Our unshakeable spirit

Maria Reylan M. Garcia

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I cannot keep myself from admiring how our nation persists, how the Filipino manages to smile for the camera while homeless

I am not from Bohol or Cebu. I have not even been to these places which I now regret terribly. But, I physically felt the earth shook last week and was one of the many reasons why the Phivolcs website experienced downtime.


Seeing photos of once majestic churches now down to rubble brought my sayang hormone to elevated levels. Reading headline after headline of rising death tolls and broken bridges reminded me that nowhere is spared from Mother Nature’s mood swings. And for several days, it wasn’t about Janet Napoles anymore. It was about extending help. It was about preservation of what was left and rebuilding of what was gone. Then, it dawned me, the Filipino has done it again. He endured a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. He endured another calamity. May the hullabaloos be political or nature-forsaken, resiliency remains to be our archipelago’s epicenter.


Will to survive


Truly, the Filipino spirit is unshakeable. And on wet months, it is unsinkable. Laudable as these qualities are, they must not be unforeseen. A handful of colonizers across history, more than a dozen typhoons annually and incalculable clashes of political ideologies daily – with all that has been thrown at the Filipino’s face, his spirit may have developed some calluses in the process. But, fortunately, instead of turning numb and succumbing to apathy, he chose to adapt and be as buoyant as the life-saving salbabida.  The Filipinos will to survive is noteworthy, being indomitable as what Ninoy had branded it to be.


I cannot keep myself from being cynical about our how our nation decides, whether it be during elections or televised textvote-based singing contests. We make stupid decisions often. Clearly, a crisply pressed Barong could not clothe our socio-political immaturity as a nation.


We cry for retribution for the government’s lapses yet we are mum as to how such government was instituted in the first place. But when everything else is messed up, when everything else is dirty, muddy and vile – I cannot keep myself from admiring how our nation persists, how the Filipino manages to smile for the camera while homeless.


A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the central part of the Philippines last week, with numerous aftershocks tailing. Several people died. A number of local heritage sites collapsed. Many affected provinces are now in a state of calamity. But what most of the headlines are missing are the tiny stories of resiliency that, I reckon, are the initial ripples of hope that we could all use right now.


There are untold stories of how Juan, just a few days after his entire home collapsed, woke up early and paused to marvel at the sunrise through what’s left of his window pane. That after saying a prayer of thanksgiving of having his life spared, Juan will sweep off the rubble, pick up the useful remains and do what he does best – rebuild and recover. 


Though I regret not having visited Bohol or Cebu earlier, I am not frustrated. The ruins may remind me of what I could have seen, but the same ruins and the new buildings that will be built beside them will immortalize the resiliency I have long venerated in the Filipino. – Rappler.com



Maria Reylan Garcia is a registered nurse who is pursuing a Juris Doctor degree in the University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City. 

iSpeak is a parking space for ideas worth sharing. Send in your contributions to move.ph@rappler.com. 

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