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Nadine calls out “Filipino resilience”—and so should you

Ugh, I’m so sick of public officials using the “bayanihan mentality” as a scapegoat. 

It only exists because these officials have failed to do their job. So to cope with their incompetence or limited resources, we citizens are forced to step up. Civilians set up rescue teams and donation drives and pull out all the stops to ease our community’s burden.

Helping one another during disasters like Typhoon Ulysses is a must. We need to be there for each other in any way we can. But let’s face it—bayanihan is a band-aid solution.

We know it is, and so do young artists like Nadine Lustre.

Once again, Nadine has used her platform to educate others on why we shouldn’t rely on Filipino resilience. “Our country has been [through] so [many] issues (calamity, pandemic, economy, job losses) and it upsets me so much when people pull out ‘Filipino Resiliency’ as a quick fix,” she writes on her Instagram post. “It’s [definitely] something to be proud of, but really, how long are we gonna keep using that to hide the real problem?” 

According to the Inquirer, Typhoon Ulysses ravaged parts of Luzon from Wednesday night to yesterday morning. “The damage (Ulysses)  has wrought has been compared to that of 2009’s Typhoon Ondoy,” it added. With top government officials barely visible at the height of the typhoon, most citizens sought refuge on social media to ask for help when emergency lines failed them. #RescuePH was the top trending hashtag while the typhoon raged. 

“If you’re scrolling on your phone and seeing all the heartbreaking news but [you] really [don’t give a fuck] ’cause you’re not so much affected by all the stuff, please check your privilege.”

In a press conference on Nov. 12, President Duterte explained why his team’s response to the calamity had been slow. “It’s not that I am (putting myself at) a distance from you. Gusto ko pumunta doon, gusto ko makipag langoy. Ang problema, pinipigilan ako,” says Duterte. “Matagal na nga ako ’di naliligo eh.” 

Office of Civil Defense Asst. Secretary  Casiano Monilla said public officials  were not to blame for their flat-footed efforts during Typhoon Ulysses; it’s the citizens who are at fault, he insisted. “ Kung minsan lang kasi, kapag nag-iikot ang local officials ay hindi kaagad sumusunod ang mga kababayan natin.”

Nadine ended her post by saying how our country deserves better. And for folks who are apathetic to typhoon survivors, she has a message:  “If you’re scrolling on your phone and seeing all the heartbreaking news but [you] really [don’t give a fuck] ’cause you’re not so much affected by all the stuff, please check your privilege.”

Throw your indifference out the door, demand accountability and help out in any way you can right now. We can be charitable and still call out instances of injustice. And if you don’t believe us, take it from Nadine.

Read more:
Okay, can we stop romanticizing Filipino resilience?
Acknowledging privilege and what you should do about it
It’s about time we put a stop to the “pasaway” narrative

Still from Nadine’s “Wildest Dreams”

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Rogin Losa
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