Picture yourself as a US consul spending a whole afternoon interviewing and evaluating visa applicants. Each one had queued up for hours for the chance to see you -- a US Federal Employee under a blanket directive to presume intent to migrate in each applicant. What a job! A mind-numbing task of making judgment calls on sincerity applicant after applicant. Then stop to consider what you, as this consul, would think of a people that would humbly queue up to be given permission to visit what you think is the greatest country in the world and yet have their representatives in Government huff and puff about US meddling and our duty as Filipinos to protect our sovereignty.

We must remember that after having been the only US colony in East Asia we emerged as a nation with the highest literacy rate in the region, a guaranteed market for our exports, and a top-notch military umbrella. Our per capita GNP was almost twice that of Korea at the time. All of this was undone within the last 50 years. Japan, the old foe, now the number two industrial power, continues to host US military facilities to this day without a visible dent on their pride as a people. Yes, the departure of the US Military from Subic and its subsequent redevelopment in the hands of the local residents proved Filipino management skill � to some extent. Let us not forget that Subic is a microcosm of Philippine history, i.e. development taking off from the spoils of a land grab from the US, very promising starts, euphoria, and then premature back patting. We can only guess what happens next. Already, there are reports of rampant graft and corruption occurring in various transactions between the SBMA and its industrial tenants.

So while we are very good at kicking out Americans, the serpentine queues in and out of the US Embassy are testament to the fact that at our very hearts, we continue to crawl back on our hands and knees into the arms of our ex-Motherland. On the surface, on the other hand, we merely show the world how good we are at playing with leftover toys, many of which we eventually destroy. We do nothing but fight over, flaunt, and squander this inherited wealth.

We flaunt wealth that we know nothing about accumulating in the first place. We are nothing more than a child that sticks his tongue out at his playground enemies while holding on to his mother�s skirt; or a teenager proudly driving Daddy�s Car.

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