Essays on modern Philippine economic history
CROSSROADS TOWARD PHILIPPINE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL PROGRESS - Gerardo P. Sicat (The Philippine Star) - June 12, 2019 - 12:00am

If a historian’s role is to remind us about what people in the present seem to have forgotten, an economist might discuss episodes in economic history to remind us about where past national economic decisions have taken us.

In the past year, and especially in the last few months of this year, I have written on topics about Philippine modern economic history.

For those of my readers who follow my writings assiduously for the learning and the challenge my views might pose to them, I list several of the topics on recent economic history.

I put the titles of the essays and the dates they appeared (beginning with the most recently published) in The Philippine STAR. (They can all be accessed in the Philstar archives,)

Mexico and the Philippines: Economic relations with the US compared (June 5, 2019 )

US trade, economic policy toward the Phl in the 1900s (May 1, 2019)

Indonesia and the Philippines compared (April 24, 2019)

Private sector 1946-1950: Who got war damage compensation? (April 17, 2019)

Economic rehabilitation after World War II — Philippine republic in infancy (April 10, 2019)

Manuel A. Roxas, transition and rehabilitation president (April 3, 2019)

Ramon Magsaysay — an unfulfilled presidency — (1) — (March 18, 2019)

Laurel-Langley trade agreement and reparations from Japan – Magsaysay presidency (2) — (March 20, 2019)

Attracting foreign direct investments: 2019 vs 1970s (March 6, 2019)

The uncleaning of Manila Bay — historical background (Feb. 20, 2019)

Economic development: What we do well and what we don’t (December 26, 2018)

In favor of return to ROTC program: Dev’t and discipline ((December 5, 2018)

World War I: Our limited participation (Nov. 14, 2018)

Forex controls in the 1950s: Philippine economic history (Oct. 24, 2018)

Two pesos per dollar unsustainable after independence: Phl economic history (Oct. 17, 2018)

The peso and Philippine economic history (Oct. 10, 2018)

The minimum wage and economic progress (June 6, 2018)

Worker housing program and government’s role (April 18, 2018)

A meaningful work-vacation ends dangerously in unbelievable events. On the last Saturday of my stay, I decided on a final day of tour in Washington DC, to see it on foot. I took the subway. I decided to familiarize myself with some of my old jogging routes at lunch time when I worked in the World Bank. An old man of 83 is no longer as lithe and easy, but it was doable to walk it.

So I rounded out all the major monuments – Washington Jefferson, FDR, Martin Luther King, the Korean War and the Vietnam War and, finally, Lincoln.

Finally, I walked all the way to the Foggy Bottom subway station to reconnect with my redline Metro toward Bethesda. I stop by Dupont Circle metro stop to collect books that I had reserved from Second Story, a second-hand bookshop.

There was a huge crowd at Dupont Circle. A rambunctious, happy, and irreverent parade was going on – the so-called Pride parade – a celebration for LBTQs – or gay people –to assert for all people. It was a day of abandon.

With a load of books in two plastic bags and a backpack on my shoulder, I was walking back toward the Dupont Circle Metro station to return home, a sudden big wave of people rushing for safety formed. It was running toward me, confused. Some heard sounds of gunbursts that panicked everyone. (It turned out fake, as later explanations said).

I change directions, hit my face against the corner wall of a building, fall down on the pavement. Luckily, people help me and I was not run over. Then, as people were still running, I hit my shoe against an obstruction and I fall again, this time on the street. I was bloodied and my load a mess.

Different people helped me. They waited till a 911 ambulance came around to help me. Later, I was at Sibley Memorial Hospital, where I was evaluated, x-ray for hands, and a brain scan to check against concussion. Luckily, I survived all, except for contusions, bruises and minor lacerations and a dislodged denture!

I was helped by many Americans, some of whom at danger to themselves. At Sibley, the nurse who admitted me told me that her mother is from Cavite and her father from Pampanga!

This incident succeeded an event as dangerous.

Two weeks ago, as I mowed my daughter Jenny’s lawn behind the house, to the woods and forest at the back, the mower got stuck.

I hit the head of the most poisonous snake in Maryland. I accidentally killed a three-foot copperhead!

“Unbelievable!” My Crossroads column was saved twice!

My email is: For archives of previous Crossroads essays, go to: Visit this site for more information, feedback and commentary:

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