‘Be Honest’ and the storm metaphor

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By Nef Luczon


Sunday, January 19, 2014

WHEN I was in Tacloban City last month, I remember reading one of the community weekly newspapers in Leyte, about the experience of the papers’ owner/publisher/editor-in-chief writing the articles under the LED lights and struggling to saw post-Yolanda issues printed despite the absence of power, not to mention the devastation that needs to be fixed soon throughout their province.

I call it passion and dedication to media work, and I’m still lucky to be writing mine inside the comfort of our apartment with lights even though the tropical depression “Agaton” carelessly showering us with meaningful rains to keep us reminded to be prepared all the time.

If “Agaton” is a person, he or she must have not made up his or her mind to come up with a final decision of what to do with his or her life. Maybe he or she had a direction, however she or he was barred by circumstances (in the form of strong winds up north), and thus he or she remained stationary and still thinking which way to go.


With “Agaton” staying in Mindanao for quite some time (two weeks more or less, even it was still a Low Pressure Area), some people are getting a little upset, except for children and teenagers who enjoy extended “holidays” due to bad weather, especially so business flow are hampered and the newly hanged clothes after laundry are not drying fast.

And then the next thing we know were preemptive evacuations by local risk reduction management forces, after noticing some rise of the water levels in coastal areas especially in Cagayan River.

And interestingly, the huge “Be Honest” paint signage just beside the Ysalina (Carmen) bridge and the regional office of Commission on Audit, has been a big help in monitoring the water level of the river.

The first line is a bold and wide “Be Honest,” then second line is a smaller “Even if others are not. Even if others will not. Even if others cannot,” and then the third line is the logo and acronym of “BCBP,” or the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professional, an international organization who commissioned the paint signage of blue and white.

As the water levels rises, slowly the signage will disappear beginning on the third line until such time it will reach to the first line and to the extent it will also vanish. It already happened during “Sendong” and “Pablo,” and I can’t help also to notice the metaphorical message it reminds us, not just to our public servants and politicians.

The signage can literally represent of our level of honesty, and it is tested over time especially there will always be moments in our lives when we experience bad weathers such as “storms” and “tropical depressions,” and this may cause also decisions or actions (the water levels) that may compromise our honesty (the signage).

When there will be no “Be Honest” sign on sight, that means the water levels have gone uncontrollable and might cause flooding in nearby communities that may result in devastation and damages of properties – just like in life, destruction can be the end result if we are not honest, even to ourselves.

I don’t want to impose a self-righteous tone here, because we have been all dishonest in some aspects of our lives, what I’m trying to say, is that we can always work toward honesty and we should not give up.

[Email: nefluczon@gmail.com | nefoi.blogspot.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 20, 2014.


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