The Philippines wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t come, Ondoy.
The latest typhoon invation in the Philippines, with the name “Ondoy”, struck in quite a tragedical manner and marked history by saturating most places in Metro Manila, specifically Pasig, Makati, Rizal and Marikina. The unwanted invation was unusual. Past storms commonly eye on provinces either from the north or south or on the Visayan and Mindanaoan places. But no, this time, the typhoon gives NCR such a visit… and a very memorable one.
We never saw it coming.
The Manilenyos were probably too lax – throwing garbage after garbage in the rivers, not foreseeing what it could do to them in the near future. I can’t help but retaliate silently whenever I see posts in the internet pointing Ondoy as “Mother Nature’s [expression of] wrath” or things like “I despise Ondoy,” or “F* you, Ondoy,” and the likes. 24 Oras, a GMA News and Public Affairs Program airing at primetime even called the Ondoy news features segment as “Bagsik ni Ondoy.” But I don’t know. Probably the typhoon was really that fierce… or probably not. But I can’t help but think of it this way: Whichever angle you try to look at it, the Filipinos brought this to themselves.
Nasanay lang siguro tayo na hindi tayo ang simula ng pananalanta ng bagyo. Call me, cynical, or whatever, but the truth is that we were totally eyes-shut until Ondoy came and cleared our sights. Do we ever care highly of those affected by the past typhoons as highly as we care about the recent one; not to mention that those places encountered far worse calamities than what happened today? Was there really any hotlines or relief good programs or donation promotions during those times as prominent as those mass comunicated today? Or does CNN or BBC even bother feature the Philippines on their news stories during those more tragic calamities?
Here is a picture of who we really are and what we have become.
I realize why some people I know do, but I still don’t hate Ondoy.
If not for Ondoy, the Marikina River, the Pasig River, the Lambingan Bridge River, and some other rivers wouldn’t rise to soak the nearby places. If not for Ondoy, Ayala Underpass wouldn’t be filled with water and can still be used to cross the streets. If not for Ondoy, no families would experience staying at their roofs or second floors waiting to be saved by the rescue crews of the government. If not for Ondoy, Kristine Reyes and Jean and Jennica Garcia should be all living the good life as they used to. If not for Ondoy, no man should’ve been brought to the hospital; no lives were gone; no kids should’ve risked their lives to some disease. But Ondoy came, and brought these to the country.
In the contrary, if not for Ondoy, people living near rivers or any body of water wouldn’t realize it enough to stop litering the rivers. If not for Ondoy, no man would lend a hand and help his neighbor. If not for Ondoy, the elite social clan must’ve kept their wallets or bank accounts shut and not have the heart to offer charity. If not for Ondoy, unflooded area residers wouldn’t learn more about hospitality or about the art of accomodating the needy. If not for Ondoy, we are still focused on knowing the latest fashion and social trend, debating on political issues, arguing on religion, contemplating on heart-breaking love stories and the list goes on at thinking about things that absolutely matter less or don’t matter at all. But Ondoy came, and brought these to us… just before we all lose ourselves.
This is why instead of hating Ondoy, I thank him. Or rather, I thank God for letting Ondoy be every Filipinos guest, the Philippines wouldn’t be the same today and in the future if Ondoy never came.