While the Philippines is deemed to be a “developing” country, one can easily presume that the country has reached some sort of plateau in terms of social growth and progress. In fact, one may even argue that Philippine society still closely resembles 19th Century Europe.
Alfred McCoy and Ed de Jesus iterate that the Philippines as a society was essentially “political” in nature. Restrained by traditional values of reciprocity, the Filipino lived in a state of cultural, political, and economic “undevelopment” that served as a positive barrier to “modernization”. While the economy faltered, politics boomed. Channeling all their conflicts and aspirations through the political system, the Filipinos were unified through and electoral-cum-bureaucratic structure. Much like the uprising in 19th century Europe, which was founded on the citizens’ dissatisfaction of economic and political state.
As far as social class is concerned, modern-day Philippine society can still see a very huge and apparent gap between social classes, even with the existence of the middle- class. While luxury stores were popping up like mushrooms in the central business district, the average monthly income per family was pegged at Php10, 750 . Clearly foreign luxury brands would not even consider setting up shop locally without a readily available market.
The church and the state although technically and ideally separated as per the Philippine Constitution, still work closely together in governance. A very recent example is the RH Bill. Although very beneficial to every Filipino’s health and economic welfare, congress can only do so much as the Catholic Church deems such policies as “unlawful” and sacrilegious.
McCoy,A & De Jesus, E. (2001) Philippine Social History: Global Trade and
Local Transformations, Ateneo de Manila U Press http://www.nscb.gov.ph/secstat/d_income.asp (January 13, 2012; 3:40 PM)