What the Earthquake and Yolanda Told Me

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What the Earthquake and Yolanda Told Me

In less than a month, our country Philippines, specifically my city, Cebu, has experience two of the worst natural disasters – a 7.2 magnitude earthquake coupled with hundreds of aftershocks, and a historical super typhoon Haiyan, aka. Yolanda. Thousands dead, homeless, and broken.

haiyan philippines yolanda

After all that has happened, I often ask myself, what’s the message here? Why?

My answer?

Two things: EVOLVE or DIE.

Evolve doesn’t really mean growing big eyes, fangs, extra limbs, and a pair of wings, evolving in a sense moving forward in our life journey. I mean, “really” moving forward. In its most practical sense, becoming a better person.

As I am seeing, majority of the people, if not all, who survived will never be the same. Period.

If you have survived hell with that, you’ll have tons of great life lessons. And if I’ll have to interview all of them, I am seeing I can document great wisdom even understandable than those in the bible.

Lessons on detachment, letting go of materialism, moving forward, discovering what one values more in life, establishing priorities, survival, never giving up, cherishing life, the importance of relationships, even abundance of the universe and the list goes on.

Even us, who were not really affected, the amazing openness to help, the generosity from most us – which I’m sure is something we are not very much aware of –  has triggered something deep within us. Even deep within our DNA. WE HAVE CHANGED!

Like I said, a survivor will never be the same. He or she has evolved.

In its simplest term, I can say that when disasters like this occur, two things happen to you:

1. You survive, yes it’s painful, but you’ve learned lessons an ordinary soul will take lifetimes to learn

2. OR you die. Some survivors – although very few – will choose to remain in the pain-zone, so they are still considered as dead.

(Actually, even when you die, regardless of religion, you are still evolving into something better dba?)

The death, the loss, they’re all physical. They’re all external. And we have to live with that. But what’s more important is what’s going on inside of us. What’s the heart telling us? What’s this experience teaching us? I know, I can’t imagine the pain and the fear – but Filipinos as we are, deep in our hearts, we know these are temporary.

For all of us who are alive, and are even reading this – this is our second life.

We are better now.

We are moving forward in our “life” journey.

We have evolved – and will continue to.

Live in love,




About Author

hanzstHanz Florentino is the founder of Studio Inspiro, a filmmaker, a story teller, a lover and a student of life.View all posts by hanzst →

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