Monday, November 11, 2013

Hopes Post- Yolanda and for My Country Philippines

Note: If you wanted to get in touch with groups or organizations to help, send supplies or donate cash or in kind, please check this link compiled by my blogger friends. If it is not so much, please share this link to your social media handles so that others will also be informed.

On the 8th of November this year, the strongest typhoon recorded in the history of manind (so far) hit the islands in the Visayas region of Philippines. At around six in the morning the same day, I received a notification in my mobile phone from our co-employee based in Tacloban informing us of the heavy downpour of rains in their area but electricity and network coverage was still okay. By the time I get to read her email, all the electrical power lines were cut-off in Tacloban while flying debris from houses and buildings were also being shown in the news clip in the television. I never heard anything from my friend not until yesterday through a short call from a phone that she probably borrowed.

A streak of hope and positivism for my fellow Filipinos. Light shines brightest at the dark.
The internet was also flooded with updates and news about the extent of damage and the many efforts to help reach out to the victims. The sad part is that this flood of information also included stories that make the situation worse.

  • People blatantly saying that they were GLAD THAT IT HAPPENED claiming that the VICTIMS DESERVED THE PAIN. It did not end with postings of people who apparently lack the sense of symbiosis but also, to my opinion, “kulang sa pansin” (attention-seeking). They continue to justify that they are entitled to their opinion and they should not be condemned.
  • While help is pouring even from our international counterparts, QUESTIONS ON FAIR DISTRIBUTION became a trending topic in the internet.  As the country now also fights one of the biggest expose in corruption of the Pork Barrel, people asks whether the billions of donations from other countries reach the victims or will the culture of corruption reign even at this devastating incident.
  • POLITICIANS as well as other NARCISSISTS bragging about their contributions, counting what they donated and using this incident to campaign for elections if not, simply brag.
  • HEADLINES OF PEOPLE LOOTING from stores and even from relief operation vehicles clearly describes that the human system is now operating in a survival instinct to feed and protect oneself and their families.
  • SECTORS REFUSING TO HELP people not coming from their sect also raised many eyebrows in the social media walls. If this is true or not, the fact the people START TO DIVIDE INSTEAD OF WORKING IN SOLIDARITY is as obvious as the lack of unity killing more people each day.

I would agree that the Filipino spirit is waterproof, storm-proof and that even a super typhoon cannot break it but it many instances, while many are trying their best to help, some cannot really resists to be self-centered, tactless and destructive. I would like to tell myself that perhaps, these people lack self-esteem that they needed to put somebody down just to feel good or catch any attention, even the negative attention, just to feel they exist. I do not like to believe that they lack souls but I also do not choose to be of very sympathetic to these selfish people right now.

I’d like to hope that the donations will be coursed through organizations that are focused to aiding the victims and assure the relief will reach those who needed it most. While I am still trying to convince myself that the current government is trying their best to remove corruption in the system, I’d prefer that other countries would course though their help to reliable organizations that will have no personal gain when helping the victims. While we lack time to debate or argue, others are already moving so let us go with the actions flowing.

Let us also avoid re-affirming these people with publicity (even negative) because it is exactly what they want and rewarding them with attention cookies will only promote them to repetitively do what they do. Collective effort creates an impact. Surely, reposting what they did, even for the purpose of putting them to shame, will not really put them in shame. They will only get that 30-second fame that they wanted. Don’t reward them and see their negative actions disappear in the middle of the generosity and kind-heartedness of other people.

While the news of looting and refusing to help other to protect their own maybe expected, it is still a sad reality to hear and raises an alarm to immediately send in help so that people will not be pushed back to the wall with this choice nor will it marginalize those in the hard-to-reach area. When survival is at stake, we cannot really expect a high rate of selflessness. No parent in their right mind would sacrifice the life of their children just to do the morally-correct act when stealing or refusing to share is the only way to survive.

I may not be in the best position to fully explain the psychology of what happened with my fellow countrymen but my humanness is calling me to be more human than ever. Today, may we choose to help and help without expecting anything in return. May we choose to lift other people up, and shun away from the negative stories that will not help make the lives of the victims better. May we choose to salute those who put their hearts and minds to contribute in helping in with fund and donations drive. May we choose to learn from this tragedy, to be more prepared, to avoid the mistakes that sacrificed many lives and may we choose to remember that we do not forget.

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