Booking Through Thursday: Cold Weather Reading

This week’s question on Booking Through Thursday is weather appropriate.

When the weather is cold and blustery, would you rather read something is equally wintery? Or something to take you as far away from the snow as possible?

The Philippines, while a tropical country, still experiences bouts of cold weather around November to February. I used to live up in the mountains, and when it hits 15C that’s pretty cold for me. Doesn’t seem like much for folks who actually experience winter, but for us, that’s close to freezing. 🙂

My choice of books isn’t affected by the weather at all. I don’t quite care what I’m reading so long as it’s good read. Although of course, it stands that many of the books I would purchase around this time usually has a Christmas or winter theme, which is probably a marketing strategy by publishers.

Bottomline, good book + cold weather = good times.

Thursday Downpour

The rain came upon us suddenly today. Even though it was already drizzling the night before, I don’t think anyone expected it to be like this, despite news reports. With the events of Ondoy still strong in our minds, people couldn’t help but worry at the possible not-so-good scenarios that could arise.

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The way to work wasn’t so bad. It was raining steadily, but the wind was light. I donned my rain boots to get to work and was thankful I did. The roads weren’t flooded but there were a lot of puddles. Some of the people who were also commuting had the hem and even the legs of their pants wet. I can only imagine the germs that they’re dragging to wherever they were going.

The rain didn’t let up the rest of the day. It had gotten even stronger towards the afternoon and evening. When I was ready to go home, it was pouring in torrents. Once again, my boots came to the rescue. I also borrowed my teammate Gio’s jacket, which was effective in helping keep me dry. I tucked my bag inside and made my way to the tricycle stop.

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I made it home safely, and only about 90% damp. It was still raining when I got home, and none of my siblings were home yet. Thankfully, the rain let up about an hour ago, and all my siblings are accounted for (even if one isn’t home yet). Hopefully, no one got caught in the rain. I did hear that my tita’s basement got flooded, but otherwise they’re doing fine. I’m glad.

Friday tomorrow. I think we could all use a break.

“Northern Luzon is Philippines too”

When Typhoon Ondoy hit Metro Manila, it was all over the news. People rushed to help those who were affected and the response was truly amazing. Granted it wasn’t perfect, but it certainly showed that the spirit of bayanihan was alive in the Filipinos. Even Filipinos abroad did their part, hosting fundraising events to help Ondoy victims.

The sun is shining as I sit here typing these words. On my way to work I passed by places that were greatly affected by the storm and they’re recovering nicely.

I shared the car with people who had just come from the areas that are currently being hit hard by Typhoon Pepeng. The typhoon that had Manila residents scared because it was supposed to arrive days after Ondoy left and and they haven’t been able to recover from it, but thankfully, it avoided the metro. However, that didn’t mean that Pepeng was creating problems for people elsewhere.

The whole week, my friend Yvie in Baguio has been keeping me updated about the weather in Baguio. Rain hasn’t stopped, and signal number 2 has been given all over the Baguio-Benguet area. I had been talking to my sister too on a daily basis, asking her how she is and how the storm was. Saturday palang daw, people in Baguio were in panic buying mode. That was Saturday, October 3.

Last night, Yvie said that power was out and plans to keep it out until the storm passes was underway. Some barangays are flooeded, and roads to Baguio are closed due to possible landslides. Imagine that, if Baguio residents need to leave, they can’t.

Even the lowlands are experiencing some problems. Many Botolan residents have been living in evacuation centers since August, when Typhoon Kiko hit the province. They have no place to go back to as the river claimed their homes.

My mom said that it was raining hard during their entire trip from Zamables yesterday. Earlier my mom received a message from her brother that Aringay, La Union is also flooded. We have relatives there, and we are trying to get in touch with them to know how they are. My friend Den said that it’s flooded in their family home in Tarlac.

I am not the only one who is frustrated with the lack of news and updates about Typhoon Pepeng, as well as the lack of help that’s being given to these locations. I am not saying that the victims of Ondoy aren’t important and getting them back on their feet isn’t a priority. But they are recovering, thanks to the generosity of Filipinos. It’s now time to help those who are still suffering.

Here are others who are as frustrated as I am:

N.Luzon is getting less attention bec. it’s not as ‘sexy’ as the images of flooded Manila streets. Prove me wrong. (via mcg at Twitter)

Northern Luzon deserves the same, nay, better help and response that Metro Manila got for Ondoy. (Francis Ballesteros, Twitter)

n.luzon is phils too!! why aren’t we getting the same help ondoy victims did?? come on pipol!!! we are holding on to dear life in here!! (Jacquie Doria, Twitter)

Jacquie’s family is in Mangaldan, and she hasn’t heard from them yet.

As of this writing, I’m slowly seeing movement towards helping our kababayans up in Nothern Luzon. Please pass any information you could. We need your help. Thanks.

Rainy Saturday

Woke up to really strong rains. I was supposed to be at Fully Booked this afternoon for an event, but when I woke up, my first thought was “No way am I going out today.” I didn’t even look outside, as I was having breakfast with my dad. I only took a peek outside around 10 or so.

This is what it’s like outside:

The buildings are built about three or four feet above street level, so if I step out of the building I won’t worry about flood but that street is where we have to pass to get out of the compound. I saw a man crossing it earlier and it reached mid-thigh.

Most of the cars parked along there were moved inside the empty warehouses, in case the water moves higher.

Here’s a car that was trying to move in but got stuck in the water. The admin, security guards, and various residents tried to help.

Support
Talked to my dad today and told him of the things going on around me, the things I’m doing and my plans for the future. I don’t get to talk to my parents much as they’re in Zambales, and even with cellphones or Skype, it isn’t as good as talking face to face.

He was really supportive, and afterwards gave me a hug and told me that in the end, everything was all up to me. I can choose where to go, and they’ll be there for me. Yeah, I cried again. I love my parents.

Project
He said something about a project he wanted me to do. Coincidentally, it’s similar to something that I’ve thought about for years. If I start now, I think I pretty much meet the deadline. I’m excited.

Family Food Trip at SBMA

To celebrate Toben’s birthday, TaRuth decided on having lunch at SBMA. Sunday morning, with the sun shining and weather hot, we left Manila. We were going to meet my parents and my cousin Karla there. Mama was saying that the weather was really bad in Zambales, and it hasn’t stopped raining since the Monday.

I was supposed to go to Baguio with a few friends but the foul weather had us change our plans. So I was free to join my family for this food trip.


Storm clouds along the road. It was so think I couldn’t see the mountain.

We passed along SCTEX, which cut the usual trip from Manila to the base by about an hour. I remember when we were younger, we thought Olongapo was halfway to Zambales, where in fact it was just the start of the province. Also, as far as I know, the part that people keep referring to as Subic is still actually in Olongapo, but along Subic Bay. Subic the town is different.

Food trip!
Tita Ruth took us to Xpresso Xpress Cafe inside SBMA. They specialize in Italian food. We ordered this giant pizza; two orders of crab pasta, spicy peanut pasta, appetizer platter and veggie sticks with pesto-mayo sauce; and three giant burgers.


Hello pizza!

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