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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Nation of Heroes



The last few days will serve as witnesses that the Philippines is a nation of heroes. Hearts gripped by pity and compassion mobilized brains and brawns into heroic action. Countless Filipino heroes rose to the occasion and selflessly braved murky floodwaters to rescue, deliver relief, and help in the cleaning up and rebuilding of flood-stricken homes and storm-ravaged lives. Kinetic monuments of heroism were erected across the nation and in other Filipino communities across the globe in the form of millions of monetary donations, relief goods, free or discounted services, equipment, vehicles and physical places, information drive, physical aid like packing and distribution of relief goods and clean up operations, and many more.

However, it is sad to say that with every glorious phenomenon the Filipino nation give rise to, the dark motives of a handful of black sheep would always painfully and exasperatingly catch the eye. It is a relief though that they are a mere minority. I hope they remain a minority come May 2010 elections.

Just a thought on Philippine-made glorious phenomena: I just thought that perhaps the death of President Cory Aquino which rekindled the flames of Filipino nationalism prefigured the heroism and voluntarism that mushroomed in answer to the Typhoon Ondoy deluge.

Anyways, speaking of Philippine heroism, please vote for Efren Penaflorida as your hero in CNN Heroes - Ordinary People, Extraordinary Impact. Please check out CNN's widget above to learn and be inspired on how Efren makes a difference in nation-building, and vote for him. He is truly a modern day Filipino hero.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rain - for the Victims of Typhoon Ondoy

It was monstrous and it prematurely swallowed the last helping of light. It belched ungraciously a deafening rumble that sent ashen clouds behind the shadows, struggling to hold back terrified tears. Gloom blankets the heavens, a black velvet drapery drawn to signal an end.

Or perhaps a beginning.
Of what, the audience may not know.

Then comes the drum roll. Softly at first, then progresses loudly into deep trance. A rhythmic pounding against the roof, the ground, the windowpane, the heart, the mind, the soul… As a sort of backstage performer, this is my cue to start pounding the keyboard…

Rain.

You invade my privacy. What is it in you that set me off to write? Is it the way you taunt me to fall into a mood swing the way you mock the sky and clouds to brood and display their childish tantrums across the skies? Well, I am in no mood to be moody right now. Or is it the way you license the sky to passionately express its fury in thunder and lightning? I am not furious about anything now. Or is it the way you allow the clouds, darkly masculine they may be, to shed tears, be it as little teary-eyed drizzles, or a weeping torrent of emotions? So you coax me to express myself…

You shield my privacy. What makes me seek your refuge? Is it in the way you drench and cool down a fiery angst or your means of soothing a parched broken spirit, tenderly caressing and blowing kisses in the wind? Perhaps it is in the way you hide my sobs and mask the tumbling sorrow streaming down the windows of my soul. Or is it your non-judgmental sympathy with the heavy-hearted, soaking the clouds in heavy emotional baggage? So you think you can mask and camouflage this wet sorrow called tears by drenching us in yours? But I do not need to conceal anything right now.I do not need a tantrum buddy or crying partner right now. So why this needless outburst?

A flash of fury!!!
An awkward pause…
Roaring and rumbling!

Oh!!!
It’s you? It’s you! You need a shoulder to cry on because the shoulder of the mountains has turned cold and lifeless, stripped off of its dignity, shamed and molested by the shameless? The outstretched arms of the trees are no longer there to embrace you.

You have nowhere to go to because the streets and its intestines are stuck in their own personal rubbish? So you literally fill our empty lives, causing us health and sanitation problems.

My shoulders are small against the enormity of your grief. And my arms will not be able to wholly embrace you and console your cascading anguish. But I will share with you this outburst just as you had mine.

We weep for the molested Mountains, undressed Forests, orphaned diminishing Creatures and the massacred Trees. We wail for Air whose purity is stained by the filth of apathy. We sob for Ozone whose very essence is afflicted by cancerous careless consumerism. We whimper for Water whose generous abundance has been abused. We moan for Mother Earth whose children shamed and dishonoured Her. We cry for the future Children of the World who may not get to know the things we cry for.

And we cry for today’s Children of the World so that they may get to know the things we cry for, and that they may cry too. Or better, to recompense for our blunders that will stop us crying…

We sob, we cry, we weep, we wail, we whimper, we moan.

Yes, Rain. Let it rain.

This was my post last July 11, 2009, written for my more personal blog. Little did I know, this rain I was invoking would come in the form of Typhoon Ondoy. The Philippines really has to start taking seriously giving respect and consideration for the environment, for Mother Earth. It should start from each of us, Filipinos, in our own little ways like throwing garbage properly. But the Philippine government has the huge responsibility in taking the lead towards this pursuit by means of proper urban planning, correct waste disposal management, strict enforcement of the anti-smoke belching and anti-illegal logging laws, among other things. Or it could be too late. Meanwhile, let us help out and donate for the victims of typhoon Ondoy. As I have mentioned in my previous post, to help, please check Manuel Quezon III's blog on How to Help. Let your generosity rain down on them.