Archive for the ‘typhoons’ Category

It is really nothing new, the Philippines is a flood-prone country but we didn’t expect the destructive nature of typhoon Ulysses. Pagasa said it will only pass by Metro Manila  but  it directly passed by the province of Rizal  in which our town is included, Pasig City, Bulacan province and Marikina City.

Thoughts of typhoon Ondoy back in 2009 came too close all over again. Wednesday of last week, Josef, Jovy and I didn’t have a wink the whole night watching the storm. At round 5 am the following day, I fell asleep for an hour and when I woke up at around 6:30 am, flood waters were at the garage.  We weren’t able to move out the car since the current outside was too strong and several cars on our street were already parked there. It is higher than the other streets in our subdivision.

Right there and then, we gathered  some of our belongings, important papers that should be saved, some groceries and change of clothing. We transferred to our neighbor whose house has three levels. They are like second family to us. With the two fur babies and mom in tow, we braved the winds and the rains crossing the street.  Good thing Josef was able to detach the car’s battery and computer box before we left although rain waters reached the seat of the car. We have it towed last Friday. It is still covered by comprehensive insurance so that’s one expense saved.

Flood waters inside the house reached  my knees  so we transferred everything to a higher place. We came back the following day, mud was all over the sala and dining area. Good thing it didn’t reach our bedrooms. It is always easier to lift those furniture and fixtures and what have you but so hard to put them back after the storm. My legs are aching until now. That Friday night, we were surprised that Isabela and Cagayan provinces in  the north were deep in water, as high as the second level of most home and you can’t even see rooftop of most houses. It was VP Leni who mobilized those who could help in the rescue in the middle of the night.

Malacanang and duterte’s men were so quiet about what was happening in the north. And now these duterte diehards that we call DDS are bashing VP Leni left and right. I hate, hate them. She was so busy visiting those flooded areas that three consecutive typhoons hit. They could not find fault in what she is doing until now so they invent lies and scenarios against the vice-president and post them on social media.

If only they didn’t shut down ABS-CBN, news could have reached those far away places affected by the storm. These dam operators were crazy, they released waters from Magat dam at the height of the typhoon flooding these two provinces. I think protocol is, they have to open the gates at least two or three days before the storm hit.

It used to be that foreign countries help the Philippines whenever calamities like this strike but duterte put an end to that when he said a few years back that he does not need help from those countries because he does not want his human rights violations exposed.

I know, Filipinos are resilient when it comes to disasters but this government is so slow to act to help us. I guess it is about time that he leaves his seat and transfer the reign to our working and compassionate Vice-President Leni Robredo.


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Had a shut-eye at 9 pm. Woke up at 11:30 pm to wait for Josef and Jovy to come home since they had overtime work. Had dinner around 12 am. Went to bed for a while then the rains came. And the alarming winds.

I didn’t anticipate this. These winds are definitely stronger than I imagined. We are only under typhoon signal no. 1. I worry about those kababayans in the north, some provinces are under typhoon signal no. 4.  I talked to my brother in Pangasinan last night and they didn’t have electricity.

I watched the news until around 4 am, when I woke up at 5:30 am, there was no cable. I forgot to buy batteries for my transistor radio. The internet is the only reliable source of news. Kudos to our weather bureau PAGASA which  updates us with the typhoon  every three hours and hourly news at their online site. This typhoon covers a wide range of provinces in the North and Central Luzon, it includes Metro Manila too. In the Visayas and some parts of Mindanao, they are having  monsoon rains at the moment.

Praying that this will end soon.

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My dwarf Pandakaki blooms.

My dwarf Pandakaki blooms.

