I do not know where to start, how to describe the horror my people have been through for the past days because of typhoon Haiyan. But the world probably already has a good idea of that by now.
We as a whole nation, along with the rest of our countrymen scattered across the globe, grieve because of what happened to our own people. It is the latest and strongest beating we have suffered following the September armed conflict crisis and the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last October
No nation is ever perfect. I have many things to say against my country and people. And yet despite of our many flaws, the love for the Philippines and the Filipino people is something that I cannot deny.
As we religiously listen to the news and keep track of the plight of our people, many who lived in areas, cities which have been virtually wiped out; many of whom have never eaten or drank anything for days; many of whom have all members of their family dying on that storm, I feel as if I’m being punched in the gut, something being squeezed inside my chest, and something very awful stuck in my throat.
Yes, it is heartbreaking. And yet there is that definite feeling of relief that it was not us, because it could have so easily been. If the storm’s path happened to include my own province, I’m not sure I would still be able to type this right now. The whole nation prepared for days for the coming of the storm, but our preparation is just not enough. We are not a wealthy nation and we do not have the necessary technology and infrastructure to withstand one of the strongest tropical cyclones in recorded history. We do not have the resources to evacuate populations of entire cities, entire provinces out of areas directly hit by the storm’s path.
Yes, there might have been lapses, by the government and by the people as well. But does that really matter now? Instead of the pointless finger-pointing and political wiles, helping these typhoon survivors stand up again should be the main focus of the nation. And if that entails setting aside political interests–or even the much simpler yet annoying need of one’s own ego to presume that somebody, anybody is at fault but oneself–then that is what should happen.
But this is not a perfect world.
Not perfect, but a world still definitely worth living and believing in.
I can say this because we have tremendously felt the help coming from the whole world. National governments, international groups, private groups, celebrities, and especially ordinary individuals, we have all felt your goodwill and concrete aid to the Philippines.
For this, thank you.
As of now, recovery is still painfully slow but every day we witness an improvement. As citizens of this country, it would be our duty to not just allow your help be for naught and end up in the coffers of pigs who call themselves people. As citizens of this country, we are also doing our individual share to help, in any way that we can.
I would like to believe this. I would still like to believe in the world. I would still like to believe in the Filipino.
In fact, I still do.