The Filipino Spirit
During my holiday here in the Philippines a dramatic event occurred that affected my life on a personal level. My father passed away. He did so during a time of happiness for him. Two of his children, myself and my sister, and 2 grandchildren from the US were here on holiday along with a third grandchild living with them, at the time, were all present at his untimely passing. The joy he must have felt!
I was looking for a way to honor him on my blog and the best way to do that would be this article on the Spirit of the Filipino people.
This country is stricken with poverty but it doesn’t have to be this way. If someone could drive the corruption out of politics and everyday life, it would be such a better place for its citizens. But, this isn’t an article about politics and I would rather concentrate on the resilience of its people.
The Filipinos try to make the best of any situation.
Poverty doesn’t stop the people from trying to put food on the table. The spirit of the Filipino people won’t allow it. Whether it’s selling candles in front of a church or the more dangerous job of selling water and quick snacks on the road while traffic has stopped, they try to provide food for their family.
Pedicabs, bicycle with a side car, are a common mode of transportation in rural areas and another tough way to make a living but they perceiver.
Tricycles, motorcycles with a side car, are even more common in rural and certain city areas.
Another way Filipinos supplement their income is with a Sari-Sari store, a mini-mini mart in front of one’s home where you sell convenience goods as the market maybe too far to travel for one or two items.
The children of the Philippines embody this spirit, I think at birth. They make do with what they have, as if they didn’t know they were born in poverty. Kids in rural areas often play basketball in flip-flops or even in their bare feet on dirt courts.
This photo, above, was taken after a Typhoon created gale force winds and a heavy down poor. Two hours after the wind and the rain stopped I spotted these kids playing on the beach, as if nothing could keep them from being children.
While cruising up the Loboc River, children could be seen playing, carefree of what their parents are faced with each day. They swim, climb trees, and dive or swing into the river as to put on a show for the lunch cruise that continue past them.
Children in public or private schools in the country have mandatory uniforms and I’m amazed at the pride the kids and the parents have in keeping them so crisp and clean. Many can’t afford more than one uniform but they find a way to keep these uniforms presentable. Some live with no running water, no electricity, just a meager roof over their heads, but they persevere.
Of course, there are some that don’t live in poverty but there are so much more that do. I found my inspiration in these hard-working people.
People trying to sell you water at the intersection or candles at a cathedral can be an inconvenience for most but a way of life for those impoverished few.
What would your legacy be, a person that endured or one that depended on the charity of others in times of hardship?
The spirit and resilience of the Filipinos is undeniable.”