It’s almost a week now since the rainy days started, three days in a row where all levels of classes in most schools  in Metro Manila and suburbs were suspended due to the inclement weather. Typhoon Egay left a few days ago but it was bold enough to leave monsoon rains in the metropolis. Typhoon Falcon entered the Philippine area of responsibility the other night. It didn’t make a landfall but dumped more rains and saturated the streets of Metro Manila. It’s still a bit dark outside and drizzling. Oh, can’t help but sip a hot cup of coffee (yes, my third cup for the week). And why am I even counting? I haven’t touched the brew for quite sometime, that’s why.

One finds beauty even on a dark rainy day. These tiny white blooms are just so lovely to ignore. They bring a bit of sunshine to an otherwise bleak morning.

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bangon pilipinas

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

I am thinking of  a nice title for this blog but all I can remember are the faces of those survivors , fellow Filipinos who were directly affected by typhoon Yolanda. We get to see several countries pitching in, embracing us  and helping not just financially but their presence in the devastated areas are like beacons of light and hope for  everyone. We get to see that the bayanihan spirit is still alive. We get to see people from all walks of life, from all areas in the Philippines doing their share of helping, making their presence felt, trying to reach out to  our unfortunate kababayans.  And the silent majority  are there quietly doing their share of repacking, donating goods and extending their hands and praying  that this tragedy would somehow make us realize that life is short but it is never too late to do our bit of kindness. We are in mourning – mourning for  the  loss of thousands and thousands of people from the Visayas, we are in mourning seeing the devastation caused by typhoon Yolanda, we are mourning for those little children whose lives were suddenly cut short.

Some observers say they admire the resilience of every Filipino, the ability that one could still smile despite everything, the desire to rise again from the rubbles  and  rebuild one’s life despite all the odds. They admire the way we handle grief, weeping in earnest for what happened but life has to go on and we pick up the pieces  slowly but with determination that we could do it.

Earlier on, I was one of those who asked, “but where are the local officials and where is the national government?”  I would have ranted like the rest of the netizens in the social media whose way of coping was criticizing every move of our government officials, help is slow in coming and it’s a matter of life and death –  save our people from extreme hunger and thirst. The former are doing their best to bring sanity to such chaos but it still seems lacking and they need to move fast.  I posted this earlier at Facebook  and some of my friends had different reactions to it. Short of cursing the government for their slow move, they won’t take it sitting down. The government must know that they lack the push to do what needs to be done.

Rant all you want, criticize all you want but are you doing something? ARE WE DOING OUR SHARE in helping the government make life easier for the typhoon victims?  Sec. Dinky Soliman said that this is a collective effort so let us join hands and be one. It does not help that all we do is post negative comments and act as if we know better.

So I told them: I respect all your opinions here. All of us are affected in one way or another by this massive, destructive, enormous and devastating calamity. All I’m saying is that we must not negatively react “lock, stock and barrel” to all the news we read online.  And while we all know that it is the government’s duty and responsibility to help our people, let us do our share. Sometimes, ACTIONS ARE  BETTER THAN WORDS.

I was surprised to receive this wonderful letter from my niece who is a student at Oklahoma Christian University. She said and I quote:

Hi Tita Arlene! I just wanted to say a quick hello and see how you guys are doing. I also wanted to let you know that even though I know you guys weren’t affected directly by the typhoon recently, my school has sent a lot of love and prayers to the Philippines this past week and a half. We have a Filipino alumna  from here who spoke to us today about it and we also had a special prayer time specifically for the Philippines last Tuesday. So if you know anyone who was directly affected, please let them know we’re thinking about them! I definitely think about you guys a lot because it’s been so many years since I’ve seen all of you. I’m glad that you all are okay, and I hope you’re doing well. Please give Nate a hug for me on his birthday this week. I can’t wait for the day until I finally meet him. I always take joy in seeing the pictures that you and Ate Nissa post of him  – he’s definitely growing up fast! Anyway, I miss you all and please send everyone my love. Take care always!

Mae 🙂

Everyone is praying for the Philippines.  Our faith is bigger than any storm that comes into our lives. Bangon Pilipinas!

