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PIA Press Release
2006/10/02

Commentary: A call to keep the Bayanihan spirit alive and well

Tacloban City (October 2) -- Amidst the trail of tasks typhoon Milenyo left in the Metropolis and in some parts of the country, there is a need for a call to keep the Bayanihan spirit alive and well in the hearts of the Filipino people.

The onslaught of typhoon Milenyo brought out the innate and instinctive trait of the Filipinos-that of willingness to offer help in times of dire need , that of damayan (solidarity). Surely, there have been many nameless and faceless Filipinos who went out of their way to help their neighbors at the height of the storm.

Taking a cue from the President herself, each local government unit which have been affected, mobilized people to help other helpless people, in a spirit of true volunteerism. Surely, it is not difficult to mobilize the community at all in times of crisis.

Total strangers helped push vehicles stalled on flooded roads or cleared lanes blocked by fallen branches or power and telephone cables. Neighbors who seldom bothered to talk, suddenly were there to lend a hand in cleaning the common debris left by the exiting typhoon. Even children who usually lock themselves in the comfort of their rooms were suddenly mopping the wet floors without being asked.

Restoration and rehabilitation work will be much lighter if everyone lifts a finger to help and not engage in finger pointing and endless complaining and blaming, which in one way or the other will only degrade the dignity of the Filipino as a people.

The rehabilitation process will become shorter if all the people will join hands in a show of national unity - not waiting for the people in government to do everything, not looking on who to blame but each doing what she or he can do to make the rehabilitation efforts lighter.

The people can help clear the debris to speed up restoration work; this, without stealing the electric wires as stealing them would mean longer and more expensive rehabilitation and restoration task.

The call embraces the fact that people must remain calm in times like these and not engage in frenzy hoarding of food as normalcy is just around the corner. Hoarding will only create an artificial shortage of commodities which will redoubt to artificial shortage of food supply.

The chaotic aftermath of typhoon Milenyo, surely is wanting of the organized, systematic effort to clear up the debris and rescue those trapped in the World Trade Center collapse. But more than the breath of fresh air that pervaded the Metropolis air after the typhoon, is the heart warming realization that it is not yet too late to issue a call for the bayanihan and damayan spirit to be ever enkindled in the heart of every Filipino. (PIA 8) [top]

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