Well, Super Typhoon Juan (Megi) passed well south of us, and is now wreaking havoc in China and Taiwan. Even though Juan diverted its path and spared us, I just can’t understand how a super typhoon passing so close hardly does much damage. Oh, there was collateral damage — old, termite-ridden trees giving up their last thrashes of life to the high winds, and the like — but things could have been much, much worse.
During the entire storm, we retained electrical power and internet service. “Way to go, SmartBRO!” was my cheer as I monitored the super typhoon’s progress towards, over and away from these islands. With data transfer speeds higher than average, I could surmise that circuit loading was somewhat diminished, and other users were SOL (Sorry, Out of Luck).
Now, in the week following the storm’s passing, things are different. Perhaps when I was cheering on my internet provider, I should have saved and used some of that cheer for our provider of electricity.
Is it too late, now? “Way to go, INEC!“ INEC =Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. They kept the ↔JUICE↔ flowing to your scribe’s house during the entire storm. They continue to provide fine service to consumers. Typhoons cause situations that these two “stalwarts of science” can’t overcome immediately. Some situations require days or weeks to resolve. Luckily, it appears that my providers are not facing any of those situations — or are they.
Since the typhoon’s movement out of the Philippine Area of Responsibility, we’ve had a number of short power interruptions and dropouts of internet connectivity. Could it be that the province’s infrastructure is experiencing a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? I doubt that. Or, could there be another storm out there causing problems?
I’ve seen this type of power/internet action before. A call to SmartBro’s customer service would be useless, since calls to INEC result in a continuous busy (engaged) signal. So, somewhere down the line, one or more of the internet nodes awan curriente (without power). For reasons unknown (perhaps Philippine Time?), many locations with routers and servers have yet to invest in back-up power. Most frequently, the cell towers, while having back up for the cell system, are powerless when their electricity source dries up.
The cause for power interruptions is most likely repair work, maintenance work, and other work performed by INEC to insure that all consumers have curriente. Work like grid switching and load balancing top the list. Other endeavors include repairing power lines, transformers, and other things that didn’t withstand Juan’s might.
I’m writing this article in bits and pieces, between sudden,
short-duration brownouts and their longer-duration cousins in the high tech field. It’s really
no problem (I compose on my battery-enabled laptop, and wait to transfer the article bits to the
e-zine. What I miss, though, is the ability to look at a preview, upload pictures and place them
in the article, and align the whole thing so that it looks half-way professional.
Still, it’s “Hats Off to SmartBRO and INEC!”
Alternatively, I just might have adjusted fully to island life.
Paul is a CPA and a retired tax accountant, having served companies and corporations of all sizes, as well as individuals, in public accounting practices. Prior to what he refers to as his "real job," he served a 24-year career in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Master Chief Petty Officer. It was during this career that he met and married his OFW spouse of 35+ years, Emy, while stationed in London, UK. (Though he pleaded for the assignment, Paul never received orders to the Philippines.) A "Phil-phile" from an early age, Paul remembers his first introduction to the Philippines in the primary grades of a parochial elementary school where, one week each year, children donated their pennies to purchase school supplies, food and other necessities for Filipino children in need. That love for Filipinos continues to this day. Calling Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte--in the far northwestern part of Luzon--home (just about as far away from Davao as one can be while still being on one of the major islands) Paul prefers a more relaxed provincial life style, and willingly shares a different view of the Philippines from "up north"!