Floods & Sins [Help Manado 2014 Plea]

It’s been raining cats and dogs here in Jakarta – my city taking in the annual new-year-flooding – and people living in flood-prone areas already settle down in emergency shelters. Unfortunately, around the same time came disaster news from my kampong, Manado. Flash floods swept away most of Manado in less than 2 hours, in the middle of the day, and left thousands of people homeless, and some dead. The most tragic event had been the landslide that severed the arterial road of Tomohon-Manado in several locations, causing 5 or so cars traveling along the road under heavy downpours to fall within the cracks.

Just looking at the disaster pictures plastered on the first pages of every major newspapers in Indonesia, I could not help to be a bit apathetic. Last time I visited Manado had been 2 years ago; my mom and dad went there just last Christmas with my nephew. There were signs of environmental neglect in the city of Manado since the areas of Manado beach was open for business. There are now 4 or 5 malls standing only few meters away from the beach line. Obviously the walikotas and bupatis (mayors) never care enough to halt the never-ending construction. Keep in mind that most locals work as civil servant; most entrepreneurial endeavors are done either by Chinese-Manadoneses or those comes from outside North Sulawesi province (e.g. Javanese, Makassar, and the likes.) Mostly low-income PNS (civil servant) would come in droves during lunch hours and sometimes well after, almost everyday, that you’d wonder where that much spending power comes from.
Boulevard-Manado, a photo by izkaiska on Flickr.
Here’s what I’d like the Minahasa people to do;
  • Wake-up!
  • Re-elect city officials and call KPK to investigate further on any fund mishandling during their tenure
  • Stop going to the malls, start taking care of your family crops (clove, coconuts, cashews, you name it..)
  • Encourage your kids to study harder instead of aspiring to be just another TV stars
  • Encourage your college-bound kids to leave for better schools outside Manado so they could think like normal people for once..
  • Pray that when the flood recedes, people would start acting differently instead of going back to business-as-usual

And those Minahasan living in the US – come back and start rebuilding your motherland! With your US education, you can educate your Minahasan brothers and sisters.


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