Typhoon Yolanda might have exposed the true colors of a small number of fellow Filipinos—the loser and victim types who delight in blaming, gossiping, fault-finding and guilt tripping atop their high horses. Of my 2,320 friends in Facebook, only five continuously rant and grunt about how post-typhoon relief and recovery is being handled by the government. And they haven’t been to any of the affected areas.
Anderson Cooper was a guest at the Late Show with David Letterman) and he talked about his short visit to the Tacloban Airport, and the dire things he saw and heard around the airport and repeated his bleak conclusions. The Filipino Scribe (http://filipinoscribe.com/2013/11/21/anderson-cooper-talks-about-yolanda-on-the-letterman-show/) reported that Cooper raised the importance of preparing relief supplies early on.
“It is easy for reporters to come in and be critical because relief is never going to be fast enough. That said, if you know that the biggest storm ever to hit is going to hit, the Philippine government talked about prepositioning supplies. Well clearly, whatever supplies prepositioned was not enough. Nobody had food and nobody had water,” he said.
“He went on to say that the relief effort in Japan in the wake of the 2011 earthquake in the Tohoku prefecture is ‘much more organized.’ ‘They had soldiers out the next day [after the disaster]. There was none of that for five, six days [in the Philippines],’” he said.
These bring to mind this quote from Pope Francis: “Sometimes negative news does come out, but it is often exaggerated and manipulated to spread scandal. Journalists sometimes risk becoming ill from coprophilia and thus fomenting coprophagia: which is a sin that taints all men and women, that is, the tendency to focus on the negative rather than the positive aspects.”
There are another four of them who continue posting about their new hairstyle, their pigs giving birth, their sumptuous lunch and dinner, their well-groomed pet dogs, and other mundane things side-by-side with devastating news on Yolanda’s wrath. Apathy sets them apart. They remind me of vehicles on the road who do not mind the warning siren of an ambulance bringing a sick person to the hospital. Walang pakialam.
I have already unfriended five of them.
The good news is that the disastrous aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda is uniting the whole world and they are speeding up to be part of the solution—sending prayers, military contingents, medical staff, relief workers, relief goods, temporary shelters, airplanes, helicopters, cash and many, many others that would definitely help the typhoon victims on their path to recovery and, later, rehabilitation.
There are reports of school children in Japan contributing their savings or lunch money to the typhoon victims fund campaign. Or the American soccer and pro basketball players, not only contributing, but also urging others to contribute, too. There is the Scarlett Johannson video imploring people to help. And many, many other acts of kindness and heroism from our global brothers and sisters. Thank you, world!
Most heartwarming are Filipinos all over the Philippines and the world taking time out from their usual grind to make their own contribution and spearhead fund raising for the typhoon victims. They dig deep into their pockets for hard-earned cash, raid their closets and drawers for useful things the survivors could use at this time. Really touching are victims helping cheering other victims.
We grieve for the dead, we empathize and sympathize with the survivors, we cheer those who are helping and are physically there in different typhoon-ravaged areas and in relief aid repacking stations working quietly and tirelessly, especially the volunteers and we will continue to pray and help in every capacity we can.
I have changed my profile picture to this flyer: The Filipino spirit is stronger than any typhoon!