Disaster can lend insight into Culture

The Philippine Star and others are reporting that more bodies are being found. Some have drifted many miles away. Something that really got my attention was that nine bodies that washed up in Masbate province had already been buried by the local people of that province. That points out just how independent and self reliant the Philippine people are. They didn’t wait for the national or provincial governments or the shipping line to come and claim the body. They did what needed to be done. The bodies where said to be in bad condition already. However, the Red Cross and others are asking local governments not to bury the dead from the storm so that the bodies can be identified giving closure to families.

As hopes for finding more survivors in the sinking of M/V Princess of the Stars dimmed, more dead bodies turned up on the shores or were spotted – some in groups – in the waters around Masbate and Romblon and even as far as Camarines Norte.

The Philippine Navy said 60 bodies washed ashore in Burias in Masbate, while the Philippine Air Force said 32 more ended up on the coast of the island province.

But Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said they could not confirm yet if the bodies were from the sunken vessel. Scores of fishing vessels also sank at the height of typhoon “Frank” (international codename Fengshen) last Saturday.

Arevalo said Navy search ships were running out of body bags as well as lime and formaldehyde needed to treat the decomposing remains.

He said one of the recovered bodies appeared to be a Caucasian but his nationality could not be determined.

“Right now, what our navy personnel are using to control the smell is gin,” Arevalo said.

It is unknown if all the bodies found were from the Princes of the Stars which sank with more than 700 people on board. I think a lot can be learned about the Philippine culture from the way the Filipino reacts to this devastation.

Some locations are still without power I would find it hard to be without an air conditioner (aircon) nearly a week after the storm has passed. I think it is important that I do go ahead and get that generator. The nearby Bantayan Island is still without power. With temperatures back into the low 30’s C / 90’s F that would be difficult for me, especially while sleeping.

Source:  The Philippine Star

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Filed under: Cebuano CulturePhilippine Weather

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