Here on the Archipelagos’ known as the Republic of the Philippines, there are varied weather systems, depending on where you live. I live on the Island of Luzon which has a rainy season or monsoon if you will. This phenomenon came as no surprise to me since the first trip here, low those many years ago, was during that very season.
I’ve encountered monsoons before here in Asia, and in India, Africa and South America. It occurs pretty much along latitude 15 degrees North around the Globe. Now, don’t we all feel better for knowing this?
I’m going to explain how this has worked out for me while living here in Bataan during the month of June 2011. This is not going to be a gripe session as I fully knew what I was signing up for when I purchased the land and built our house here. The past 10 days starting on 17 June until 27 June, it has rained, and I mean non-stop, frog drowning rain, and knowing that down in the flatlands below our mountain, there has been flooding, so I’ve pretty much stayed home to avoid getting wet or Heaven forbid, being stuck down there with no way to get back home. We owe it all to Tropical Storm Meari, Ya gotta love that name. Being a weather forecaster here has got to be the easiest job in the country, all they have to say everyday is “There is a 50% chance of rain.” And they’ll never be wrong.
Without a bit of preparation it can become a tad stressful, being held captive by the weather. Cabin Fever I believe is one of the names that it’s called. And I also now have a better understanding of the months of no daylight they put up with in the far North around Alaska, since I was on a ship up there during the winter operating out of Dutch Harbor, on the Island of Unalaska. But here I am experiencing the same thing in the Philippines. Who took my sun?
So what do I do, I could watch a lot of TV, but the dream satellite system works about 15 minutes out of every hour, due to the hard rain. But I’m well prepared for that. Before the rain I stocked up on DVD’s from the vendor in Olongapo. He sells only legal DVD’s, and this I know because he sells them right in front of the Police Station. I don’t buy movies as the quality is low, what with all the people getting up in front of the cameraman to use the restroom or going to buy snacks. So I purchase TV series, by the season. The one I’m watching this month is six years of MacGyver. You’d not believe how many MacGyver-isms I’ve learned. I find myself carrying a matchbox with paperclips and other odds and ends everywhere I go. Not much I can’t fix or jury rig. I have also learned that if it moves use WD-40, if it doesn’t move use Duct-Tape, as a rule of thumb.
But for the most part, I prefer to read, and being old fashioned I still use books (For those with Kindles, you’ll need a dictionary, which BTW also comes in a book format) just turn on some music, and settle in the chair and read.
On June 23rd the rain let up in the morning, and Mayang and I jumped into our new old car and raced to re-stock our larboard at Subic Freeport, while stopping to pay the P .20 toll I put my power window down, and discovered that it liked being down, and refused to come back up, and you know that the next thing to happen was the rain had started falling. Bless that guy named Murphy!
Did you know that if you drive fast with your window open you’ll not get that wet, wet yes, but not that wet. This was my first time to find that out. Knowledge is power! It was a worthwhile trip as many need items were re-stocked, like canned beer in assorted flavors, two types of rum, and gas for the generator.
Now the reason for the brownout is because of the great planning by the electric company, who build their transformer and switching station on low land, so as the water will rise, the power will go off, which is far better than seeing the glowing employees that have to work there, becoming electrocuted.
Now to move on to what can only be called the best political spin job on earth. Every year prior to the rain, the city of Manila reports to its citizens that the city is 90% ready for the rain. So they are covered, because any area that does flood must be in that ten percentile that was not ready. I could not have spun it better myself.
So the next dry day, I will take the new old car and get the window fixed, I’ll visit with my friend and we’ll tell lies about how we survived the inclement weather. The past will be relegated to the past where it belongs, and the cold beers will be consumed, because we like it here, come rain or shine!