WHO IS TO BLAME

Two years after Ondoy brought death, destruction and devastation to Metro Manila, nevertheless some people seems to be reluctant on trying to improve the precautions if another disaster may come and visit the country again. The Philippines remains unprepared for such calamities. It seems that having lack of funds has always been the government’s excuse from taking all the measures necessary to minimise the risk from typhoons like Ondoy, which flooded the capital and left over 400 people dead. Nor is there enough money to relocate thousands of families still living in ramshackle or precarious conditions susceptible and exacerbating floods during the current typhoon season.

The massive flooding is caused of clogged drains and waterways but the government has largely failed to remove the thousands of squatters whose shanties obstruct the waterways. The government does not have any program to clean the drainage and waterways. Yet, there are still so many Filipinos who do not have discipline in organising and disposing their garbage.

Ondoy took many by surprise on the 26th September 2009 when it unleashed heavy rains that caused the worst flooding in Manila in four decades. Even residents of plush, gated communities were forced to take refuge on the roofs of their houses as the water rose and large parts of Manila and surrounding areas stayed flooded for months afterwards.

We should be aware of the weather in our country. Clogged rivers, waterways and drainage systems needed to be regularly dredged, and relief goods must be stockpiled and rescue equipment pre-positioned in case another strong typhoon hits Metro Manila again.

The anniversary of the deadly storm is being commemorated in various ways with government agencies conducting rescue drills, volunteers cleaning garbage out of waterways and people lighting lanterns in honour of the deceased. But really, does the government put enough money to finance the exercises and trainings to avoid another incident or some officials are trying to have their names accounted to a noble task though only after the budget?

The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. Our government should handle and take precautions about this matter seriously so it won’t put million lives into grief again. After a year, we are still living in misery, scared of another Ondoy.

KATAPUSAN NA DAW NG MUNDO

Marami na akong naririnig na hakahaka na malapit na raw magunaw ang mundo. Kasi raw, sunud-sunod ang dating ng mga delubyo, sakuna, mga bagong sakit, karumal-dumal na krimen, at pagbagsak ng ekonomiya na apektado ang buong mundo. May nangaral pa nga sa akin na magsimula na raw akong magsisi sa aking mga kasalanan. Natawa na lang ako. Napailing. Haynaku! Humirit na naman ang mga relihiyosong panatiko at mga manghuhula. 

Every time they read in the newspapers, see on television, or hear grave news of great magnitude—the kind that affects the whole world—many people, especially those who claim to be seers or psychics and have the “ability” to predict the future, proudly profess that the end of the world is near. Don’t believe in such ignorant and delusional individuals. They are simply drawing delight—whether deliberately or not—in being able to instigate fear among the masses, and in the process putting themselves in the center of their believers’ attention. Fear-and-panic-causing news such as the;

1. Hot swine flu (H1N1 virus)
2. United States of America’s economic recession that has been cascading to other countries
3. Sex scandals in the entertainment industry especially in Hollywood
4. Drug use and early deaths among youth,
5. And the proliferation of serial killers and child predators—should not surprise you if you are familiar with World History.

In fact, every decade has its share of similar events worthy of being treated as world news. So, really, nothing is new. There’s nothing to be feared about. Or perhaps, the fear of the unknown is a universal human tendency. 
Life goes on whatever happens in the world. Of course, we have to take the necessary precautionary measures in dealing with such occurrences; but to believe that these are signs that the world is nearing its end—now, that is a sign of ignorance and gullibility. Here are just a few examples of past world news that prompted so-called psychics into predicting that the end of the world was near. If their predictions were precise, then the world would have ended long time ago.

1. The series of coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda upon the United States on September 11, 2001
2. The worldwide fear caused by the computer bug known as the millennium bug or Y2K bug in the advent of the new millennium 2000
3. Recognition of the dreaded AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) and identification of its cause, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
4. The demise of the United States’ space station Skylab in 1979 – whose reentry of its fragments into the earth’s atmosphere could destroy the entire earth
5. The bombing of the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945
6. The Great Depression that originated in the United States in the late 1920s – which immediately became a worldwide economic downturn that affected other places starting in 1929.
7. Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 that led to the destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and the death of 10,000 to 25,000 people.

Every decade has its share of shocking news, so we need not panic and think that the world is nearing its end just because the news today is full of depravities caused either by nature or by humans. Kung totoo yan, matagal na sanang nagunaw ang mundo.
Kaya tuloy lang ang buhay at sa paghahanapbuhay. Hindi mo na kinakailangan doblehin ang dasal sa iyong pinaniniwalaang diyos kung mabait ka sa iyong sarili, kapwa, at kapaligiran. Ang mga taong takot na magunaw ang mundo e silang mga hindi handa, silang mga madalas makalimot na ubod na pala ng sama ang kanilang ugali at gahaman na pala sila sa mga materyal na bagay, at tila wala na silang pagkakuntento sa buhay.