Thursday, August 9, 2012

August Deluge Thoughts

I've been thinking of a kick-ass post for my return to blogging, but for the past weeks, I've been getting nothing more than a blank stare from my computer screen. 

Then it rained. It rained relentlessly and I realized that I will not wait for that kick-ass moment to come. I must go back to blogging.

Pouring, drenching, hammering, and pounding deluge hit Manila and its neighboring provinces for the past two weeks. As a result, images of flooded roads started figuring in the internet. Soon after, stories about heroic rescues made it to prime time news cast, and celebrities and celebrity-wanna-be politicians started making cameo roles in the relief operations. 

For three days now, many areas in Manila became a waterworld. 

The Filipino Spirit is Waterproof
Photo courtesy :design by Katria Alampay and tagline by Ayala Museum  




In the middle of all this, memes and some netizens started blaming the "abusive, irresponsible and undisiplined Filipinos" for how much they have contributed to this disaster. Why have we not learned from the past, they asked. 

It got me wondering, yet again. 

Did they ever ask why Filipinos act as "Filipinos?" Why squatters have to resort to settling illegally? Why people have to go to densely populated Manila just to eke out a living? Why Filipinos lack better judgement to understand the effects if they litter and clog the drainage? Why Filipinos are poor? Why Filipinos are dirty? Why Filipinos are abusive, irresponsible, and without any discipline? Why floods as massive as these still happen?

I do not claim to be a social scientist nor do I know everything about the Philippines. But I will try to answer some of these questions based on my level of understanding of the reality around me, and based on how I feel for these  "irresponsible Filipinos." And this one hits home because I'm part of the statistics of the poor. 

We are poor because the system allows us to be poor. We crowd in urban areas because there are a few job opportunities in the countryside. We lack the judgement to understand the repercussions of littering and improper trash management to the environment because we are not properly educated. We are not educated because education has become more like a privilege than a right. Homeless people shivering in the cold nights remain homeless because they are not educated, didn't get to land a decent job, didn't get to find a better space to house whatever little they have. Floods like this happen because of natural calamities, but most importantly because of some greedy people who illegally cut trees where upstream rain come from and because of the government's inability to control over-development in urban areas. 

There are far deeper reasons that would answer why we remain poor in this mighty modern times. But I'll reserve touching further on that topic.

Filipinos, vast majority poor, are not lazy people. In fact we are some of the most resilient and hardworking inhabitants of this planet. We brave really hard blows in our day to day life -- from waking up and breathing in a polluted air, to  surviving a day with at least three decent meals, to taking the taxing public road and transport, to settling in low-paying jobs, to ending a day with worries because of the rain and flood forcing its way inside our "houses." Everyday is a tough call out here.

I will not blame the haters for conveniently blaming the poor. They too are part of this oppressed society. Maybe until the system allows us all to get equal and better opportunities, this blame game will not end. But until then, can we be more compassionate to one another? Most, if not all, of these people we  meet on the road are fighting a very difficult battle. 

Let's not blame people because we think we know better. If we know better, we would always understand why certain people act in certain ways. It pays to ask, read and understand. Because in the end, education breeds kindness. And kindness leads to action. 

For a start, stop bashing. Go out and help!


18 comments:

  1. CALL FOR DONATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS!

    The University of the Philippines Student Catholic Action (UPSCA) is accepting foods, drinking water, clothes, utensils, medicines, plastic bags for packing, etc., for the victims of the non-stop rains in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

    Please bring/send them in UPSCA Tambayan, Delaney Hall, Parish of the Holy Sacrifice, UP Diliman.

    For monetary donations, you may deposit to PNB account name: UP Student Catholic Action
    Savings account number: 275-601784-4

    You may also contact these numbers for any concerns: +639051709817, +639228182184

    Godbless and be safe, everyone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. bek, i have some stuff here. pano ko itao sa UPSCA?

      Delete
    2. Oist baka gamit ko na ang pigapanao mo ha. LOL
      Bek, text mo si Jom. Siya na lang magkua. Aduman ito, gatuwang mag-pack.

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    3. iyo bek, mga gamit mo. haha! para man baga bek sa mga nangangaipo!

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    4. Bek, baka gusto mo ring magtuwang sa relief op. Papunta sinda ngunyan sa Daang Tubo, sa may Katipunan. Kahapon sa Montalban, Rizal sinda. Punta ka lang sa tambayan, ibahon mo si Noy para makatuwang man.

      Delete
    5. sabihan ko si nonoy bek ta pwerte ang staycation kaini uya sa halong. hahaha sige katulog. rar!

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    6. iyo padalhon mo saiya sa UP su mga matatao niyo jan.

      Delete
  2. WOW!may update na!good job! =))

    ReplyDelete
  3. check your things cha.baka pag-uwi mo wala kn gamit.pero at least madami ka namang natulungan. =))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HAHAHA baka pati mga uniform ko sa office naipamigay na. haha
      pero halos wala naman talaga akong gamit, kaya malamang sa kanila yun ni Loi.

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    2. naipamigay na. mabait na bata talaga 'tong si becky. :)

      Delete
  4. arog talaga kaan ba. we can't blame them because they have limited information. (and even we who think know better actually are also reflecting our own vantage point in the debates.) mentalities like that are also the effects of poverty -- poor people, poor ideas. so parang poverty is self-perpetuating. :) para dai ka masyado ma-stress, saboton mo sinda. and tama, join a movement.

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    Replies
    1. anonymous baba sa comment box ko. first time. wahaha. salamat sa input. :)

      Delete
  5. I do think that bashing people in this difficult times is inappropriate and insensitive. And by bashing I meant careless choice of hateful and mean words without any constructive message to the people involved. This is not just a blame game, but self reflection - why have we not changed even after what happened? Do we have to wait for the government's initiative for improvement before we act ourselves? I think that being poor is not an excuse to be ignorant of common information, almost all of the poor have access to free TV and the media has always discussed that waste management had been a major contributor to flooding in the metro. Of course, irresponsible people are not to blame alone. The government and conglomerates (like SM) building infras that block the natural flow of the ecosystem have their own share of blame. But it takes a lot to move these two, we the people, can make a change by just being a little more responsible on how we live our day to day routines. I thnink it's good that we Filipinos are resilient but I also wish that we learn from our mistakes. Kasama sa pagbangon ay pagbabago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. points taken kidd. pang long talk and after-shift coffee break ito. :)

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  6. It's good that your back to blogging :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. not quite back to blogging kidd. ala pa din akong enthusiasm gaya ng dati. na-agitate lang ako kaya napasulat nang mabilisan. pero yung gaya ng dati na excitement, di ko pa din makapa. :(

      Delete
  7. finally! tagal ko nagiintay....

    ReplyDelete

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