Heat strokes
SINGKIT - Notes from the editor (The Philippine Star) - March 15, 2015 - 12:00am

The cool northeasterlies (amihan) are on the way out, blowing their last gusts before the warmer southwesterlies (habagat) settle in. Up on the 19th floor where I live, the wind is so strong I can hardly open my windows, lest papers not weighted down fly all over the place and the doors slam shut with such a loud bang my poor dog scampers under the cabinet in fear.

As a kid we always counted the start of summer from Ash Wednesday, the onset of the cuaresma, as the old folks would say. That meant it was time for shorts and sando, and we could have ice cream for dessert, or even halo-halo (the ingredients home made, and not from bottles or cans bought from the supermarket). We could also start asking permission to go swimming on weekends at Fifth Aunt’s house, which was a real treat for us cousins, nevermind that Fifth Uncle’s apiary was right beside the pool so the bees sometimes flew over, which made us scream and scramble to make sisid to avoid getting stung.

The best thing about summer, of course, is vacation, and pity whoever needs to go to summer class or has assignments like prescribed reading or writing essays to fulfill. Summer is for play, for sleeping late and waking up late, for watching television for at least two extra hours each night, and for staying over at Amah (grandma)’s with all the cousins so we could climb the guava tree and set up “headquarters” on top of the pigeon and chicken coop next to the tree and plot out the adventure for the day.

I obviously have good memories of summers long past, and these days, with the heat getting more intense because of climate change, the greatest joy of summer is that school is out and traffic is lighter – or so we hope. School isn’t quite out yet, and so for the past few days we have had to contend with unpredictable traffic, especially in our neck of the woods where a big hole smack in the middle of the busy Roxas Blvd. intersection (re-blocking, I believe it’s called) makes negotiating that short stretch of road a real ordeal. Add to that the return of the monster trucks and container vans lining up for kilometers to get in to the ports and you have trapik to the max under the summer sun. This despite the pronouncement from government a couple of weeks ago that the problem of port congestion has been solved. I think I’d like some of whatever it is the port congestion “czar” has been smoking or drinking; obviously he doesn’t hold office anywhere near Port Area. The congestion may be solved on paper, but as with a lot of other things, the reality on the street is not quite as hunky-dory.

The weather bureau warns temperatures will climb and the health department warns against summer illnesses like heat stroke, so we all really need to keep cool, and keep our cool, which is not an easy thing to do when lawmakers are constantly squabbling, government officials are making wild pronouncements, the Mamasapano agony drags on and on and gets more convoluted and no one really knows what kind of resolution – and when – we will have to this tragedy.     

 

ASH WEDNESDAY CONGESTION COOL FIFTH AUNT FIFTH UNCLE MAMASAPANO PORT AREA ROXAS BLVD SUMMER
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