The word development is a cliché for me. I heard it a lot of times before and still hearing it up to now. Different news regarding development always say that other countries—like America, China, and Japan—are already number one on the race while our country, Philippines, is far left behind. It is portrayed to me by media and my school teachers as directly connected modernization—money, transportations, buildings, cleanliness, politics, technologies, and market. Up to now, even my parents say that the country is having a hard time coping with the fast modernization. I can still remember when my mother told me that I should choose a course under the field of business and hard sciences since careers under them are considered well suited on the demands of the modernization. These are where technology is very well supported and good amount of money is the reward in the end.
Ever since DEVC70 started, we are highly encouraged to unveil “development”. The readings presented development under a different light—a discourse. At first, we were convinced that this trending topic is all about how we could help improve people’s lives by upgrading our economy and technologies. It is also regarded as the topic mainly concerning on poverty and its victims. What the reading shows is the downside of development. When I was taking DEVC10 and 11, I thought that development has only minimal side effects. What I primarily saw was the promising results of the progression. I remembered what my mom told me about the technologies and other innovations. “Sinisira kayo niyang mga computer at cellphone na yan. Mga kabataan ngayon iba na ugali dahil sa mga kung anu-anong naiimbento na yan”, she said. I was at first in denial of it but as I continued my DevCom life, I realized my mom is right. Supported by facts the readings discussed, development definitely has brought the third world countries financial, social, and identity crisis.
Due to the desire of the first world countries to be always on top, they had made ways—like United Nations and World Bank—to ensure their progress. It’s sad to know that they made us believe that they have good intentions in improving lives of people in the third world countries. According to the readings, Americans over consume and spend while other nationalities experience famine and other necessity shortage. What’s more saddening is the fact that first world countries consume the resources of the “underdeveloped” nations. This led to resource shortage of the victimized countries like Africa and Philippines and eventually to financial crisis. As a result of the competition amongst nations, more funds are allotted to military forces over health and educational services. It’s sad that due to money competition, we are blinded to the real needs of the people.
As also mentioned in the readings, culture and traditions are altered or diminished due to the changing process required by development. In our context, we could observe that Filipino values are disappearing on the scene. As we adapt modernity, we sacrifice our character. I think my mom is really right when she told me youth nowadays are very much affected by media and technologies. We can observe that we are focused on how we may adjust and go along with the various trends that we forget to live as sociable humans. For example, the innovations in communication made us communicate faster and easier, but the question is, do these innovations improve the value of communication and human relationship or do they ruin it? Technological advancements in communication brought forth advantages but they also caused a lot of intrapersonal and interpersonal damages—cyber bullying, cyber sex, threats, viruses, scams, hacking, etc. These may be considered as factors contributing to cases of suicides, rapes, and increased crimes. Moreover, because of investing to machines and other innovations, we destroy our environment. We fail to realize that over usage of the environment will cause us further suffering in the future.
Due to our efforts to keep on track, we sometimes fail to realize that we are losing our identity. I admit that I am also a victim of this. Our thinking and lifestyle are undoubtedly influenced by the westerners. This is because we want or we are sort of obliged to use what they use. We have this sort of notion that imported products are first class without us knowing that the materials they use in the production are from us. We are also forced to study what the first world countries want us to study. We follow their curriculum; we adopt their education. If we would observe, we may see that a lot of students take up courses regarding business or engineering. They also tend to clutter to courses which are internationally in demand. What may be better is if we analyze the context our country then figure out what knowledge or skills we should master in order to respond to the true grass roots of the nation’s problems.
Development is not bad. In fact, it also has proven its ability to improve lives—well at least in bringing convenience and easing complicated lives. Maybe what’s damaging is when modernization becomes very technical that we lose our culture values and tend to set aside the other aspects in life which we could address development, even the simplest thing in life, especially human relationships. Development shouldn’t also be exclusive it should cater all people from all walks of life. We all need development whether we are “poor” or “rich”. What we could do is to continuously be open-minded on development so that we may see both its beauty and madness.