Some laugh, some cry, some become mute and others can’t help but scream; but the depth of what they are feeling is no less than or more than the other. Everyone has their own way of feeling and grieving.
For Filipinos, it has been a devastating week that started the day super typhoon Yolanda stormed across the belly of our beloved Philippines. As in most tragedies, it has brought out the very best and the worst in people. I have been watching, reading and listening to the news because that is all I can do.
I am grateful that the bulk of my family still in the Philippines were spared but I weep for those who were not. I am touched by how many people have come up to me to ask if I still had family there and were they ok? I feel a twinge of guilt when I say ‘Yes, they are all fine’ because somehow it feels like a lie. The people who lost loved ones, who lost their homes, their livelihood, they all feel related to me. I am part of them and they of me. For every mother weeping for her lost child and for every child wailing for parents who will never come, I too have wept with them. Yet, my tears mean nothing in comparison because I am lucky to still hear my heart beating.
I am sorrowful. I am tired. I am deflated. But what I am feeling does not matter. It is not even a drop in the bucket of sorrow that flooded the region after the storm. So, no, I deserve no sympathies because I know I will feel better tomorrow or the day after. I know it will come. For others, tomorrow no longer holds hope.
Even as others take this event to deride the poverty, the inefficiency and incompetence of the Philippines; I take great pride in the strength and courage of the Filipino people and to be identified as one. Anderson Cooper, who has been covering the event sums it up best in this week’s essay. The video below will break your heart and bring tears to your eyes but it will also put pride in your heart. Mabuhay ang Pilipino!
Salamat! Thank you to all who have sent aid and donated to the typhoon victims.