Friday, November 22, 2013


It's been two weeks since Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda crashed through our country and that's been two weeks of me just glued to the news and on Facebook checking for updates, reading stories of survival and loss, forming half-baked opinions on shoulda coulda woulda's. I've been pretty useless as a result. My blogging duties forgotten (sorry, sponsors!) and it's only now that I'm working again.

These two weeks, the word "resilient" is being used a lot. Some hate it, some love it. However we feel about it, it's just a word that really does describe us Filipinos. I'd like to think, faced with the same circumstances, I'd be resilient, too. But the thought of losing my kids... Oh, I can't even face it. I don't know what I'd do should that happen as it happened to thousands of our kababayans. I'd like to think I'd be strong enough to move on but we'll never know until it happens and I pray to God that it never happens because I don't think I can take it.

There's been lots of "the survivors should do this" and "they should at least do that" or "I would never do that." I also thought that. "At least clear the roads! I'd never ever steal!" But quick on the heels of those thoughts are the whispers, "What if your kids are hungry? What if they are cold and sick? What if they had died?"

I like to think I'd be the type of person who rises up to the occasion. I've always been the person who stepped in when someone needed help, needed to be defended, needed money. I'm very calm and sensible. That's why I think that in the face of calamity, I'm not going to lose my head. But when my mother died suddenly five years ago, I was too much in shock to function. I was in shock for three whole days. My younger brother and sister were the ones who thought of entertaining the visitors at the wake, it was my husband and sister-in-law who fixed the financial matters with the funeral home, my aunts and cousins who fed everybody. I didn't do anything except cry.

So I pass no judgment on anyone. No one knows how they'll react to any situation until they're in that situation. No judgment! Well, except maybe on the government. But that's a whole new issue and I really don't want to go there.

And that's it! We all know how to help. There are dozens of fundraisers, charities, NGOs, volunteer work happening everywhere right now. How generous the Filipino spirit! God bless us all!

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  1. What would be a sin however is to not see the faults of response system currently in place. That's what both your local and the central governments have in place. For a disaster prone region, this should be one of the highest priority of all levels of government. I know that's how Filipinos usually are, mourn for a few weeks, then by a few months completely forget. That's why there's a calamity on constant basis; when it hits they are surprised like it never happened before. I think the attitude of selective memory rolls into the that of 'resiliency'. Collective amnesia is another term for happy go lucky. They console themselves that they are 'waterproof' and 'resilient'. Yeah that's fine and dandy, but reality is its a mere consolation self congratulatory surrender: as if to say, 'this is it we're not gonna change, we might as well just learn how to deal with it'. I'd rather Filipinos not be resilient, in the sense that they don't put up with the poor performance of their government over and over again. I'd rather them remember. It's heartbreaking to see, that a mere few weeks ago, amidst the pork barrel scams, where all that money went that would've otherwise prevented so many of these deaths and the inane response afterwards. What's even more heartbreaking, is knowing that nothing much will change despite these revelations. Learning is remembering.

    1. I agree with you a hundred percent. But I have learned to pick my platforms. I'd rather say those things on Facebook, where I know who I'm arguing with, rather on my blog, which can garner hate and vitriol from people I don't know.

  2. Hi Frances, I love the line "except the government." LOL!. Anyway, I was just de-friended by a person in facebook because I opposed his viewpoint on Anderson Cooper. I felt badly about it but life goes on....

    FYI I agree with the first comment also.


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