When one considers how Filipinos failed to learn anything from a wealth of lessons coming from past natural and man-made disasters that have hit the Philippines over the last 50 years it becomes a safe bet that Filipinos will not follow through on any (if any) outcome coming from the first soul-searching exercise. As for the second, there seems to be no evidence of any serious effort to find alternative sources of energy beyond importing more oil from a bunch of unstable Arab kingdoms. With any further will to even explore development of nuclear energy in the Philippines all but crushed, Filipinos are most likely to defer back to their renowned cultural comfort zones bahala na ("come what may") and pwede na yan ("that'll do").
And yet, despite Filipinos' strong tradition of complacency, low-thinking-applied reaction is the order of the day amongst a substance-starved population. The Inquirer editor calls it a "history of overreaction"...
In the same way that the first Persian Gulf war in 1991 led anxious Filipinos, thousands of miles away from any possible danger, to empty grocery shelves, anxious Filipinos have been passing improbable rumors about radiation from Japan reaching Philippine shores. Only this time, the misinformation multiplied at the speed of SMS.
Some text messages contained suggested remedies to use in case of radiation, such as the popular Betadine. Some purported to quote news organizations, such as the BBC. Some even pinpointed the time the first wave of radiation would arrive: 4 p.m.
Of course, this is not surprising for a supposedly 21st Century society living in a world of unprecedented access to information that has a renowned track record of deferring their sensibilities to superstition, religious dogma, the uninformed edicts of pastors and clerics, grandstanding politicians, street mobs, and "social media" chatter.
Columnist Randy David in a particularly brilliant burst of insight (just incrementally beyond his usual brilliant form) hits the nail on the head as far as pinpointing the stark difference in demeanor between substance-deficited societies like the Philippines and all-around wealthy ones like Japan:
Japan, a big user and producer of nuclear plants, became a leader in the industry—an amazing achievement for a nation that had been traumatized by the destructive application of nuclear power in wartime.
In short, a nation that had been history's first and so far only targetted victim of a premeditated nuclear bombardment simply went on to develop a vast nuclear energy generation capability regardless.
That puts a bit of context behind the laughable sight of Filipinos running around squealing and shrieking over rumours of radioactive apocalypse. Japan's ability to look to the future with unmatched lucidity even as it faces the challenge of coming to terms with the immense tragedy of today is a bright beacon of courage and grace shining upon all of humanity. Certainly it is a grace that puts Filipinos' utter lack of grace in perspective. But I prefer to defer yet again to Mr David's words to highlight this point...
Risk-taking is a feature of modern societies. Traditional societies, in contrast, tend to be too intimidated by life’s many dangers—i.e., to losses due to external forces—as to be inclined to forgo many opportunities. In our case, this conservative attitude seemed to be changing, albeit slowly. But, after Fukushima, one doubts very much if Filipinos would be willing to even listen to former Rep. Mark Cojuangco passionately argue the case for the activation of the mothballed [Bataan Nuclear Power Plant].
Filipinos, in all ironies, are renowned for their noisy and colourful bravado. Everything from the Philippine National "Debate" down to idle alcohol-fuelled discussion in beer houses is dominated by lots of banter about imagined conquests, self-described virility, and loud use of big words -- perhaps to mask an inner flaccidity, profound insecurity over a vast wasteland where results should have been, and a penchant for shrieky national panic attacks -- all evidence of a hopelessly virulent adolescent mind that defies all national efforts to outgrow it.
Contrast this with Japan where clean lines, sober stoicism, and quiet achievement define the national character.