Dancing to Dissonance: The Philippino Culture and Natural Disasters Essay

Dancing to Dissonance: The Philippino Culture and Natural Disasters Essay

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Greg Bankoff, in his article entitled “In the eye of the storm: The social construction of the forces of nature and the climatic and seismic construction of God in the Philippines”, has comprehensively analyzed how the cultural patterns are shaped by the Filipinos’ collective sense of psychology towards frequent natural calamities. These cultural patterns involve not just theology but also the way of living and the general outlook permeated among the multitude. Also articulated are the political factors in moulding these cultural patterns and the coping measures taken by people in order to endure the recurring debacles of nature.
FATALISTIC IDEOLOGIES IN PHILIPPINES:
First off, a fatalist is someone who believes that his actions are pre-determined and that everything that happened, is happening and will happen is meant to happen so. Fatalism slightly inclines towards pessimism, in that it entails a sense of resignation to the engulfing despondence and misery. This ideology is strongly manifested in the Filipino expression ‘’Bahala na’’, which essentially means “There’s nothing we can do about it”. However, fatalism can be shed in a positive light, justified by a sense of acceptance towards all the approaching predicaments and the grit in us to overcome these obstacles, regardless of their difficulty, without crumbling down in desolation. Therefore, fatalism can be viewed in two paradigms – As an active calculation and acceptance of odds, and as a passive sense of resignation. It can be safely said that, in accordance to people’s attitude towards catastrophes, the above expression is to be taken with a positive connotation.
Also prevalent is the notion that the forces of nature are reined by divine control and that the natural cal...


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...ituality when critical political decisions are to be made. It is noted that the Philippines may have the most professed miracles and messianic apparitions among all countries, and the spiritual adviser is undoubtedly at the heart of all these. Whether these auguries are congruous with the truth or if they are simply the products of machinations of corrupted minds is anybody’s guess. But the point driven home is that spiritualism is given prime importance in the political outline, caused primarily due to the prevalence of natural disasters. Despite the fact that the Philippines lies in the infamous perilous belt called the ‘Rim of fire’, religious aspects continue to be at the helm of the factorization of these catastrophes. The aborigines who were previously left to themselves are now given special attention for their premonitions on climatic changes and disasters.

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