Monday, October 5, 2009

The Manila I Want My Kids to Grow Up In

Last weekend, I came across this facebook status of a friend: "This is not the Manila that I want my kids to grow up in!" The impact of this statement brought to mind the callousness of some people in light of the tragedy and disaster around them.

This statement came from someone who was sitting safely on the 9th floor of their condominium unit while the rest of the metropolis was wading in flood waters that destroyed their homes, claimed lives of their loved ones and swept away their dreams, their past, their years of toil.

My initial reaction was to write a comment "so what are you still doing here in the first place?"

We do not need a nation of whiners, those who cannot see beyond the comfort of their airconditioned houses, treading the paved main roads with their newly bought shoes, carefully steering clear of the mud along the side roads. In situations like this, we need people who can rebuild their lives and make it better and not bring down those who are toiling to make it so.

Today, the rest of the people who were affected by the storm came to office after one week of trying to restart their lives again. Tales of heroism during times of adversity, small acts of kindness surface again and again.

People who reach out to strangers, and attempt to share whatever they can give, and who prefer to remain in the shadows of anonymity, not the politicians who stamp their names on relief goods and have their pictures taken for media to pounce on.

The people whose lives were severely affected but who can now smile and laugh and say "ganun eh" and continue to move on because they know they can.

Those who learned from their experience and vowed to make a change no matter how small it is.

These are the true souls who make a life worth living and a nation worth rebuilding. Not the people like the facebook user who announces to the world the narrow-mindedness of her view and the callousness of her soul.

-- Sent to this blog by my sister in Manila

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