Sunday, September 27, 2009

Manilla - Hope & Prayers

A few years ago, I traveled to the Philippines while building my audit group there. Not sure what to expect from this island country's people, I was more than pleasantly surprised.

The people are the happiest I have ever met in my travels throughout much of Europe, Canada, US, Asia, and Mexico. I found the Filipino people to be some of the most resilient under the worst of conditions: bombing of the mall in the central business district (something I was in hotel and felt but did not know what it was) to the torrential downpour of Typhoon Egay.

During the bombing of the mall, the wife of one of our employee's was killed. Six hours later, the people of Manila kept moving, kept living, kept... singing.

In looking back I remember vividly how the entire group would go out to lunch - all 40 of them - singing, and dancing. I wondered to myself if they were just happy to escape work and yet when they returned promptly 1/2 hour later, they were still singing and dancing and then they worked... quietly.

I remember some of the employees coming in with backpacks, clothes perfectly folded inside as they'd had to wade through chest deep water in light of the Typhoon Egay. They did not call in sick, late, lazy, tired or stuck. They came in.

It is my hope that same resilience that saw the Filipinos through those times will see them through the latest typhoon to hit their island nation. It is a gorgeous country made even more so by the people themselves.

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