|Photo taken from: porschelaine.wordpress.com|
Changing the channel on TV with such haste without even giving a chance for the sound to reach my ears has been an automatic response whenever I find myself caught between the History channel and a channel that talks too much about cars. For a moment I thought as I was laying comfortably on my bed, I would fall asleep because of my fingers endless pursuit for a good show on TV, but I stood corrected. I came across a news flash reporting about a typhoon that seemed to have duplicated Typhoon Ondoy’s devastating intensity. The typhoon’s name was Sendong and it surprisingly shook the silent living of our countrymen down south. Upon looking at the images caught by the news media, I was convinced that once again, a typhoon visit caused another mind-blowing casualty in our country.
I forced a smile on my face while I saw people on TV weeping for their loss of loved ones. I gave a forceful sigh of relief as pictures of houses brought down to the ground, trees uprooted from the soil and dead bodies dumped into one place, flashed before my eyes. You’re may be asking where exactly from this world did I get the guts to smile or even show relief, when I could clearly see depression painted on people’s faces and an apparent tableau of destruction in my home land. Well, before you incite a riot against me, let me say that I did not smile because I find pleasure in people’s misfortune. The reason I drew a smile on my face was because I firmly believe that we, Filipinos, are far beyond resiliency to be able to surpass seemingly insurmountable challenges in life. I have complete faith in us that we would somehow get through any road block with flying colors, one way or another. I have the confidence that we would find peace and refuge in the presence of pain as we begin to rebuild our lives. This value of resiliency and strength makes me proud as a Filipino.
Another reason why I should write the words “I am proud to be a Filipino” on my forehead is our generosity towards the needs of other people. The short but destructive visit of Typhoon Sendong meant a total loss to the affected ones, including loss of shelter and basic needs. However, it did not take long before donations coming from our countrymen in different walks of life poured in like water gushing from a dam. This act of generosity gave a hand to the victims in pushing themselves further into a fresh start, one step at a time. In fact, not only did we show sincere generosity in terms of giving assistance but we also portrayed our faithfulness in the higher-power by offering prayers, asking God to bestow healing, abundance and fruitfulness upon the victims of the calamity. This may be the reason why despite the aftermath of the typhoon, most of them were able to find ways to celebrate Christmas and New Year at the simplest manner. Having the chance to witness how we respond to challenges and how we rise above any difficulty, I couldn’t be more proud to call myself as a Filipino.
Every time I look around and listen to what other people say about Filipinos and how they label us as a human being, I get hurt. Nevertheless, I realized in the long run that we all have something to be ashamed of. Americans, Chinese, Europeans, Australians all have their own flaws. I just noticed that people would rather look at other people’s imperfections for the sake of masking their own insecurities. They would rather make fun of other people instead of accepting the fact that no one in this world was created to be perfect. I admit that we, Filipinos have our very own negative values like other people from the other parts of the world but in the contrary, we also have positive values that we can be proud of. We are resilient, generous and God-fearing and I must say, these qualities are the qualities that make me incredibly proud to be a Filipino.