Rainy season proves Filipinos are stuck in a time loop


“Filipinos are very adaptable.”

“Even storms can’t deter their will to survive.”

“I’m so proud to be a Filipino.”

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“Baha ka lang, Pilipino ako.” (You’re only a flood; I’m a Filipino.)

The torrent of praises aimed towards Filipinos isn’t likely to end after braving fierce winds of the southwest monsoon that ravaged the Philippines these past few days.  Apparently, the heavy rains served as proof of the Filipino’s unique capability for being resourceful, innovative and cooperative no matter how dire the situation is. The monsoon did not dampen the Filipino’s spirit; it only fanned the flames of his survival instincts. Needless to say, recent events demonstrated what the Filipino is allegedly famous for; the ability to cope with just about anything.

Hooray for Filipino ingenuity. Three cheers for Filipino courage. Let’s celebrate in the spirit of bayanihan that has always lived in the hearts of Filipinos. Well, until next year then!

Indeed, we need only wait until next year (in the very least) for the very same things to happen again; floods, a bunch of Filipinos too stubborn to move out of their homes threatened by floods, a bunch of valiant volunteers braving the floods, a bunch of politicians waving at people affected by the floods, and a whole army of Filipinos with renewed hope, unmindful of the next flood that may come, perpetuating the never-ending chain of events that has always tarnished the image of the Philippines.

Sure, it’s not as if I intend to put the capacity of Filipinos to help in a negative light, and I certainly don’t see adaptability as a negative trait. However, the annual rainy season in the Philippines consistently proves a persistent truth; we never solve problems.

This “flood” problem has existed in the Philippines for so long, and the same things happen again and again. Like an eternal rerun of a cheesy telenovela, the rainy season is sure to give us an annual show depicting the valiance of the average Juan, his selfless sacrifice for those in need, the caring nature of the government, and so on. It just doesn’t end.

It’s like we’re stuck in a time loop or something.

The events that transpired bring a certain passage to mind.

And so is the ability to cope with present hardships, being a crucial part of change. Filipinos, apparently, are always known to smile no matter how bad it gets. Filipinos are known to cope with any problems they face and still survive for another day. This is one trait most Filipinos brag all the time to the rest of the world, always quick to point out the average Juan’s capability to withstand anything nature throws at him. “Adaptable,” “flexible,” “strong” and “happy” are some of the words usually attached to the Filipino identity. And, not surprisingly, they’re actually good traits. However, the problem starts when we stop at the “coping” part.

The problem starts when we remain adaptable, flexible, strong and happy for a looooooong time without any real plan ahead to actually ease the burden we currently experience. The problem starts when optimism is tantamount to acceptance of mediocrity and intellectual stagnation.

I believe this is exactly what’s happening to us all this time. We have learned to cope with the harshness of the typhoons that pay us a visit every year, but we have already stopped going beyond the coping part. We have become complacent. We are contented with seeing the smiling faces of Filipinos as they helped each other out. We are satisfied with the government annually expressing its concern to us Filipinos, that we are not alone in this ordeal.

We are okay with not solving anything, because we get by. We are okay with being stuck in a time loop. After all, we do love telenovelas, don’t we?

And so the rerun continues; floods, a bunch of Filipinos too stubborn to move out of their homes threatened by floods, a bunch of valiant volunteers braving the floods, a bunch of politicians waving at people affected by the floods, and a whole army of Filipinos with renewed hope, unmindful of the next flood that may come, perpetuating the never-ending chain of events that has always tarnished the image of the Philippines.

But isn’t it irritating to see and hear the same thing again and again? Someday, somehow, shouldn’t we become annoyed watching the same telenovela all our lives and work towards change? Eventually, shouldn’t we realize that there more to this life than being stuck in an annual, unchanging drama? Perpetual flooding, politicians campaigning for power under the guise of helping the people, yearly casualties, aren’t they tiring?

“Coping” is a step towards change, but “coping” is not change in itself. We Filipinos must realize that only when we shake off our nationalist hubris and recognize that there are things that we can’t and shouldn’t accept. There are things that we can’t and shouldn’t live with.

