|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.
|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.