I came across an old article about culture in the Philippines from The Atlantic magazine – 1987. Interesting to revisit it after 25 years to see what remains valid
“The countries that surround the Philippines have become the world’s most famous showcases for the impact of culture on economic development. Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore–all are short on natural resources, but all (as their officials never stop telling you) have clawed their way up through hard study and hard work.
"Unfortunately for its people, the Philippines illustrates the contrary: that culture can make a naturally rich country poor. There may be more miserable places to live in East Asia– Vietnam, Cambodia–but there are few others where the culture itself, rather than a communist political system, is the main barrier to development. The culture in question is Filipino, but it has been heavily shaped by nearly a hundred years of the 'Fil-Am relationship.’ The result is apparently the only non-communist society in East Asia in which the average living standard is going down.”
-- James Fallows