Sunday, July 16, 2017

Resilience of The Filipino Spirit: Dealing with the Impact of Climate Change


The recent environmental issue on climate change is greatly affecting humanity and the world and we are all living testimony of how our lives have changed in many ways; either we adapt to it or have become a victim of circumstances. This is not only about the present situation since we are looking forward to its massive destruction on the succeeding years and generations to come. With the biggest issue on global warming leading to climate change, how can we foresee the future that lies ahead of us? How can we ensure that the next generations will live in harmony with the nature? Is the human race losing the battle and on its way to extinction? We may never know, but one thing for sure is that we are now living on uncertainty due to the destructive Power of Nature and consequence of greediness and negligence for personal gains.

The great debate on climate change started several years back and it has become a major issue confronting several nations most especially the Philippines, which is one of the most disaster-prone country in Asia and the world. This small archipelago of brave Filipinos have suffered tremendously at some point in time due to a major natural calamity; typhoons, landslides, earthquakes and storm surge that have killed thousands of Filipinos. 

Natural disaster may be inevitable, however the Resilience of Filipino Spirit made us stronger and became an ultimate survivor. Our survival instinct enable us to better prepare ahead and to anticipate for a more destructive forces beyond of control. We may have a bended knee, but that's only temporary as we are able to bounce back to live a fully recovered life. 

Philippine Government, NGOs and  even private companies and organizations are doing its mandate in response to their environmental duties and contribution for a more livable community. Media Company, Rappler has been a leader on its humanitarian effort concerning the effect of climate change. Their AGOS project in partnership and coordination with several Government and  Non-Government agencies calls for an action to raise awareness to every Filipino that we can do something in our very own simple ways. Through the power of social media, we can be empowered to send and receive reports about calamities and disaster-related occurrence. The AGOS project introduced a way of making a difference through a practical and achievable 3-way goal which is to "Prepare - Respond - Recover" applicable before, during and after of a disaster or calamity. 

The 2-day AGOS Disaster Preparedness on July 14-15 was a remarkable achievement of Government and Private Organization working together for a common goal to achieve a zero casualty in times of natural disaster. Rappler in partnership with Humanitarian Organizations was successful in attracting members, followers and volunteers who are willing to spend their precious time and devote positive energy for a humanitarian cause. Present on the event is our Philippine Senator, Richard Gordon who is the Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross. He shared about the power of volunteerism and what they can achieve to alleviate the suffering and restoring the dignity of the victims of calamity. Senator Loren Legarda also shared about the environmental law which she has authored since early 90's. Her concept of zero waste management "Reuse - Reduce - Recycle" is her environmental advocacy teaching people to save our environment for further damage or harm. Other invited speakers talked about the role of their respective office or agency to minimize the effect of climate change and our ways for adaptation and survival. 

With Maria Ressa, CEO, Rappler
The initiative of Maria Ressa, CEO of  Rappler together with her whole team is truly commendable as they have proven their leadership in disaster management and their advocacy for a more resilient community.  Maria's approach to public-private partnership doesn't need huge budget, but to empower Filipino people especially the younger generations to become an active change agent capable of influencing others to have their commitments for Enviromental causes. The Summit was very empowering as it inspires us to have a voice even in digital media. Through social media, we can actively communicate ideas and solutions that are beneficial for disaster management. The humanitarian drive creates a ripple effect of goodwill among its followers and will further influence young people for their active involvement in nation-building. The great thing about being a Filipino is that our 'Bayahihan' culture has become digital and its evolution enables humanitarian and advocates to continue on living with a sense of purpose and direction. We have already proven the Resilience of The Filipino Spirit: A Year After Typhoon Yolanda and no matter what unfortunate events may hit us, still we're ready to break the barriers for a smooth-sailing journey to recovery. We join hands together and our soul-purpose will lead us to uplift the lives of other Filipinos who are lost, misguided and victims of this sad fate. A resilient spirit will always be unshakable and always create a ripple.                                                                

© 2017 Del Cusay


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