• Passing the test


    In his traditional Christmas message to the Filipino people delivered the other day, President Benigno Aquino 3rd said the back-to-back calamities that the Philippines suffered in the last quarter of this year should be treated as a test of our spirit.

    If so, then we are proud to say that we Filipino people have passed the test. Perhaps not with flying colors, but we passed and continue to pass the test of our resolve to return to normal following a killer earthquake in Bohol and Super Typhoon Yolanda leveling large parts of Central Visayas.

    If the national government was found a little wanting, especially in its delayed reaction to the latter weather phenomenon, ordinary Filipinos were not. The bayanihan spirit was strong in the private sector, as individuals, non-government organizations, and private corporations all reacted immediately to extend help to the devastated areas.

    Even as the national government was pinning the blame on the local government—notably of Tacloban City, the worst hit of the region—everyone else was asking what they could do to help.

    Without that quick reaction, the still undetermined death toll would have been worse. But because so many segments of society reacted immediately, food and water as well as clothing, blankets, medicine and tents, were delivered to the affected areas.

    How our people reacted made us proud to be what we are, citizens of the Republic of the Philippines.

    Yes, the foreign media was correct in telling the world that there is something extra special about us Filipinos. Not only can we smile in the face of adversity, we can also announce to one and all that we will overcome the worst.

    This is what our fellow Filipinos are doing in the areas affected by the twin catastrophes. They are silently struggling to resume the lives that they lived before against odds which only seem insurmountable.

    Slowly but surely, the economy is coming back to life. As proof, the biggest mall in Tacloban which had been looted the day after Super Typhoon Yolanda has announced that it would be reopening soon.

    Students at all levels have readied themselves to go back to school, while the basic utilities of water and electricity are being restored.

    Best of all, the Aquino administration has appointed a restoration czar in the person of former senator Panfilo Lacson, who has been entrusted with a tough task, but one which even his critics say he could well be up to.

    The global community has sent or will be sending billions of dollars in aid, and thankfully Lacson has a reputation of being diligent with funds entrusted to him. As proof, he never spent a single centavo of pork barrel in all his years as senator.

    We would now like to put the obvious enmity between the Tacloban mayor and the Local Government secretary behind us. Their differences can only worsen what is already an untenable situation, so it is best that both gentlemen leave the politicking to another day.

    President Aquino led the Philippines through its most difficult period this year about to end. He is right when he refers to the Filipino people as his boss. And he is lucky that his boss Juan de la Cruz is one hell of a guy, one who can face any difficulty with head held high, and pass any test without too much difficulty.


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    1. I salute and praise everyone who volunteered their time, efforts and sacrificing what can be a last meal to help our fellow Filipinos survive that tragic ordeal of their lives. It is heartwarming to witness people of other nations left their homes and families just to lend a helping hand to uplift a suffering Filipino.

      President Benigno S. Aquino III and his administration should be commended for a ” JOB WELL DONE”! In that panicking and chaotic situation, one may lost his/her composure as to which one to tackle first, but they did an extra-ordinary job to help everybody despite of unwelcome criticisms from the sidelines.

      On one of the divine revelation share to us, this was just a ‘tickle’ from above to really test the faith of us, Filipinos. The Almighty God was watching the entire world on the course of action they will take. HE was pleased to observed the camaraderie executed by many nations, but still not totally satisfied to see other nations just being an “spectators” without lifting a hand to pitch for the needed help.

      To some religious denominations who mocked and made fun of our churchs’ buildings tumbles down, and some rooftops blown away, woe to you because the clock is ticking for you and your flock to experience the wrath of Heaven. Being a member of a particular sect does not, and I repeat, not a guaranteed salvation to reach the Kingdom of God.

      YES, we are being tested alright, but the endurance, perseverance and harmonious fellowship God is expecting from all of us must supercede our own self-interest.

      Many warnings have been foretold that to be worthy in the Kingdom of Heaven, one must bear his cross, to love one another for God loves us.

      I sincerely believed that through the guidance of God, the Holy Spirit, President Noynoy is handpicked by the Almighty Father to lead the Filipino people, the Chosen Race of the present generation. Be proud to be a Pinoy, for God so loved the human race, but the Filipino race is very special to HIM. AMEN!

    2. Typhoon Yolanda indeed tested the resolve of the Filipino people. If I were to grade different sectors, these will be the results:

      1) The Filipino people – Grade A +++ for having the big hearts, the toughness, the kindness in the face of overwhelming odds against them especially after Typhoon Yolanda struck and wreaked untold havoc in the Visayas. Their Bayanihan spirit is still alive and well.

      2) The International community – Grade A +++ for donating billions of pesos in aids, rapid response teams from Canada, Japan, USA, etc. to feed the hungry and provide medical assistance to the sick in the Yolanda-affected islands. For the millions of foreign citizens who donated millions of dollars for Haiyan victims, for the thousands of school children in many countries for selling buttons, drinks, cookies, just so they can send the money to the Philippine typhoon victims.

      3) Filipino politicians and bureaucrats – Grade F – – – for being incompetent and insensitive to the needs of the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. For grabbing credits in the distribution of foreign aids to victims, and for the reported theft of aids from UK that turned up instead in some stores in Manila instead of to the needy in the Visayas.

      4) Aquino Administration – Grade F – – – for its lack of vision, incompetence, playing the blame game while people suffered after the typhoon, for its very slow, uncoordinated, inadequate response to Yolanda disaster and for its insensitivity to the needs of Yolanda victims. Five days after Yolanda struck, thousands of victims in Tacloban city still had not received food and medical attention while many dead bodies lied uncollected in the streets. Unacceptable.