June 12, 1898
5 score and 13 years ago, on what has since been portrayed on canvas and film as a bright, sunny afternoon, native militia-men hailing from a ramshackle collection of provinces in what would eventually be known as the Philippines gathered together at the slow, beach-side town Kawit, Cavite.
Some probably brought guitars, as well as guns.
There, they listened to the public declaration of independence, where proto-Filipino revolutionary forces led by a vindictive Filipino-Chinese asshole (yes! we existed back then, too!) proclaimed the archipelago free and separate from the Spanish Empire.
Presumably, at around the same time, Alfonso XIII was preparing his keynote presentation on “How to Blow Up the Maine and Lose Your Empire in 12 Easy Steps”.
December 10, 1898
The Spanish commission sent to peace talks in Paris give a collective “Vete al Carajo” to the revolutionaries, and promptly hand over 7,000 islands to our gracious overlords, the Estados Unidos, in exchange for the princely sum of 20million USD.
June 22, 2011
Using the world average GDP growth rate for the last 100 years (2%, if you’re wondering) and plugging that into the simple interest formula of 1*(1+n)^t, I try to surprise myself and calculate, in the worst-to-mediocre case scenario, my country’s present value:
The country’s actual current GDP?
We beat the market by 6%. Not a bad return on investment. In the long term, it’s proved to be “safe enough”. Then again, by that definition, burying Japanese stolen-gold bullion in my backyard is also “safe enough”.
I’d like to be more optimistic and get a better margin on my country, and my passport. We’ve got the people, we can borrow the capital and, if need be, steal the technology. Hell, we’ve even got Broadway-quality singing cooks and waiters.
We were once the 2nd biggest economy in Asia. We can still be that again… well, barring Godzilla and a direct nuclear attack on the Three Gorges Dam, maybe not.
But we can certainly get everyone (or at least 95% of the population) fed, educated, housed… and, dare I say, have them commit the social sin of (gasp!) using condoms.
Hey, better late than never.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas.