time when many Filipinos seem to have given up on the Philippines, foreigners or expatriates are still able to see the good in our country. In "Real Returns" (Time, 4 July 2005), William Green tells the story of how he came to invest in a call center and says that it is "the only investment I've ever owned that has actually made me happy, regardless of whether it pays off financially." He also tells the story of another foreigner who considers investing in the Philippines a "moral obligation."

In "Sky not falling, or why expats choose to live here" (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 21 August 2005), Gilda Cordero-Fernando writes about the Japanese, Israeli, American and German expats who chose to live in the Philippines.

Is the sky falling? Could it be that Martial Law during the time of Marcos is, in fact, preferable to our current political situation?

Please don't get me wrong. I am not criticizing Filipinos who wish to work or are already working overseas. All I'm saying is that we are not entirely in a hopeless situation just because our leaders can't get their act together.

We keep saying that foreigners who are critical of the Philippines should not judge all Filipinos based on the few bad eggs they've seen. Well, should we abandon the road just because of some potholes we've encountered?

The sky is not falling. And I am confident that the sun will come out tomorrow =)

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