Letter: Filipinos determined to overcome tragedies

I was consumed by the recent news of the typhoon in my native country of the Philippines. I felt so much pain to see my beautiful country, the pearl of the Orient Sea, ravaged by an earthquake and now by a super typhoon — a storm as rare as a comet in the Philippine sky. Why always do we need to drink once again so deeply from that cup of grief and sufferings, when already we taste it so bitterly daily in our lives? Some will argue that these tragedies are simply fate, but in spite of such catastrophes, I believe that we remain in control of our own destinies.

My country is not technologically advanced, although endowed well by Mother Nature. Aside from being technologically behind, it has for many years been graft-ridden, bastardized by rapacious and predatory politicians. Corruption is well-entrenched, a system which is being just handed from father to son, depending on who is seated. It’s a good thing we still have hope, in spite of those challenges.

Are Filipinos fated to live like this? My answer is no, because Filipinos are survivors and though we have limited technology. Ours is indomitable spirit, which in difficult times runs like unending flowing streams. Gandhi’s observation, “As long as people refuse to be defeated they won’t be defeated,” is anchored on will and determination to survive, which for many times has been aptly demonstrated by Filipinos. Within our hearts are extraordinary will and determination.

This tragedy, no matter how painful and abominating, nurtures our will and spirit. Filipinos all around the globe unite and reach out for our “kababayan,” or fellow countrymen. More than ever, they need our helping hands and prayers. ’Tis the time of the year!!!

Emmanuel Bautista

special education teacher

Baton Rouge