The storm that passed broke the hearts, spirits and souls of many Filipinos. Realizations, regrets and frustrations overflow. Nevertheless, the ‘what-we-could-have-done’ thoughts are present - playing in and haunting our minds continuously. Despite days of advise from the government, from PAGASA, from our family and friends, things happen, whether we like it or not. Whether we expect it or not. And there could never be enough room and preparation when calamity comes.
But it happens.
And when it does, when questions arise as to where we could start and how could we pick up pieces and rebuild the broken fragments of our homes – the destructed mass of earth, steel and wood, we all look at the painful junk art the typhoon has created from sea, mud and chaos. Everything is a total wreck.
The typhoon obliterated not just our lands, but our hearts, wherever we are. Our hearts bleed. People lost their loved ones tragically. My heartache could never compare to those who lost more than their homes and properties.
People, including our own, may find ways to bring Filipinos down. Yes, we are poor. We lack rescuing equipment; we failed to construct enough and adequate relief and evacuation centers. Victims desperate for help and comfort resort to looting and thievery. We have people to blame and persons to point. But nonetheless, we can never go back. We can only move forward.
But I trust the Filipino spirit. I believe in the now famous “where I’m from everyone’s a hero” statement. I trust in the Filipino spirit, - to the Filipinos who survived three foreign supremacies four centuries ago. Though many a cynic with imperial corruption, though others might try to horde and take what’s not theirs, I trust in the Filipino spirit.
This is a battle fought by millions of people, and this would still be a battle for all Filipinos with compassionate impetus to help. Over and over again, from piles of corpses to cries of those who were left, we will stand still.