Our country gets hit by about 20 major storms a year, and because of this steady stream of devastation to life and property, Filipinos have earned a reputation for being “resilient.”
Few images better capture this spirit than the photos snapped by AFP at the height of Typhoon Lando, which made landfall in Luzon on October 18 and is the second strongest storm to hit the country in 2015. In the photos taken at a Nueva Ecija farming area, a man is staying afloat in floodwaters by holding on to an inner tire tube. While cradling a pig.
And in the photos, the man is actually smiling, instead of looking stricken at his situation. Coupled with the dose of cute courtesy of the pig, no wonder the pictures immediately went viral.
The Manila Times shared the photos on its Facebook page on October 19 with the caption, “A resident uses an inflatable inner tire tube to help him and a rescued pig stay afloat in floodwaters brought on by heavy rains caused by Typhoon Lando (international name: Koppu) in the town of Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija province on Monday, a day after Typhoon Lando hit the province of Aurora.”
As of this writing, the post has garnered over 22,000 likes, over 10,000 shares, and hundreds of comments from Facebook users.
Fellow Filipinos were quick to praise the man—and by extension, the Filipino spirit—for resilience and optimism in such trying times. Facebook user Ryan Anthony Buccat summed it up best by saying,“In the midst of a disaster, a smile splashes away all our worries because we Filipinos are imbued with the values of faith and hope. Despite all the difficulties in life we were able to stand. #BangonNorthandCentralLuzon”
Even folks from around the world who saw the photos couldn’t help but laud Filipinos for being—there’s that word again—resilient. User Barbara Toner from New York wrote, “Wow, The Philippines gets socked again. The people are very resilient.” User Carleen King from California praised the Nueva Ecija resident for rescuing the pig, saying, “Young man, you are a hero, thank you so much for saving that sweet little pig!” User Tash Hall from Brisbane, Australia simply exclaimed, “What a man!!”
According to Philippine Daily Inquirer, Typhoon Lando brought powerful winds and intense rains to Luzon and went on to claim 47 lives and P11 billion in total damage—making it the most destructive typhoon to hit the country this year.
But for this man—and this pig—they got by with a smile.