Or have Filipinos finally learned to cope with this mediocrity as well?

Oh well, at least we have another show to look forward to next year.


37 Replies to “Rainy season proves Filipinos are stuck in a time loop”

  1. There is only ONE TRAIT I will celebrate as Filipino and that is the BAYANIHAN trait. The rest is no longer funny nor admirable. Like what this article said, “adaptable, flexible, strong and happy” gets old faster and faster as we experience the same disaster-related problems and inefficiency,incompetency year after year after year.

  2. Some good points in this post.

    As you say, problems are never solved, just temporary fixes put in place.

    Much like the roads and everything else. Rather than fix a road properly, they’ll just do a temporary bodge job to get it going for now and then come back to it every couple of months (look at the huge holes that appear in C5 in the same place every couple months).

    Then curb side paint. Rather than use the proper paint that will last for years, they use a standard household paint that isn’t meant to that kind of high wear and tare and then have to repaint it every 6 months.

    Nothing new here, the same drainage problems as last year and the year before. The areas being flooded and the same location of houses falling into rivers. While I feel sorry for those affected, it’s very frustrating to see people lose their lives because they’re too stubborn to move away from a river or other places that they should KNOW will be flooded within hours.

  3. “Baha ka lang; Pilipino ako.”

    ^ I could still remember how I LOLed and then facepalm with this quote. Pinoy self-aggrandizing in the works.


  4. Hey Arche.

    Nice article. As much as nice as other articles about this forever flood mentality of some of our fellow countrymen. Actually, I like to echo a sentiment – why would Filipios would rally about this thing. It happens annually (predictably enough) and nobody seems to care. It’s like these people like to self-inflict pain on themselves. It’s nice that we have the capacity to endure but aren’t these people getting tired? If I were me, I would move anywhere from there. I guess some people aren’t tired of the show. Perosnnally, I moved on mediocre shows. It’s just way too repetitive.

    1. Thanks for reading, jeanne. 🙂

      Exactly my point; aren’t Filipinos tired of this yearly torrent of despair, this annual storm of unpreparedness?

      Apparently, most Filipinos have numbed themselves from the pain, and managed to cope–not solve–with the disasters that chronically befall them.

  5. Ketsana/Ondoy of 2009 was supposed to be a hundred-year event the next Ketsana to be at least 75 years away. Then, 2012 came.

    Malakanyang is hoping that Pinoys-of-Pilipinas will put on their blinders to refuse to see that Ondoy-3 will strike before Noy-I-Noy-Noy leaves office.

  6. All we could show to the world is that we’re stuck with coping with disasters instead of avoiding them. And it is possible to avoid floods and disasters.

    1. any wonder that the country is a laughingstock?a place to be avoided? it doesnt have to be this way,THAT IS THE SAD PART.

  7. Filipinos are too patient…Typhoon “Ondoy” came. Plans for flood control were presented. After which, nothing happenned. Noynoy Aquino cancelled the funds, for the flood control project. In favor of his Pork Barrel. And for the Pork Barrels of his political supporters. There is nothing to be proud about. Our leaders have given us “Shits”. And we enjoy the “Shits” they give us…Accepting them as normal, every year. May Katok ka ng ulo; if you accept being flooded every year as normal happening…Nahawa na ata tayo, kay Noynoy Aquino at si Kris Aquino…

  8. Nothin new to see/hear.Corrupt politicians stealing everything that isn’t nailed down.Citizens that haven’t a clue as to how to effect change.The CA$H stolen in the last 30 yrs. could have provided a military capable of defending the Philippines territories and an infrastructure to be proud about.Instead Filipino’s got nothing but charity when calamity occurs,FULL OF SHIT POLITICIANS that do nothing but steal for themselves.The relief funds are even stolen/misappropriated.The Philippines is a lost cause,so sad to see a country so beautiful,a people reasonably talented just screwed into inescapable poverty and desperate conditions caused by a few despotic rats.Almost unbelievable.

  9. I think most filipinos know how to prevent floods, but we have a thick headed kababayans who doesnt give a dmn about prevention. It is always like this “sanay na kami sa baha”… if those people especially the squatters think that way… then you deserve na bahain kayo… because you are used to it! and you probably like it! and it will happen over and over again.

