Some five years ago, the Philippines had most of the rice it needed to feed its people. Then the government did not use money allocated for farm loans but used it to line the pockets of officials. The production of local rice decreased forcing the government to buy imported rice at higher prices. The President even traveled to other countries to buy rice with much of it ending up sitting and going bad in Filipino warehouses. The end result was significantly higher rice prices for the people.
During the Marcos regime, the World Bank created the International Rice Research Institute in order to support the production of specialty rices requiring insecticides and other chemicals which would be purchased from the U.S. This increased the debt to the International Monetary Fund and dependency on other countries.
Corruption and the world economy in the Philippines.
Mangoes, bananas, calamansi, jackfruit, guava, durian, coconuts and pineapples are among the many fruits of the Philippines. People grow and sell from their backyards at the same time as Dole and Del Monte operate some of the largest pineapple plantations in the world. We saw both in our travels and the thousands of food and flower stands on the sides of the roads indicated the entrepreneurial spirit of the Filipino people. Food is always part of community in the Philippines.
Love in the Philippines.
“Filipino consumers will just have to live with rising fuel and electricity prices. Who will pay, the Lord? We should experience hardships to learn, said Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.” During the Marcos era, Enrile was the Secretary of National Defense. As we also experience in the U.S., some leaders seem to reinvent themselves from one administration to the next even when there are alleged political differences.
Traveling with Jen means a conversation with all along the road. It reminds me of Walt Whitman and his poem, Song of the Open Road. She is either getting to know someone or questioning and negotiating a price. In either case, she has become my good friend and my trusted leader for this adventure.
I met a young Filipino man in the mall selling German made eco-friendly kitchen appliances and talking about how much he wanted to visit the U.S. He had such energy and wanted to know all about me demonstrating a spirit of love and adventure even after he realized I would not be making a purchase.