This article is from Mindanao Bob’s Journal, which is a regular weekly column in SunStar Davao Newspaper. This column appeared in SunStar today, October 2, 2009.
This past weekend, the scenes on TV from Manila were horrific. The flooding in Manila was devastating. The suffering of the people was heart wrenching. It’s really a time to count our blessings.
Count our blessings? Yes, I believe it is time for that. We are blessed to be Dabawenyos. Imagine the differences here compared to other places around the Philippines. Mindanao is the only part of the Philippines that is outside the typhoon belt, we have beautiful weather here! We have an abundance of so many things here in Davao, we really need to count our blessings for that.
Davao is hounded with flooding whenever it rains very hard, but it certainly is nothing like we saw on TV over the weekend. Yes, we get a few centimeters of water on the City Streets, and we complain. It’s human nature, we want the streets to remain dry, of course. But, when was the last time you saw the water waist deep, or heaven forbid neck deep in Davao City? It just doesn’t happen here.
As the flooding hit Manila, what was the next thing we saw on TV? People were hungry. Here in Mindanao we live in a land of abundance when it comes to food. Fruits and other kinds of foods are plentiful, and inexpensive too.
Yes, I believe that as Dabawenyos we are really blessed. Those who are from other areas, though, away from Mindanao, only talk about what a bad, or dangerous place Mindanao is. Just the mention of Mindanao brings fear to those people. It seems they don’t realize that only a few parts of Mindanao present danger, the vast majority of Mindanao is a beautiful, unspoiled and safe place! Especially Davao City.
A lot of times, when we have visitors come to Davao they rave about the place. It’s so beautiful, such a wonderful life! The food is so cheap and abundant. Yet, others tell them to fear Mindanao. Why? Because those who advise fear have never set foot in Mindanao. And, when it comes to danger, that’s about as far as you could get from Davao while still remaining on the Island.
Yes, even as I write this, things are not comfortable for those in Metro Manila. Most of the water has drained off, leaving a ton of mud on the streets, in the homes and just about anyplace you might look. It’s dirty, and there is a lot of work to be done. I feel sorry for the people in Manila, no doubt about that, and I pray for their well being. I wonder, though, if they realize just how much different life in Davao is?