I overheard two men talking about shoes. One was telling the other that the shoes that he was buying was made in China—low quality. This is funny and troubling because when I was in my grade school days I used to buy poorly molded plastic toy trucks that were made in Taiwan and because of this I grew up connecting Taiwan with badly molded plastic toys and other fake (piracy was an unknown then) products. And I’m not the only one who thought that way about Taiwan during those days. Of course China has that same image but it is fast getting past that image becoming one of the most powerful nations, a superpower in fact and the only country capable of challenging the United States today.
One of my classmates was laughing because of a picture of black people wearing g-strings and carrying spears and that is what Africa means to most Filipinos—backward and low tech.
I told my classmate to be careful because if he had not notice it, we are running out of country and people to denigrate. Taiwan and China and India had long ago left the Philippines behind. And Africa, if the Filipinos continue to think of them as backward, may one day leave us behind laughing.
The Philippines is fast becoming the… you know what I mean.