I guess you know that recently I’ve been contemplating a move to Manila. I almost bought a place there earlier this year but held off for a variety of reasons.
At the moment, Manila and other parts of the Philippines are suffering through catastrophic flooding. One-third of Metro Manila, with a population greater than 16 million, is flooded out. At least 50 people have died, at least another 250,000 have been evacuated.
As horrendous as all this is, this is a semi-regular event in the Philippines. Two years ago two storms killed over 900 people there.
I gotta say this – and I know that some people may hate me for it, but it’s my honest opinion – I have a lot of Filipino friends in real life and on Facebook. The ones on Facebook are all posting similar status updates.
“Pray for the Philippines.”
“Dear Jesus, We fervently pray for your intercession so that our nation will be spared from the threatening flood. Save us from further…”
I’ve seen dozens of posts like these. Oh Lord! Oh Jesus! Save us!
I haven’t seen a single post along the lines of, “what the hell is wrong with our government, why do we elect such inept leaders and corrupt officials, why is it 2012 and the infrastructure of the country hasn’t changed in 40 years, why aren’t we better prepared for these, why aren’t we better warned when these are coming, why are these storms just an inconvenience in Hong Kong or Taiwan but deadly here?”
And as long as people keep running to Jesus and not holding their leaders accountable, this is just going to repeat and repeat and repeat, which is just the way the corrupt scum who run the country want it to stay.
Hey, I’ll agree with people who say, “Now is not the time, now is the time to pull together and make sure everyone’s safe and then later we can address this.” Except that “later” never seems to come.
Oh, and on a vaguely related topic:
Manny Pacquiao, who was elected to the Filipino parliament last year, has sided with the local Church against a new government bill to introduce free contraception and information about safe sex.
“God said go forth and multiply,” he said, after a meeting with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. “He did not say go and have just one or two children.”
Mr Pacquiao, 32, is the fourth of six children, although his parents separated when he was young after his mother found out his father was living with another woman. [Believe it or not, there is still no legal divorce in the Philippines. Only annulments, which are so expensive that most of the population can't afford them.]
The reproductive health bill, which would also introduce reproductive health and sexuality classes in schools, appears to have the support of the people. Many Filipinos believe that the country’s crushing poverty, which has seen a third of the population survive on a dollar a day, is the result of a rapidly-growing population.
Pacquiao is one of the richest people in the Philippines. He’s in Congress. He has a weekly TV show. He rakes in the dough from appearing in ads for almost anything and everything sold there (except condoms). He lives in a country in which families have 5 children that they can’t afford to feed or send to school and instead send the kids out begging in the streets ensuring that the cycle of poverty will never end.
I’m never wearing my limited edition Manny Pacquiao watch again. And I’m glad he lost his last fight.