The urge to contribute in this year’s Blog Action Day is strong deep in my soul but having felt firsthand that I cannot by myself do anything to help my countrymen during one of the nation’s most trying times may have paralyzed my genius of a brain to function as needed. In an attempt to address a global call, I’ve been staring at a blank screen for hours on end. Melor and Parma devastating the country was no small chink on the proverbial national pride that the Filipino race, who is ironically lauded for snootily smiling at the intimidating face of adversity, can soon forget. Up north, they have just two days ago said that the roads are passable again. In nearby Pasig City, people still wade in knee-deep flood water that already started stinking. In hospitals, leptospirosis patients are being confined in growing numbers by the day. The devastation had been so great that some Filipinos continue tread on water pissed and shat on by rodents in order to work, sell things, or receive packed relief goods which, if a family of 6 is so lucky, can last them another day.
While globally, we dread of an impending climate change, locally we swim on stagnant water thick with the stench that had been a birthday celebration’s leftover food seeping from non-biodegradable plastic from six months ago. No, I’m not lobbying against elaborate merriments. Take that away (right, as if anyone can) and we’ll have nothing to look forward to. Nothing to draw our strength from. Let’s just be more… aware.
I strongly feel that anybody in the Philippines right now would agree to help and address the problem by contributing anything that’s within our capacity if only we can be assured that such efforts WILL yield VISIBLE RESULTS. Anything. Seguristas, that’s what we all are. Nothing wrong with that based on a simple logic: with limited resources, we all won’t go and waste them on something that’s not for long term. We, however, need something that will jump start the movement. A leader. Somebody who can think strategically yet act on instinct with a will power fueled by demand and, more importantly, socially sound morals. No, I’m not even referring to the highest seat in government. Don’t be silly, we all saw how clueless they were during the first few hours of Ondoy and Pepeng.
This person, the leader I’m referring to, is US. YOU, ME, THEM, US. It’s either we act or we lead, the choice is yours. You know you can do it. No more excuses.
Think about it. When Ondoy hit the countryside Friday, most of you may have been on the phone checking on your relatives, officemates, or friends who live in another side of town. When relief operations were put up, those who can gave their resources and those who are able, their services. In times of desperation, you forwarded a text to those who you think has access to devices and methods even if you only got those emergency contact numbers from twitter or facebook. Me in front of my desktop on higher ground, them on their mobile phones hoping to catch the faintest network signal (and trying to conserve battery power at the same time) in order to send a distress text, blogs/Internet authors putting up donation facilities, and countless others selflessly monitoring whatever is happening all over, all working, all acting. We had been each other’s eyes. The gesture had been so epic that it received praises from all over the world. Whodathunk that a third world country’s citizens can harness technology the way we did?
If only we can channel the same effort towards a grander cause.
To those who think that all we can do is “cure” rather than prevent, think again. As it is, we have all heard so much talk about Climate Change and how inventions and improvements are now more geared on producing eco-friendly contraptions and devices. So much had been said to the point that some may be led to think that the fate of the environment only rests on the hands of a few. As these tools are being perfected in production, we may just go on with out lives and wait OR we can do something to reduce our so called “carbon footprint.” No, “not breathing” isn’t the only way we can contribute, don’t be silly. How about carpooling, using less plastics, recycling, segregating waste, proper waste disposal, a regular car tuneup, re-using paper, and limiting the use of electricity. These things are doable. If each of us can influence our network to be mindful of our carbon footprint, and I can feel that that’s more possible than just probable, we can in our own way contribute and make a difference.
It’s either that or I unleash my powers to command a gathering storm to stay in the open sea where it can cause less devastations. I can also will earthquakes to reverberate outside the troposphere (and name it vacuumquake instead). Or paint a force field on the skies to protect us all from torrential rains and tsunamis.
Dig this, however. When I do that, only I will get the glory and I already have enough of that. I want us ALL to be heroes in saving the planet because, collectively, we also can. Just remember Ondoy. Remember Pepeng. Would you pass up on this chance? I didn’t think so, either. You’re just not the type.
Read more Blog Action Day 2009 entries from fellow Filipinos via the extensive round-up at Blogger’s Kapihan.