Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thailand and the Philippines

The following letter was sent by Dr.Joel L. Cuello, Ph.D, our newly elected President of Philippine American Academy of Science and Engineering(PAASE) to all its members. I am now a retired member, but I am still in the mailing list for active members. I enjoyed his photographs showing the majesty and grandeur of the design and arts of the Thai Palaces taken during his recent trip to Thailand. I asked his permission to repost, some of his photos and he agreed. I am posting only six (out of 36) of his beautiful photographs. Here's Dr. Cuello's letter.

"My recent trip to Thailand once again reminded me of the breathtaking cultural diversity of the Philippines's Asian neighbors.
What most amazed me was thinking that both Bangkok and Manila lie almost exactly on the same latitude -- and thus share very similar topography, hot sun, humid air and tropical flora -- and yet their cultural achievements and legacies are so patently different.
The Philippines, of course, was under Spanish rule for over 300 years, while Thailand was spared to become the only Southeast Asian state to avoid European colonial rule because the French and the British agreed to maintain it as a neutral territory to avoid conflicts between their colonies.

Thus, visiting Thailand afforded observing a close geographical sibling of the Philippines that challenged me to dare imagine what the Philippines would have been like had history not conspired to relegate it under European colonization.
It is difficult, and perhaps excruciating, to go down that path. The fact, however, is that through colonization the Philippines has lost a lot, but it has also gained a lot. And in this age of globalization, what the Philippines has gained has in no small measure arguably given it some decidedly competitive advantage.

Going forward, the Philippines simply plays the historical hand it was dealt.

The attached photos show the majesty and grandeur of the arts and designs of the Thai Royal Palaces -- which are proudly realized as quintessentially Southeast Asian in both their innate character and lofty aspirations.

Have an enjoyable weekend ".

Joel L. Cuello, Ph.D.
Professor of Biosystems Engineering
Director, Global Institute for Strategic Agriculture in Drylands (GISAD)
Department of Agricultural and
Biosystems Engineering
507 Shantz Building
The University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721

Thanks a million, Joel for sharing your photos and letter about Thailand and the Philippines.

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