Netizens want end to ‘Filipino resiliency’ narrative, ask for concrete plans to prevent flooding

Photo: Screenshots from Facebook user Gabbie Tatad and @kristinaamisajon Twitter.

Whenever the Philippines experiences severe flooding — like the one brought by tropical storm Karding over the weekend — photos portraying the Filipino’s resilience in times of hardship always go viral.

They’re usually used as a testament to the people’s optimism but many netizens have spoken out against people’s tendency to champion these stories. For them, it’s not warm fuzzy feels the country needs but concrete plans that can actually bring about change and improve people’s lives.

One such post came from Facebook user Gabbie Tatad who yesterday wrote:

“I don’t want to hear about the f*cking resilience of the Filipino. I want better drainage, some sort of urban planning, and the guaranteed safety of the citizens in this damn country.

“I want the change we were promised, because it’s been nine years since Ondoy and we’re still playing the same tune.

“What good is resilience if people keep fearing for their lives, or worse, dying from things that we could have at least tried to prevent?”

I don't want to hear about the fucking resilience of the Filipino. I want better drainage, some sort of urban planning,…

Posted by Gabbie Tatad on Saturday, August 11, 2018

Tatad’s words struck a chord with many Filipinos who think the government still has not done enough to prevent floods. Her post now has more than 7,000 reactions, more than 6,000 shares, and 43 comments.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, 88,131 families or 382,996 persons from six regions in Luzon have been displaced because of Karding.

Close to 70 percent of the land area in Metro Manila’s Marikina City was also submerged in floodwater by Saturday, the city’s Mayor Marcelino Teodoro told The Philippine Daily Inquirer. Marikina is an area where some of the worst floodings occur.

As huge as these numbers are, they’re not uncommon in the Philippines. In fact, flooding happens every year. And now, nine years after typhoon Ondoy which devastated Manila in 2009, not much has changed.

Another netizen shared thoughts similar to Tatad’s on Saturday. In a tweet, @kristinamisajon said in Filipino and English:

“We experienced [typhoon] Ondoy, we experienced [typhoon] Yolanda. And we still highlight resiliency? How about assessing how LGUs (lower government units) have prepared for disasters like flooding?”

She wrote this in a retweet of The Philippine Star’s photo showing what the publication called “The Filipino spirit” of a man smiling while swimming in floodwater.

@kristinamisajon’s post now has 4,000 likes and 1,000 retweets.

In the same thread, she continued to say that romanticizing resilience was not helping anyone and was just a way to “mask the incompetence and ill-preparedness of concerned authorities.”

How do you feel about this? What do you think the government needs to do to prevent flooding? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @CoconutsManila.

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