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Business, editorial for May 14, 1910

Saturday, May 14, 1910


IN CONNECTION with a prize subscription contest advertised recently in the FREE PRESS and the apparent indifference on the part of the young people toward the money prizes offered, a young Filipino from Negros who is a friend of the paper, explained the apathy on the ground that the Filipino youth would not respond where cash prizes were offered as it looked too mercenary, too much like “business.”

We are inclined to believe there is something in what our young Filipino friend says, and we think that among certain classes of the Filipino people there exists a feeling of disdain for anything which has in it a suggestion of money-getting. This view is borne out by the sneering reference occasionally made in the Filipino press to the word “business.”

As we view it, this attitude is wrong and one which is working great harm and must continue to work great harm to the Filipino people. One may feel very superior in affecting to despise business and the accumulation of the dollar or peso, but it is the foolish superiority of a Don Quixote. To follow out this attitude to its logical conclusion  it must mean that the Filipino is proud of over 90 per cent of the retail trade of these islands being controlled by Chinese who constitute a good deal less than ten per cent of the population. For our part, we think it is cause for shame.

Business means wealth, wealth means power, power means independence.

In our opinion the friend of the Filipino can do him no better and more sincere service than urge upon him the imperative necessity of trying to develop the business instinct. This is a commercial age and with the leading nations setting the pace all the nations must fall into line or be hopelessly left behind in the struggle.