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Why resilience is actually bad for us as a nation

If there’s one thing to be proud of as a Filipino, it is our immense capacity to remain hopeful and positive amidst adversities. In fact, this sunny disposition has garnered us a net score of +84 in a survey done by  US-based firm Gallup International, putting us in the 3rd spot of happiest places on earth.

Other countries may find this level of resilience admirable. It may be a source of pride to be recognized as one of the happiest people in the world. Our ingenuity and positive spirits are considered to be our weaponry in dealing with negative events–from natural disasters, crimes, to even something as mundane as excruciating traffic.

In situations like this, we always remind ourselves of “kayang-kaya, basta’t sama-sama,” an expression which basically means our capacity to stand strong as long as we’re together.

Exhibit A: When comic relief becomes the norm in times of grief

When faced with a crisis, most of us seem to be able to just laugh it off.

There’s nothing wrong with being positive sometimes, some would even say, “Ano pa ba ang magagawa natin? Umiyak?,” but this attitude, unfortunately, only leads us to escapism.  And that is exactly what’s exhibited in the following photos from social media–people making light of things, because there’s no really other way to cope with this crisis than to have a laugh and shake it off.

Filipinos are “waterproof,” yes, we already know that, and some of us are so proud of that.


For some, disasters have become an opportunity for photography.


 Of course, memes.


As long as you’re equipped with “baha starter-pack,” you’ll never have a problem braving the storm.


I guess we have all mastered the art of being “imortal”.


Bagyo ka lang, mandirigma kami!

Resilience trumps finding solutions to solvable problems

As a nation, we are always faced with problems, disasters, and crisis–all of which have measures and solutions for prevention, but we seem to turn a blind eye to the problems and just weather every storm, so to speak.

What’s worse, we no longer hold officials and institutions accountable for finding solutions to these problems. Our resilience has allowed us to settle for less of what we actually deserve.

Prevention is always better than cure — without solutions, the situations that we are in right now will only get worse. Our resilience should never be an excuse to not be able to solve our own crisis. Yes, we are a nation of happy, resilient and self-sufficient people–that’s already given. But we need to put an end to this cycle already.

It’s high time that, as a nation, we no longer put up with the crap. It’s time to change the mindset that for every disaster or crisis, we can always recover, that we are expected to act on them ourselves because we all know no one’s coming for help. It’s time that we demand from entities who have promised us solutions to problems. It’s time we help create solutions.

“Maikli lang ang buhay para mag-reklamo.” Yes, this may hold water, but this is exactly the kind of thinking that gets us in a vicious cycle of facing problems, then becoming helpless, then just being resilient because there’s no other way to go about it than to be one.


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