Philippine Basketball & Philippine Economy : A Sad Analogy

While the rest of the world has caught up with the Americans in the sport of basketball, we, on the other hand, steadily declined. Filipinos always take pride in their history of the sports, saying that during this decade and that decade, we were the powerhouse in Asian basketball. Nobody can beat us. Well, wake up people, that was a long time ago, before most of us reading this were even conceived. We can compare the current state of Philippine basketball with the current economic state of the country. Before, we were second to Japan in terms of economic power. We were a model country to our neighbors on how to become economically strong. We were one of the wealthier nations, if not the wealthiest, in Asia. But now, I don’t really have to list the specifics. You can just go outside, or read the news, and you know where the Philippines are currently situated. If we were a model country before for economic reasons, we’re still a model today…on how not to run a country to stink economically. As we have stunk in the sports, and so is our economy. Instead of improving, we deteriorated. Instead of a global vision, we stuck ourselves with the same old rules, when we already know that those same rules don’t apply anymore. In this age where one can be anywhere virtually, when knowledge is just a click away, there is no more excuse not to improve. That is why I don’t watch the PBA games as of late. I just can’t stop comparing our players to NBA players or to any other international players for that matter. We have 6’4 guys playing in the PBA, and yet, they couldn’t even touch the rim with the tip of their fingers, while in the NBA, even 6’0 people dunks over 7-footers.  People will say, “Oh, it’s the NBA, this is the PBA. It’s a different league.” Is it? Tell me the difference. Is the way they play basketball there any different than the way we play it here? We were always hoping that we are the first country in Asia to have a player played in the NBA. Now, even Taiwan has outdone us in having one. In terms of the economy, during the first part of the 1990’s, we were one of the tiger cub economies, destined to be the next tiger economy. We were toe-to-toe with Malaysia and Thailand during that time. Now, even Vietnam is outpacing us in terms of foreign direct investments (FDI), and Vietnam was not even projected during that time to become as what they are now today. We have really reached a low point in our economy, not to mention national pride, and the government is still doing nothing to address the situation. Do we still have any pride, or we only have misplaced one? While our South East Asian neighbors compete for more FDI’s, we, on the other hand, tries so hard to upgrade our credit ratings, so we can borrow some more.  While the rest of South East Asia wallows in their respective economic successes, we could only take pride at what Pacquiao or Charice was able to accomplish? We are so pathetic. Really, what Paquiao or Charice has done are their personal accomplishments, nothing more. We cannot take pride on what is not ours. Are you not envious that these people have achieved much, due to hard work, dedication and faith in God? For me, God is merciful, but He abhors laziness. We pride ourselves as the only Catholic/Christian nation in Asia, yet we are still one of its poorest. Look at the other Christian countries in the west, the only similarities that we have is in faith, nothing more. We are the only democratic nation in South East Asia, but, who has more freedom?

What I am trying to imply here is that, we need to assess ourselves on a global scale where we want ourselves in the future. Are we going to stuck ourselves with the same old rules, even though these rules doesn’t help us at all in solving the root cause of our problems, especially in today’s information age? Or are we going to be bold, and apply new rules, that even though unpopular, will help us move forward towards the goals that we have been longing for, for our children’s sake? The election is already over, we have voted whom we think are the right people for the job. One year after, we are still stuck in the same mire as before. I do not want another “People Power”. We already know through history what “People Power” has done to our country. What we need is to fix our priorities in solving the root cause of our problems (not apply a “band-aid” solution to a gaping wound), accept competition in the country which means liberalize our economy, work to become better when we already are the best, gain as much knowledge and skills as we can comprehend, don’t make stupid excuses, vote wisely, strive hard to become what you want in the future the honest way and trust God and in His grace and mercy. We’re a country of dreamers. How about we take those dreams into reality for a change? As the saying goes, “Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.”