This is how Charles Russell, writing in 1922, described the Philippines (on p. 5).
He also says that we are “fond of fighting, and addicted to liberty.” As my son would say, “Cool, Dude..” Maybe there’s a point to all this: we prefer poverty to riches if it means we can fight and be free.
But I don’t know enough history (of Ireland) to see how we became “The Ireland of the East.”
By the way, Russell’s book also has a chapter on “The Farmer and the Vulture” (Ch. X), which talks about nefarious lending practices involving pacto de retro.