Pinoys Praised for Resilience Amid Super Typhoon Haiyan

Note: This article “survived” many edits and updates after it went viral. If you want to help in the relief operations for victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), please click here.

While the storm rages outside, the article “CNN Heartfelt Comment on the Update of Super Typhoon Yolanda” with a seemingly legit CNN photo appeared on my Facebook News Feed at past 2:00 am today. 

At first glance, I thought CNN really commended us Filipinos for our “survivor spirit” despite the series of disasters (earthquake then super typhoon) we are going through. As one eager for knowing (and living for) the truth, I clicked my friend’s Facebook post thinking it will bring me to CNN’s website but instead lead to http://fbnws.com.

[Their website went down after this post went viral online, and now back again. Also, here’s a similar blog.]

Click a photo to enlarge and view in black.

Quest for the Whole Truth and Responsible Journalism 

I searched for a link to the CNN article on their website but there’s none, so I researched online. After about an hour of probing for CNN-related videos and articles, I found out that the online commendation was actually by a certain “dudesk001″ at the Comments section of CNN’s post, Super Typhoon Haiyan, perhaps strongest ever, plows across Philippines. (See my cellphone screenshot.)

dudesk001 [commented on CNN’s post]: “Time to get to know the hardy Filipino people…unbelievably resilient, long-suffering, good-natured, uber friendly, loyal, ingenious, and a bunch of survivors.

At the end of the day, the Filipinos will just shake off the dirt from their clothes and thongs, and go about their business…and SMILE. They do not complain much, they will bear as long as they can.

Maybe this is why they were given the “privilege” of bearing the burden of the strongest typhoon ever recorded.” 

This gratifying comment that triggered FB News’ obscure headline appears to be one of the earlier comments (among thousands) at the bottom of CNN’s update. As of this writing, FB News’ article gathers tons of comments (and web traffic) from those intrigued by its ambiguous title. I’m guessing…

  • Maybe its writer (or editor) didn’t realize it would be misinterpreted.
  • Maybe they just got the information somewhere and did their own version
  • Or maybe they did it intentionally to drive traffic to their blog (hopefully not) 

Aside from their vague headline, their “processed” photo is too: a combination of weather forecast photo from CNN’s article, attached with CNN’s logo. To deliver the “whole truth” to the public, this intriguing photo should have specified where the comment came from (dudesk001) and a link to CNN’s article where it appeared.

Netizens, Wise Up and Beware!

Sadly, some netizens tend to think it must be true if it’s published online. Worse, some people on Facebook hardly read everything they see on a post and just hit “like” thoughtlessly. While others with good intentions, share a post hastily, without validating or giving credit to its source.

Bayanihan Spirit Caused the Viral Spread of the Processed CNN Photo

As for those speculating that dudesk001 may also be a Pinoy, please hear me on this. Online codenames are very tricky. It’s hard to tell a person’s ethnicity (and other pertinent details) by their codenames. What’s important here is the “heart or intention” of the commentator.

While we Pinoys are not desperate for attention; we still live by our “bayanihan spirit” – carrying each others’ burdens.

I believe that the reason why this “edited CNN photo” went viral (before I felt the need to share this article) was because, we Filipinos want to somehow alleviate the sufferings of our typhoon-and-earthquake-stricken countrymen, by sharing some encouragement.

While it’s true that we (nor any other race) don’t have to prove anything to the world, and that we can survive these disasters (by God’s grace) without any global recognition, a bit of pat on the back won’t hurt either, and may actually help those who are suffering.

Nonetheless, it’s a good thing that someone (not CNN for this matter) appreciates the Pinoys’ “indomitable spirit.” In trying times like these, every encouraging word (and prayer) will make a world of difference for our nation.

I’m proud to be Pinoy. “Pilipinas, kaya natin ‘to!” [Philippines, we can do this!]

*********************

As for the real CNN compliment, CNN’s Anderson Cooper said the below quote in this video:

“Can you imagine the strength it takes to be living in shock, to be living, sleeping on the streets next to the body of your dead children? Can you imagine that strength? I can’t. And I’ve seen that strength day in and day out here in the Philippines. And we honor them with every broadcast that we do.”

*********************

Please pray for my beloved country, the Philippines, as we brave the mega storms from within and without.

