State of the Nation : Bracing For HABAGAT 2016

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This Evening  it is Raining in my City 



(Words by Me)

This evening  it is raining in my city 

Water comes down from rooftops

The sound of their pounding awakens

Like the condor’s staccato flaps .

Thunder roars with no fears,

The rambling mad and heavy 

Like dams banging on my ears.

Lightning flashes paper thin 

Cutting through open vastness

Like shards of glass on my skin. 

Thunderstorm comes as relief 

The monsoon rains shower life,

Filling the thirst of dams and fields

A drop of salvation just in time .

It’s rise and fall bring fury 

To many it’s pure agony,

Bursts of anger from displaced men 

And chaos to a failed system .

Wading through false hopes

In this Third World Country it isn’t  easy

When murky waters take its hold 

The weatherman gets to be busy. 

 

 It is the rainy season once again.  The month of August  is often  referred to as the ghost month in Chinese fungsui , which connotes to a  month of suffering , crisis, chaos, death , unfortunate events,  — the negative energies  ( yin) caused by the opening of the gateway from heaven unleashing spirits to roam the earth. That was taken from the mouth of the astrologers. And depending on the year it falls on the animal chart , this year 2016 it would start from Aug 14 til Sept 12 , and the ghost day to fall on Aug 28.  there are also ruling elements that can effect  it, like water is the predominant element in August. This month has been  hexed , many fatalities were recorded during this month, tragedies in water during the past years and  from other  sorts of natural calamities ,  accidents, political destabilizations, and the like.  

Typhoon and Monsoon Months

In the season calendar, we are experiencing the effects of the ghost month. Wet or rainy season is  caused by  low presure areas, ICTZ, typhoons coming from the Pacific and heavy rains caused  by the southwest monsoon . Being a tropical country , we often find this rains as a  relief as the weather becomes cooler and bring  the much needed  water supply to fill dams and reservoirs. However, as the season enters the August month until  it approaches the last quarter ,  the weather becomes   a nuisance , as more severe typhoons ( supertyphoons ) come in.

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Zero visibility in the city .

The Habagat ( monsoon ) unleashes severe rainfall which lasts for days and weeks submerging cities and provinces. typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana)  Sept of 2009 is remembered as the worst in terms of rainfall , the mother of all floods, the typhoon by which all others are measured. It packed a whole month of rainfall in a matter of 8 hours. Damage was estimated at P 10 billion and casualties were 760.  Typhoons and monsoon rains are detrimental not only to the economy , but to the security of those living in the affected areas experiencing landlides , flooding, traffic-congestion and standstill along coastlines, riverbanks , highlands, and the critically  affected Metro Manila area where a population of 12 million is congesting  every  waterway,  side streets , malls, commercial and office districts ,  highways public utility vehicle terminals,  rail terminals, airports. There is no end to the plight of the ordinary Juan and even the richer oligarchs are not  exempt from the worsening woes , both flooding and traffic which is one hell of a  nightmare no words can  describe . If  you’ve been once a traveler to the Philippine, you can attest to that.

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Screenshot of the evening news

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Wading thru flooded street in Quezon city . photo by zJoel Liporada/Rappler Wading thru flooded street in Quezon city .      photo by Joel Liporada/Rappler

 

The usual scenario every time the Habagat or monsoon season comes is the disruption of the   academic calendar  due to  suspension of classes. There was an amendment in the current school year system, moving the start of classes to August , from the usual June opening.  However , it seems they are right on track welcoming the fury of  the monsoon since the start of the weekend last week up to this weekend.  This  just left the students as sitting ducks .

Weatherman gets to be busy . photo credit @ whatsupasia

Weatherman gets to be busy ..

photo credit : philippines.whatsupasia.com

Photo from philippines.whatsupasia.com Photo from philippines.whatsupasia.com

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View from a building near the Tullahan River .

After Ondoy, the govt created the NDRRMC under the Office of the President, the  ( National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council)  , which coordinates all  activities between the government services , acting as prime mover at the forefront of diasters. We are currently under a new administration brought about by the election of a new president  who was hailed by many of his followers and majority of Filipinos as the Messiah. It is too early title , let him do the best executory power to handle this dilemma. but as early as his first 100 days of office , he has  made himself infamous once more due to his derogatory remarks to the Chief Justice and the  Justice Secretary, and most of all,  the homophobic  slur on the US Ambassador to the Phils.  This is on top of the UN and international organizations condemning his  extra judicial approach to the drug menace (   rise in  so called  extrajudicial killings) .  What will he do about Habagat 2016? Its been a week crisis and have casualties have been reported.  The LA Mesa dam is in critical level of spilling, and  many areas are in deep waters, (Metro Manila, Calabarzon, CAR, Central Luzon, Mimaropa).

