I mean I don’t like it, I think they are just plain ignorant, but unfortunately Pilipinx’s face an amnesia, most don’t know our history so I don’t necessarily blame them (unless of course they do know but still insist we were better off being colonized then I just feel sorry for them).
Honestly I hate it when people compare us to China, Japan, etc. We are Austronesians first and foremost before we are Asian. Majority of the Austronesian speaking people from the Pacific to the indigenous groups of Taiwan to the Malagasy of Madagascar, all of us despite cultural differences have one thing in common, and that is the respect of nature, the ancestors, and family. We are a sea faring people, even among us Pilipinxs the Spaniards mentioned quite often how everyone knew how to swim and had an affinity for water. It is why so many of our ethnic groups are named from a water source, “people by the river”, “people by the lake”, “people of the bay”, etc. Prior to the Spaniards we were already trading with Japan and China. When Japan closed its doors to the world it was the kingdoms of Luzon that they choose to trade with and in order to get goods from Japan you had to trade with the traders in the ports of Luzon. Just because we didn’t have empires doesn’t mean we weren’t behind. Hell we were a part of the maritime trade routes and traded extensively with our neighbors especially in regards to gold as we were the number one exporters of gold other than present day Indonesia.
Empires does not equal civilization and success. It just means power hungry individuals taking advantage of the people and attacking other territories to further fuel their power hungry goals.