Globalization: A Builder and A Slayer

Globalization is a tool that can build and a tool that can kill. It has built nations, and helped people progress. With its power to build, however, comes along its potential to also damage and kill one’s culture. If implemented properly in one’s society, globalization indeed is a catalyst to growth as how the sun’s light is a catalyst to help a plant feed and grow. If taken in without caution, it can be as detrimental as taking more supplements than what the body needs.

Through the years, globalization has brought a lot of changes in this world. It has paved a way to produce infrastructures such as Malaysia’s Petronas Twin Towers, the Singapore city itself, and even roads in Africa. Globalization also helped produce new and more advanced technology because people from different places and different backgrounds share ideas with one another that help them come up with innovative things. Globalization is also a product of people trading with other people who come from different cultures. Because of this, people influence each other and sometimes a new culture can even be born from this. The world is an ever-evolving place because of globalization.

For the world in general, globalization is something that people should embrace because it helps us all evolve and live a better life. But is globalization truly all good?

In the country that I come from, which is the Philippines, I believe that globalization is helping us in a lot of ways. Our infrastructure is better, we have better technology now compared to then, our economy is continually rising, and everything is just becoming more convenient. Indeed, who would think that these are things that can pose harm to my countrymen? Well, I do believe that globalization is not all good for the Filipinos.

First of all, we as a people are unstable in terms of our identity. We have been colonized over and over again: 333 years by the Spanish, almost 50 years by the Americans, and 3 years by the Japanese. With this, we have been quite brainwashed and have adapted the cultures mainly of the Spanish and Americans. And thus the culture we Filipinos now have are mostly a mix of our colonizer’s culture.

Second is Korean pop culture. It is everywhere. Filipino youth, in general, are into Korean culture: Korean food, Korean music, Korean telenovelas, Korean makeup, Korean fashion and all things like it. We have been brainwashed to believe that these are the epitome of beauty. We have been so engrossed into such that we are influenced by their culture— which is not bad at all, but by this, we have been slowly slipping away from ours.

The third is Hollywood. Even before Korean culture, we Filipinos have chosen to believe that Americans are the heroes and that we love them. What does not make sense, however, is the fact that it is the Americans who have taken the lives of our countrymen during the World War 2. They used us. Why are we trying so hard to be like them, and to be liked by them, when we can choose to be better? Because of this, most Filipinos dream to be in the showbiz business, which is actually quite shallow and is not really a moral-building business in our country. We have developed a culture that wants to be liked by others and have chosen to settle for something less, just to be “famous”.

We have been so blind as a people. We do not realize how beautiful our country actually is. We tend to focus mainly on other people’s culture while forgetting to embrace our own. We have forgotten our own love songs— the Kundiman, our own art— the pintados, our own warships— the balanghai, the stories of our warriors— the Maharlikas, our beautifully hand-made rice terraces, our hand-woven textiles, our language, our alphabet. We have forgotten to love the very things our ancestors and heroes had built, had fought for, and had died for. We have forgotten what we can actually call Filipino and what it means to be one. We have been a lost people, and because of globalization, we have been lost all the more.

If we continue to just accept all these cultures without carefully protecting and recognizing what is ours, we will then eventually die and will never truly know what it means to live being a Filipino.

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Written last: December 5, 2018

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