Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Metro Manila Floods Again - What You Can Do After

Mordor in Metro Manila
Mordor? Metro Manila in a state of calamity. -Photo from Louieda Oviedo

Last week, NASA’s rover Curiosity finally confirmed that Mars is a barren, desolate land with a surplus of rocks and no green men to recruit to play the Martian Manhunter in the movie adaptation of the Justice League. They had to spend billions of dollars to confirm that because scientists had reason to believe the Martians could really be hiding behind boulders knitting mittens.

In other news on Earth, it has also been confirmed that the Olympics was really just the U.S. vs. China with Usain Bolt as special guest. The final word was, “China you cannot have London too,” as the U.S. topped the medals race.

In the Philippines, people hardly paid attention to these events. We were all glued to Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces. Forget Atlantis. Metro Manila’s cities were so flooded they were almost eligible for underwater exploration.

If the Bourne Legacy production filmed last week instead of months ago, they would have had to change the title to Bourne Underwater and Aaron Cross would not have just been virally enhanced but bacterially enhanced as well with Leptospira.

I can afford to make fun now probably because shortly after the news broke, photos of the happy Filipino, flashing pearly whites and yellows, started filtering through social networks faster than instant noodles cooking. There were kids diving, men drinking, couples getting hitched and people just banding together to help amidst all the water.

So I knew the Filipino would get up yet again and get on with life as if floods were the most common thing in life. The Filipino spirit has even proven to be contagious, with foreign nationals taking to the streets, er… urban rivers to take a dip with the locals.

Pinoy: Do you think it’s safe sir?
Aussie: Ah.. No.

He goes on and takes a splash anyway with a bunch of Pinoy kids.

The Filipino’s ability to grab calamity by the throat and whack the devastation out of it is undoubtedly admirable, but it’s important to ask: How long before the next great flood? How long before we swim, laugh and pack relief goods again? Do you honestly want another chance to look adversity in the eye and spit at it?

What about the cesspool of poverty, corruption and ignorance brewing underneath all the water? Those will rear their ugly heads again too the next time this happens.

We can’t change how our country’s systems work now but why don’t we start by knocking some sense into ourselves so we can pass some sense onto our kids and the people we can influence.

Here are four action steps for you to start with:

  • Stop throwing trash like you had massive eye boogers that keep you from seeing trash bins. No fairies will magically appear and pick up after you.
  • Educate yourself so you’ll understand that these floods aren’t from God. They’re the result of the stupidity of human beings. 
  • Strive to prosper. It is not okay to wait for Noynoy in blue leotards and a red cape to rescue you from under the bridge or the minimum wage.
  • Do not vote for the sardines you see below and their cousins in tarpaulins. They will keep people poor following the principles of patronage politics. 

Filipino politicians in sardine cans
Want politicians in tomato sauce? -Photo from Dr. John Ortiz Teope's page

Teach your kids these action points and pass it on to others. This is how you groom future citizens who will have the heart to fix our waterlogged cities.


  1. haha zomg love it!

    so true and because all you've said are so true, it's actually so sad to be at the same side of the circus display.

    moar maam!!!!!!

  2. thank you for the action steps, very informative.
    scary yung picture, mordor:(

  3. Right. And since the national budget doesn't heavily support anything that isn't related to tourism, we'll just have to make do with simple actions.

  4. So true. Thanks for sharing this information.

  5. If you want to change the world, start with yourself. Most of us don't have discipline and don't follow the rules either. It would be nice if lahat ng tao may disiplina at sumusunod sa batas especially throwing trash everywhere.

    Visiting from BB!


  6. you're definitely right there Ma'am. I hope that the flood victims will learn a valuable lesson this time. It all starts within ourselves.

  7. I am glad that we were their in Manila, there is no flood though I notice that it is very windy in Manila bay :-( hope that people will learn from the tragedy :-(

  8. oh no! i watched the video and it's just so sad that Philippines are going through some though flooding times once again. when will this ever end? i heard that there's another typhoon coming that is stronger than sendong?

  9. I'm sad to hear the flood and many more victims suffering. will include the recovery in my prayers.

  10. this sure is sad, it seems like Philippines always experience natural calamities this days. i Hope this will not stop the people from hoping and praying.

  11. very well said. I love this article it is worth sharing. Yes, cleanliness should start at home. It's devastating to see what had happened in Manila. Too sad for the people who were affected by the flooding but I really hope everyone will take this as a lesson and start loving and caring for the nature, first and foremost.

  12. I can not help but agree with you.. WHAT A GREAT POST!!

  13. Lesson should be learned from previous calamities and people in the government should be ashamed of themselves for not having the political will to implement what is right for the good of the people. On another token, the people should also reflect the devastation caused by not taking care of the environment. Nice post.

  14. Very well said sis! The earth is not our trash can so we must not throw garbage anywhere. Hayts. I hope people will learn from what has happened and what is happening now.

  15. I already read your post the day you posted it but wasn't able to place a comment.

    Anyway, I super agree on your suggestions. They might sound humorous but its practicality is very real for everyone. I always give my children strict eyes whenever I saw them throwing trash on the sidewalks.

  16. These tourists are literally making the most out of what our country can offer. They have seen the kids enjoying the flood waters without being harmed so they dug in.


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