Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Storm After The Storm

Phrases like “lack of leadership,” “no evidence of organisation,” and “no government presence” are so easy to toss around, like galvanised steel flung by gale winds. But for every story of looting, desperation, and no sense of control, there are also other stories: of soldiers going hungry because they opened their military commissary to feed civilians, of local authorities who attempt to put order despite suffering losses themselves, of survivors helping one another.

It’s easy to overlook that the first line of response from the local government were also victims themselves. It’s easy to point fingers instead of lifting a hand to help. It’s easy to forget that just before Yolanda there was the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol, and the stand-off in Zamboanga. It’s easy to disregard the fact that despite pre-storm warnings, no one, not even storm experts, had any idea of the magnitude and severity of Yolanda’s fury.

There are more sides to a story, with each side unfolding and evolving. It’s tempting to report only what can be seen up front. Stating a fact is one thing, but understanding needs the bigger picture.

There are those who seek to storm Malacañang at this time, blaming the ineptitude of the president for the slow response. I just wish that our collective energies in the coming days have a more constructive agenda. Because that’s what we do after a storm—we rise up and rebuild.  But I guess solidarity and sobriety may be too much to ask from others.