 

Call to Action

Now, the problem of  flooding and traffic  is a real  test of administration.  .In my humble opinion , the problem  is not for a picnic day.  It needs divine providence . First ,the Philipines should be at the  forefront , back in stage  at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, being a  signatory in Paris in  April 2016 and in the initial framework agreement years before.  We were heard as a voice crying out for help in the wake of  Ketsana and  super typhoon Hayan. But the process is very slow, and signatories have not come into full agreement with the amendments . This time its the real thing , preparations will begin   putting the Paris Agreement into force. We hope the leaders in the signatories and our own leaders will abide and adapt to the new measures on  fossil fuels emission and green house gasses and the protecting biodiversity . 


The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UNFCCC is scheduled to take place from 7-18 November 2016. During COP 22, parties will, inter alia, begin preparations for entry into force of the Paris Agreement.  
read more: http://climate-l.iisd.org/events/unfccc-cop-22


 Domestically,the agencies needed to be on alert mode would be  the following: DOD( Dept of Defense) , MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Developent Authority),  the DOTC ( Dept of Transportation and Communications , the DPWH ( Public Works and Highways)  , the DiLG (Interior and local Government), DSWD (social welfare services)  , the DSWD being the lead relief agency , and Dep ED/(Education) / CHED , for the early suspension of classes  and dissemination of advisory. They need to be under an emergency  response body or  a Super Agency  to start  the  gargantuan task of  responding to the effects of the typhoons and monsoon in    Metro Manila and  the  provinces affected ( including Luzon and the Visayas in this case)  .Before the  Big Ones come , (  supertyphoons) , we could  enhance and intensify  the ff areas: weather forecasting and planning, risk reduction management ,disaster preparedness, urban and environmental planning , relief efforts /social welfare devt, public health, and safety , social security ( standby for the  calamity loans).  Basic services should reach the grassroots level, that is clearly  in his agenda. A big chunk  of  the budget should be allotted  with the highest urgency.  People ( netizens ) have  been proactive after Typhoor Ondoy, and  have been  at the forefront  of    national activism and civic- consciousness, thanks to Social Media and the online awareness of Filipinos to report , react, and respond. Volunteerism has a part of the awareness programs.

Always Be Prepared. Image from gov.pH Always Be Prepared. Image from gov.pH

No Classes. On second week now . Image from gov.ph No Classes. On second week now . Image from gov.ph

 

Who wants the front row seat   watching Waterworld ?   

 

It”s  August when murky waters take its toll, 

In this Third World  Country   the weathermen gets to he busy.

 

Featured image credit :  PanahonTV/Instagram

 



Original poetry and content [email protected] copyright2016  S.L. Luna .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






  • Comments

    1. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
      Rex Trulove

      Here in the Montana Rockies, in the northern US, we’ve had a very rainy year. It finally got dry and hot (100+ F/ 38+ C) in July. However, it rained hard on Thursday and was cool yesterday before getting hot and dry again, starting today. While all this was going on here, there was major flooding in the southeast US and quite a few people have died in floods in Louisiana.

    2. Profile photo of S.L. Luna
      S.L. Luna Post author

      @andriaperry thank you for liking my poem and hope youll be ready for the rains when they come to you . most America are suffering from flooding too , of historic proportions. Clearly signs of the times.

      1. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
        Rex Trulove

        It sure seems that every year is getting colder, particularly in the north. This year, it never warmed up here until very late. In the northeast, it was also cold for a lot longer than usual. Parts of Pennsylvania repeatedly had record lows. Global cooling is definitely having an effect through the north.

        Around here, we have another problem, too. It rained so much more this year than normal that the grass and bushes grew like crazy. When it finally got hot, even though it was two months late, the grass and bushes dried out. With the sudden increase in heat, we have a lot of thunderstorms and with the woods dry and full of dry grass, it doesn’t take much to start a wildfire. One lightning strike can spark a fire that can quickly grow into something major. We have several burning right now, though not as bad as year before last.

    3. Profile photo of S.L. Luna
      S.L. Luna Post author

      @stbrians thank you I’d like to just didn’t know if I’ll have an audience and some of the good ones below 40O words so I’ll have to expound though I have narrative ones which are longer. You write very well .

    4. Profile photo of Jo Pin
      Jo Pin

      The monsoon rains can be an advantage and disadvantage to many Filipinos. I hope our government could do fastest action for flooded area and flood prone provinces. You have a niche in poetry, keep them going.

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