Feeling Low? Read This!

a friend captured this early this morning in his home province…

If you are a non-Filipino and you hate your life and at a lowest low, think again.  Let me just inform you that while I am writing this, my country (the Philippines) is experiencing the deadliest, the strongest and most devastating tropical storm of the year on the planet.  Power outages, spotty internet, dreadful storm surges by the seaside, terrible flashfloods, daunting evacuations of families and horrible destruction of buildings, crops and produce are all ongoing.   And this is in the midst of the deadly pandemic!

So, if you are feeling sad, miserable and dispirited, think again! You just don’t know how blessed and fortunate you are at the moment.

Got to go.  Need to evacuate to my mom’s house and arm myself with the mighty umbrella!  Stay resilient Philippines! I pray for everyone’s safety and that this deadly storm will pass soonest!

Winter in Manila

match this with a stylish scarf and chic knitted winter hat, this fashion ensemble would be very appropriate for the would-be mild manila winter...

match this with a stylish scarf and chic knitted winter hat, this fashion ensemble would be very appropriate for the would-be mild manila winter…

The Manila weather in the past two weeks has been unusually chilly.  This is especially true from late afternoons until the late mornings.  Between these time periods, considerable number of people in the metro as I observed are surprisingly sporting jackets and sweaters.

Temperature in Manila has always been hot and scorching all year round.  Very cold countries would actually announce a heat wave in case they would experience the regular and prevalent Manila temperature.  That is why, temperature has never been a topic for a Manila-based conventional conversations.  But for the past two weeks, people are now talking about how chilly it has been.  Also, there has been a slow down on the sales of halo-halo while sales of hot lugaw (congee) has gone hotter!

With this surprising weather changes by freaky and fickle mother Earth, I will not be surprised that in a couple of years, international weather bureaus will announce that hot tropical Philippines will already experience winter.  I guess this is not farfetched because just last month snow actually fell in hot and sticky Vietnam.

What will be good in case scorching Manila will experience winter is that it is not the bitingly cold and bone-penetrating type of a winter similar to those countries away from the equator.  It would be tempered type where people can simply put on a piece of scarf around the neck and will no longer look silly in case they would sport layered outfits out on the street.

Though it is a bit worrying (of course, because of treacherously distorted climate changes), for me, winter in Manila would be a welcome change.  Why? Here are six advantages of having a mild chilly winter in Manila:

  • There would be downright decrease in electric bill since there will be lesser usage of airconditioning units;
  • There would be a decrease in the stench of body odors in public places – inside trains, malls, buses and jeepneys – because people will sweat less;
  • Fashion industry in Manila would finally take some transition.  There would already be a winter collection for local fashion designers.  Fashion Weeks held here in Manila are inappropriately pegged as summer and spring collections when in fact it should be labelled wet and dry season collections since these are the only seasons of equatorial Philippines.
  • There would be no atrocious diaphoretic beer-bellied shirtless people on the street (in Tagalog: wala ng nakahubad na malalaki ang tyan sa kalye);
  • Celebrities wearing jackets and layered garments who performs on TV during their Sunday weekly variety shows will no longer look stupid; and finally,
  • I can wear my Bershka leather jacket and Doc Martens leather boots!

Brrr… gininaw lang, kung ano ano na naisip!

A Not So Long Letter To Anderson Cooper From A Not So Big Fan

Dear Anderson Cooper,

anderson cooperFirst of all, I would like to welcome you to my dear country, the Philippines.  Secondly, let me tell you that I am a fan.  Not a big fan but still a fan.  I admire your captivating appeal, from your uncontrollable giggles to critical life-threatening reporting on TV.

I know the reason why you’re here is because of your assignment of being a news correspondent sent by TV giant Cable News Network (CNN) to report live from where the heart of devastation of typhoon Haiyan took place.  You obviously have travelled around, but have you ever realized that countries other than yours would not want you stepping on their very soil?  The reason for this is because it blatantly means that there is serious mess in that state.  And because of your unbending guts and gallantry in reporting, CNN has always been assigning you to the most distraught and distressed places and situations.

Though I have always thought that it would be interesting to meet you personally, I personally at the same time would not want seeing you in my country.  It is because if you’re around, that only means my country is fucked-up and there truly is deep trouble around.

But since you’re already here, let me weigh in on what you have recently reported on CNN about your observations about the onslaught brought about by the super typhoon Haiyan.

First, you arrived in Tacloban five days after the devastation and was disappointed and stunned to see that there seem to be no clean-up and relief efforts given to the people of the province.  Second, you compared the Visayas typhoon devastation to that of the Japan tsunami tragedy in which clearing and relief efforts were promptly carried out.  You reported that clearing operation in Japan started right away and on the second day, there was already food feeding program for the victims.  Also, you expressed with so much compassion that my country has long been suffering from corruption as orchestrated by the officials and workers in the government.

Let me just tell you that I wanted to stand and give you a deserving round of applause and shout “Bravo!” when you stressed  the last item I enumerated above.  Thank you for expressing in such a potent fashion what I have been longing to express.

