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Crisis = Opportunity = Hope

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[Cartoonized of Bayanihan]With the flood that devastated us [Tropical storm Ketsana—locally known as “Ondoy”—inundated Metro Manila and its suburbs on 26 September 2009, marking the country's worst flood in recorded history—Ed.] comes extrinsic and intrinsic opportunities. Extrinsic opportunities for traders whose products made their way to relief goods and the shopping carts of panic buyers. These traders managed to evade the path of catastrophic floodwaters and not only saw their sales multiply but were also able to grab the market share from those who suffered paralysis due to inventory damage.

For the rest, the more meaningful intrinsic opportunities are as follows:

1.BE PARANOID! Learn to expect the worst-case scenario and prepare for them via a safety net or exit strategy, such as force majeure insurance, early warning device, or an emergency damage control system.

2.DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY! Make it a habit to count your blessings. Realize that material things are temporary and can be taken away in the blink of an eye. This will make it easier to detach yourself from them and instead value what is truly important.

3.BE A HERO! Take the opportunity to join the ranks of the truly heroic, who help those they don't even know as compassion overcomes indifference or even fear.

4.LOVE THY NEIGHBOR! This is your chance to obey the second greatest commandment.

5.BE A TECHIE! Harness technology (e.g., mobile phones, computers, the Internet) to mobilize rescue and relief operations.

6.LET'S ROLL! Get things done without passing the buck (and the blame) to public servants unable to perform their duties.

7.UNITED WE STAND! Let's unleash our inherent power to effect change by paddling in the same direction without expecting anything in return.


Entrepreneur Anton lost 60% of his computer inventory. He laughed it off by looking on the bright side: The termite problem of his warehouse was solved after being washed away by the flood!

A 90-year-old diabetic grandmother was trapped in the Cainta flood for two days. Her daughter Rebecca rescued her with the help of compassionate Christian soldier Col. Noel—who would accept neither material reward nor recognition. His only request: Hot food and soup for other victims.

If more of us have the mindset of an Anton or the servant heart of a Col. Noel maybe there's still hope for us all.

Print ed: 11/09


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