The best country to be

The July 26 issue of Newsweek cites the World’s Best Countries and as expected, the Philippines is nowhere near the list. The awards go to: the United States (Best Country to be Rich), China (Best Country to be a Technocrat), Germany (Best Country to be An Artist), Turkey (Best Country to be Young), the Netherlands (Best Country to be an Idealist) Canada (a haven for writers) etc.etc.

It would have been okay except that one other Southeast Asian country made it to the list and that’s Vietnam.The country was cited for being “one of the best places to be an economic reformer,” attributing this to a new generation of communist leaders who are “steadily injecting free-market principles into the economy.”

I couldn’t help but be insecure, or maybe am just having a bad case of deja vu. We’ve always heard the story that back in the ’60s, the Philippines was ahead of the Asian “tigers” like Korea and Singapore. Now look where we are.When I went to Thailand in ’97, the peso was head-to-head with the baht against the dollar but now our peso is down in the dumps.Will an economist please explain this to me? I always tell my friends that I would immigrate already if Vietnam goes past the Philippines in terms of growth and progress. That would be The Day.

Don’t get me wrong. I am after all one of a few Filipinos who would like to stay in my native land.This takes on greater significance because I have lived in Europe and have seen the United States. I prefer our breezy summers over the unforgiving European/American winters. The wife of the American ambassador once told me “God must have been smiling when He made the Philippines.” I agree. There are lots of beautiful spots in this sunny archipelago which we haven’t discovered because we’re too engrossed with boarding the next flight to the US and Canada.

What do I love about the Philippines? It’s our pace of life and the fact that our people, no matter how poor, can still manage to grin and bear it. There are bad eggs all right but majority of Filipinos have retained their friendly, hospitable nature.
Our strong sense of family will ensure that we pool our efforts to rebuild this country or sink in the same ship together.

Choosing to stay in the Philippines may connote a total lack of ambition and I couldn’t explain it.My heart is here and my roots are here. There is no compelling reason at the moment to make me want to move to another place and so be it.

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  1. Michael Flannagan says

    Hi Ajay,

    Yes, I don’t think people really understand or appreciate Filipinos. I think they are the most wonderful people in the world. I have also been around a bit and I have meet many people from many lands but Filipinios are the most loving and genuine people I’ve ever met. Now on to why I write.

    I’m trying to find out info about immigrating to the Philippines. If you know anything of value I would appreciate it if you could share it with me.

    I met a Filipino girl on the web. We had talked for several years. Over this period of time we’ve been friends and I’ve come to love her very much. Sex has not been part of our conversations. Our conversations have been very creative. I’m an artist and I’m very Taoist. I love her way of thinking and we connect. I want to be with her. I’ve told her that I will do what I can to be with her. I will even marry her and live on the opposite side of the world till we can be together. Brining her here to the USA is something we would like but we have also talked about me going there. She likes the idea of staying where she is too. I know, I would love the Philippines, it’s beautiful. However, more than that, I love where the people are coming from. I feel almost like I’ve been living in the wrong country all my life. I love the simplicity of life there. I love the timelessness of her character. I love so much about this girl and the people in her life. I would like to open a business there too. I am even considering the possibility of teaching there. We both would like to create more jobs there and much more.

    Whatever you can share would be appreciated.