However, it’s too bad to know that you seem to fail to have asked your CNN resident meteorologist on which is more devastating.   Is it the Japanese tsunami or the Philippine typhoon Haiyan?

super typhoon haiyan

super typhoon haiyan

To put things more in perspective, tsunami is a destruction composed only of strong water element while a storm surge is a mix of intense water and powerful wind elements.  Typhoon compared to tsunami is a totally different animal Mr. Cooper!  To further prove my point, the tsunami in Japan did not flowed crossing the whole nation.   But for super typhoon Haiyan, it first touched down on land then crossed the whole length of the country from end to end.  It is so deadly, that after passing through the whole width of the Philippines, it even crossed the whole width of South China Sea and again wrecked havoc in China and Vietnam.

From this, which do you expect Mr. Cooper suffered harder?  You can ask your networks meteorologist if you’re not satisfied or got confused with my explanation.  Thus, since the latter is more destructive, which do you think is harder to clear and harder to reach?

Another thing to bear in mind is Japan’s devastated area’s accessibility as compared to the problem of accessibility of Tacloban.  First, since Tacloban was harder to clear, therefore its harder to reach.  Just correlate this with the speed of you going to Japan with that of the time it took you to reach Tacloban.  You said that you observed on the second day after tsunami that feeding stations are carried out in devastated areas in Japan, thus, it only took you 2 days to go there but 5 days before reaching Tacloban.

tacloban peninsula

tacloban peninsula

Mr. Cooper, you also failed to review your Google Map.  It was such a waste of time and effort that it was downloaded from your mobile phone if you’re not gonna use it.  If you will check, tsunami did not reach land areas that are further away from the sea, thus, immediate help can come from these unaffected zones.  But mind you, Tacloban is a “peninsula” (a land projecting out into a body of water) in the beautiful island of Leyte.  Google Maps indicate that three fourths of Tacloban is surrounded by water, so just imagine the massiveness of destruction.  And it is not Tacloban that is only affected.  It’s the whole island of Leyte.  No! Not just Leyte but the whole of Visayas region of the country from east to west.  Thus, there is no nearby “unaffected zone” that can provide immediate help and relief to those affected.

Yeah, I know you have the right to get angry, disappointed and frustrated by what you have witnessed.  I’m pretty sure you know that neither the Filipinos did not want what you have seen and witnessed.  You are a superstar guest of this country and we don’t treat our treasured guests that way.  But due to natural geographical make-up and the unfelt-before deadly might of typhoon Haiyan which was attributed to climate changes happening in the planet – whose primary contributors are the powerful countries like your country – our supposed immediate efforts we admit was left to a frustrating slow-phased struggle.

I’m sorry but even though I admire you, I think I believe what the local lady newscaster who said that you actually don’t know what you’re saying.  Lastly, I don’t mean to be rude, but except in case you have plans of great romantic vacation in some of our divine beaches here in my country, I hope your work-related official business of going to the Philippines would be the first and last.  Therefore, you’re welcome to go back to the Philippines not for business but only for leisure.

Your not so big fan,

Neil “delicious”

P.S.  Please extend our warmest thanks to those thoughtful countries who sent their precious aid, important help and gracious assistance.  They too for sure don’t want you reporting from their area…

 Ipapa-interbyu ka pa namin kay Tito Bhoy pagbakasyon mo dito…

It’s Time To Donate

I know that the Filipino spirit is stronger than any typhoon.  But right now, the people in the islands of Visayas need some serious help after they have been hit by typhoon Haiyan, one ofthe deadliest and most powerful typhoons to hit the planet. 

If you think that your soul is still billion miles away from heaven, I guess it’s time for you to do some serious donating!

Here are two well respected organizations were you can lodge your donations

red cross ways to donate

philippine red cross

unicef phil haiyan1

unicef

Alam mo??? Ikaw na lang ang di nag-do-doneyt…

The Word of the Day is UMAY

Living in a scorching and humid tropical country, I love it when it rains.  Rain is like a sweet dessert after a damn hot meal.  But being subjected to constant raining for the past five days is too much.  It’s no longer sweet and pleasurable.  It’s already like the horrible sickening feeling you get after a nasty food binge.

Thus, my word of the day is “UMAY” pronounced as “ooh-mai” meaning cloy or cloying.  After raining for almost a week this has been my general feeling.  No thanks to typoon Maring and the monsoon wind for being so stupefying.

It’s already nakakaumay, umay-peg and umayness.  But for the sosyal, classy and ostentatiously wealthy the feeling is nakaka-cloy, cloying-peg and cloyingness.

stuck and stumped inside my unit due endless raining for the past 5 days

stuck and stumped inside my unit
due endless raining for the past 5 days

I definitely miss looking at the moon and at the stars.  And I hope the dark clouds would give us a break and the great sunshine would finally show up tomorrow.

Sana bukas umulan… Umulan ng pera…