November 12, 2013

My country, the Philippines

The Philippines has been ravaged once again by Mother Nature. My country of tiny specks on the world map suffered massive damages due to typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Tens of thousands of lives lost, more were and are injured, and even more are grieving. And to think my country as a whole had just blinked from the major earthquake that hit us no more than 2 weeks ago. 

No, God is not punishing the Philippines.

This is Mother Nature's way of creating balance in this planet, and there's nothing we can do about this except to survive the outcome. We have been careless and reckless in our decisions and most of it are not factoring in our environment. And it's not only Philippines that's being called to attention here, but the whole world. My country is just unfortunate to have been situated in a dangerous geographic location and my people have not been resourceful enough to educate themselves on how to plan, manage and live through situations like this, even if we have experienced so many natural calamities in our lifetime. People wonder, how could we have just smiled through it all? The answer, readers, is the Filipino spirit. It is that calm voice in all of us that tells us: We will live and survive through this...if we are meant to be.

This is where we get our resiliency. It is one of our qualities that set us apart from all other cultures. We learn to accept things even if they haven't happened yet, and if they do, we make the most out of the situation, whether in a right or wrong perspective. 

My country, the Philippines, and its people, suffer from confused mentality. We prance to and back the thin lines of morality and worldliness. We have the church blurred with the state, and the state is just as confused.  Its public servants lead the way in self-enrichment while encouraging the poor to be honest and hard-working, giving them false hopes that someday, they, too, will own mansions, at least 5 cars, and a slew of businesses to boast of. We are immature that way. 

But there's hope in the Philippines. There's now a growing number of people who have been enlightened through observation, in depth learning and actions. And I pray that this number will multiply by thousands in the next few days, weeks, years. 

I will not deny that for months now I have contemplated on working abroad so I may also experience the bitttersweet life of working like a horse, paying huge taxes, enjoy proper healthcare, see my kids get better education and just be paid handsomely. But I hold that thought because I also think that my country needs me. It needs me to be a better person. It needs me to give back to it as I have enjoyed breathing its fresh air, swimming in its clear light blue waters, looking at its marvelous mountains, taking in the amazing views of almost everywhere. 

Tonight, before I go to sleep, I will pray for those who are affected by the recent tragedies. I will pray for those relief operations team to be compassionate, selfless, generous and calm. I will pray for those families who lost members. I will pray for our public servants to wake up and experience premature enlightenment. I will pray for those intelligent people to be active and take on what they can in this situation. I will pray that when I wake up tomorrow, my country, the Philippines, will remain mine. 

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