Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rising From the Ruins

“It rained for four years, eleven months and two days… Macondo was in ruins. In the swampy streets there were the remains of furniture, animal skeletons covered with red lilies…”
---One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

At least five people have told me that they don’t like to watch the news because it’s always about depressing bad news. I’m sorry to say though that I have little choice but to write about bad news. My previous post was about the January 5 Cagayan de Oro flash flood. On January 11, another one hit the city. Since then, I had been holed up at home for five days while the rain poured and reminded us who’s boss and how easily politicians can be sent on wild hunts for donkeys to pin the blame on. 
The calamity is not the worst of its kind. For online workers like me though, the incident was the equivalent of not having been able to get into Noah’s ark. Days of electrical connections that are like Christmas lights (now you have lights, now you don’t) and wireless internet connections that get so easily blown out of trajectory like an emaciated dieter in a blizzard are like slow death by drowning. A few days away from the virtual world can lead to lost subscribers, customers, advertisers and gulp, those green pieces of paper we swap hotdogs and Starbucks for.

But again, I cannot--- should not whine like a spoiled socialite who got an espresso instead of a macchiato by mistake. At least those were all that I lost (sniff*). Others have lost traces of their existence along with their wrecked houses. According to last Monday’s news, the number of affected families has risen to 13,000. As if to prove the veracity of the reports, more and more basketball courts (that are omnipresent fixtures in Filipino communities) have been converted to shelters. 

I should know better though than to worry too much over my fellow Kagay-anons. The top picture taken by fellow CDO Blogger Pangitster is not an image of people fleeing from the floods. It is a photo of people enjoying the flood. This, my friends, is a perfect picture of Filipino character even in the face of disaster. Hit this country with a calamity and a smile will beam right out into the world. 

I’d like to believe that this collective Filipino trait is not the result of plain simple-mindedness, or worse, idiocy. Some say jollity is simply a natural Filipino trait that defies explanation. I think though that the poverty, hardship and/or simplicity that have been forced upon us by the twin diseases of greed and corruption have rendered us immune to sorrow. Why should we sweat the big stuff when we always have so little to gain or lose? If we’d been rolling in the filth of ill-gotten wealth, we’d have descended into the pits of depression if we’d lost all that filth.

So while people did suffer at the heat (or cold) of the disaster, as emotionally captured by Titus Velez, we can only expect the Filipino Kagay-anon to rise again. 

*Photos by Pangitster of CDO Bloggers
P.S. The CDO Bloggers have been able to raise P10,000 in 48 hours through the help of bloggers, plurkers and tweeters from all over the country and the world. The money raised was used to buy goods for those affected by the flash floods. On the photo to the right are a few of the CDO Bloggers with the goods. We wish to thank all those who have helped us help those in need.
Since we are all aware though that con artists are everywhere, we would like to clarify that the official Paypal e-mail to which donations can be sent is All other requests for money made in behalf of the CDO Bloggers with other e-mail addresses indicated do not come from us.

*PBA verification code PBA09op0q8q4


  1. i didn't know cdo bloggers had that clout to raise money. wow! talking about bloggers really getting a life out there.

    if it can only happen in butuan.

  2. Congratulations to your heroic band of bloggers! What an inspiration you guys are.

    My dad also used to work for the press back in the 70's and he cannot forget one particular flood in Luzon where the only refuge people had were trees... and when they saw the press' helicopter, they waved and smiled and posed for the camera from the tree tops as if there was no catastrophe at all. It's also a wonderful sign that we Filipinos have a talent for coping up and getting through the bitterest of times. =)

    I pray that CDO waters will recede soon!

  3. :) actually na surprise din ako philippine daily idiot. may mga blogger pala rito na bigatin talaga. at ang galing pang mag network. the group was able to get donations from outside the country pa.

    thanks traveling minstrel. i think i really found a great group here. magagaling at matitino.

    now naapreciate ko na talaga ang Filipino trait na laging happy. this is our secret talaga kung bakit kaya natin lahat ng klaseng tragedy

  4. Good day!Can I ask you a favor..
    huhuhu!i am needing now your opinion!

    how to deal with long distance relationship?


  5. walay sapayan, para sad ni sa tanan na igo sa baha.. hope nga makarecover daun ang cagayan, i love the place ^^


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