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.
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.
Screenshot of the evening news
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 : philippines.whatsupasia.com
Photo from philippines.whatsupasia.com
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.
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
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 @lunastella copyright2016 S.L. Luna .