When it rains, it pours: weathering the Filipino calamity

Starting this week, we still living here in the Philippines encountered the first bouts of deluge that are a sure sign of the arrival of the rainy season. With the advent of the rainy season, the start of the school season comes along with it too. Expect there to be heavy traffic starting tomorrow, as many schools start on Monday, June 4.

Familiar as we are with them, the rainy season and the increased traffic congestion that goes along with it are not the only things we should be concerned about. Just last week, the trial of Renato Corona had concluded. The result, already known to most people, was 20-3 in favor of conviction. Therefore, this means that not only was he removed from the position of Chief Justice, he is also prohibited from assuming any other public office. At this point, criminal cases and the possibility of disbarment are the next “tropical storms” expected to hit Corona very soon.

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

When it rains, it pours. We use this expression in English to refer to situations wherein many good things or many bad things all seem to happen to us at one time. Even if it’s not the rainy season, the Philippines has always been under constant bombardment from “rain” and “bad weather” brought about by the problems present in its society.

Let’s start with the most obvious ones. Even the slightest bit of rain will clog up our streets and force us to walk submerged in water that isn’t even remotely clean. The floods cause traffic to come to a standstill. The rains, when heavy, usually knock out power and telecommunication lines all over. The resulting flood water is filled with bacteria and other disease-causing agents which come from the mounds of garbage recklessly being thrown around by the Pinoys everywhere on the streets. The people living in areas such as Navotas know only too well the consequences of being near the coastline, and once the waters come rushing in, they need to find higher ground lest they want to be submerged in rainwater along with parts of that area. When dams overflow, the government has no other choice but to release some of the water. We can only imagine what happens to adjacent towns and villages who have to deal with it.

It gets even worse when there are winds that accompany the rain. ROOF FLIES OFF! But seriously, although we don’t experience tornadoes here like they do in places such as the United States, hurricanes, or what we call here typhoons, are not a consolation prize worth winning. Besides, roofs aren’t the only things that fly. In my area especially, trees come crashing down. Power grids and telephone poles are only too vulnerable to getting knocked out.

It seems depressing to talk about the rain. All that it brings with it is problem after problem. When I was younger, I was told by my elders that whenever it rains, it meant that somebody up in heaven was crying. Wow, more of that folk wisdom for you there. And since in Filipino society, people are taught what to think and not how to think, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were people who actually believed this even into their adulthood. I have, or course, discarded this belief, but for some reason, the rain still seems to make me sad. That, though, is another matter entirely.

Filipinos have been living with the “calamities” of poverty, stagnant economic development, lack of basic infrastructure, and a generally indifferent government for decades. From the outside it looks as if Filipinos have been resilient enough to weather any storm that comes our way. The bigger question, though, is this: What lessons have we learned so that we can become better prepared for the next event, or cycle?

Not surprisingly, the often gravitated-to recourse of the Filipino is to blame the government. We shouldn’t deny that governments reflect the very society that they come from. We as a people like to take shortcuts. We abhor having to plan long-term. Change for the better is a hard sell here because Filipinos prefer their comfort zone.

Resilience is not synonymous with mediocrity, folks. We may be still standing after many cycles of devastation but unless we change to adapt with the times, we will get swept away with time. Mother Nature and Fates happen to have a very sick and cruel sense of humor. To protest and to fight against them are futile.

The recently concluded impeachment trial should have showed us clearly that our government is clearly willing to take shortcuts to persecute its political enemies. They masquerade a political farce in the name of “due process”. BS Aquino now has all three (3) government branches under his control, and now the next step is for him to silence all his critics. It’s ironic that he’s turning out to be the very dictator that his dead father perceived Ferdinand Marcos Sr. to be, isn’t it. How long are we still going to allow that walking calamity of a president we have to wreak havoc on our political institutions?

Now is the winter of our discontent. Governments should be afraid of their people. An alien concept honor may be here in the Philippines, but it’s time to make our politicians remember that WE are their boss. If there’s one thing we shouldn’t forget, it’s their promise to US. However, it’s impossible, and completely illogical, to demand change from our government without accepting that the same change needs to happen in ourselves. Otherwise, the same man-made calamities will keep happening over and over. Change starts from below, and within; no way to circumvent that reality.

If we Filipinos want to see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, we’ve got to get through the rain first. Let’s weather the natural calamities and do away with the man-made ones.

4 Replies to “When it rains, it pours: weathering the Filipino calamity”

  1. The Pot of Gold is not at the end of the rainbow…it is at the end of the Philippine Congress and Philippine Senate…the Mock Trial had to take place, not only to entertain people; to divert their attentions; but also to legitimize the Grab of Power of Noynoy Aquino. His hidden agenda is to hold on the Hacienda Luisita…this is more important to him; than the welfare of the Filipino people…Ask Noynoy Aquino to sign the waiver; and surely he will be terrified. As the Senators and the Congressmen who voted for the impeachment of Justice Corona..

  2. When roofs fly off we change the roof not the structure – same problem when the next storm comes. We complain of corrupt and incompetent politicians and blame them when calamitirs strike but we continue to perpetually elect the same as long as we can in our lifetime. Something is wrong here somewhere and the answer always seem to escape the 100 million filipinos.

  3. I kept reading non-MSM articles saying that the financial system will collapse this year, starting with Greece and on to the rest of the world. I just find it despicable to see some of them gloating about it, especially the gold/silver/pm owners.

    Any chance it happens for real this time? They kept saying it for the past few years after the Lehman collapse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.