Negosyo O Bayan? The Answer Is The Philippines NEEDS BOTH!

There was the statement of the Heneral Luna movie that says, "Negosyo o kalayaan? Bayan o sarili?" or in English, "Business or freedom? Nation or self?" While it's true that freedom and country are important but the nation can't do without businesses and people right? Just because a priority is less important doesn't mean it's not important. Whether a business is big time or small time (not well-known), it's still important to have them as long as they are law-abiding and tax-paying.

Ultranationalists in the Philippines tend to place too much emphasis on their so-called freedom and the Sariling Atin only mentality. They tend to define it as a do what you want without rules scenario or the rule of impunity. Just take for instance the irritating stereotype that labels many Filipinos is their refusal to follow simple guidelines which in turn, irritates law-abiding Filipinos. Their own version of nationalism is also unhealthy considering that they have doomed the country to Heneral Lunatic's idiotology (in reference to the maker of the meme) which should first be tested on some uncharted island to see if he can accomplish his theory as he thinks.

I don't know where the ultranationalists get their stupid ideology that shouts, "But if we allow foreigners to invest, it means the Philippines will lose its sovereignty. Foreigners will take over it." They tell me to study "history" but those DepEd textbooks that are so biased. If they really know history from reliable sources, investment was not at all an invasion. When the Chinese traded with the natives of pre-colonial Philippines, the archipelago didn't fall under the leadership of China. The natives traded with foreigners but they didn't lose their sovereignty. The rule of thumb in investment is that where you invest, you must follow the rules even if the foreign land allows you to operate business without a partner, you still need to follow the rules of the land. Any foreign company doesn't come to the Philippines and say, "I claim this country in the name of the country where I am from." but instead, "I come here to bow down to the Filipino government so I can do business in the Philippines."

Nationalism is a good trait but the word can be misused and abused. It can be easily confused with xenophobia. Nationalism simply means love for one's country but it can also mutate into devotion to the country believing it's better and more important than other countries. It's easy to say, "I love the Philippines." but actions speak louder than words. If you love your country, you'll think about its welfare. The problem is not a love for one's country but when one goes ultranationalistic to the point that the country's welfare is sacrificed. The whole act of Lunatic's ideology of not accepting foreign investments and attempting their self-industrialization is idealistic instead of realistic. In return, it results to a lack of employment no thanks to their ultranationalism. If you love your country, you would care about its economic welfare and not all about Pinoy Pride ultranationalism all the time.

A lesson of healthy nationalism can be seen is what developed countries did when they gained their independence. The founding fathers of the United States of America asked help from the French to help them overthrow the British tyranny. Even when Great Britain no longer controlled the United States, the Americans didn't let go of free trade principle. America is not down due to free trade but because of mismanagement of economic funds. When Singapore gained independence from Great Britain, Lee Kwan Yew brought in a legacy of foreign investments to bring their nation from its underdeveloped state to a first world country. Just because the Philippines shouldn't accept foreign rule doesn't mean it shouldn't accept foreign investment. Just because a nation is not dependent on a foreign country's rule doesn't mean it should be independent of foreign investments.

What nations need is economic interdependence with each other that they accept foreign investments from one another while respecting each other's sovereignty as countries. The Philippines must engage in international marketing where it allows foreign investments and its companies to invest in other countries where they are foreign investments. As long as the Philippines is stuck with the ridiculous 60/40 instead of opening up the economy, all Filipinos may always get unfairly labeled as people who don't believe in give and take. My final reply would be, "We need the nation but what good is the nation without businesses? Just because I accept foreign investment doesn't mean I'm inviting invaders. They can do business here as long as they respect our sovereignty. If you hate progress then hand over all your gadgets, get out of the Internet and live in any uncharted island of your choice and start your own nation there."


  1. As much as I loved the movie, I would say I would disagree with Luna, assuming he was how he was portrayed in the movie.


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