Sunday, October 01, 2006


“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet”
- Roger Miller -

It was raining house and lot last week. Typhoon Xangsane (Laotion for “elephant”) trampled on Metro Manila. Trees fell, billboards crashed to the ground, roofs flew off, streets flooded, walls crumbled, cars flipped over– it was a war zone.

This was the strongest storm to hit Metro Manila in 11 years. The winds just blew the life of the city away . Wind , wind , wind ... wind everywhere. It was such a powerful blow job , even the coconut trees had to hold on to their nuts ... .

Pakinshet talaga ang lakas

Electric posts and towers fell. The city struggled with an electricity deprived darkness. The floods were knee-deep for the Filipino people and neck-deep for the Philippine president.

For many this was very bad weather. For lovers it was "bed weather". For friends and families, it was another chance to get together. Share the candlelight. Share the meals. Share the anxiety. Share the jokes ...

Wait it out ...
Finding good in the bad.
Making light of the darkness.
Laughing through the sadness.

The Pinoy is like that.

We face adversity with a happy face. It is a coping mechanism. It is the pinoy way of adjusting to stress. Tambayan , inuman, kwentuhan, chismisan, kainan ... all tools to overcome the all too harsh realities of life.

The problem is - we live through a typhoon and revel in survival itself - forgetting the horrible infrastructure, the poor economy, the lack of governmental foresight and the despicable politicians who bring it all into being. We chug a drink, puff a cig, tell a tale, sing a song ... and fatalistically accept what is.

We 've become too calloused to do anything but "adjust" and "accept" , dooming ourselves to a repeat of the effects of disaters for which we might have been better prepared ... if only we cared enough.

Is it too much to demand that we have better drainage systems, cleared esteros, safer electrical conduit systems, adequate emergency response teams, pre-emptive evacuation protocols, better weather forecast capability etc. ? Do we deserve any less?

Whatever ...
I guess it is better to drown in floodwaters than to drown in self-pity and despair - right?

So bring out the pulutan and beer ...
It's party time - bakit? - bumaha e !


Sidney said...

When I moved to the Philippines a few years ago I asked some of my Pinoy friends if they didn't fear a revolution. I couldn't understand that people would accept to live in such abject poverty. Their answer was an eye opener. They told me, we Filipinos are kind and happy people. Just give us a case of San Miguel and pulutan and we are happy.
Don't fear for a French revolution in the Philippines.