“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elisabeth Kubler Ross
I am thinking of a nice title for this blog but all I can remember are the faces of those survivors , fellow Filipinos who were directly affected by typhoon Yolanda. We get to see several countries pitching in, embracing us and helping not just financially but their presence in the devastated areas are like beacons of light and hope for everyone. We get to see that the bayanihan spirit is still alive. We get to see people from all walks of life, from all areas in the Philippines doing their share of helping, making their presence felt, trying to reach out to our unfortunate kababayans. And the silent majority are there quietly doing their share of repacking, donating goods and extending their hands and praying that this tragedy would somehow make us realize that life is short but it is never too late to do our bit of kindness. We are in mourning – mourning for the loss of thousands and thousands of people from the Visayas, we are in mourning seeing the devastation caused by typhoon Yolanda, we are mourning for those little children whose lives were suddenly cut short.
Some observers say they admire the resilience of every Filipino, the ability that one could still smile despite everything, the desire to rise again from the rubbles and rebuild one’s life despite all the odds. They admire the way we handle grief, weeping in earnest for what happened but life has to go on and we pick up the pieces slowly but with determination that we could do it.
Earlier on, I was one of those who asked, “but where are the local officials and where is the national government?” I would have ranted like the rest of the netizens in the social media whose way of coping was criticizing every move of our government officials, help is slow in coming and it’s a matter of life and death - save our people from extreme hunger and thirst. The former are doing their best to bring sanity to such chaos but it still seems lacking and they need to move fast. I posted this earlier at Facebook and some of my friends had different reactions to it. Short of cursing the government for their slow move, they won’t take it sitting down. The government must know that they lack the push to do what needs to be done.
Rant all you want, criticize all you want but are you doing something? ARE WE DOING OUR SHARE in helping the government make life easier for the typhoon victims? Sec. Dinky Soliman said that this is a collective effort so let us join hands and be one. It does not help that all we do is post negative comments and act as if we know better.
So I told them: I respect all your opinions here. All of us are affected in one way or another by this massive, destructive, enormous and devastating calamity. All I’m saying is that we must not negatively react “lock, stock and barrel” to all the news we read online. And while we all know that it is the government’s duty and responsibility to help our people, let us do our share. Sometimes, ACTIONS ARE BETTER THAN WORDS.
I was surprised to receive this wonderful letter from my niece who is a student at Oklahoma Christian University. She said and I quote:
Hi Tita Arlene! I just wanted to say a quick hello and see how you guys are doing. I also wanted to let you know that even though I know you guys weren’t affected directly by the typhoon recently, my school has sent a lot of love and prayers to the Philippines this past week and a half. We have a Filipino alumna from here who spoke to us today about it and we also had a special prayer time specifically for the Philippines last Tuesday. So if you know anyone who was directly affected, please let them know we’re thinking about them! I definitely think about you guys a lot because it’s been so many years since I’ve seen all of you. I’m glad that you all are okay, and I hope you’re doing well. Please give Nate a hug for me on his birthday this week. I can’t wait for the day until I finally meet him. I always take joy in seeing the pictures that you and Ate Nissa post of him – he’s definitely growing up fast! Anyway, I miss you all and please send everyone my love. Take care always!
Everyone is praying for the Philippines. Our faith is bigger than any storm that comes into our lives. Bangon Pilipinas!