By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City
After indulging in champorado (rice porridge with chocolate) and arroz caldo (rice porridge with chicken and ginger), two of the most loved comfort foods of Filipinos, I finally got the chance to meet face to face my laptop.
Onward to writing, I said, after my carbo overload I believe I could already try and make sense the huge tragedies besetting my native country.
Yesterday, tears were streaming down my eyes as I watched Love Anover report to GMA’s Jessica Soho about the fury of supertyphoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in her home town in Palo, Leyte. Unlike her usual bubbly and vibrant self, Love was obviously still in a state of shock and disbelief as she witnessed the fury of a super typhoon literally tearing into pieces the roof and ceiling of the cathedral where she sought refuge.
“I thought the cathedral was a safe place to stay. But the wind was just so strong. I thought I might die that day. And I said Lord, if I die here, okay,” she said in her report.
Love’s personal account of the super typhoon Yolanda represents everybody else’s fear and resignation when in the midst of turbulence. It was a powerful reportage, because it was raw in emotion, something which is rare among the species called journalists.
As of this writing, more than 1000 people have been reported dead and the count continues. Death toll is expected to rise to a horrific 10,000.
Super typhoon Yolanda is so far the strongest tropical cyclone in world history to make a landfall at 235 kph. Located in the typhoon and earthquake belt (or the ring of fire) of the earth, the Philippines experiences storms and typhoons almost in an ordinary fashion all throughout the year. Over the years, however, these natural disturbances have become more frequent and intense.
I think that the regularity of the storms visiting my country may be a factor in honing the resilient character of Filipinos. We perfectly understand that storms are part of our lives. We suspend everything that we do while the winds furiously batter the land and stir the sea (as children, we would rejoice when classes were called off because of an impending storm). Then soon after, we creep out, rejoice, and watch the sun rise again after the storm has passed, mostly with an attitude of gratitude.
That is quite Filipino. Tragedy-tested. Plus, we rise with a smile. This psyche is so deep and molded by the physical reality of being located in the ring of fire, and strengthened by layers of subconscious animistic ancient beliefs and Christian religiosity.
This character is our ticket to survival. We always carry on after every storm, literally and figuratively. And subconsciously, we bring it with us wherever we go. This wonderful trait of resilience needs to be coupled with a strong sense of political maturity, and we shall, perhaps, have come full circle as a people.
Click here to connect http://www.fraserbasin.bc.ca/about_fbc_history.html Visit http://cleanworldnewjersey.com/