  10. Haha funny article. Well it’s just that, we don’t have so much options to counter the flood than to wait for it until it dries. Stay safe people. Let us keep praying!

  11. @pussyfoot: What do you mean ‘we dont have so much options to counter the flood’. Of course there are options. Better draining, remove the trash that currently blocks so many of the drains and sewers. Build reservoirs that are able to contain the water. Strictly prevent people from squatting beside rivers, if that can’t be done then put proper walls in place that will contain the water when it rises.

    You want to just sit back and cross your fingers? Hope for the best? It’s that kind of thinking that holds back the PH. Same kinda thinking that lets the country grow out of control because people without a clue are voting against the RH bill.

  12. the president should start examining statistics of death and damage brought about by annual rainstorms and its resulting sub-problems. and focus less on his communications group personnel. image will be reflective of his own output so if he has no output, so is his image — nothing but a blank page in history books.

    1. They do it…
      The problem is the word spelled us P-E-O-P-L-E. Our trait as Filipinos that are backfiring so bad is the Utang na Loob mentality.
      Utang na Loob is the main caused of our political structure we have nowadays. It has provided the basis of a rich society controlling the poor WITHOUT THE POOR QUESTIONING…
      Kaya I think the only way the Philippines could progress is for that attitude to be reformed… we may thank people for helping us, BUT NOT TO THE POINT WE IDEOLIZING THEM!

  13. Complacent! Exactly!

    I was talking to my peers about this “sanay na kami” mentality. It’s like people have lost hope for change. I know they didn’t because there is still some left in them thinking that there will come a year when they won’t get flooded. But voice is hardly heard in this government unless you have good backing and those politicians wouldn’t care anyway unless they gain profit from it. Corruption coupled by mediocrity = a doomed nation.

  14. “The problem starts when we remain adaptable, flexible, strong and happy for a looooooong time without any real plan ahead to actually ease the burden we currently experience. The problem starts when optimism is tantamount to acceptance of mediocrity and intellectual stagnation.” – We do really have a twisted sense of “think positive,” alright. It’s like we’re just simply not minding the trash, thinking it’ll just go away in an instant…

    1. Yes, because then we might actually plan on saving our butts, moving to higher ground, formulating plans that actually work, instead of just enduring and enduring and enduring year after decade after century.

  15. “Filipinos are very adaptable.”
    “Even storms can’t deter their will to survive.”
    “I’m so proud to be a Filipino.”
    “Baha ka lang, Pilipino ako.” (You’re only a flood; I’m a Filipino.) these words were exaggerated by the yellow media to hide the inadequacy of the Noytards.

  16. Well, i guess next year..God knows..there will be another disaster. I will expect to hear “Baha ka lang, Pilipino ako” “Sanay na kami sa baha” “Im proud to be a Filipino”.LOL..retards

  17. Die gesamte Philippinen ist nichts als ein Haufen schwachsinnige, hirnlose Dummköpfe! Nichts als Idioten! Schwachköpfe und Scheißköpfe!

    1. Entschuldigen Sie, Herr Isko, niemand spricht oder versteht Deutsch hier. 😛

      Bitte was Sie schrieben auf Englisch übersetzen. 😛

  18. I read all the comments and narratives and they are all good. How about some real solutions to the problem? Any ideas on how we can eliminate flooding? e.g. widening or clearing esteros, sandbags along major routes, more rubber boats for saving stranded citizens. Guys, let’s be creative in this way. Enough of lip service.

    1. Um, removing the squatters are a good idea, letting them enjoy the farmlife like what they did in Thailand….
      Problem: could anyone tell the media that they need to show more shows on how beautiful farm life is?

  19. I am a Filipino, proud
    …yet suffers, too

    By Apolinario B Villalobos

    “Let us not lose hope…”
    This I have to say first
    For if I won’t, but instead
    Put that line at the end
    I will be stirring your anger
    That I will just regret later.

    When foreign people
    Set foot on our sacred shore
    Our ancestors welcomed them –
    Not just with smile
    But warm embrace
    Showed them kindness
    Showed them love –
    The way of Filipinos
    As the whole world knows.

