Saksi: Ilang nasalanta ng bagyong Yolanda na nakilala ng GMA News, nagpapatuloy sa buhay

I find it interesting that this newscast specifically covers a select group of people from the Yolanda tragedy and then returns to them a year later to check up on their progress. It seems like such a benevolent thing to do. Then it reminded me somewhat of the messianic complex that colonists have going on for them. (Mangoes, like, what even? But the little things, of course, we must remember the little things.)

The aspect of the report that really bothered me, however, was the way the news report smoothed over the tragedy and just proceeded to assure the audience that these people are now living their lives, moving on, keeping strong and all that despite having just lost their whole family. Of course there isn’t really enough time to actually cover a whole year’s worth of whatever these people had gone through to get to where they are now, obviously. Nevertheless, we are rather quickly assured by the report’s narrative that things can be overcome, no matter how horrific it could be.

Now, it’s not that they should have focused more on the tragic aspect of it and milked that angle for all it was worth. It’s that the coverage of the news report dealt with such a heavy blow in a very optimistic way that is somewhat troubling underneath the surface. You see, when the news tells us that people can move on from things like losing their whole family and their property, it tells us that we can just shake it off, all the trauma that we have been through, and carry on like good soldiers. The Filipino, after all, is resilient. We’re all right. The face Vicky makes in the lead up to the story is especially illustrative of the appropriate face for the occasion: tastefully troubled, some guilt, hopeful, perhaps? And now that the affected people have moved on, we who were not hard hit can move on sans guilt, too.

It’s a good/bad thing when that message is sent through. Of course the message of the report is outwardly upbeat, hopeful in the face of whatever national monster of the week we’re facing this time. (We’ll probably need all the help we can get at this rate.) But it’s postcolonial, is what it is, this telling us to move on without even giving us space to analyze what exactly had been lost, without taking stock of the value of things that are irreplaceable, without knowing the cost of moving on. This sort of erasure is exactly the thing that we need to move on post colonization, but it’s also allowing us to forget where we came from, exactly, in the toil of moving on and building anew over the old.

We tend to forget easily, but I do doubt that rehashing tragedy is going to be helpful to jog our memory either. It’s in the way we think, or in the way we refuse to think; our minds are filled with whatever helps to forget that we live in a third world country, it seems. Onwards, then, for we have been benevolently colonized so as to move on. But are we supposed to go on forward, sideways, or in circles? Never mind, build a nitso to it and move on, move on.

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