Reverse colonialism


333 years under Spain, 48 years under America, four years under Japan – that’s almost four centuries of colonization for the Philippines by these world powers.

Even after independence in 1946, the US continued to dominate our economy up to 1991, when the Senate voted to close the American military bases on Philippine soil.

But in 2014, something unthinkable happened. A Filipino food manufacturing company, Del Monte Philippines, acquired Del Monte Foods USA.

The following year, another local firm followed suit when liquor maker Emperador bought Fundador of Spain. Recently, a subsidiary of Ayala Group took over a solar energy startup in Silicon Valley, California.

This business trend is by no means confined to the Philippines. Many conglomerates in India have purchased iconic brands in Britain, their ex-colonizer.

And the acquisition binge is not only limited to locals foraying into the territories of their former colonial masters. For instance, several Filipino corporate titans now own majority stakes in Chinese, Singaporean, and Malaysian companies.

With a sizable portion of our 105 million population working abroad, it won’t be long till the Filipino Diaspora becomes a dominant force in declining Western economies, thanks to reverse colonialism.

p: wjg