Today marks a history, poignant and depressing, one could ever remember.
For twenty three years, I grew up in a country where all I hear from media and witness are disheartening news- increasing crime rates, poverty, border claims against other nations and other political problems to date. I started living up with them every waking day of my life considering them as normal scenarios. All these seem to make up every piece of me and I have no choice but to carry them along.
On the same day last year 2013, it has brought our country in great turmoil which affected thousands of families and caused early demise to innocent individuals. No one is spared, poor or rich alike, especially when Mother Earth posed its disastrous fangs of punitive measures to humankind, leaving the Philippines and some parts of the world devastated and disorderly.
It was October when a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook our lands and turned it into muddy, fractured pieces of terrain ruining the Visayas region where my family exactly resides. That deadliest earthquake equivalent to 32 Hiroshima bombs engulfed two hundreds of Filipino’s loved ones. In just minutes of tectonic tremble and 72 aftershocks, simple dreams were broken into hopeless pieces of despair and tragedy.
A month after, typhoon Yolanda (Philippine name), the strongest cyclone ever recorded, spurted us with strong, storm surges and towering-high flashfloods turning the once peaceful provinces of hope into a sepulcher of depression, where dead bodies were scattered and decayed everywhere in the streets stealing more than six thousand lives. Iloilo, Capiz and Tacloban provinces scavenged for something to eat and drink. Sailing ships were seen on the shorelines, walled cities vanished, and all you can see were survivors running and weeping to and fro the highways.
These turn of events that had happened believed to be the turning point of every Filipino which revealed our resilience despite the disasters that come our way. As a young man, I have learned the spirit of camaraderie and the initiative to extend one’s aid as I felt the sincerest presence of about twenty-three countries that helped us rise from such havoc. Hither and thither, the loaded trucks I’ve seen carrying packed goods and foreign choppers dropping bottled waters from above were salvation. I was moved.
As a nurse, I was initiated to partake in various medical missions and offer my service to those unfortunately impinged. In mountains we climbed to reach affected families and give them hope of living again. With friends, we collected our unused garments and clothed the naked, fed starving souls and satisfy them with the food we gathered from the donations of the lucky community. Our outreach and helping together or “bayanihan” helped rebuild schools, churches and homes which promise hope and refuge for the coming generations.
Everyone turns the crises of the previous year into a showcase of humbling acts. I, for one, continue to conduct missions in any way I can today. This is a testament that we don’t need to be powerful or be the richest man in the world in order to give a hand. I believe it is in inadequacy that we learn service. It is in adversity that we find strength and oneness. It is in simple, humbling deeds that we find a hero. What’s the best way forward for humanity are no ordinary people, but extraordinary beings that will assume heroic roles of standing by each other in their most little ways.
Now, where do we start?
Our dear citizens, we are what the world needs today. Begin with one’s self. Each single act of kindness joined together will collectively change the world to move forward. Be empowered. Let us not wait for catastrophes as this to strike before we start making a difference.
Be your hero your way.(Let us pray as well to the victims of the said calamity, who were heroes themselves.+)