Oh Philippines, my Philippines.
Why has fate been so cruel to you?
Buffeted as you have been through the centuries by one calamity after another. Geographical location, grinding poverty and unstable systems and structures
have all conspired to make life seem so fragile and death
so commonplace in the Philippines.
We seem to be perpetually being buried in an avalanche of troubles and misery.
Typhoons, one after another, are upon us again.
Our lives hang by a thread, tossed in the wind.
We are being buried yet again under tons of dirt, some wrought by nature,
but mostly of our own making or of our feckless leaders.
Some say we are seeds and being buried under all that mud and detritus
is the best thing that can happen to us.
For how else can we make sense of how,
in spite of all the disasters that befall us,
seedlings of goodness keep sprouting all over the land,
saplings of kindness struggle to keep alive,
and everywhere there is always something to smile or celebrate about.
Indeed, every time a disaster strikes, whether natural or man-made,
there is an awesome flowering of a greatness and generosity of spirit.
The rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts are often spearheaded
by anonymous and unsung volunteers who give so selflessly
of their time, talents and treasures.
In times of need and calamity, communities get together
to share the little they have with those without.
Their stories often do not make it to the media.
But one only need to look on the ground to seed these seedlings
coming out of the ground.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.”