The boxes of relief goods I sent will not feed all of Typhoon Yolanda’s victims. It will not clothe all the children, nor will it solve the country’s problems. But as a citizen of my people, I will do what i can to ease the sufferings. I am a citizen of my people, they are my obligation. I am responsible to feed, clothe and shelter the many.. and not to cater to the few who has been using my people for their own gain. The super storm brought massive damage to infrastructure. it displaced people, orphaned countless kids. It took lives. It shattered dreams. But most of all, it exposed our country to the rest of the world.
I can look at it from a third person’s point of view. I can pity the people and donate what I can and my life goes on. I wasn’t a victim anyway. But i look at it as a citizen of my people. i feel their hunger, their thirst and pain. I feel their anger.. i feel their anguish and frustrations. I am angry that my people were and still are being forsaken by it’s own government… that people in authority did not deem it urgent to help them after the storm has passed. I am angry that more died waiting for help… that the some of the dead were left on the street let alone given a descent burial. I am angry that at this stage still countless are hungry.. that foreign countries are eager to send help but our own local mechanism seem clueless about the urgency of the situation. I am angry that my people did not have a leader who can herd them instead a president who pointed his finger to local officials, who if not dead, were alive but lost everything or everyone…that he threw the first blame instead of standing up for my people.. I am angry that there are people like Binay and Roxas who pretend to do their jobs as elected leaders but yet they are gobsmackingly obvious about their motives.. that they use the tragedy to up their game for the 2016 elections. I am disappointed of the incompetence of the government agencies who should have been in charge of tending to the needs of my people… that there are warehouses full to the ceiling with relief goods but aren’t being distributed. I am disappointed of the fact that logistics is the biggest challenge for the relief operations because of the lack of system and directives from people who should know better.
I am frustrated about the whole situation being politicized. This isn’t about politics, this is about the lives of thousand of my people.. I am frustrated that tax is imposed on donations from other countries.. that imported goods are put on-hold just because they are imported and some material-hungry official want them for themselves… I am angry about the cover-ups.. that i myself distrust local media and i would rather watch foreign news to be updated on the events in my country. I am angry that our being a third world country is an excuse that more should perish until our leaders can figure out what to do. i am sad that the government has no concrete plan on how to put back the pieces just yet.
But amidst all these, what inspires me are the stories of heroism, both survivor and savior alike. Little acts of kindness my people impart with each other to survive. My people have survived disasters both from nature and acts of man. My people are survivors, they are resilient, they are brave. They are strong and resourceful. They are kind hearted and find purpose in everything. They appreciate what little they have because they didn’t have much to start with. My people will get through this, WE will get through this.