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Allow me to greet you another “happy new month”. It’s now October, and it’s my birth month.   September is gone now leaving behind people who lost their homes, properties destroyed, lives lost, floods, and places which are still inundated by the rising waters caused by typhoon Pedring.  We are a country where we experience heavy flooding every year, where  more than twenty strong typhoons  visit  us everywhere in the archipelago but despite the knowledge that we are prone to such calamities, we still get caught in the middle, protecting our properties sometimes more than we protect our lives. Despite the danger, we stand up and face the storms. You might ask, where are we coming from? We are resilient amidst dangers brought by nature’s wrath. Sometimes, it really falls heavy on our shoulders but we take it as if it is our due, as if we are destined to experience such.

I was glued to the news reports on typhoon  Pedring which has just left our country two days ago and typhoon Quiel which is presently dumping heavy rains and gusty winds in Northern Luzon, the same path that typhoon Pedring traversed. My heart breaks seeing those houses blown by the strong winds  and those who are still awaiting rescue in some towns in Bulacan where the flood waters have reached the second level of their homes.  It reminds  me of the ordeal we had with typhoon Ondoy two years ago. It is so easy to say,” evacuate the place , go to safer grounds” but when you are in such a predicament, you try to save as much of your possessions from the floods because you know that after the storm, it would be hard, so really hard to start all over again. It is so  easy to empathize  when you are just watching it on your TV screens in the comfort of your homes with enough food on your plate.  What about those whose houses were destroyed in a blink of an eye and all that are left are soiled clothing and a scattering of a few possessions which can no longer be used? What about those who are on their rooftops  because they have nowhere else to go, no cover on their backs despite the cold?

Despite all the setbacks, we carry on. Circumstances may push us to the limits sometimes but our faith in a loving God will always be our anchor in times like this. Prayers help and praying for each other’s safety is the best recourse we can make.  Just think that the sun always shine after the rain.

And it’s 84 days to go before Christmas! That’s really something we could all look forward to.

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Typhoon Pedring was definitely stronger than I thought.  It brought strong winds to the island of Luzon and toppled power lines which left close to 2 million households without electricity. Train lines in Metro Manila suspended their operations because of the typhoon.  We were so lucky that our town was spared from the flash flood which affected most areas in Metro Manila. Part of Bulacan and Marikina were submerged in water. And I am grateful that there was no interruption in the power service of Manila Electric Company in our area. Classes were suspended in all levels of Metro Manila. Metro Manila was under typhoon signal number two but it was not spared from heavy rains and gusty winds brought about by typhoon Pedring (international name is Nesat).

The whole day, I alternately listened on our transistor radio and watched the news on TV. One should  always be  alert in times like this.  I remember the time when typhoon Ondoy hit Metro Manila exactly two years  ago. Our house was submerged in water and we had to renovate and replace most of our furnitures and belongings because they were destroyed by the flood. It makes me feel so insecure every time there is a strong typhoon coming.

Front of U.S. Embassy along Roxas Blvd.

The seawall along Roxas Blvd.

(I don’t own these pictures, they are property of allvoices.com. Photos by Marven Dumaguet)

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I guess today is just one of those days.  Woke up just a little late from my usual 5am alarm. I could not sleep last night, it rained all night long and I had nightmares just thinking of those places which were flooded. Come to think of it, there is not even a typhoon signal, PAGASA says it’s just a low pressure area but then most places in  Metro Manila are inundated.  If this kind of rain floods some streets what more if there is a typhoon signal? It’s officially rainy season here, although a few days ago, it was still  so hot. At least for two days now, I don’t have to water the plants. Even our Koi seem to love the rain, I don’t have to switch on the pump for long. They look okay happily swimming in our small  pond.

I sometimes hate this  sluggish feeling or maybe I am just bored.  I can’t even finish the book I am reading, goodness, it’s just a paperback. I feel so sleepy all the time. I want to think it’s because of the cold weather.

