President Obama's Visit Stirs Filipinos
The historic state visit stirred the emotions of some Filipinos. Ever since the news of President Obama’s arrival to the Philippines came to light, rallies have been held protesting the visit. Just this morning at 9.a.m, a crowd gathered for a rally in front of Landbank near USC Downtown Campus.
Faculty and students from different universities such as the University of the Philippines, University of San Jose-Recoletos, CIT-U, and the University of San Carlos joined the rally. Representatives of different youth sectors and other organizations were also there.
People present in the rally were not ashamed to raise their flags and banners, and fight for their rights; they distributed flyers marked with the words “Obama-Aquino Layas!” and “AquiNOBama” to bystanders and jeepney passengers. Protesters marched from Landbank to the streets of Colon, raising their banners and chanting with pride.
Members from different organizations were interviewed by Today’s Carolinian about their opinion of the U.S. President’s visit.
Nino Olayvar, a member of Anakbayan, mentioned that he is against President Obama visiting the Philippines because he is against his own country being controlled by the U.S. government. “The Philippines has been having a long term control over the U.S. government, not only the Philippines, but other South-East Asian countries,” Olayvar said. “Foreign aid isn’t needed kay hinay na mu guba ang eonomiya,”
Olayvar added that he is in favor of the youth joining the rally against President Obama’s visit because he thinks the youth should be able to observe and know what is happening in our country.
“If President Obama is coming to the Philippines to help the country economically, then why are we still one of the poorest countries on this planet even though our country is high and rich in resources?”
The U.S. Economy just takes over our natural resources, makes the finished product in their country, and sells it back to us Filipinos at a higher price,” Olayvar said further. “Grabe na kaayo ang control sa U.S., dugay na ni na problema sa Pilipinas.”
Meanwhile, Ken Ecarma from STAND expressed that he is against the historic state visit because the country will be greatly affected politically and economically with what President Obama is going to offer to the country.
According to Ecarma, the visit does not appear to be friendly because both China and the United States are involved in the territorial dispute over the Spratlys Islands; with all that is happening at present, the Philippine’s sovereignty is at risk.
It was not only Cebuanos who displayed opposition to this visit.
Few days ago, advocates of Gabriella protested in Manila against his visit.
The visit was intended for U.S and Philippine governments to discuss U.S. assistance for improvement of education and economy in the Philippines. Obama was supposed to visit the Philippines last 2013 but did not happen due to the government shutdown in October that year.
A lot of questions can be raised over the circumstances surrounding the visit. With the relationship the Philippines and the United States have been experiencing over the past couple of decades, will we still pray for a better country to live in? Will we just wait for a miracle to happen? Will the Philippines be still under control for the next couple of decades? Will we still depend on our leaders and other leaders to do something about it or will we stand up for the betterment of our rights and for the rights our country?