|Photo credit: Rey Tamayo Jr., Photoville International|
The unrelenting raining caused massive flooding to shoulder-deep levels and landslides. And as if the devastation is not enough, the monsoon rain delivered 300,000 people to emergency evacuation shelters. Over two million Filipinos were affected by the flooding, according to one BBC report.
|One of the emergency shelters in Alabang, Muntinlupa. Photo credit: Mark Aiven Antang/Photoville International|
The social networking platform have served the Filipinos well in these calamitous times. My Facebook news stream updated me with the goings on from the many different cities around the National Capital Region. Twitter was also helpful for supplying me with hotline numbers of government agencies to contact, relief mission drives, and announcements of classes and office work suspensions.
While social media proved itself relevant for info dissemination and a useful tool in giving me with personalized info about the what's up from families, friends and colleagues, the Web has become a mirror of the Filipinos' resilient spirit. Netizens were witnesses to the birth of a meme called "The Filipino spirit is waterproof."
The Recto underpass even became an 'Olympic' diving board. Australian and French tourists were also reportedly game with some Filipino kids to swim in the floods. And more TV reports and Internet posts of diverse kinds have more than enough proof of how we can make even the most hostile of calamity into a world of fun.
|Photo credit: PSG (Perfect sa Ganda)|
Two example Filipino groups who are very busy helping the depressed are UNTV 37 and the religious group, Ang Dating Daan group being led by Bro Eli Soriano. The major coordinating centers of the Ang Dating Daan were even opened to the public and converted into temporary emergency shelters. Relief operations from the two groups included the giving of food, drinks, clothing, free rides, and more.
|Photo credit: Mark Aiven Antang/Photoville International|
Usually, when a bad weather or calamity has calmed, we no longer checked back to see what we can do to trace or resolve our problems. Take for instance how some government officials exploit disasters like these for media exposure. These public servants must be guilty of using the social good efforts to project their positive persona in the press for campaign purposes. Responding to crisis situations must not end in doling out relief supplies. As public servants, their true responsibility is to ensure the welfare of their constituents even when the disaster or calamity is away.
Yet the government cannot be blamed for everything. We must be reminded that we are also to blame to the flooding and landslide. We are also a party to the declining health of our environment or why some projects are failing for lack of support and cooperation from people. While another similar devastation might once again happen and prove the positive Filipino character, we must not forget, however, our priorities in ensuring a long-lasting solution to our dilemma.
As a start after the flooding, we must not return to the unbreakable bad habits of throwing away our garbage everywhere or not recycling our wastes. And now that the sun is here, we should start cleaning our drainage or checking roof holes to seal. We can also join tree-planting efforts. We must commit to change for the better and say no to complacency.
But even more important than citizen involvement and being aware of our roles as responsible citizens, we must be mindful of the spiritual. Powerful typhoons or calamities are strong reminders to us that we are helpless and powerless in the sight of God. It is a call for us to be humble and to always remember to pray and seek God's help and mercy in all the waking moments of our lives.