Filipino pride in the spirit of ‘bayanihan’ invoked in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Filipinos never pass up an opportunity to exhibit their renowned ethnocentrism. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy which devastated much of the eastern seaboard of the United States, there have been many heartening reports of how the level of preparedness and swift action of the US government to mitigate the foreseen effects of the storm yielded impressive results. Indeed, Philippine lawmakers were reportedly “amazed” with Americans’ response to the natural calamity…

“Their sense of preparedness is amazing and the political will of their leaders like Mayor Bloomberg is laudable considering he closed down the subways, forcibly evacuated residents as he did in Hurricane Irene,” Senator Loren Legarda said when asked if there was anything the Philippines could learn from the US response to the “Frankenstorm.”

So it therefore comes across as a bit daft to be engaging in that usual Pinoy-centric backpatting when regarding the scale of both the disaster that has befallen East Coast Americans and their impressive response to it. Yet, daftness is the Filipino’s middle name. A photo of what appears to be Filipino-Americans who were among the few lucky enough to still have electric power in their homes making extension cords available to anyone who might want to charge their mobile phones or laptops was shared on the Twitter timeline of ABS-CBN media outlet @ANCALERTS with the caption “New form of bayanihan among Filipinos in storm-ravaged Jersey City in New Jersey..”

Now, it is as if Pinoys hold a monopoly over civic-mindedness in times of calamity. Ironic perhaps, considering much had been said about the so-called “resilience” exhibited by Filipinos in the aftermath of several storms that hit and killed hundreds of people in key cities like Manila and Cagayan de Oro over the last 2-3 years. It is, of course, that unique brand of resilience-by-default considering that there is hardly any evidence that Filipinos have learned anything from these disasters despite the far bigger death tolls they had wreaked upon the country.

Obviously, sharing electricity in times of calamity is not a Filipino-American invention and certainly not that “unique form of bayanihan” some “patriots” are quick to label it as. Just today in sunny Sydney, a similar photo was displayed in a similar story ran in one of the local tabloids and was given the caption “A good Samaritan provides vital phone-charging in Hoboken, New Jersey…”

[Image taken from mX News (Sydney) Thursday, 1st of November 2012 edition.]

Not Filipino, not “bayanihan”, and certainly not pride in something lent some sort of perverse credibility by one’s ethnicity. Just a nod to good old-fashioned civic-mindedness that one could reasonably expect of any human being regardless of what nation or “race” she happens to be a member of.


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33 Comments on "Filipino pride in the spirit of ‘bayanihan’ invoked in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy"

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Allen Severino
Why does Filipinos seem to be hooked on the idea of a super race? Do you need to have a living proof to that? Oh yes, The Second World War. Filipinos indeed like to boast their so called pride while majority of its people live on hunger, poverty, constant war, lack of education, the insistence to think critically and the idiocy of our society. The government is run by incompetent bureaucrats who stick to past glories to cement their legitimacy as leaders. The Church still exercise significant power. I am irritated at how those patriots will shout Proud 2Be Pinoy… Read more »
These two pictures are at least the fourth and fifth different ones I’ve seen today of people doing exactly this. Being a veteran of an East Coast hurricane (Isabel, 2003), I can pretty confidently assert that anonymous neighborly compassion for the sake of getting the community back on its feet — because that outcome is in everyone’s individual best interests, if nothing else — is considered normative. As in, you are not being heroic or special, you are simply being a decent human and not a selfish jerk. The constant highlighting of “bayanihan” suggests that behaving in a routinely civilized,… Read more »
Hyden Toro

Americans learn from their mistakes. Like when they were hit by “Katrina” in New Orleans, several years ago. Filipinos do not learn from their mistakes. They keep repeating the same mistakes, over and over.
Look at how they elect these stupid politicians, over and over…


Its goodwill and to refer to it as“a unique form of bayanihan” is politically incorrect. Whilst some may claim that bayanihan emanated from goodwill, bayanihan in its plain and literal translation is teamwork.

On a side note, Filipinos are usually “reactive” when it comes to dealing with natural calamities. It would be nice to see Filipinos shift from being “reactive” to “pro-active,” and not just limited to a response to a calamity but also to their everyday lives.

Amir Al Bahr

It’s as if Filipinos have this urge to tell everyone “hey look at me I’m doing my part” every time the opportunity presents itself. They just can’t help out quietly; they want credit for everything. But Pinoys have no sense of a greater community; instead of helping each other by default they are more inclined to step on each other to gain advantages.


“Pinoys” also try to suck up a residue of pride from Manila’s moniker as the “Second Warsaw” or “the city next to Warsaw” in terms of damages during WWII. It’s as if all of their conceived nationalistic and racial aspirations and hoohahs have been tested to withstand all possible man-made destruction there could be.

Bitches, please. Tell that to Japan and South Korea.


I would stomach the whole pinoy pride sentiment if it was balanced with pinoy shame. But of course pinoys are perfect.


If Bayanihan works how come Pinas suck?

If the Philippines is trying to somehow take credit for something that happened in the U.S.A. during a hurricane,that is just beyond ‘daft’. Take a look at what happens every time a few inches of rain falls on Manila/CDO and you get the same results year after year,so UH…wtf?.If the city-planners in the Philippines had a single brain among them,and they obviously do not,they would do something about the HUGE flooding problems they have.BUT they won’t,so look forward to the next round of floods and all the dying to come.Remember the pols are in Hi-Rises and can stare down at… Read more »

[…] am irritated how some Filipino ‘patriots’ will cry that they are proud of a certain individual who shared her …. It is a delusion,  Pinoy Pride is a delusion to be precise. Ethnocentrism at its […]


Haha. As if the “epals” here in our country weren’t enough…….

Hurricane Sandy is bringing out Pinoys of Pinas. On one hand, many politicians are clamoring to go to USA this week or next week — you know, to study how USA governments prepare. (As if Mayor Bloomberg or Gov Christie or their top honchos will break away from taking care of their citizens for photo-ops with Pinoy politicians). Then this —– Pinoys in Pinas don’t even pay attention to detail. Many say Pilipinas also, like New York city, have authority for forcible evacuation of citizens from endangered zones (with batons or electric prods??? ). Except had they read the details,… Read more »
Yummy Dinuguan

Wasn’t there a passage in the Bible that stated that those who make their good deeds known to everyone would no longer receive a reward in the afterlife for it? You think having a heavy Christian presence here would make them practice humility or something.


i was in manhattan when sandy hits east coast. truth be told you can charge your electronic devices everywhere there are sockets for free around mid manhattan area! commercial establishments like SB, Macy’s, and etc. did the same and we flips made these a big fcuking deal?!