September 29, 2009

The Silver Lining Behind Typhoon Ondoy

The scenes are horrific to watch. I can't find a substitute word that could fully express the horror in English so I'll just use the Filipino word "nakapanlulumo talaga". It is heartbreaking and disheartening at the same time to see family after family recount their stories. Local channels have been airing images and videos of people who have been hit most by the storm and these images are just a glimpse of the devastation that has befallen our country. I have no memory of any storm ever having this impact as this one. I barely remember Typhoon "Yoling" in my youth and it was only because of the strong winds that made our neighbors trees sway so hard and the fact that there was no school.

People are slowly returning to their homes now, cleaning up the debris, hosing down floor tiles, salvaging whatever remains of life-long investments. Indeed, the rain falls on the just and the unjust, rich and poor, sinner and saint. However, there is something to be said about calamities and crises. It reveals everything. It reveals the best and the worst in all of us. It reveals the quality of our leadership, the depth of our charity and the ability to adapt to adversity in the midst of dire circumstances. I laud our kababayans. I laud the unsung heroes who dared and lost their lives in their desire to help. I laud the ingenuity of those who made do with whatever resources they had. I am amazed at the unswerving faith in God in the middle of grief and unimaginable pain of fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.

Though I am not in the thick of the rescue and relief efforts, I offer my humble prayers to all of our kababayans. For those of us who have been spared, in truth, we have not. For we share in the sorrow and we rejoice in the triumph vicariously for all those affected by it. As a nation, we have suffered much and we have endured much and yet through it all we have survived - Hope and Bayanihan are still very much around. We are not a perfect people but I will always be proud to say that I am a Filipino, no matter what.

For those interested to help check out the following:
Philippine National Red Cross on twitter:
GMA Kapuso Foundation:
ABS CBN Sagip Kapamilya :