Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan is still so beautiful

I spent all weekend with the TV on, watching in shock as CNN, BBC and NHK reported on the Japan earthquake and the devastating tsunami that followed. I'm sure you're just as frightened, alarmed and concerned. After all, our country is a member of that deadly Ring of Fire and it's not a question of if for us, it's really a matter of when.

Since this is a blog that won't dwell on sad things, I just want to share that even with the devastation that happened in Japan, I can't help but admire what a beautiful country it is.
The hardest hit areas are supposed to be the poorer parts of the country. But look at that--the quaint homes with beautiful tiled roofs and the trees and the sea in the distance. What a lovely place!

When my fellow editors and I were watching the first few videos on CNN last Friday, we were mentally pushing the cars on the road to move faster as we saw the huge waves closing in on them fast. Clearly, we weren't telekinetic. Then someone said. "That's beautiful farmland. All gone." That's true. The acres upon acres of farms were a lovely sight until they all got swallowed up by the tsunami.

Even in distress, the Japanese are elegant and refined. And it's not just the way they're dressed! The way they reacted--calm, cooperative, disciplined, helpful of each other, orderly, no looting, no hysterics, no panic, no selfishness, no self-pity--just shows the beauty and strength of spirit of the Japanese people. 

CNN reported that people were helping each other in search-and-rescue missions. When one man was asked if he'd rather wait for the government to clean up, he replied, "It is up to me to fix things. No one else will do this for me." Quite unlike us since we blame the government for every little thing. I remember there was this news bit on TV about how the strawberries from Baguio last year were smaller than usual. The woman they asked about it said, "Yung gobyerno kasi. Di nila pina-uulan." ("It's the government's fault. They didn't make it rain."). Oh well. 

I also noticed how perfect the roads in Japan are. None of the pot-holed, patched-up horrors we have here. And the Japanese really know how to build! It was an 8.9 quake with a mega-tsunami following right after and still most of the buildings withstood the forces of nature. Wow! Hooray for Japanese engineering!

In the midst of all the horrors, there can still be beauty and wonder. Right now though I wish that the weather warms up for them, especially for those survivors who are still waiting to be rescued. To the beautiful people of Japan, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

*photos from The Globe and Mail. Click here to see more photos of the Japan earthquake and tsunami.


  1. I wish they recover well and quick. :-/

  2. Very well said Frances, I couldn't agree more. I admire Japanese People,and wishing that some of us Filipinos are like them too. They never took advantage of what happened instead help each other, sooo unlike the Philippines.

  3. Hi Frances!
    You're so right!
    they're really a different breed of people! elegant,refined and dignified amidst life's storms.
    Thanks so much for the insightful entry.
    More power!

  4. I was watching a documentary about earthquake last night, and I really admired how quake-proof Japan (and NZ) structures are. They compared it if the 8.9 magnitude quake happened elsewhere, and they predicted it to be 10x more tragic & fatal as most conutries doesn't design their buildings as such. And yes, Philippines included.

    I like it that you always see positivity in eveything, F! =)

  5. Indeed. I suppose it has something to do with how Japanese people are schooled in maintaining a high level of order - even in the face of adversity.
    I hope with the help of international aid the infrastructure gets rebuilt quickly. Important for stabilizing the economy!

  6. My thoughts exactly. Thanks for putting them into words. :) I don't know if it's just that the Japanese media stay away from taking videos/pictures of survivors crying out in desperation, but somehow I feel like they're spirit is really such that they don't do that - they pick up and do all they can to contribute to rebuilding instead. Amazing people.

  7. Pano na ang mga sakura trees:(. Let's pray for everyone's safety.

  8. Yes, these dark days really brought out the best in the Japanese. It's amazing how inspiring they are! I get teary-eyed when I see and read reports of their kindness to each other. Truly a wonderful people!


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