*********************

BLOG UPDATE: 

Singer-Musician-Book Author, Jim Paredes, retweeted this blog post on the supposed “CNN Heartfelt Comment on the Update of Super Typhoon Yolanda.” I had many retweets from complete strangers too. :-)

I’m not used to this so thank you very much! I’m gushing with joy. I’m honored  and humbled by this. Ang pinag-puyatan kong blog post (for research and many edits) paid-off well…and it’s NOW GOING VIRAL. Amazing! :-)

My blog Ranked #1 today at Top Blogs Philippines, out of 168 on-site registered Religion blogs nationwide,  above my most admired blogs: Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) News, Act Like a Man, FEBC Philippines, and DennisSy.com etc.

Top Blogs Philippines track the number of unique visitors and pageviews each blog gets. This is historical for me,  and I may never be able to duplicate this feat again…ever.

“Thank You, Lord, for fulfilling one of my bucket list goals to “become part of the Philippines’ history.” Mga kabayan, para sa’tin ang recognition na’to!”

Click a photo to enlarge and view in black.

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48 thoughts on “Pinoys Praised for Resilience Amid Super Typhoon Haiyan

  1. the statement, “Maybe this is why they were(sic) given the “privilege” of bearing the burden of the strongest typhoon ever recorded.”, with emphasis on “were”, would make the poster a Filipino as well, wouldn’t it?

    • Hey Merv! Thanks for leaving a comment. :-)

      Online codenames are very tricky. Not only that it’s hard to tell a person’s nationality by their codenames but also their gender (and other pertinent details). What’s important here is the “heart or intention” of the comment.

      While we Pinoys are not attention- or appreciation-seekers, we still live by our “bayanihan spirit” – carrying each others’ burdens.

      I believe that the reason why this “edited CNN photo” went viral (before I felt the need to share this article) was because, we Filipinos want to somehow alleviate the sufferings of our typhoon- (and earthquake-) stricken countrymen, by sharing seemingly small things as encouraging words.

      While it’s true that we don’t have to prove anything to the world, and that we can survive these disasters without any global recognition, a bit of pat on the back won’t hurt either, and may actually help those suffering right now.

      If you’re reading this and want to help the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), please click here http://victory.org.ph/article/yolanda-relief/

      • Hi Kuya Adrian! Mervin here. I don’t know who the other “merv” guy is but I was a bit surprised to see my nickname there hehe. Anyway, this is the first time that I read your blog and I must say that it’s very well-informed. Good job on getting the facts straight. It’s really heart-warming to see the world coming together to help us and it brings me so much joy whenever I hear folks everywhere here giving compliments to our people. Sadly, two of my uncles are living in Leyte and from what I heard from my other relatives so far, their houses got destroyed. I’m still waiting for further news but please do help me pray for their safety.

        • Hey Mervin! Good to hear from you, bro. Thanks for checking out my blog.

          I’m sorry to hear about your Uncles situation in Leyte. Praying that all will turn out for the better for them. :-)

          You take care and God bless, bro!

  2. I believe that it’s really our nature to smile and laugh at our problems. Maybe we Filipinos believe that there is always a brighter day after the storm. :)

  3. Though it was a gratifying comment, its provenance as a “CNN” statement seemed immediately suspect: “ingenious” is misspelled (the spurious posting is missing an “o”: it’s rendered here as “ingenius”). Furthermore, CNN would not use “unbelievably” as an intensifier.

    • Hi Rowena! Thanks for leaving a comment. But with all due respect, if you’ve read the entirety of my blog post, this “online commendation” is actually NOT from CNN but from a certain “dudesk001″ who commented on CNN’s update. :-)

  4. What the hell?!?!? Are you guys kidding me? This is DOWNRIGHT patronizing and condescending!! Let us see if whoever wrote this would be thankful of the privilege if his sorry a$$ is the one in the typhoon’s path! GEEZ!

    • Sruti Ramesh – I think it all depends on how you understand and interpret dudesk001’s comment. But the fact that online commendation with crafted CNN photo went viral on Facebook and Twitter, only means that Filipinos appreciated its writer’s well-meaning intentions.

