Resilience is such a flattering, overwhelming word to use after going through a devastating situation.
But as Filipinos, the sentence “Filipinos are resilient” has become an overused compliment after every calamity. The phrase becomes too familiar to the point where you’ll start asking questions like: Should we really celebrate Filipino resiliency? Is resiliency the only thing that Filipinos can be proud of during a state of calamity?
Maybe the root of all the resiliency is Filipinos being stoic.
Every year for the past 20 years, we suffer through super typhoons and we have become so used to it. It has become so expected that we just accept our fate; that we will always face calamities with the worst effects for the rest of our lives. These types of calamities will continue washing out our entire homes, and worse comes to shove, our loved ones too.
Is this it? Are we not going to do anything about it?
Nine years after Ondoy, which is still one of the strongest typhoons to this day, people called us resilient after surviving it. True enough, if you pass by the flooded areas, it seems as if nothing happened. Their life goes on, and Filipinos still reside in their flooded homes. Are we really resilient, or do Filipinos have no other choice but to suck it up? Does resiliency mask our stoicism?
Brushing off our hardship as Filipino resiliency invalidates our worth of getting better service from the government.
Filipinos become tougher after every calamity that comes around. While it is true that calamities are inevitable, getting through each devastating calamity and applauding our big smiles instead of helping us prevent disasters send the wrong message; like we don’t need help because we can take whatever nature throws at us.
Is resiliency the government’s excuse not to act on our situation? If it isn’t, then what exactly are they doing? While the NDRRMC Alerts have been a big help to warn us, Filipinos deserve more preventive solutions.
Maybe Typhoon Karding serves to be a wake-up call. It’s time for us Filipinos to take initiative in caring for our environment – all while demanding the service that we need and deserve from the Philippine government.