Scenes of disaster brought about by Sendong is one that evokes raw emotions and painful acceptance that we are no match at the wrath of nature and how expansive its destructive reach over communities that are sound asleep. The most poignant scene I have ever seen was captured by most photos posted on Facebook, tweeted on twitter and those taken by photojournalists and it says one and sole message, strong yet raw – unite with nature otherwise nature unties you.
After having read the news from CNN about the tragic flasfloods that has claimed hundreds of people’s lives, I am reflecting what kind of government do we have. I believed and continue to do so, in fact, exercise my firm belief that government agencies are on the ground on work to no ends to do the search and rescue to retrieval operations, all in the name of public service however I am searching, as many does, of a father who can provide us comfort, direction, hope and strength, in fact, whom we can get our will to survive and live beyond what has happened but sadly, I have not seen him.
This scenario happened already during the flooding in Cotabato City and again, it happened to Cagayan de Oro and Iligan Cities where the President has been apparently absent from the public eye. When the nation is in grief and is grieving, our president was reportedly partying at the palace and had a laugh at jokes cracked by an actress as if his own country has never seen disaster in the eye. When everyone in the cities affected were scampering to safety, searching for families and friends, grieving for dying and the dead, overcoming defeat and finding strength amidst disaster, all he did was merrymaking and partying. Is it not what I was anticipating and expecting from the president most Filipino people put their trust on. What I saw was an uncaring and less determined government who failed to respond to the disaster no matter what and whichever way they could.
May Pasko pa ba? Was asked by a crying girl to her mother distraught by the disaster and I can not imagine how they too will rebuild their lives from the point of view of the child asking the most poignant of all questions. The question was rather innocent and carefree, suited for a child who sees Christmas as a season of hope and fairness but all it is vanished in just hours and their lives altered forever.
Must one give in to credence to the kind of inaction this government has in responding to these scenarios in Mindanao? I dare say we must. Government are answerable to the people and should there be instances when we our own lives, properties and nation is threatened, then government, in all its resources and wisdom should rally behind how people can cope up with such tests. In this particular instance, government responded timidly because the President has not even made up his mind to sound the marching orders to rally the people and mustering courage along the way. He failed to reach out to all of us Mindanao whose lives were forever altered because of this. He failed to show us concern, never provided us the opportunity to hope and did not even care to show us the direction where to go. We are never one in this efforts, this is not unity but quandary, never about viability but anarchy and worse, never stability but inability – both in the heart and mind of those whom we place our trust and mandate, to be ever ready to rally to us on our moments of need.
I refuse to believe that what has happened over the weekend and how the President has been absent in our national psyche is a built-attitude but rather one that can be corrected and addressed. As was observed, I am in the firm belief that the President does care enough but we just have not, perhaps felt it sincerely. He may and could have cared to his own definition of the term and estimation from the stand-point of his office and lofty upbringing but one I also could not fathom and will continue to understand.
As a status post I wrote on my Facebook will ever explain my own understanding of events best captured it, I say, “we are all in the concerted efforts here in Mindanao and elsewhere to respond to this disaster save for one person whom this nation has relied solely and perhaps entirely for comfort, direction, assurance and hope – of which he chooses to hide from us, people from Mindanao.” I hope and pray disasters strikes no one and no community in the country to better give us time to heal and perhaps, unite ourselves with how nature live in us and we in them.
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