Are you prepared for the monsoon season?
There’s probably no one more excited than I am for the arrival of the rainy season. “Excited” might sound mean for people who get nervous with the slightest drizzle after the disastrous floods brought by typhoons in the past, but I have no better word to use to describe my longing for the summer to end. It’s been so hot and humid that I wake up every day wishing the sun would set after my first cup of coffee so that I wouldn’t have to endure the worst of the sweltering heat.
Every day, I wish that it would rain but my wish gets granted only once every seven days or so — if at all. And when it does rain, the downpour only lasts long enough to create an exothermic reaction, and the humidity gets even more unbearable as the concrete roads and the rooftops release all that pent-up heat. If there is such a thing as “clouds heavy with precipitation”, I bet there is an equivalent in a sort of reverse context — concrete, earth, metal, bricks and clay heavy with the heat that they have been absorbing non-stop through the long hot summer days suddenly releasing the heat in one go. Sometimes, I can almost hear it — like steam hissing as the grounds, walls and the roofs furiously and urgently unburden themselves, and hurl their heavy load into the air in direct collision with the cold falling rain. And when the rain stops, all that burden gets slapped on our skin — sticky and icky. Still, there is a respite no matter how fleeting, and that has to be better than nothing. So, I go on wishing every single day that it would rain.
Not that the rains don’t create complications. They often do. In the tropics, the rainy season means the monsoon season when storms and typhoons lash across the country one after the other. Sometimes, the last one has not even left the Philippine area of responsibility totally when the next one finds its way in. And, sometimes, an exiting typhoon even makes a U-turn.
I thought about powerless days which, in extreme cases, can also lead to waterless days. Our carport isn’t covered, there is only a trellis over it, and Speedy’s truck usually gets covered with leaves and twigs and all kinds of debris when a typhoon hits really hard. The last time a typhoon passed this way, palm trees across the street snapped and the entire tops fell. They never recovered. They never bore leaves again.
And then there’s the matter of the electric post — the one in front of our garden. I envy neighborhoods where utilities are underground and there are no visible wires and cables hanging every which way. In our neighborhood, we have “spaghetti wires” — not as bad as those found in very congested areas but spaghetti wires just the same. During the monsoon season, hanging cables and wires often get hit by falling tree branches or, in extreme cases, by flying iron roofs. Not just in our neighborhood but most everywhere in the country. As a precaution, Speedy had the mango tree trimmed to minimize accidents.
Finally, there’s the food issue. Power outage during typhoons is the standard rather than the exception. And when the power outage lasts for days, as it often does, anything in the freezer that doesn’t get cooked and eaten during the first 24 hours usually lands in the trash can. And since we hardly buy canned goods, that means food will be a problem. I guess it’s time to hoard canned goods and instant noodles. Just in case.