MANILA — Amid the devastation of Typhoon Ulysses, artworks depicting Filipino resilience in the face of calamities went viral on social media Thursday, stirring debate on the topic of government accountability.
“Nakakapagod na maging resilient,” went the text on an artwork by popular comic strip artist Tarantadong Kalbo, depicting a dog on a roof isolated by floods.
The image was inspired by an actual incident earlier on Thursday, where a dog named Rambo was photographed stranded on a house roof in San Mateo, Rizal, amid the torrential rains brought by Ulysses.
Rambo was eventually rescued by his owner, one JR, according to a viral Facebook post from Larry Monserate Piojo.
Tarantadong Kalbo’s depiction of the incident, with its statement about resilience, went viral, too, fetching nearly 20,000 reactions, 15,000 shares, and some 400 comments, as of writing.
Similarly, another artwork about resilience by West Visayas State University student Kelly Ronveaux made the rounds on Facebook on Thursday afternoon. It shows a middle-class family and a government official watching images of resilience during a typhoon, from the comforts of a home.
Its accompanying caption, written by Ella Hyacinth Golez, also of the same student publication Forum Dimensions, pertained to the “romanticization” of resilience.
“Resiliency should not be a reminder that ‘there is more to life than suffering,’ but a wake-up call for the government to strive hard and shape up in providing a community of inclusivity, full of opportunities for everyone so that nobody is left behind, and become accountable for their misplaced priorities and policies in the past because Filipinos are not sacrificial lambs,” she wrote.
“We, Filipinos, are more than our stories of struggles and resiliency. We should be the reminder and the face of accountability. We deserve better.”
As of writing, the post nearly had 45,000 reactions, 90,000 shares, and over 1,700 comments.
In comments on both artworks about resilience, Filipinos shared their sentiments about the value of surviving calamities, while also weighing that with the expectation of a functioning government cushioning the effects of inevitable disasters.
Here are some of them:
Jose Eduardo Mayo OfmCapuchin: “We should avoid making a dichotomy between resiliency and demanding accountability, as some other posts imply. Resiliency is a good thing -- it's one of our strengths as a people. But just because we're resilient should not be made to mean that demanding accountability is not urgent! Instead, what we ought to be is persistent in demanding accountability -- that's another kind of resiliency we need to exercise: relentless demand for accountability!”
Chad Aerosonic: “It's not just the government who has the role to play... Everyone has. Blaming the government per se is just it. Blaming the government, but not getting results as well! If we want floodings to stop, then all Filipinos have to stop throwing their trash to the rivers and creeks. If you want the government to be able to stop flooding, then you have to support megainfrastructures required to solve it... megastractures that would require allocation of significant public funds that yes, would have otherwise been spent in feeding the poor! Preventing flood disasters will also require forcibly relocating people in high risk areas, even if it would mean inconvenience.”
Ivan Malvar: “Nothing wrong with being resilient. We can't change our climate and its immediate effects. People will evacuate, lives will be lost whether we like it or not. Preparedness and resiliency come hand in hand.”
Limuel Blay II: “Yung ibang woke namumilitika pa rin sa kabila ng pandemya at kalamidad. If you really care about our nation gawin nyo lahat ng makakaya nyo na makatulong even in the smallest way possible. Hindi yung tamang may maipost lang katulad neto e tamang chill lang naman sa bahay at walang kibo.”
John Patrick Lomosad: “Another kalokohan art. mga pasimpleng birada na walang katuturan. May kalamidad na nanguha pang mamulitika. For God sake, magdasal tayo kung du rin natin kayang pumunta sa mga nasalanta physically di yung gagamitin tong ganitong platform para ihain ang sariling agenda.”
Best Catherine: “1. Everyone is accountable as stewards of mother nature. Everyone keeps making the same mistakes that contribute to global warming. Most of us neglect our responsibilities to do our small part in the community - bawal na magsunog, magsusunog pa rin, bawal ang plastic, karamihan sa binibili nakaplastic pa din in sachets, etc. And so on and so forth.. The list will go on.
“2. We keep electing bullshit politicians - who simply are rich and filthy rich and can buy "souls of poor filipinos" na walang prinsipyo at kapit lang sa patalim.
“3. Everyone rants, complains, and spends more time on social media than working on a solution. Sabi nga, all talk and no action when it should be WALK THE TALK.
“4. "HABO AN TAWO PAGTUYAON KAN SALANG GIBO" in bicol. There is too much pride to accept that we as humans, make mistakes. And the thing is we know we make mistakes, and keep doing the same mistakes. Over and over. Kung hindi tanga, ano tawag dyan...
“We are not hopeless case. But collectively, if we do not act as we are supposed to, we are close to being MANHID if not SELFISH individuals of our society.”