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“Ondoy, thank you…”

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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.

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Author: thejoshfulgencio

Miriam Joshua Fulgencio is the name. The stuff that make her happy are seeing, hearing, feeling and doing things that makes her feel tingly. She loves being maximized for something she is really passionate about. There are things she naturally hates but she believes that once she gets to know them better, she'll like them eventually. She loves dancing, writing, making people laugh and listening to stories of her friends, be it close ones or the contrary. She loves her family very much. She is dedicated to reiterating that there is no denying nor altering the truth that every single person on earth is NOTHING without Jesus in their lives. :)

9 thoughts on ““Ondoy, thank you…”

  1. so what if ondoy visit a country like United Kingdom, would’t there be any flood because they are prepared? wouldn’t there be any casualties because they are more disciplined than us? i think kahit sinong bansa pa ang tamaan ng ganitong trahedya, it would all be the same. this is tragedy.

    i’m not saying that we should blame ondoy for these. but i won’t say thanks to ondoy for visiting our country.

    [opinions]

    • i get the point 🙂
      but i still thank Ondoy for the visit.If that typhoon didn’t come, a number of Filipinos would still be eyes-shut to those in need of help, and to the more important things of life.

      thanks for reading. 🙂

  2. If that typhoon didn’t come, a number of Filipinos who had kids and loved ones and hopes and dreams in life would still be alive now.

    First, I can’t really agree that the FIlipinos brought this to themselves. Even without all the trash in our rivers, or all the political debates, or all the fashion trends, this typhoon would have still devastated the areas it did. It was a force of nature, uncontrolled and random. It doesn’t care if the Filipinos are environment-friendly, or charitable, or “good” people; it would’ve wreaked havoc all the same.

    Secondly, I find it hard to swallow that this storm is actually being thanked for anything. All it did was destroy. It hasn’t opened our eyes, or made us more charitable, or made us more concerned than we already are. The same wave of helpfulness and goodwill were also present right after bagyong Milenyo, and Frank, and even Edsa I and Edsa II. But is our country really better since those events? Have the elite social clans become any more charitable? Have we stopped debating political issues? Have we stopped contemplating on heart-breaking love stories? As early as today, I’m already hearing jokes being made about the whole Ondoy tragedy. We have not learned anything or gained anything from Ondoy, we just lost a lot of things to him.

    • I see how some people really viewed my thanks as wierd. well… it’s supposed to be wierd 🙂

      I get it. Ondoy’s really a big deal, a supertyphoon or whatever you call it.But this isn’t about how terror it had seem anymore. for me, it’s already about the things we need to learn from its terror that we didn’t learn (or maintain doing) from the other situations we’ve been before.

      the thing about all the other things that showed Pinoy’s Bayanihan-syndrome like People Power revolutions and those other typhoons you have mentioned is that our ‘goodwill’ come only when circumstances rage.it is too uncommon to see anyone to do such good deed in an ordinary day. But admit it or not, we Filipinos have the most serious case of “Amnesia.” Isn’t those calamities you’ve mentioned just another subject of gossip today?

      w/c brings me to why I still THANK Ondoy for coming. If it did not come, we won’t be awakened, once again, of the things we have to, should or can do to be better people, if not better citizens of this country.

      thanks for the read! 🙂

      • You missed what I was saying. I know the Filipinos have a serious case of “amnesia”, that’s why I’m saying that all the damage done to temporarily shake us from that “amnesia” was not worth it, because we’ll just fall back to that “amnesia” anyway. The devastation far outweighs whatever benefits may come from this tragedy. Some of us don’t appreciate having friends and family killed or otherwise put in danger just for some fleeting high of so-called “goodwill”, of which at least 50% is just publicity stunt by major corporations anyway.

        This wave of goodwill we’re experiencing now will only be worth the damage if it lasts. But looking back on our reactions to past calamities and revolutions, I’d say it probably won’t. It’s not worth the damage and all the lives unwillingly sacrificed.

        You keep saying you understand, but I don’t think you do. At least, not fully. For some of us, hearing someone thank Ondoy for anything is adding insult to injury. Imagine having someone unceremoniously walk over your father’s or your mother’s or your lover’s dead body without paying any attention to it because that someone was too busy thanking the killer.

      • @Andre:
        i agree that business entities swallow on the very popular relief good programs. drama sells in the media world.

        i also agree that for so many times we fall back on amnesia again and again. but, at least for me, i wouldn’t say the ‘shaking’ isn’t worth it. for some, it could be a 180 degree-turn or something that gave him a better view of life. Maybe some will have that short-term memory loss again, but if he does it does him no better. I always believe that there are things to be learned when negative things come to life. Many people, damaged or undamaged by Ondoy, learned a lot from the tragedy. I did learn a lot from it. And that’s what I’m thanking him for. Of course I feel for those families who have lost many things or persons or livelihood and etc., I’m not thanking Ondoy for that. But surely, Ondoy happened for a purpose, and one purpose is for people to learn something. That is why I still thank God for letting Ondoy be the Philippines guest..because I learned a lot.

  3. seeing through a different angle, josh, huh? 😛 good point. the real issue here is our readiness. and we haven’t done anything to anticipate the deluge.

  4. The angle-less seen is always interesting.
    Reasonable points, though I also couldn’t agree that the Filipinos brought this to themselves– or that we brought this to ourselves. I heard from a PAGASA report that an equivalent of continuous rains for 30 days fell down for just hours.
    I also can’t thank Ondoy for the 300+ deaths of our countrymen 😦
    On the other hand, I glee upon seeing that it has awakened compassion and unity among the Filipino people.

    • I’m with you on saying that Ondoy had been a really terror typhoon. I wont argue on PAGASA’s reports because I’m not on their shoes. However (at least as I see it), what if there were less trash in the rivers? maybe it could lessen the rise of floods.

      I agree as well that Ondoy killed over more than 300 men.But I’m not thanking Ondoy for that. I’m thanking God for letting him pay us a visit because I learned a lot from the experience. 🙂

      thanks for the read, Jez!

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