Monsoon rains are regular occurrences in the Philippines. It started last week and on a typical day, this is but normal.
Today was different though.
There has been no letup of the heavy rain since yesterday. In fact, most of Luzon have been inundated as of last night. Worse, Pag-Asa, the PH’s weather bureau, declared that this is worse than Ondoy (Typhoon Ketsana that inundated most of Metro Manila last 2009). Even in Mandaluyong, the city where I live, the mayor declared the same. Thank God that I live in that part of Mandaluyong where it is flood-free.
Good thing, in spite of the continuous rain, I have to thank God that there was no power outage (it could have been worse when there’s a news blackout). It affords my family to be updated via media news from radio and TV. But personally, I find it more convenient to get more updates from the internet.
Yes, Social media is abuzz with related-posts about the weather condition, pictures of flood everywhere, etc. from the TV news media and all my FB friends.
How do Filipinos respond to a calamity like this (great amount of rainfall from morning to evening)?
1. In spite of the gloomy weather, most carry a positive attitude – the fighting spirit that is inherent in every Filipino and a sense of humor.
On the positive side, a friend of mine posted in her FB wall: Tulad ng dati, malalampasan uli natin ang delubyong ito. Walang tatalo sa dasal at tibay ng loob ng Pilipino. (Just like in the past, we shall overcome. Nothing beats prayer and the resiliency of the Filipinos)
The humor of some Pinoys (slang for Filipino) borders on the slapstick, naughty and some downright below the belt. Some even go to the extent of spreading lies and misinformation sometimes so I am not going to dwell on that here. (just goes to show that no Filipino is perfect)
2. Thank God for the Bayanihan spirit of the Filipino people. Bayanihan closely resembles the spirit of teamwork.
Facebook and Twitter were deluded with Emergency numbers of different government agencies for the sake of those who might need help at a critical time like this.
LGU Emergency nos. (Local government units/different localities) were posted as well. IMO, this is very useful to residents of applicable LGUs. But it’s one thing to post these numbers. I just hope that someone will answer these numbers when called!
These kind of information are very helpful and will surely be kept by most Filipinos in anticipation for the next weather disturbance.
I am particularly impressed with the Philippine Red Cross under the leadership of ex-Senator Richard Gordon. See Red Cross’ posts in Facebook below:
And to top it all, this international organization is ready to go to disaster-stricken places, given that they are equipped with these amphibious type of vehicles! First time I saw this in FB and the PRC has definitely improved!
How I wish that every local government unit will invest in this type of vehicle since flooding is a regular thing in most parts of Metro Manila.
Relief operations were quickly organized by different groups, schools, religious organizations, churches, charitable institutions, etc. Even the church I regularly attend to started to organize their own relief operation:
Despite these, I am aware that there is still so much to be accomplished as many parts of Metro Manila are inaccessible due to the strong current and high level of flood. So, I come to the most important response of all.
3. Filipinos unite and pray as a nation:
The creator of the image above admonishes every Filipino to pray together at the same time (it was posted like an hour before), regardless of one’s spiritual beliefs, to declare openly and ask help from God to take away the constant flooding in the country.
Actually, this image hit home to me. Prayer is very important. We need to humble ourselves to God and reach out to Him in prayer. If we are just at home and are not part of any rescuing team, the best that we can do is to pray. As one Victory pastor said, “Sow faith and not fear” in the social media esp. at this time (since most Filipinos are glued to it to get updates, interact, etc.).
God is Sovereign. We may not understand His ways, even His will for us, but we can trust Him. He may not answer all of our prayers but we can trust that He understands and sees us through our difficult situation.
We need to trust Him in times like these. He only needs us to submit to His will for us and I believe that God will see us through.
If by any chance, you get to read this, please pause for a moment and pray to God to save our country from this calamity. It is still raining as I write. We need a miracle and only the God of Israel can restore our land.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14