Sunday, September 10, 2006

Filipino Resiliency and Humor

While waiting for the flood to dissipate (like it will
gonna...and it didn't after 7 hours), I have come to observe that Filipinos are
indeed resilient. Many of whom still have the nerve to laugh and used that
moment to socialize with individuals they've only met. I never heard anyone
whining about the situation (well, I think I was the only one complaining).

It's true, to fight a major battle and triumph over it is virtuous, but
to live everyday amongst minor nuances require a strong spirit.

The above quote is an excerpt in Jef's blog (see link below). I have seen the floods the Jef is talking about, and when I first saw them, that was in 2005, I was quite amazed with the horrible infrastructure of Manila. Whoa! I began to imagine diseases and those poor people. Man, the poor are always getting screwed, don't they? I wish the government would really do something about it. I mean, don't we know that it rains six months in the year there?

But according to Jef, people are indeed resilient, especially my beloved Pinoys. Despite the struggles, the rain, and bad government, poor economy, and hurricanes, and heat, and humidity, and poor education system, corrupt officials, jammed traffic, smoke, and smoke and more smoke, jeepneys and taxis and cars beeping, and what have you, the Filipinos can survive to face another day.

Yes, we are a hopeful culture. I'm so proud to be a part of a culture that can put things aside at the end of the day, and hope for a brighter one. At the end of the day, we have tambayan, or hanging out, singing videoke, or just plain drinking the night away with a cuatro cantos gin or San Miguel Light. We laugh, we drink, we eat. We talk stories. Then we laugh, we drink, and we eat again.

As someone who has lived in the US for over 20 years, since I was 9, there are things I take for granted. I should feel so lucky that I am fortunate enough to have been brought up in the US. It took some visits to the Philippines to make me realize that I am very blessed. But these visits also made me become more Filipino again. I began to understand poverty, corruption, discrimination, and the plight of the underpriviledged, and one day, I hope to reach out. Perhaps these writings in my blogs, are the first steps in doing so.


Anonymous said...

... basically because a lot of these people know that there is nothing they can do aboout it. as much as they wanted something better. it's either they suck it up and digest it, or whine till they're nerves break only to be perpetually irritated by the same scenario and events over and over again. and the fist option is more rational obviously. Plus the weather,it's always unpredictable.. but i fthat was a president... there is always people power or rallies here and there. Which for me is irritating because the people who are rallying are the very same people who voted for that official that they want ousted. Sucks to be that VOTER!!! and yeah it sucks that there is a heavy traffic because of that!

Mia said...

Resiliency is one of the strengths of the Filipino; he adapts to just about any circumstance life throws at him. The downside to this is that he has trouble maintaining his own identity if in a different environment. (My father used to say that Filipinos are like papaya: we absorb the flavor of other foods/ingredients around us.)

But yes, one of the things I really love about this country is how we laugh in the face of adversity. It's a coping mechanism and it's not an entirely flawless one -- after a while laughter fosters calluses in one's soul -- but it is so much better than drowning in one's own despair.

I'm glad you're reaching out. Keep writing. Your words will make a visible difference eventually. Maybe they already have. :)

jef said...

Hey, thanks for quoting me:-)

I agree with Mia, we can laugh with/at every situation.

Too bad though, we're not so serious with events that can make a difference with our lives--ELECTION is one.

Gypsy said...

Hi, about your comment in "abstaining". If you have worn a "poor's" cloth and anonymous, then met one Flipino gov't official (basically 98% of them), YOU'LL NEVER VOTE.

I only did once. Because my dad had to run! Yay! Not that I am proud at all... he knows how I look at them tho.

Anyway, i like what you share in your blog.