The sincere will always remember

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas - The Freeman

It has been a year but the memories and emotions are still there- just as clear, just as raw, just as hurting. For the survivors, especially those who lost their loved ones, this year's November 8 must have been much more difficult to accept and to remember. While they tried to move on, a step, a second, or a day at a time, many still experience the same pain, grief, and loss a year after.

So many others as well remembered. Climate Walk participants offered their time and energy to honor the Typhoon Yolanda victims. The Climate Walk also wanted Filipinos and the whole world to remember to honor the living and Mother Earth through continuing responsible sustainable, eco-friendly practices. Viral tributes were shared -- through videos, photographs, messages. Relatives and friends and other supporters visited those in the affected areas. Others, from near and far, shared resources to remind the survivors that they are and will never be alone -- that they will always be remembered, and their dead, honored, and celebrated.

There were those, however, who forgot and did not remember. So many homeless and hopeless among the disaster survivors still await assistance and support. P.noy chose to remember those he wanted to but Pinoys will remember that P.Noy travelled instead to China rather than lend his presence among the still grieving survivors.

Our people will also remember how slow, if at all, government on all levels, have been responding to the rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction of lives, homes, communities, and especially of dreams and hopes. Filipinos will always remember the absence of swift action of government to alleviate the pain, grief, and needs of those affected by that deadly November 8 typhoon and other disasters all throughout our country. If government , on all levels, had not remembered to publicly submit a transparent accounting of all donations and assistance until now, Filipinos will surely continue to remember this neglect and will clearly, loudly show their anger and disgust vs this slow moving, negligent government in the next elections!

Rather than remember to rush and act quickly and decisively to rebuild lives, homes, and communities, there are still those who cannot forget their traditional politics and who prefer to engage in the game of pinpointing and blaming. Rather than remembering instead to pool resources and collaborate for maximum and speedy benefits for the needy disaster victims, they instead prefer to assert their power and turfing irresponsibly!

Aceh and Japan disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts have also been slow, those blamed will retort. Goodness, the November 8 disaster happened way beyond Aceh and way beyond the Japan Tsunami incidences. The experiences of previous disaster-stricken areas should have alerted the responsible in government, at all levels, about the challenges and strengths of post-disaster management and reconstruction. The responsible could have asked for expert advice, locally and globally, about how to respond effectively, quickly, surely after Typhoon Yolanda.

Will it take another November 8 anniversary before lives, homes, and communities are restored? How long will it take for government, at all levels, to go beyond its present state of amnesia and inaction and start, in a transparent, speedy and determined mode to finally remember and honor the dead and the survivors?

Soon, the optimists would pray. Never, the unbelievers would shout. No comment, a number would reply. Instead, the sincere will proceed to go on sharing whatever support they can with the disaster victims and communities. The sincere will also continue to remember and honor and celebrate the dead and the living. They will continue to believe in the goodness of many more who will also vow to always remember and assist the victims of Typhoon Yolanda and other disasters, however, wherever they are.

May the survivors also remember and celebrate and believe in themselves and move on, once again, no matter how heavy their hearts are still until now, no matter how hurt and abandoned they may be experiencing now. There's got to be a morning after for them. May that morning come soonest!

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