    The Chinese brought pots and silk
    Gave names to our islands and islets,
    The Japanese brought their skill
    And goods of steel,
    Spain sent forth Christianity
    Tainted with gracious civility,
    The Americans brought more-
    More than what we could muster
    And all of these-
    Supposed to enrich our culture
    But instead, defiled our identity
    Stained much of it with sheer gravity!

    I hear Filipinos speak English with a twang
    But should not be, when they speak our language –
    Filipino, the rich language of every Juan.

    I see Filipinos enjoy foreign food, every bit of it
    But should not be, when they push aside
    Our own sinigang and pinakbet.

    I hear Filipinos sing foreign songs so soulfully
    It’s just nice, but not when they despise
    Our own that should be sung with dignity.

    Deep inside, I suffer as I see and hear them
    I know that just like me, others out there
    Are gritting their teeth but can’t do anything;
    Proud as a Filipino, yes I am
    But so many things are left undone –
    Things that our heroes in the past have begun
    They who put color
    To the vivid pages of our history;
    Things that should have been done
    By our heroes of today
    But who died just when a new light
    Started to shine on our democracy.

    Leaders, policy makers, lawmakers…
    Are they…really?
    They who warble promises
    And steal the people’s money?
    Paid with lofty sum from the coffer
    Where money for those who suffer
    Should have come
    Should have been done
    But only the few – these warblers
    Enjoyed no end, they who are supposed
    To be brimming with wisdom!

    After the father, comes the wife
    Then the daughter, and the son
    Not contented, the cousins and in-laws
    All in the family, to power they strut
    With a taunt in their face that says:
    “What are we in power for,
    And you with money has none
    Eat your heart out, here we come!”

    Rain that used to bless the earth
    Filipinos now desist
    Especially those who live
    Along the river banks of the cities
    For with it comes the flood
    A curse that only the Bible says
    Shall wipe out sinners
    From the face of the earth;
    But why…the floods?
    Simple: the money for saving projects
    The conscienceless –
    Unscrupulously pocketed!

    Innocent lengths of asphalted roads
    That for long defied the trash of nature
    Helplessly wrecked by greedy contractors
    So that low-grade fresh overlay can be spread
    Later giving up to rain’s patters
    And treading of cars, trucks, and all…

    Even the precious school books are not spared
    By purported educators blinded with greed
    Seeing to it that new ones, yearly will be printed
    Exam questions, at the end of every chapter
    Are cleverly printed!
    So then, closing school years would also see
    These books so dear, become useless –
    Thrown to the garbage, not to be used
    By aspiring younger brood of the family.

    I am pained by the sight
    Of plates at restaurants
    and food stations of the malls –
    Half –finished food left with pride
    By those who seem to say
    “I am rich, I can squander money”
    And who never thought
    That out there in the dumps
    Some brethren try to salvage morsels –
    Precious food that could be stuffed
    Into their guts so they can live
    Better than nothing, or they’re dead.

    I said in the beginning of this:
    Let us not lose hope…
    But wish for the best
    If we strive together
    And do what is right
    Then new life for us
    Will be in sight!

  20. Thank you for your article. You are very courageous and speak many truths. It is always a relief to read your articles as I have thought and felt the same way for sometime and thought I was always odd. I am not a negative thinker but I do like to plan, I learned this after only 30 years of my life–quite late-nevertheless happy to learn and do things differently for the better. Your mentioning our oat Pinoys love of everything telenovela like is so true. I love pinoys I am one and have a whole family of them. But i have not been too close minded to see and accept the pitfalls of our culture. I havevalways believed and thought in fact that most pinoys really are sad, depress people who have got stuck and are too afraid to face the future and so will not plan or change because that is too much to do compared doing what everybody does best–sit around, wait for it to happen then work then puwede na tapos hanggang sa susunud na naman. It’s a v tiring attitude and it brings us down. Yet when we meet very rare pinoys who plan, dream and actially work on it–it is incredible. So I admire a lot of your articles and how different your thoughts are..it sets me free to read them.

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