Custodio: The two faces of a disaster


I KNOW you probably have not had a good night’s sleep most especially this past week. We all know how the shaking has affected us and it really is traumatizing, whether we admit to it or not. Truth be told, we are not used to earthquakes, most certainly earthquakes this strong and too narrowly apart! We are nervous and jumpy and we fear the worst things too.

Things like these, we cannot control. All we can do is to be alert, be prepared and have faith that things will be okay. We will get through this, I know it. We may have been struck down but we will rise to our feet and above this.

What I do not get are those people who go out of their way to “beat us with their sticks” knowing we are down. Geez. In the face of these earthquakes some people actually think our region deserves to be swallowed by the earth and that this is retribution! I sat in disbelief, trying to wrap my brain around these statements. While, in his right mind, would think or say such evil things? It is disheartening and sad that there are Filipinos who cannot rise above their political associations to see that their fellow men are suffering and fearful of their lives because of the earthquakes. I was both sad and angry, triggered by their insensitivity and I know a lot of you were, too. Such a heartbreaking realization that there are people who will wish you I’ll things and be so proud to declare it for everyone to know.

But things have a way of turning to the bright side. As I was surfing the net, I came across some good news. An Angel was in our midst buying relief goods for distribution to affected areas. She came in without fanfare nor any press releases. Late in the evening she was already distributing the relief goods. Wow. No statements, she just swooped down undetected and did what she probably thought she had to as Filipino. In true superhero fashion. Darnang-darna. And just like that, my faith is restored. People like her and the scores of others who selflessly devote their time and resources to extend their help makes me so proud to be a Filipino.

Indeed it is inspiring to see compassion in action. Doesn’t it fill your heart with joy? These are the qualities that we should focus on and emulate because these make us humane. In times like this, we should be united to help, to share and to comfort others because that’s what makes us human and that’s what bring Filipino is all about.


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