Estremera: Fault-finding the Filipino way

AMID doomsday scenarios painted by the rabid anti-Duterte and anti-Martial Law, we can learn a lot by observing beyond these people who rant and rave. Send these off to a far corner and do not mind them, then focus your eyes on how business works.

Business, after all, works in strange ways that is beyond the vision of naysayers. (Didn't you even wonder why Jim Paredes got stuck with a college song group whose life he stretched on and squeezed out of until the last drop?) True, Europe is in trouble, but US is in greater trouble, business-wise.

In the updated global outlook for GDP growth rates for 2016-2026, it Philippines is expected to grow by 7.4 percent in 2017 from 2016's 8.3 percent and will level off 6.1 percent from 2017-2021 and 5.5% from 2022 to 2026. In other developing Asia, growth rate will be at 5.1 percent in 2017 from 5.5 percent in 2016 then 5 percent from 2017-2021 and 4.5 percent in 2022-2026 Before the rabid will point their fingers to

President Rodrigo Duterte for the forecast slowdown, take note, the slowdown is Asia-wide, even China will have a slowdown. The upswing is expected in the US and Canada, and it's not even a swing, just an step up... and down of 2.2 percent in 2017 from 1.8 percent in 2016, a hold-over from 2017-2021 at 2.2 percent, and then a drop to 2 percent from 2022-2026. That is how an economy moves.

Except that...Filipinos? They seem to be an impatient lot. They want everything right now! Especially since President Duterte took over. No one was demanding President Benigno C. Aquino III to act right away, even as he remained mum for days after the Mamasapano massacre. No Jim Paredes, Cynthia Patag, nor Leah Navarro looked for him. It took days before ragtag groups started asking, #nasaanangPangulo. But Leah Navarro? Oh, she went bonkers right away, even before any official news could be gathered from beleaguered Marawi City, she was already shouting in social media, #nasaanangPangulo.

I prefer to walk away and observe only those that are important -- like the economy and projected growth, especially for agriculture because we all need to eat, and that is what we should all worry about.

Looking through a very interesting website that picks out Philippine-related graphs and insights on agricultural outlook well into the future, I see consumption zooming up much higher than food while area harvested hold steady until 2028. In short, long after Duterte's term ends, we have a food problem. But no, Filipinos cannot be bothered with that. It's not sexy, it's not Martial Law.

We've been very good at nitpicking through declarations, we cannot make ourselves look toward the future. Especially now, that Duterte is our President. We were willing to give Aquino all the time to do what should be done, we were made to be forgiving because you know, he never really wanted to run as President. Yes, we believed that line.

Now that someone really didn't want the presidency, we do not believe his line. We wonder why, really. And so we dug through all the prejudices and biases and ran smack into Jim Paredes' latest tirades about people from the bundok, and there it was in all its glory: The prejudice that has long divided our people, the prejudice that the central government and its people has long thrown our way.

I remember the lament of our former boss more than a decade ago. He said, he may have taken up his masters from the Asian Institute of Management and the US, but to the people in Manila, he will always be the man from the province who will never be like them. As if we wanted to be like them.

I've resolved to let them be, let them live in their illusion of grandeur as we build on the strengths of our regions and provinces, and yes, the bundok, while they wallow in the squalor of their urban blight. Don't bother me, I'm busy with my new foundling kittens.
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