Today is a little more than two weeks when Typhoon Yolanda (International Name: Haiyan) struck Central Visayas. More aid is coming in. People are slowly picking up the pieces. To all the people of the world, thank you for your help extended to my countrymen.
It is in a time like this that faith in humanity is restored. Thank you to my fellow countrymen for your strength especially to the people of Visayas for showing the world what it is like to be Filipino. Instead of us helping you be strong and comforting you in this crisis, it is your strength that inspires us and gives hope that there is a silver lining ahead.
Two weeks after the storm, much has been said about the Filipino spirit and it is one of those things that make me proud of being a Filipino and one of the reasons why I love living in this country. To understand the Filipino spirit, I have collected some images shared on social media, blogs and news organizations to illustrate what it is all about.
A week before the typhoon struck, I was touched by these signs put up by the people of Bohol for the help they got from all over after they experienced a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN news reporter, took this photo of Cesar, a signboard painter, doing what he does best.
Filipinos have a sense of humor. This photo appeared on my newsfeed on Facebook. I have not verified whether this signboard was put up after the storm or if this is an old photo. I am posting this to illustrate our sense of humor.
Filipinos are ingenious. It is said that necessity is the mother of all inventions. We can make boats out of broken refrigerators.
Basketball courts can rise up in the middle of a rubble.
Filipinos are people who love to smile for the camera. Even when these kids went without food for days, a biscuit from a stranger is enough reason to smile.
We give even when we have nothing. This photo hits close to home since this child, Benjie, is from my city, Butuan. This was shared by Brown Man on Facebook. He wrote:
The boy’s name is Benjie. He is one of those whom we call “street children”. He literally begs for money everyday outside Mang Inasal along JC Aquino Ave., Butuan City. He was within the vicinity in one of our drop-off stations in our donation drive for the victims of typhoon Yolanda manned by members of the Alpha Phi Omega. One of our volunteers in the drop-off station was surprised when Benjie came near to the station and handed to him a P1 coin. Apparently, he was giving his “donation” taken from the proceeds of his begging. That caught everyone by surprise. But the story doesn’t end there. Several minutes later, Benjie came back to the station and again gave another P1 coin (apparently this was after he was given P1 by begging). Maybe he realized the his first P1 donation was not enough that’s why he came back and gave another peso.
Here is a photo about survivors sharing what they have with those dropping the relief goods. US Marine John Orio got fresh buko (young coconut) juice and a large crab from the residents in Manicani Island.
There will be a lot of work ahead and these photos are more than enough inspiration that we all can be united to rebuild from the devastation in this country.
I hope we still continue to help Visayas. Our experiences with Yolanda show that even if we are poor, we can help others including those people in other countries when they need help. There is a realization that even a little donation matters a lot.
Again, thank you to everyone who helped. Filipinos, we can do this!