It’s just another July in the Philippines.
Typhoon Glenda just passed us by, leaving a couple dozen people dead, thousands displaced and tens of millions worth of property devastated. Now the experts are saying another typhoon, or possibly even up to three or four more, are on the way, this month.
Watching the news, one sees images of people fixing their roofs, surveying the rubble that used to be their homes for still-salvageable items, gathering fallen tree branches, going back to work and school — getting on with their lives, basically, the very day after disaster struck. I suppose that’s simply how we’ve been built. Strong and resilient, we stand up and fight on. Tragedy after tragedy, we wipe the tears off our eyes, brush the debris off our shoulders, and start over, almost always still finding the energy to smile (even giggle) and wave at news cameras.
I must confess there are many, many ways that my countrymen, individually or en masse, disappoint me everyday. Heck, even I disappoint me. We habitually put our lack of discipline on display as we drive recklessly, commit jaywalking and throw our garbage indiscriminately. We forget our history and keep electing the same people who rob us blind, one unscrupulous political generation after another. We suffer the consequences of our ill judgment; still, many times we do not learn our lessons. Or we do, but we fail to retain them. I can go on…
Yet this is also true: We are a persevering, enduring people. We brace ourselves for the storms that we know are coming our way, we weather each with all the grit that we can muster, and with the same resolve we pick up the pieces after, heaving a prayer of thanks for the opportunity to do so even as we grieve our losses.
We’re crisis veterans, you and I. Typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, terror attacks, political turmoil — name it, and we’ve been through it. And here we are, still standing.