The Philippines: The Islands of Destructive Typhoons
From 08-15 November 2013, I was in the Philippines to attend the 20th CALD Anniversary and FNF Regional Meeting in Manila. It could be my fourth or fifth visits to the country. My last one was in 2008 and the first one was in 1998. Few days before departure date, we have heard of the super typhoon Haiyan was approaching, which will struck the Philippines on Friday, exactly the date of my arrival. I was a bit worry, but since there is no information of cancellation of the program etc, I assume that it would be safe.
In the internet, in the printed and social media, also on TVs; we could read many articles on the upcoming super typhoon. When we arrived, there was heavy rain and strong wind in Manila, but nothing else. I was relieved to see the positive development, but we have not heard about the devastation caused by the typhoon, yet until early morning the next day, on the newspaper.
This natural disaster has caused unprecedented destruction to the islands, down south of Manila. Our heartfelt condolence to the victims and their families and the people of the Philippines. For more info:
This year alone, around twenty of cyclones and/or typhoons have hit this country, causing heavy rains and destruction, including an earthquake. I am wondering how the Philippines people cope up with the situation and how they could manage to live in permanent fears of these kinds of natural or man-made disasters. The country lies in the so-called fire ring, in which such turbulence and disasters are common. The country has more than 7,100 islands and has many ethnic groups using around hundred different languages.
This time, I did not have opportunity to see the countryside, since we have our functions mainly in Manila. However, every time I came here, I received warmly welcome and experienced high grade of hospitality offered by our hosts. They are really friendly, easy going and fun loving. It seems that every Filipino could sing and dance and is able to sing in a very professional manner. I am not sure, how comes? Maybe, because they are surrounded by sea and Oceans and the (salty) wind, also the climate, has shaped their voice tremendously? I do not have any explanation, but I highly admire their competence in arts and performance. They used to live under the Spanish about three hundred years and around one hundred years under the Americans. Their culture is shaped by influence of different Western and Eastern culture.