Raising spirits through art
MANILA, Philippines - The Filipino spirit is one of resilience. It is made of a fabric that cannot simply be torn apart or washed away.
Torrential rains have ravaged the metro for days, wreaking havoc and destruction in their wake. The flood waters have displaced and affected over a million people in Metro Manila alone.
And yet, in the middle of this ongoing catastrophe, traces of the Filipino heroism or bayanihan have strongly emerged. A sense of civic spirit has permeated the Twittersphere and other social media networks. Volunteers have braved the storms in order to lend a helping hand. Words of comfort and relief have passed through virtual networks.
Spike Acosta of the Education and Tours staff of Ayala Museum has ignited an idea paying homage to Filipino resiliency in the face of so much adversity. He coined the tagline #FilipinoSpiritIsWaterproof, which gave birth to numerous graphic designs and visually stunning works of typography.
Already the idea has spread like wildfire, with over 4,000 retweets on Twitter and over 500 shares on Facebook, as well as countless online responses. The @ayalamuseum Twitter account has encouraged followers to “spread the positivity by inspiring others and lending a helping hand to any preferred relief [operations] near you.”
Spike Acosta has shared his story in coming up with the catchy hashtag, narrating that:
“When I was a student, I always walked home despite the rain, and I always thought that the rain was nothing to fear. It was essentially just water. And the human body was created or designed to be waterproof. So naturally, a body does not mind getting wet. [Water] did not deter me from walking home during those rainy afternoons. And seeing the things that people are doing despite the rain was just proof that waterproofing isn’t limited to the body. The Filipino spirit is waterproof as well.”
Katria Alampay, a student whose artwork was featured on the waterproofph blog has explained that “the slogan just seemed really meaningful to me because Filipinos always seem to show the best of themselves in the midst of tragedy. I didn't really want to make a complicated design but I wanted it to really make Filipinos realize how proud they should be to be Filipino, especially at this time.”
In an online blog, bravethewaves.net, Mia Bontol has written, “We can all help in our own way. When I saw this project initiated by Ayala Museum – I was moved. Idealism is never overrated. During this time of calamity in Luzon, Philippines we need not just an outpouring of dedicated hands, but hearts and spirits as well.”
The outpouring of love and support in networks both real and virtual has proven one thing – Filipino bayanihan is not dead. The waters cannot wash away our spirit, our strong sense of community and the ties we share with our fellow Filipinos. The words have circulated throughout the Twittersphere and they resonate a profound truth: The Filipino spirit is waterproof. - Rappler.com
Monica Melchor is a Political Science student of the University of the Philippines. She is presently an intern at Rappler.