After the Taal Volcano erupted last January 12, 2020, heartfelt sympathies of people from around the world went sweeping through social media. Almost 40,000 people have left all their belongings and fled to evacuation centers in the nearby towns. Areas around Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon and Nothern Luzon were left covered in ash - roofs have crashed from the weight of the volcanic ash, trees and fields of corn and other livelihood ruined from the ash fall and animals dead from suffocation from the fumes. Displaced and confused these people are still in possible danger from the threat of a larger pyroclastic eruption from the former inactive volcano.
However, as usual, this did not damp the Filipinos’ sense of humor. When stuck in one place with nowhere to go, there’s nowhere to go but online. For the next few days, these photos went viral.
image courtesy of Malick James Hilado on vice.com
There were some netizens who didn’t like the how these photos made fun of the donations that they had been given. But what do you do when at probably the most despondent time of your life, while you’re dusting off ash from you clothes, you were supplied with a long gown or a bathing suit to change into?
A number of people took to social media to express their disapproval of the funny memes and jokes about the disastrous event. Totally understandable if the jokes come from a third party who do not understand the distraught brought about by the event. But what happens when the victims themselves make fun of the situation? Sometimes, we just need to take a chill pill and see things from their perspective. Humour has been a saving grace for most Filipinos. It’s a coping mechanism that allows everyone to focus on the funny rather than the sad truth. This allows us to keep on moving and surviving – laugh, live and move on.