      I believe that the word “privilege” there was used as a “rhetoric device.” It’s a technique used to persuade and create a certain effect on an audience; whether that is to emphasize a certain point.

      Also a bit of caution for you, be careful of what and how you write online, as people may swarm you with negative feedbacks.

      • But it *is* incredibly condescending. Whatever the intention of the commenter is, it’s simply the stereotype of obedience and meekness masquerading as shallow compliment. There are hundreds of thousands of Filipinos (and around the world!) who would GLADLY trade this “privilege” of burden in exchange for bringing their loved ones back.

        Filipinos need their pride for their morale, especially in times of tragedy. But pride also means standing up for yourself with great strength. The opposite of pride is to grovel for approval, and that’s the last thing Filipinos need right now with the typhoon.

        • Hey Marcus! Thank you for sharing your insight on this.

          For me, it all depends on how you read that comment: whether literally or you read what’s between the lines. The old adage still rings true: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

          It’s a matter of perspective and choice. In the same way that people perceive and respond to situations differently.

    • I agree with this. It is patronizing. As a Filipino myself, we don’t need to make up stuff to prove we are strong. We’ve already proved it countless times through history. No need for needless bullshit. Whoever made the image should’ve at least given the credit to the right person and not CNN. It’s more powerful coming from another person, rather than an organization.

  5. Brandon Miller of CNN says: The Philippines may be forced to endure a steady onslaught of natural disasters, but on Friday, its people remained defiant. During the storm, an image was being shared on Twitter with the hashtag #StrongerPH. It said: “The Filipino spirit is stronger than any typhoon.”

      • http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/08/world/asia/philippines-typhoon-destruction/index.html

        Here is the link for that. And “YEY” for finding where this statement originated. I am careful to retweet or repost anything from the net. Even thought the post means well, the way it was presented was a bit suspicious, like they want to make it bigger than what it really is (pero if you ask me, kung tama yung credit, I don’t think it’ll matter kung saan o kanino nanggaling comment na yon).

        And by the way, it wasn’t Brandon Miller who said those words exactly… but he contributed to that same article written by Hilary Whiteman.

        #yeyfortruth

        • YEY! Nio Manzano! :D

          Thank you so much for sharing this link in the comments section, for your insight, and for correcting Brandon Miller’s supposed compliment too.

          Words do have power of death and life, so we better use it properly, whether in writing or speaking.

  6. Yes, Filipinos are resilient. No doubt. It’s in our blood!
    Regarding this CNN stunt, it doesn’t matter. CNN got the publicity
    but Filipinos are being praised.

  7. While we are all uplifted with the sincere, kind words of Dudesk001, I can’t help but get disappointed at how photos on FB are misleading. We are praised yes, but not to the extent of dragging CNN on this. It is in no way an official “opinion” of CNN, it should’ve been properly quoted per se. And it saddens me to see FB users carelessly “sharing” the photo without even confirming the truth. For all we know, we could be the subject of mockery again for such mundane act.

    • Good observation, Scarlett! :-)

      I guess that’s because people on Facebook rarely have time to read everything with “interesting photos.”

      It would be good for us all to “think before you click.” :D

  8. for the life of me, i’ve become cross-eyed from all the scrolling and i can’t find that in the comments section. never believed it was an actual CNN quote and i wanna see it for myself. you sure the article is correct, dude? thanks for this enlightenment.

    • Yes, Lee. I’m pretty sure about what I wrote here. And I don’t want to lie and use the same line as Napoles’ “I invoke my right against self-incrimination.” (Kidding)

      Maybe you can’t find dudesk001’s comment anymore because the article gathered thousands of comments. :-)

    • Sana binasa nyo po ng buo yung nasulat sa taas bago po tayo nag-comment ng ganyan.

      Payong ka-bayan lang po ha? Mag-ingat rin po kayo sa tina-type nyo online dahil baka bumalik po sa inyo ito bilang “cyber bullying.” Tandaan po natin, kung ano ang ating itinanim, sya ring ating aanihin. :-)

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    • Ayan tayo eh. May “Kuya” na talaga ah? Hehe!

      Salamat talaga sa Diyos at hindi dumaan sa Metro ang bagyo pero patuloy nating ipanalangin at tulungan kung kaya ang mga kabayan nating nasalanta ng bagyo. :-)

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