I’m Glad We’re a Resilient Nation, But I’d Rather Be a Proactive One

Donnabeth Aniban
3 min readJul 29, 2022
Photo by Caleb Lumingkit on Unsplash

Filipinos are resilient. This is the story we keep telling whenever disaster strikes. I know we are. But what if this story is hurting our chances to get better and get treated better?

Resilient: able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. The Filipino smiling and pushing through a disaster became romanticized. It’s as if it’s okay for us to suffer because we are able to get through the toughest times with smiles on our faces.

In an interview, a Filipina was asked how she feels about her house being flooded. It’s okay, we’re used to it, she said. It’s hard to fathom how someone can be okay with having their house flooded almost every year. How someone can be used to getting their things soaked whenever typhoons come.

There are around 20 typhoons that hit the Philippines every year, five of which are destructive. We are one of the countries experiencing the most typhoon annually. But year after year, it seems like we’re learning little from our experiences. Or maybe we know what to do, but we’re just lazy, scared, or corrupt so we don’t move. We’re resilient anyway. It’s our badge of honor.

Disasters are the favorite playgrounds of politicians. They come with bags of rice, canned goods, and noodles with their names and faces plastered on the cover. They boast how many families they “helped” with their kind hearts and quick response. After the storms pass they do nothing or only do the bare minimum so destruction will be minimized because we know for sure that storm will come again, at least 20 of them.

Many politicians won’t have to do the heavy lifting because we make them feel like they don’t have to. They already helped us so we’ll vote for them again in the next election and several more elections after that. If not them, their spouse or children. And the cycle continues.

This week an intensity 7 earthquake hit our region. “Cordillerans remain unshaken despite the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit the region and most parts of Luzon.” says the caption of a video shared by the PIA CAR Facebook page. Unshaken? Tell that to those whose house collapsed. Tell that to those who lost a loved one.

Stop romanticizing calamities. Yes, we need to be courageous and hopeful. But allow us to grieve. Allow us to admit that we are shaken.

DOH has just announced that Monkeypox entered the country. Let’s not play our resilience card again. Let’s try the proactive card this time; starting by changing the story we keep telling ourselves.

Let’s make our government officials more accountable. Let’s make ourselves more accountable. We deserve and we’re capable of something better than what we have now.

Donnabeth Aniban

Mom since 2011. Filipino. Former nurse and teacher. Writer and entrepreneur atm. I write mostly about life, business, health, productivity, and motherhood.