Asia was a fertile territory to be cultivated during the colonization period. It was a fertile soil seen by visionaries as the next frontier. If Asia is a kingdom, the Philippines is a rising gateway.
As a Filipino, relatively speaking, I think I am more influenced by the West than the East. I have toured around South East Asia last 2011 and I can conclude that many elements cultures of my neighboring countries are far similar than the Philippines- elements such as food, the language, religion (of course, Christianity is originally from the East), fashion, media exposure. Of course, some countries like Singapore and Thailand have more superior infrastructure than the Philippines which I wish could become better in the coming years.
My personal career is also Western. I have studied under an American-founded Bible school, and currently I am working under a Canadian Company as a Financial Advisor, which is Sun Life. I am also a Web Developer of an Amazon-based e-store.
Geographically, Philippines is the nearest country to the Americas, if we don’t consider the wide Pacific Ocean. As quoted by father from a man I cannot remember, he said that “Seas and oceans do not separate people. They connect them.” A little contemplation of this statement proves it to be true when I look at England and America. Why is America English while the little land portions above it or East of it were not? Was it the sea that separate or the mountains? I look at my Province. Why does my Island, the Negros Island, has two languages? Same island, different dialects. The side facing Panay Island- Negros Occidental- we speak Ilonggo. The side facing East- Negros Oriental- speaks visayan.
Cultural Diversity. Asian region possesses a mixture of multiple cultures, where in a religious sense has risen from Pagan backgrounds. Among its countries, Philippines is one of the most diverse in culture. There are certain aspects of culture that need to be preserved, rich traditions and customs that are worth commemorating, yet there are some aspects of Asian culture that need to be replaced by the good values of the West.
Biblical culture has greatly shaped the civilizations of the West. Biblical worldview was successful in Western Europe’s past, taken to the Americas and is now being widely dispersed abroad. The goal is for the Seed to be sown to fertile grounds as much as possible.
Of course, not all parts of the West’s culture we could consider good. But the West’s culture primarily shaped by the Paul’s missionary journeys and the Protestant Reformation is what the dying world needs. The good Gospel of the West needs to be taken to Asia.
Seeing that the Philippines is one, if not the most Westernized country in the Region, there is a tremendous potential in the future that Filipinos will be one of the strongest forces for the Kingdom. Of course, together with the early adaptation of the West came the early adaptations of fallen worldviews such as materialism and consumerism, but we should not neglect that it also brought the power to destroy pagan cultures, poverty-causing mindsets and unfounded unpredictable superstitions.
Harvard Business Review describes the Philippines as “the most westernized country in the region.” This is a soil ground where Western Ideas can be tested, cheap labor extracted and valuable workforce is being developed.
The Philippines will be one of the Next Force is Asia. Filipinos will be soon be one of the bearers of Western thought, and hopefully, Biblical/ Protestant Christianity.
There’s a reason why nations rise or fall. The Philippines will rise when this nation rides with what is Right and True.