Breaking the Yoke of the Colonial Mindset 

The Filipino Kulelat Syndrome: "We are kulelat" Dr. Melba Maggay says, "because we continue to lag behind our neighboring countries in key development indicators." Filipinos are in the present sorry state because of an entrenched colonial mindset.

Colonizers (such as Spain, USA, and Japan) of the Philippines were cruel oppressors. Spain came in the guise of spreading the Christian faith, but the Spanish conquerors were like Pharisees brandishing a righteousness they could not apply in the conduct of their relationship with the people they tried to convert. For three hundred years they made sure the Indios remained subordinate and subservient. They placed natives in government seats but only if those natives did all their bidding. Thus interested parties bribed or bought their way to the top because once they became leaders, their prospects of enrichment doubled up. Such was only one among the corruptions in the system of government under Spain.

The Philippine revolution of 1898 finally freed Filipinos from the clutches of Spain. But did they really free themselves? History records that the nation had not yet savored their new-found freedom when another oppressor, the Americans, came. The Americans were more brutal. They kept a friendly form while stabbing the Filipinos from behind. Nationalist sentiments against American duplicity were aplenty. But in spite of many heroic attempts  to wrest themselves from the clutches of the enemy, the Philippine nation wasn't able to completely cut the chain of oppression of both Spain and America. Dr. Macario Tiu posits that, instead, the Filipino people became this Hispano American state which is a malformed state that retained all of the pernicious habits of its colonizers. 

Until now the Philippines remains attached to the colonizer. Affinity to their native selves has been completely damaged and the nation has not recovered from this damage. The colonial mindset manifests even when well-intentioned leaders work to change the corrupt manifestations of old oppressive systems. During elections many candidate persist in bribing the people in order to attain their coveted positions. Government allocates millions of pesos for every district for the benefit of the electorates. The goal of many congressional and senatorial representatives is to appropriate this allocation for themselves, thus, to win at all cost. The system of patronage rules. Eventually, the political padrinos will have to be paid from the coffers of the state. This vicious cycle will remain as long as the colonial mindset operates, suppressing and repressing actions and intentions towards a government overhaul.

The new colonizers are the corrupt leaders of the Philippine government. They annihilate any attempt at just and true freedom. There seems to be no way out as long as the colonial mindset which govern how the institutions are run pervades the system. Dr. Melba Maggay opines that what is needed is some new hardware for development. But Dr. Tiu says that, our neighbor countries which are "Asian economic giants" had more cruel oppressors than what the Philippines had. Yet once freed, those countries completely cut the line of any remaining connection with their conquerors. They "dismantled" all remaining economic framework imposed by the colonizer and built their own. Those Asian giants demonstrate models of development that are truly independent and critical of any instrument of oppression. Their total separation from oppressors has been possible only because they have not lost pride and confidence in their pre-conquest identity.