#WeSwimAsOne: Working Filipinos’ battle cry as Typhoon Tisoy batters the Philippines

December 3, 2019 - 2:30 PM
Filipinos wading in the flood
Filipinos wading in the flood as Typhoon 'Tisoy' (international name 'Kanmuri') batters the country. (The STAR/Edd Gumban)

The hashtag “WeSwimAsOne” trended on local Twitter as Filipinos cheered for the Philippines team in the SEA Games and the private working sector reporting for duty.

The phrase is a slight modification of the official SEA Games tagline “We Win As One” in which witty Filipinos turned it into “We Swim As One” in light of the current typhoon battling most parts of the country.

30th SEA Games

Some Twitter users used the hashtag to celebrate the win of Filipino athletes so far in the 30th edition of the biennial multi-sport event amid the typhoon.

As of last night, the country has the most number of gold medals as indicated in the unofficial medal tally of the Philippine Sports Commission.

A few notable wins were of Hidilyn Diaz in the women’s weightlifting division, Carlos Yulo in artistic gymnastics and Agatha Wong in the women’s wushu taijijian tournament.

The 30th SEA Games are slated to run until December 11. It is the country’s fourth time to host the much-anticipated biennial meet.

The Olympic Council of Asia recently lauded the Philippines’ hosting of the games, saying that it has the competence to host bigger sporting competitions in the future.

‘Swimming relay’ for employees

The hashtag was also used by the working sector, particularly those in privately-run firms and businesses.

Private companies and workplaces are usually excluded in suspension announcements as their employers have the sole discretion on whether they could be allowed to stay home.

Some employees are also allowed to work remotely so they could be spared from the impacts of extreme weather. Others, however, do not have such privilege due to the nature of their work, among other reasons.

This has prompted them to share the hashtag as a way of solidarity with fellow workers who still needed to report for duty amid the heavy downpour and expected flash floods.

A Twitter user even used the hashtag as inspired by the SEA Games.

“Best of luck to the members of the Philippine Company Employee Team as they compete in their aquatics event today papasok sa office. Bring home the Golden Hazard Pay! #TeamMayPasok #SEAGames2019 #WeSwimAsOne” he wrote. 

“Laban lang mga private company employees. #WeSwimAsOne,” wrote another Twitter user.

“Saludo ako sa mga nagtatrabaho pa rin kahit may bagyo. #WeSwimAsOne,” said another user

As of 12:00 p.m., Malacañang had already suspended work in Metro Manila government offices, except those involved in the “delivery of basic health services, preparedness/response to disasters and calamities, and/or the performance of other vital services.”

Classes in all levels of public and private schools in Metro Manila have been suspended as well.

Typhoon Tisoy

Typhoon Tisoy with the international name of Kammuri entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Saturday, November 30, the opening day of the SEA Games.

Even before it made landfall, classes and work suspensions have already been in effect in some parts of the country. It packed winds of 150 kph and gusts up to 185 kph at that time.

There were also events in the SEA Games which has been suspended such as water sports, surfing and water polo.

Philstar.com’s live blog reports that Romblon, Marinduque, Mindoro Provinces, Calabarzon, Metro Manila, Bataan, Pampanga and Bulacan will experience frequent to continuous heavy to intense rains.

Meanwhile, Bicol and the rest of Central Luzon will experience occasional to frequent heavy rains.

Tisoy is the 20th tropical cyclone to have entered the country.