March 11, 2012 marks the first year anniversary of one of the worst natural disaster of our time. The magnitude 9.0 earthquake was followed by a tsunami and the subsequent nuclear meltdown of the three reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The catastrophe is perhaps one of the worst in living memory. It claimed no less than 15, 000 lives, more than 3,000 people were unaccounted, caused the major evacuation of more than 300,000 people and triggered a nuclear meltdown affecting more residents. Up to this date, I cannot believe that such disastrous events can occur as it is, without the technological effects of computer like those in the movies. I can still remember being rooted on the ground when I saw this image, which looks like logs but actually, it is the tsunami making its way to push cars, ship, airplane and what ever goes along the way to eternity. Not to mention the ruined buildings and other infrastructure. The loss of lives and the grief it evokes is far beyond these graphic images.
Fast forward, a year later.
I saw the documentary made by Kara David in I-witness, aired last February 27, 2012. It was entitled “Ang Pagbangon ng Japan” (The Rise of Japan). I am deeply moved by the stories of the survivors and the resiliency of the residents of the area, particularly those from Sendai among others. It is truly inspirational to see that the Japanese people, together with other kababayans in the area are showing a courageous heart and positive attitude despite what happened. We, in the Philippines should take a leaf out of their books with regards to discipline, good governance, resiliency, hard work and faith. Yes, faith to transcend whatever hardships we have to face as we journey through life. It is truly admirable to see the Japanese’s discipline, governmental support, people’s cooperation in order to rebuild their city and to rebuild their lives.
I am deeply moved by stories of the survivors and their enormous courage to go on with their lives. If this is called faith, yes, I have it, we all have it.
Here are some quotes showing faith, hope, gratitude and courage from the memorial services for the 3-11 earthquake:
“Our predecessors who brought prosperity to Japan have repeatedly risen up from crises, every time becoming stronger. We will stand by the people from the disaster-hit areas and join hands to achieve the historic task of rebuilding.” ~Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda
“Quitters never win, winners never quit.” ~Ambassador Toshinao Urabe
And as Kara David aptly puts it “Gaano man katagal ang gabi, may umagang sisilip.”
Our thoughts and prayers are always with you Japan.
*Photos from (top to bottom) BBC, Wikimedia-Commons, National Geographic and the last 4 were from Reuters.