Are we Pinoys really crazy?
"I think, that you are all getting crazy."
The statement above is what an "American" classmate said after getting a low score in one of our exams. He is an "American" because he lived in the USA for several years, though having both Filipino parents. Note: He declared himself a Filipino for him to get a huge tuition fee discount, but when we asked him if he considers himself a Filipino, he said he doesn't. Cool.
What pushed him to say that is because majority of our classmates got low scores in one of our exams, but still, they kept laughing and rubbing the huge problem off. Here in the School of Medicine, a failing grade is a huge no-no - you need to have everything in track, unless you really want to give up and fail. But still, our classmates chose to be happy and laugh about it, while this "Am" classmate stays depressed, stressed, and kept himself isolated from others. I approached him - asking what is wrong, and that is the statement I got from him.
The statement has offended me (a bit, maybe), however, it just made me more and more proud of being a Filipino. I know, it seems overrated and is repeated again and again, but I will still say that I am a Filipino, and I'm proud of it. And what was my reply?
"You know, we are not getting crazy. We just found out a very good way to push the problem back. We do not escape from the problem, rather, behind those smiles and laughs, is an alert mind that is looking for solutions. People are optimistic because it's the better thing to do. If you frown and continue to be depressed, then you won't have the strength to move on."
After that, I left him. Not because he has pissed me off, but because I left to laugh with my classmates. He may still see us as crazy people, but if this resilience and optimism is something that makes us crazy in the eyes of others, then it's nice for foreigners to see us as crazy people. It's fine.
WE ARE CRAZY. WE ARE WACKINGLY CRAZY. But we are so crazy that we don't even consider suicide as a solution, and just laugh about it. We are crazy, but we don't waver even though huge typhoons and large earthquakes strike us. We are crazy, but still, we are able to move on and won't be buried deep inside the pits of depression.
Recently, the Philippines has been affected by supertyphoon Yolanda that took a lot of lives, a lot of living, and a lot of hopes. People have cried, and became miserable for a moment. But there comes a time that these people will again smile and move on. It's automatic. Actually, there are a lot of people who have laughed already - a medicine that the Philippine people have invented, for us to ease the pain and give a new sense of purpose. In the end, laughter, indeed is the best medicine.
“I’m surprised that they can smile back after all that they’ve been through. This is the Filipino spirit the world is talking about. It’s inspiring,”
- Brian Futterman, a New Yorker (Source)
It's free. It's convenient. What's more, it's contagious. The Filipino optimism. The Filipino spirit. The indomitable Filipino spirit that everyone is talking about. It's not crazy, but rather, a smart way to show that whatever strikes us, we'll fight back, and will definitely defeat any problem that strikes us, hitting twice.
And to that classmate of mine, it's highly probable that you won't see this blogpost I'm writing, but I would like to say that we are not crazy. We may seem crazy but we are really not. You yourself are a Filipino but keep denying it - that's crazy. You just denied yourself the right to earn the recognition of being resilient and pliant.
Note: As I am writing this post, I'm giving my two thumbs up to those in Tacloban, and those people struck with different calamities recently. I hope that those supplies that our school has shared will come to you untouched. Keep the fire burning, just hold on, and everything will be fine in the future. #YolandaPH
Additional Note: The credit for the images above are given to those who have taken them - I do not own the images. Moreover, I don't have a way to identify who you are, but if you own these images, please do inform me, for removal or for proper citation. Thanks!