Dear Economics Teacher,

Reaction on Why Our Neighbors are Richer than Us by Randell Tiongson

I felt like a loser reading the article.

I’m already aware that our country is somehow poverty-stricken but when it is compared to other nations, the feeling I get seems different. I have learned that we are known as The Sick Man of Asia and clearly this man can’t seem to afford medication because of financial problems.

I have to admit, we Filipinos are lazy. That’s probably one reason why we’re not so progressive. In the article, it had been mentioned that Singapore is obviously a rich country. Using our naked eyes we can easily tell that Philippines is a very poor country. Picking up trash seems as if it’s already a hard job for us and we wait for someone else to do it. I mean, why don’t we just pick the trash ourselves or start throwing our own garbage in a proper way? It’s the same as in the economy. If we start saving or being wise in spending our money, we may have a chance to join our rich neighbors’ party. And if we feel as if we’re already okay with our lives, that’s the cue to start helping other people. But most of us just don’t follow this rule. We have this so-called crab mentality that when we see other people that is much better than us; we tend to pull them down rather than making them as inspirations.

But we can’t blame ourselves; I think we got this attitude from the Spaniards who colonized us. My father told me that colonial mentality is also one of the reasons why we’re poor. Somehow, in the era over where our ancestors were colonized by the Spaniards and Americans, they felt discouraged and lost track of their ethnic pride. Nowadays, a common Juan would prefer products imported from other countries rather than Philippine merchandises because he seem to think that Western goods are superior over ours.

And we end up making these countries richer than us because we… help them.


Maybe our neighboring countries are richer than us simply because they love their country more than anything in this planet. And instead of loving our own nation, we end up praising others.

We should stop talking or complaining of how poor we are and start doing what we have to do: improve our country bit by bit.

And maybe, The Sick Man of Asia will have the chance to be healthy again someday.
I wish you think this essay I wrote is good because I meant everything I said. I could've swore I just shed a tear writing the 5th paragraph.




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