Student Vox


/ 8 February 2021

If there is a time within the past 10 years wherein Filipinos have become more open, more aware, and more vocal about social issues and happenings, I’d say it’s definitely now.

It is indeed true that when there are too many adversities and people can no longer stand them, voices become more amplified and increasing. Since the start of the decade, the world has surely been put to the test – wildfires, plagues, earthquakes, volcanic activities, typhoons, and of course, the pandemic. Here in the country, 2020 really started with a bang as the Taal Volcano welcomed the year with its massive explosions which affected numerous families nearby. After which, the pandemic put everything on hold in the country and killed many businesses, and took thousands of lives. Before the previous year ended and even just recently, typhoons ravaged the entire country.

Consequently, people have now been clamoring for accountability. Because of the government’s innumerable lapses, which have worsened the effects of these natural disasters, Filipinos have become more and more enraged on the incompetence and indifference of some, if not most of our country’s leaders, which led to a more responsive yet controlling governance. Well, they really cannot be blamed if the institution, which is supposed to ensure the welfare and safety of its people, prioritizes the shutdown of one of the country’s biggest news outlets, thinks of defunding a government agency that has helped in predicting earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and wait for a community transmission before they take action.

Despite all these, Filipinos never fail to show off their wonderful smiles after disasters and still maintain that optimistic disposition in life. They continue to flaunt the same Filipino resiliency that has enabled our country to overcome these catastrophes since time immemorial. It is because of this resiliency that we have been recognized and applauded by other nations in the world for being steadfast and strong amidst all life’s challenges. However, now that people have become aware and assertive of their rights, it is but fitting to pair this resiliency with our craving for accountability, instead of suppressing one over the other.

For many years, post-disaster articles have always highlighted the narrative of Filipino resiliency, but seldom have we encountered a story that has underscored an immediate and effective disaster response from the government because most probably, there is none to write about. Now, it is very crucial that we must pressure the government to step up and ensure that the Filipinos receive the aid and help that they deserve, especially now with the worsening effects of our environmental problems, and it is very promising to see how the youth is at the forefront of the fight, but as much as we call out our government to be accountable of its people, let us never lose sight of our own identity and see it as a weakness. Glorifying resiliency is definitely not right, but it has never been wrong to have an outlook in life that sees the brighter side and hopes for a brighter tomorrow.

I write this at a time where my province has just been severely affected by massive flooding. In a world now where natural disasters may come at any second, it is important for us to prepare ourselves in whatever way we can for anything that may happen, and while we keep on putting pressure on our government to create solutions to these worsening problems, it is just right to have that spirit of resiliency within us for what we are fighting for is for us to have a better future.

“History tells us that the Filipinos have captured innumerable foes, natural or not, and shall always strive to champion in all odds because innate in the Filipino is the will to survive.”

This line in the literary piece of William G. Bacani entitled “The Resiliency of a Filipino” speaks truly of the beauty of Filipino Resiliency. It has not been established to become a Filipino identity just for our leaders to have an excuse in doing their jobs right. Filipino Resiliency has become our people’s identity for us to be reminded of our strength and capacity to thrive at whatever life may throw upon us.