Josette Sheeran, executive director of the United Nations-World Food Programme (WFP), together with WFP ambassador and Filipina celebrity KC Concepcion, visited the Ondoy- and Pepeng-stricken places in the Philippines.
Although the scenes shown were dismal and sad, I’m glad that Sheeran also chose to see the playful smiles of children (I had alarm bells shrieking LEPTOSPIROSIS when I saw the kids swimming in flood waters, though) and the hopefulness of the Filipino people. It’s really our trademark trait to hope against hope that every cloud has a silver lining.
And in our case, the silver lining came in the form of unlikely volunteers–high school kids, college kids, and families with their little children trooping to relief centers to gift us with their time and energy, especially at the Ateneo de Manila University’s Task Force Ondoy–and boxes and boxes of relief goods.
The silver lining also came in the form of a rekindled nationalism: Some were inspired to register to vote (Such as…me! Hahaha!) for next year’s elections, some were inspired to create art, some were inspired to blog, and some were inspired to innovate.
So Sheeran has hit the spot right on: We are a hopeful people. We see hope when there is seemingly none. I hope the universe conspires to give us more reasons to believe.