30 September, 2009

here's praise for the Pinoy Bayanihan Spirit

BAYANIHAN is probably one of the most ubiquitous concepts of the Filipino Values system. If you're not familiar with it, the closest equivalent to the English language is collective community spirit.

The image most associated with Bayanihan is of a bahay kubo [nipa hut] borne on the shoulders of men to be moved to its new location... the image of an entire village helping out one of their neighbors in this most arduous task is one of those things that are taught by Social Studies teachers when they discuss certain Filipino Values or Traits once you hit first grade. [If it's not a crude first grade textbook drawing, I think there was a painting of it with a mother and child peering out the hut's window as they are being moved -with much artistic license, I remember...]

As the aftermath of the last tropical storm that hit the archipelago still looms over us, my praises go to the Filipino people as we all come together and help each other out through this most difficult time. Relief operations, donations, pledges, volunteers, are all but testaments to the Bayanihan Spirit. We as a people are resilient.

Some find solace in the fact that they are not alone in this, some find themselves with a stronger resolve to get through, some -though their faith may have been tested- still hang on to it... Hope doesn't run out easily for us.

But on the other hand, there's a lesson to be learned here. I hate to sound a bit preachy here but as a society, we seem to be very good at reacting to crisis but not in the calculated preparedness or the planned avoidance of it. I have seen my share of urban planning experts claim they had the solution to this years ago on paper, or experts uttering consequences to climate change, or government officials in their capacity or lack thereof reasoning to a broken people about their failure to respond to their needs... a waste of words, as I see it.

So I won't waste more, and will do what I can, and pray...

photo courtesy of heinzkieh [just click on the link]

...thus spake The Barefoot Baklesa

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