I checked my account at Facebook and updated our site there but I am not just in the mood to make comments nor posts at our Tambayan page. I enjoy reading all their comments though. Fr Louie has posted this topic about first impressions.  Most of us  are so careful in making first impressions.  Sure, you could form an opinion based on what they share and write about but it is a different thing when you are face to face with a person.  It just takes a quick glance or a smile for someone to make a first impression on you. A smirk might mean that you are not approachable while a shy smile might mean you are friendly.  People also form an opinion of you based on your overall appearance – the way you smile, the way you carry yourself in a conversation, your manner of dressing, your  demeanor or your body language.

In the cyberworld, it is not easy to  do this. You rely on their words, the way they phrase their conversations with you, or the way they express themselves in writing or  through their opinions on certain topics at hand. Do you think it is easier to share when you are just chatting or conversing in cyberspace than when you are face to face with one another? Do you think first impressions last? I do believe that a possible friendship begins with the first word you utter. And I do believe that sometimes, just sometimes, first impressions last.

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Some days could be a little uneventful and annoying. Or maybe this is not just my day. There are times when even small things would make you flare up and you get emotional. Or am I just bored? For one thing, my PC gave up on me while I was doing some research. All of a sudden, the cursor won’t move.  I wonder if my keyboard is the culprit, good thing I was able to borrow my son’s laptop. I am so used to using a bigger and wider screen that I feel like a neophyte in using a smaller but more modern laptop. It’s really no big deal but it added to my annoyance.

Hubby came home from Pangasinan and brought six pieces of Chines Pomelo(lukban), a whole cluster of La Tondan Banana and my favorite delicacy called Tupig.Tupig is a native delicacy from Pangasinan. It  is made of  glutinous rice and grated  young coconut wrapped in  banana leaves and cooked over live coals. Aside from being one of the specialties in Pangasinan, making and cooking Tupig is also an  important source of livelihood in the province.

I am just glad that typhoon Chedeng won’t make a landfall after all. It shifted course towards Japan.  Thank God for miracles and I commend our weather bureau PAGASA for a job well done in reporting the movement of the typhoon for the past several days. I was listening to the afternoon report of  Karen Davila and Vic Lima over DZMM, they were interviewing this certain government official from Bicol and he said, the rain has stopped and the sun showed up. He was practically blaming PAGASA for the inaccurate account on typhoon Chedeng.  No matter how accurate the forecast is, there is always room for error and he was saying that PAGASA’s reports were secondary since people could always use the internet to be able to be updated. Who in his right mind would say that? Not all Filipinos have access to the internet. What about those who live in far-flung areas whose access to news is only via radio and TV? It’s  clearly a case of “damn if you do, damn if you don’t.”  Typhoons could always veer away from the trajectory path anytime, right? Don’t be so self-righteous, we should be responsible for what we say.

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Weather Bureau PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) announced  that we have our very first typhoon for the year named Amang. Weather forecaster Mario Palafox said  that  Amang will bring strong  to gale force winds in the seaboards of Northern Luzon, the Eastern seaboard of Central and Southern Luzon and of Visayas. But there would be no landfall. Since this morning though, the sun has shown its face  for a limited time. It’s been cloudy the whole day and the late afternoon was windy. Here’s the latest news from PAGASA .

Gale Warning No. 27 For: Strong to gale force winds associated with the surge of Northeasterly winds

Issued at: 5:00 pm today, 04 April 2011

Strong to gale force winds are expected to affect the seaboards of Northern Luzon, the Eastern seaboard of Central and Southern Luzon  and  of Visayas.











WAVE HEIGHT (meters)








(55 – 63) / (30 – 34)




3.7 TO 4.5








(55 – 68) / (30 – 36)




3.7 TO 5.0


They advised fishing boats and other small seacrafts  not to venture out into the sea  and alerted larger sea vessels against big waves.

They will issue  the  next update at 5 am tomorrow.

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