Bitterly Disparate: the Philippines-US Equation
For more than a century, the relation that existed between the Philippines and the USA cannot be considered as fairly mutually fulfilling. Those more than one hundred years of friendship and relationship in all aspects of “mutual interest” cannot be considered perfectly fair.
I have high respect for Americans. One of my aunts was married to an American officer. My cousins, three of them, doctors of medicine of high caliber are US citizens. Many decades ago, my nephews were also American citizens.
I am especially grateful that the Americans, when they have brought the gospel or the Bible in my homeland, made the Philippines get the reputation of being the "only Christian country in Asia." Of course, the Catholic Church was the first to preach Christianity in the Philippines but a quick look of the history of Catholicism in the Philippines easily proves that what they brought in my country is fake Christianity.
The coming of the Americans moderated some doctrines of Christianity, not taught by the Catholic Church. Even so, most religions that came from America are full of doctrinal errors. My basis to say that American Christianity is also doubtful and erroneous is that true Christianity must embrace all the teachings of Christ.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
In these pronouncements, "all things whatsoever I have commanded you," it can easily be proven that American Christianity is wanting and doubtful.
There are many things I like among Americans; their technology, their inventions, movies, chocolates, and canned fruits. I have maintained such admiration and respect for the American people until I became a senior citizen. At age 59 I was granted a US Visa to visit our brethren in the US and conduct some Bible Expositions among some American friends and communities. Thank God, local churches were established in the US afterwards.
When I had to come back to the US to conduct more Bible Expositions at the invitation of members, I was denied renewal of my visa. When a consul in the US Embassy in Singapore arrogantly and sarcastically answered my question, "Why am I denied, Ma’am?" "It's not our obligation to divulge to you the reason," was the answer.
There were at least five Filipinos also, some of them crying, who were denied by the same consul. I later found out that I was denied a visa because of the doing of a member of the Iglesia ni Manalo who worked at the Department of Justice. Allegedly, I must be put in the Watch list of the Interpol because of a rape case filed against me by the Iglesia ni Manalo. When my lawyer, Attorney Frank Chavez, a former solicitor general of the Philippines, questioned the issuance of the watch list over against me, the same official balked from imposing the order placing me in the Watch list of the Interpol, but damage had already been done! Although the DOJ withdrew the order, it was already flashed to all countries.
I have forgotten that incident and remembered it only when President Rodrigo Duterte said in China, in a speech, that he was denied a visa to the US. Because of that bitter experience with an American consul, I did not want anymore to apply for a US visa, much like President Duterte, who said he will never be returning to the US. Not while he is President.
“I will not go to America anymore. We will just be insulted there,” Duterte said. “So time to say goodbye my friend.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/philippine-president-duterte-us-separation_us_58089881e4b0180a36e9646f
At this point I want to say, it is unfair that while Americans can come to the Philippines without visa, it is not so with the Filipinos who must provide theirs. Pity these Filipinos who can hardly produce 7,000 pesos for a visa queuing at the American Embassy in Manila waiting for 5 - 6 hours to be called for interview, paying the required fee, and ending up being denied - most of the time sarcastically.
If we are really friends with America, as President Duterte asked, why not welcome us as we welcome them? The one hundred years of friendship was not able to achieve this. What is the problem really? Maybe one way or the other, a party is protecting its own interest, and in this supposed equation, America is the greater.
The Gospel says, discrimination is an unchristian act.
1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
Isn’t President Duterte right? I do not want to say "yes," as I do not want to say "no."
To my critics, who disagree with this blog, I just want to tell you, you do not know Brother Eli.