ANGARAY’S TAKE: It takes a ‘Yolanda’

By Loreta Sol Dinlayan

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/11 December) It is now a month since a destructive typhoon landed in our country. It takes a natural phenomenon, like typhoon Yolanda, to change the social statics and dynamics of our nation and of the world as well. The concretized bayanihan spirit was born across ages and places; and now the Filipino people could no longer monopolize the value of bayanihan.

There’s a call to overhaul our socio-political structures due to how much damaged we had after the Yolanda. From the engineers to the environmentalists a series of talks prevailed; and the more they talk the more we realize that the inconvenient truth about the planet earth is just in our backyard. The appointed, and anointed, men behind think-tanks of P-Noy are challenged to study the effects and the solutions of the damaged; and as expected have to lay down a blueprint of a reformed system which includes risks reduction and creative adaptation.

Excluding the story of the sea gypsies in southern Philippines and the Manobo tribe in Bukidnon’s interior, the development technocrats advise people to spare the shorelines and the riversides to nature. Such are not for human population to occupy and violating it would be an intrusion to nature. Intrusion brings destruction and the Yolanda phenomenon spoke louder about it. Human casualties were counted in from the places near the sea.

Our effort to exercise creative adaptation to environment will soon give us a new socio-cultural face-lift. Mangroves will soon be seen as sea forests in most shorelines of the Visayas, giving then a green lining of the islands. Beach forests would soon be a part of the environmental plan that would reform the tourism amenities and services in exchange of safety for the human population. Accordingly, sea forests and beach forests reduce tsunami and sea surge’s effect. In my thought, it took a Yolanda to come to our senses and spell the occupancy rights of nature.

However, it takes a Yolanda for the Filipinos to test the bayanihan power and miraculously impinge on the world. The ‘Adopting a typhoon-damaged community’ scheme by the Metro Manila mayors speaks a lot of humanitarian services, the very language of bayanihan. Innumerable help for the typhoon victims sprouted everywhere from all walks of life. It took a Yolanda to make us realize how fulfilling when we extend hands for volunteerism.

It takes a Yolanda to beat the swords into plowshares, converting war weapons (C-130 plane, war ships, mobile hospitals, troops of manpower) to become equipments for humanitarian services. Opposing nations during World War II gathered in Philippine soil not as enemies but as buddies and in some instances one may find a tandem of a soldier and a rebel lending a hand to each other for survival. It took a Yolanda to set aside ideologies for the sake of helping one lives.

The people’s champ Manny Pacquiao even accommodated the idea of making Yolanda’s effect to the country as one of his drives to re-pedestal the Filipinos in boxing arena. He was successful when his victory provided a palliative cure for suffering Filipinos, at least for a day.

A month ago, November 10, 2013, I was grieving for the loss. It took a Yolanda to resurrect the long dead nationalism in me as a Filipino.

(BUKIDNON VIEWS is the opinion section of Bukidnon News. Loreta Sol L. Dinlayan is currently the in-charge of the Ethno-cultural Museum of Bukidnon State University, where she teaches social science and other subjects. She is the daughter of Datu Bagangbangan. Angaray’s (lady friend’s) Take is her column for BUKIDNON VIEWS. She can be reached through angaray_bsc@yahoo.com.)