I remember a day before November 9, our management got us into a quick huddle and explained accountability and safety. The options were laid out on a powerpoint presentation wherein you can work from home, get to the office if the situation is safe, and always always ask for help from the company’s hotlines if in critical situation.
I went home early as PAGASA forecasted that landfall will be at 2AM Friday, and I woke up the next day disappointed that it wasn’t raining whatsoever. Thinking about it, I am ashamed of myself. When I was having a deep slumber, excited to hear the sound of rain, people were dying and running for their lives from the wrath of the biggest typhoon ever existed on Earth. According to a journalist from Samar who covered the devastating event, the typhoon made landfall earlier than expected and people were took shelter in gymnasiums as evacuation center. But a storm surge happened, wherein the wind was too much that the waters from the ocean rose up so high and started flooding the places. It was like multiple tsunamis with strong winds and heavy rains. The gymnasiums weren’t enough to keep the people safe, they had to move to a higher ground, which they didn’t have time to do so.
Seeing the photos and videos taken during and after the storm from newscasters who have covered the historic event, I felt like my heart was being ripped out. Babies, children, adults, animals, properties – all washed out and destroyed in just two hours. The very basic necessities a human needs were all gone.
First, the Philippines is an archipelago and a third-world country. We should not think Philippines the way it is not. We do not have the facilities to make the relief effort faster. We don’t have the capacity to make everyone as safe as they should be. We are not US, Japan, Europe or UAE. We are not supposed to compare ourselves to such countries. The discipline of these people is so much different from ours.
The government can be partially to blame, as they receive help from allies which is supposed to be invested in facilities in case there are wars and such. I guess this is a wake-up call to the government and to every Filipino. This is actually the result of the extreme corruption in Philippines. Because of this, we have not invested enough to high-technology facilities and equipments. Always take note though, this is not because of PNoy, of his incompetence, of his slowness to react to such tragedies. Please don’t forget that two months ago, Bohol was also struck by a huge earthquake and now this. Which is which, both needs help. Obviously, Philippines couldn’t handle this for now.
May this tragedy be a daily reflection to everyone, especially to the ones who are in a position, that maybe it is time for a change. This is the change that everyone always wanted – integrity and discipline. These two characters will fuel the change that we Filipinos want. These two will stop corruption. These two will lead Philippines soaring high.
Let’s stop talking. Let’s stop throwing blames. Instead, let’s all stand up and actually help. If you think you can do better than the government, then that’s good. But don’t let our words be just words. Let’s always remember that actions speak louder than words, and so much better. Let’s help in any way we can. If we find the government slow enough, then if possible, let’s volunteer all the way out to Tacloban, Samar and Capiz and let’s show them that this is how it’s done. But until you are not actually doing anything, you have no right to start blabbing and bashing around anyone. Your comments and status and blog posts won’t be able to feed thousands of people.
If we are to be positive and look at the bigger picture, almost all major countries, even China who we have territorial feud with, are helping the Philippines. This shows that it is possible to help each other and actually be in cease-fire. Perhaps, this may be the first step to our much wished-for “world peace”.
May the good Lord bless your souls.