This blog does not claim to be always right. The blogger has no pretensions about being morally, politically, or ideologically correct. This blog contains random thoughts, rants, raves, hysterical protestations and sporadic thinking aloud by a person who is not out to please anyone or pander to anyone's idea of what is acceptable or ideal. Feel free to disagree, it is a free country.
This is my column today, June 8, 2014.
In the last few days the weather bureau has been telling people in Metro Manila to prepare for the onslaught of rains. We are told that the rainy season is supposed to officially begin anytime this week, or this weekend, or next week; I’m not really sure when anymore and I’m not sure our weather men know either. I suspect that it’s not just because the ranks of meteorologists in the agency have been reportedly decimated by piracy courtesy of other countries who have offered decent wages and benefits; weather patterns are probably harder to track and predict today.
In response to the clamor of many Filipinos who couldn’t stand another day of sweltering heat, our weathermen have been making all kinds of predictions about how thunderstorms and rains would be descending upon Metro Manila, but except for that freak downpour in some areas in Quezon City the other week, the rains have not materialized yet.
I can’t blame people for being impatient. I’ve personally been looking forward to some respite from the very long and hot summer of 2014. I am told that it’s been raining almost every day in some isolated parts of the country; but Mother Nature has seemingly decided to make people in Metro Manila and Luzon suffer from the heat just a little longer.
But then again, we do know that it’s just a matter of time before people the monsoon rains descend upon us. In a few more weeks, people would start complaining about another kind of problem—massive flooding, monstrous traffic caused by heavy downpours, kids getting drenched to the bone because local officials and school administrators failed to suspend classes early, etc.
We live in a country where conditions swing from one extreme to another and global warming has made things worse. We just suffered what seemed like the hottest summer ever and I dread the thought of what the upcoming rainy season will be like - hopefully, not many Ondoy-like downpours this year.
Soon there will be water everywhere and the fears that we had just a few months ago as we watched the water levels at our dams dipped below critical levels would seem unfounded.
The truth is that the impending water crisis is real. Just because most of the country get flooded at certain times of the year does not mean we can forget about water conservation.
Water is not an inexhaustible resource. Our water beds are drying up and there are many places in this country where wells dry up as soon as summer starts.
Many countries have started to build water reservoirs under their highways and major structures such as gymnasiums. They’ve also started to put in place serious water conservation and recycling efforts. These are countries that are managing for the long-term; they are fully aware that decades from now, water would be an expensive commodity and would be a major burden to their economies. In countries like Singapore, for instance, they have water purifying and recycling systems.
Of course we’re not there yet. Mother Nature has spoiled us with bountiful resources, including water, and most of us think that these resources will always be there. Many among us waste a lot of water. For instance, most people turn on the tap and let water flow continuously while brushing their teeth. One of our neighbors use a hose and a sprinkler to water their plants including those in their second floor windows and veranda– it always looks like there was a major downpour in the neighborhood after they have watered their plants. In many towns and barrios, they have artesian wells where water flows endlessly 24/7 even when there are no users; a variation of this is the so-called “flowing systems” where communities install 40-feet pipes into the ground and allow water to burst from the pipe 24/7. This has replaced pneumatic pumps that required physical energy to draw water from the ground.
It’s difficult to teach people water conservation when they are surrounded by water. This is an effort that requires strategic thinking and a systemic approach. Unfortunately, strategic thinking is not one of the strong suits of our leaders.
This means the cycle will continue. In a few weeks or days, we will suffer from the destructive effects of a seeming oversupply of water. And then after a few months, we will be worrying about where to get our water supply.
I've been having high blood pressure since last Thursday. I had to come home early from work last Thursday because I had a splitting headache and my bp was hovering at 140/120. It eventually went down to 130/90, which in my case is still quite high since my regular bp is 100/70. I've been in bed the whole day yesterday and today - trying not to be stressed out. And yet, my bp is still at 130/100 levels. Sigh.
I would have wanted to join my friends on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Manaoag, but I was afraid the four-hour trip would aggravate my hypertension. Besides, I had a scheduled visit from a reflexologist who claimed to have healed so many with his healing touch. I figured the massage would be relaxing (yeah, I know and he knew that he had to be careful about putting pressure on the nape area).
So let's talk about the reflexology experience first. What can I say, I wish I had the same level of faith as this particular reflexologist. He kept chattering on and on a…
This is my column today. Renato Victor Ebarle Jr. was at the prime of his life; barely 27 years old and just starting to build his career in human resource management. At the time of his death, he was recruitment manager of the Hotel Peninsula Manila. To say that he still had the whole world ahead of him sounds like a cliché but those among us who actually knew him, those among us who were aware of the kind of passion he had for life and for his work, people like me who had the privilege of having been consulted by him on many professional matters, know this with a certain degree of certainty.I was Victor’s professor in three major subjects when he was in college. In each one of them, he sat at the first row, which said a lot about the kind of person he was. Professors know this for a fact: Bullies don’t sit in front of the class where they cannot annoy anyone.I was his thesis adviser and he and his team spent a whole academic school year trying to break new grounds on the question of …
This is my column today. It’s quite hard to describe ourselves collectively as a people. But if there’s something that seems able to capture our essence as a people, it’s the fiesta. First of all, it’s the one experience that seems common to all of us—there are as many fiestas as there are many barangays and barrios in this country.When I was growing up in a small town called Abuyog in the island of Leyte, summer meant the onset of fiesta season. The fiestas were scheduled like clockwork in the months of April and May, as if the elders of the various barrios of the town got together many scores ago to plot a timetable. A fiesta blended together religious fervor, unbridled merriment (including drunken revelry and lots of dancing), traditional games and contests, and needless to say, partaking of large quantities of food, glorious food. Nothing like a fiesta brings out our penchant to do things in the most bongga (over the top) way ever!I think that years of experience have enabled us to…