After Yolanda’s Fury

How can we avert our eyes from the scenes of devastation that have crowded our emails, our Facebook pages, and our TV screens? How can we still our minds from being haunted by the heartbreak and the sorrow that our kababayans are going through right now? 

The fury of Typhoon Yolanda and the scale of the destruction it has wrought are unprecedented, even for a nation that is probably visited by more typhoons every year than the rest of the world. The good news is, Filipinos everywhere are pulling together to do whatever they can to help out. Facebook is replete with a variety of creative ways people are raising funds and sending relief goods. (Word of caution: make sure you are giving to the proper channel to ensure that your donation actually gets to those who need them.)

The bad news is, for a catastrophe this massive logistical problems — the slowness of response, the breakdown of communication lines and many many others — are bound to happen.

Make no mistake about it though, the government, and the international, business and medical communities and the people in the Philippines are doing all they can to ease the victims' suffering the best way they can.

Perhaps those of us who, because of geographic limitations, are mere onlookers in this high drama should be more charitable to those who are on the ground helping in the stricken areas. It's so easy —  and absolutely disgusting —  to criticize and condemn when it is not us who have to pick through the rubble and inhale the stench of death.

Typhoon Yolanda has brought Filipinos together in tragedy. Can we set aside egos, political differences and petty ideologies for a while and stop being crabs? How about we try UNITY for a change? We might just discover that it might get things done better and faster. And our personal high stress levels could take a holiday. 

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino