Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Spirit of the Filipinos

I have been planning a trip to Manila soon and since the disaster that hit last week, was concerned that it may be the wrong time to go. People are still battling their trials with the floods. But this is what my good friend Ruby Cruz had to say by email today .. it touched me very much.

Hi Shazar. Glad to know you're home safe. Yes, Manila is still a disaster, but only on the east side of the Metropolis, which is still waterlogged up to now. There has been a tremendous outpouring of support from all sectors nationwide.

We Filipinos are known for that --- we call it the "bayanihan" spirit. Also, you can't be human if you're not moved by the plight of the flood victims.

I shed a tear when I found my kids staying up late at night, only to pack first (without touching their homeworks, which was to be for later) their old clothes which will be given to the fund drive for the victims at their school.
We have been flood victims three times in the past, and it is really a terrible experience, during and after the flood.

We islanders are used to this kind of life (typhoons are always expected to hit, and floods depend on the tide at the time the typhoon/ rains come), but the city dwellers are new to this, and to think this is the worst to date that has happened in the metropolis area.

And if you consider that we are 90 million Filipinos, with concentration in Metro Manila, the number of people that you see on tv is as what is expected: there are many victims, and the ones who suffer most are those from the poorest families who have no alternative but to stay at evacuation centers and rely on the kindness of others for their meal.

We are a resilient people, so resilient that we even love Imelda Marcos and are just in awe of her when she passes us by, forgetting the many crimes to humanity both she and her dictator husband have inflicted on the Filipinos. So this too shall pass in no time. Good or bad, depends on how you take it.

For the most part, the business area of the metropolis has not been affected. So it's still work as usual.

So yes, I am still going late October . and will be very pleased to be able to give back something to these people who have such a wonderful spirit.

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