NY Times: Manila ‘sad’ but spirit remarkable
MANILA, Philippines – Floods may have made Manila’s mood meter sad but many residents are far from being helpless and panicky.
A blog on the New York Times noted that the floods caused little public anger over "further municipal dysfunction." Instead, Rappler’s mood meter registered “sad” because of the flooding from the monsoon rain.
“A mood meter on the Rappler news portal let people register their feelings. By noon on Wednesday, 71% listed ‘sad’ as their chief emotion, followed by ‘afraid’ (17%). Only 4% registered as ‘annoyed’.”
Yet the blog said that the devastation did not dampen the spirits of Filipino netizens.
“Instead, on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, and through text messages, Filipinos demonstrated a remarkable civic spirit as they shared news of evacuation centers and dropoff points for donations of emergency supplies.”
The blog discussed the online response to help victims of the disaster.
Aside from Filipinos abroad like US reality show contestant Manila Luzon (@manilaluzon) who tweeted prayers and well wishes, the blog said Filipino officials took to cyberspace to issue alerts and updates.
“One of the frequent tweeters is the mayor of Valenzuela, Sherwin Gatchalian, who said conditions in his area of northern Manila on Monday were ‘definitely Ondoy part 2. This is a disaster.’”
The blog also cited a Google-launched crisis response site that includes a person-finding function.
Despite the optimism, the New York Times noted that weather bureau PAGASA still predicted more typhoons in the Philippines before the end of the year. Rain is also expected to continue until Thursday.
In the long term, the Times wrote that environmentalists point to overpopulation, inadequate drainage systems, urban development schemes and “rapacious logging” as problems that still need to be addressed.
The blog ended with a shoutout for people to respond to a comment on the website calling metropolitan Manila an “abused space” and “bursting at the seams.”
Many Filipinos are active on social media, with ComScore naming the Philippines as the social media capital of the world. In times of disaster like Tropical Storm Ondoy in 2009, Filipinos use Facebook and Twitter to coordinate rescue and relief operations. – Rappler.com