2020 - Oh what a year! We pronounce it "Twenty-Twenty". On a side note, the ophthalmologist will always want us to have the 20-20 vision. This year was supposedly the 2020 Olympics to be held in Japan. The outlook for 2020 by the economists, by the Feng-sui experts, and by majority of Filipino people is that this is going to be a great big year.
|A Woman Vendor getting back on her feet after the devastation brought about by a typhoon in the Philippines. Here, she's selling corns that were left to her by Typhoon Ulysses.|
Including me, I was hoping that this year is going to be prosperous. Until these things happened:
Taal Volcano Eruption
Thousands of families lost their homes. We were shocked, saddened by the impact of ashfalls not only to the nearby towns in Taal Volcano but also in provinces as far as those in Central Luzon. Death tolls were recorded in the following days, both humans and animals. Restrictions to enter danger zones were imposed, giving residents more pains and agony. We've seen lots of tears during these darkest times.
|The Taal Volcano eruption that happened on January 12, 2020 is shown in this photo. Days after the explosion, Batanguenos or locals of Batangas province felt the magnitude of this natural disaster on their lives.|
Here is my post about Taal Volcano eruption: The Grays and Golds of the Taal Volcano Eruption
|An ABS-CBN report van is spotted in a nearby market in my town. During this time, COVID-19 pandemic is mostly the coverage of the media while at the same time, the TV network is facing possible shutdown.|
Engulfed by legal actions from the government's side due an expiring franchise, one of the biggest television network, ABS-CBN, was brought to an end its broadcasting across the Philippine nation. Months before the supposedly stoppage of airing news, programs and entertainment shows, people are worried that they will no longer see and hear their favorite TV personalities. More than that, thousands of jobs would be at stake. Until the feared shutdown happened.
We don't see this coming to the Philippines. Covid-19 get into our bodies and up until today it is ruining the lives of many Filipinos. Doctors and nurses were the first to feel the pressure of treating COVID-19 patients. Day by day, month by month, there is a recorded surge, much worst - death.
|Locals are patiently queuing up in a supermarket in Gen. Trias Cavite. Community quarantines were already imposed across the Philippines during this time.|
Community quarantines were then imposed all over the country. People was at first hesitant to comply, but with the government's initiative to curb the spike, or this what they call "Flattening of the Curve", GCQ, MGCQ, ECQ and MECQ seems to be working, if not totally. As of this writing, the number of cases is still there only difference than before is that it is way manageable.
Rolly, Quinta and Ulysses Typhoons
The tragedy of the past repeats itself when these catastrophic natural events brought Filipinos down on their knees once again - with floods in populated communities, destructions of properties and lost of lives. Typhoons are typical visitors of the Philippines the whole year round, the most devastating of which arrives during the last quarter of the year. Wiped out by strong winds barangays, pulled-off from the ground trees and infrastructures, buried to the ground communities, sunken to the floods towns and cities, and damages here and there to agricultural lands are what these typhoons gave us. Not talking about the billions of pesos equivalent losses to the economy, but the lost of lives is something cannot be accounted for in terms of monetary value. We were downed, so much downed.
|A picturesque view of West Philippine Sea days after typhoon Quinta hit the country.|
The year 2020 is yet to end, and we are hoping for the best, at least for the remaining days. All the negativity, hopefully, will stop for a while and give us the Filipinos a Merry Christmas, and if its not too much to ask, a Happy New year. We all want these pains and sufferings to end, even just for the last few days of 2020.
In Failures We Learn and Become Better
Just imagine what those hard facts, plagues or disasters brought us. Lives killed, houses gone, sources of living wiped out, jobs lost, normalcy out, and a lot more consequences. We were badly affected, millions of us. We cried, we suffered, we got stressed or depressed, we mourned the lost of our love ones, we lost our jobs, and probably some us, our faith dwindled down. We often asked:
"Why is this happening to us?"
Hard question, indeed. But here we are. We move-on despite hardships, difficulties and adversaries. Look at our smiles, that Filipino signature smile of confidence, of resiliency. Whenever you see a Filipino smiling during an interview in TV, even to seriousness of a topic, that means we have more reasons to be happy. And look at our courage to fight our struggles out till we win. Look at our resiliency, that a day or two after the floods, we have the strength to clean up, organize whatever is left to us.
|Bayanihan is all about teamwork, helping each other in times on needs without any condition or favor, be it on our regular day jobs or a typical day in the community. Filipinos are known to this century-old humanitarian practice.|
And look at the spirit of "Bayanihan" we have here in the Philippines. Donation in cash and in kind from foundations locally and abroad, rations of foods and voluntary services from different groups, these are pouring to every devastated town and barangay. The helping hands are there, and will always be there in this beautiful country. Bayanihan is something we Filipinos are proud about.
Here's my post to inspire you about the Filipinos spirit of Bayanihan: Bayanihan - Filipinos' Last and Only Hope in Beating the Odds of Times
Look at us world!
We are standing back again from our defeats!
We are the Filipinos.
A Friendly Advise
Personally, this year has been good for me and my wife, somehow. There were bad times of course. Like many of you, we felt the stress. We got depressed, sometimes shed tears due to the stay-at-home measures. But the seeds we planted years back became good harvests this year. I am sharing that experience not to annoy people who did not make it to harvest the fruits of their labor and sacrifices. We understand that for many, it's not even close to getting a leaf, because calamities took everything away from them. Rather, that is to tell everyone that great things can come in any year, even if bad things surround us. It is the circle of life, or the cycle of life. There are good times and there are bad times. Not 2020, but the coming year might be a good one for you.
And with that, I want to give this advise to everyone, especially to every Filipino out there who have been into a bad situation this year 2020.
Let our failures become the source of our courage and strength to strive for betterment in the coming years. We fall down, we slowly stand, or maybe take a seat first until we regain our strength and then be back on our feet. The fight is not over and will never be over. So the best and right thing we can do is:
Maging matapang tayo harapin ang anumang pagsubok na darating.
Harapin natin ang bagong taon ng may pagasa.
While many of us are still struggling to be back, then by becoming focus, we will surely bounce back soon. We will find a new job or be back on our job. The doors of our business will open and customers will come. We will harvest more fruits from the trees, more vegetables from the garden, more crops from the fields, and more money from our investments. With the lost of our love ones, our aching heart and soul will slowly heal, in time. All these will happen for there is hope upon us - always.
We could have been fooled that 2020 has a very clear vision or outlook, but obviously, it is not if we are to based on the realities we faced this year. But then again, there is hope.
Eat. Pray. Work. Love. Repeat.
These are what will keep us alive, what will make us hope for the better. May this coming Christmas we feel better, forget our bad experiences even just for the day, and let us all be happy being with our families. And in the coming New Year, may we realize what things, acts or plans will make us even better, more prepared and more resilient against the challenges ahead of us. Eat. Pray. Work. Love. Repeat - always remember this.
God bless you. God bless the Filipinos. God bless the Philippines.
About Project Pilipinas
Launched in 2011, this blog shares the stories of the Filipino people in their beautiful country the Philippines. This is about the realities embarked in our culture, tradition, ways and mentality. The intention is not to make us, Filipinos, be clean in front of other nations, but rather to expose what is good and bad in us as a race. Project Pilipinas is campaign for good changes. It admits the negative we have here in the Philippines but it also strive to get more positivity, by creating awareness thru blog post, for this nation to become better.
We encourage you to share our posts to the world with the goal of helping people understand why we are like this and at the same time solicit ideas that could make us change for the better. You are most welcome to comment and give your thoughts about this piece.