American Influence in the Philippines
Following the end of WW II the governments of the United States and the Philippines signed a treaty on July 4 1946 which granted independence to the Philippines. These islands had been under American control since the late 19 century; previously they had been dominated by Spanish rule for about 400 years.
The American influence in the Philippines can still be felt strongly today. The system of government follows the republic style of the Americans including a president, senate and a congress elected democratically by the Filipino citizens.
The education system is strongly influenced by the American system with English being taught as the first language apart from the native languages of Tagalog and Visayan. There are two compulsory levels of education, elementary, and high school each having a ‘cap and gown’ graduation ceremony on completing the classes. Further college and university education is available, where much of the American terminology is freely used such as ‘campus’, ‘fraternity’ and ‘alumni’ which are all American expressions.
Such is the influence of America in the Philippines today that there is an unshakeable belief that ‘if its American it must be good’ and if any white skinned foreigner is seen on the street he is inevitably greeted with the words ‘Hi Joe’ such is the idea that all white people are American and the ‘Joe’ alluding to the GI soldiers of WW II
The public transport system has been highly influenced by the US. The WW II jeeps used by the American military have been adapted into colorfully decorated passenger carrying vehicles known as Jeepneys, without which the transport system would collapse.