Yesterday, Metro Manila once again set its new lowest record at 19.6 degrees Celsius. Aside from Metro Manila, several regions in Luzon also experienced lower temperatures.
The Northeast Monsoon remains to be the dominant weather system, continuously affecting Northern Luzon. With its onset last October 15, 2015, PAGASA said that we should expect colder days ahead especially during the Amihan’s peak in January and February. Watch the full interview here:
Today, light rains are expected in Ilocos, Cordillera and Cagayan. Fair weather with isolated light rains will prevail in the Metro and the rest of Luzon.
Meanwhile, localized thunderstorms will prevail in Visayas and Mindanao.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has been monitoring a low pressure area (LPA) outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). Weather Forecaster Jun Galang says it has a slim chance of entering the boundary so it will not have any effect in the archipelago in the next two to three days.
Most parts of the country will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with chances of isolated rain showers or thunderstorms. The tail end of a cold front, however, will affect the eastern section of Central Luzon, bringing cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms over the provinces of Aurora and Quezon.
Galang added that the amihan still prevails in the country, but this time it will just reach the northern part of Luzon. With this, gale warning is up over the seaboards of Northern Luzon due to the rough to very rough sea conditions. Fishing boats and other small seacraft are prohibited to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves.
Meanwhile, here are the lowest temperatures recorded yesterday:
PAGASA Weather Forecaster Jori Loiz confirmed that the peak of the amihan has already ended. Thus, temperatures will gradually rise in the coming days as the amihan continues to weaken. Loiz also clarified that we may be experiencing the warm weather but PAGASA has yet to declare the official hot & dry season.
There are certain factors to consider before PAGASA declares the official onset of “tag-init” in the Philippines. These include the consecutive increase in temperature, the termination of the northeast monsoon, and the presence of the easterlies.
Kung Hei Fat Choi: MPD issues traffic advisory
In line with the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the Manila Police District issued a traffic advisory. A float parade will be conducted today, February 19, 2015, at 2:00 PM. This parade will be traversing the following route:
– start at Juan Luna (Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz)
– left to Plaza Cervantes
– right to Quintin Paredes
– left to Sta.Cruz Church
– right to Ronquillo
– left to Ongpin
– left to Sabino Padilla
– right to Quintin Paredes
– right to Ongpin
– left to Sabino Padilla
– left to Soler
– left to Reina Regente
– end point at Reina Regente (Lucky Chinatown)
Heavy traffic is expected within the Binondo area so motorists are advised to take the following alternative routes: McArthur Bridge, Quezon Bridge and CM.Recto Avenue.
People of Chinese descent are scattered all over the world. With the current census pegging their number at around 1.35 billion, they make up roughly 20% of the world’s population.
Here in the Philippines, the Chinese hold great cultural influence, having lived in the country even before the Spaniards arrived in the 15th century. Consequently, Chinese traditions and customs have now blended with Filipino culture.
Ongpin and the other major streets of Binondo, considered one of the oldest Chinatowns in the world, are gearing up for their grandest affair—the Lunar New Year, also known as the annual Spring Festival in other parts of the world
This year, February 19 marks the beginning of the Year of the Wood Sheep. The date of celebration varies each year, between the months of January and February. Though the Chinese celebrate their New Year in various locations, depending on where they reside, the principles and elements basically remain the same.
THE COLOR RED
During this holiday, red becomes the predominant color in welcoming the New Year. People decorate their houses with red lanterns and paper cutouts. People also dress up in red as it symbolizes good fortune.
Nián Gāo to the Chinese, tikoy is the Filipino version of the sticky rice cakes only available during this time. This traditional food embodies close familial ties. That’s why the tikoy remains a prominent fixture on the dining table as the whole family welcomes the New Year.
Ang Pao, a small red envelope with Chinese characters filled with money, is one of the most common gifts given during the Spring Festival. These are usually given to children or placed above the houses’ doors as offering for the dancing lions. Ang Pao symbolizes prosperity and abundance in the coming year.
LION AND DRAGON DANCE
During the Lion and Dragon Dance parade, the streets are filled with the sounds of drumbeats and cymbals. The dragon dance ceremony is believed to ward off bad spirits and is associated with good luck, wisdom and power.
Small oranges known as kiat-kiat and other round fruits are known to symbolize prosperity and good health.
CHARMS AND OTHER TRINKETS
Lucky charms in the form of pendants, bracelets, rings, figurines and other merchandise are believed to protect the wearer from bad omen, and bring good luck.
Making noise and lighting firecrackers is also one of the most important customs in celebrating the Chinese New Year across the globe. In Chinese mythology, people learned that Nian, a mythical beast known to eat livestock, crops and humans, fears loud noises and the color red. Thus, people put up red lanterns and light firecrackers to scare away the beast.
For generations, it has been customary for people to wish each other good luck and happiness in the coming year. In the Philippines, the Chinese-Filipino communities use Hokkien and greets with Kiong Hee Huat Tsai. The Cantonese version, Kung Hei Fat Choi, is dominant in Hongkong. Meanwhile, the Mandarin version is Gong Xi Fa Cai. All these roughly translate to “Congratulations and be prosperous.”
On a side note, Malacañang has declared February 19, the Chinese New Year, as a special non-working day and a special holiday for all schools nationwide.
In line with this, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz reminds employers “to provide the mandatory holiday pay to workers who will report for work on Thursday.”
The New Year signals a new chapter in our lives—the chance to be better, kinder, and healthier versions of ourselves. But this year, we at PanahonTV suggest digging a little deeper when it comes to making resolutions. Aside from personal improvement, let’s also aim to make this world a nicer place to live in—by forming habits that address issues such as Climate Change, Disaster Preparedness, and Energy Conservation, among others.
1. Use reusable bottles for water. Plastic bottles, when not properly disposed, can cause multiple problems for the environment, such as clogging drainages. According to the EcoWaste Coalition, Metro Manila’s daily waste weighs in at an alarming 8,601 tons per day and is estimated to rise to 9,060 tons per day in 2015.
2. Bring a foldable canvas bag wherever you go. Instead of using plastic, you can put your purchases in it—and even sit on it in instances (an impromptu picnic, perhaps?) when you don’t want to dirty your clothes.
3. Have everyday-carry items that come in handy during emergencies.
4. Maximize sunlight to save on electricity. Read in natural light and use solar-powered gadgets.
5. Plant indigenous trees, which, experts say are more likely to be typhoon-resilient.
6. Reduce your carbon footprint by walking to nearby locations. This way, you don’t only help reduce carbon emission; you’re also on your way to preventing cardiovascular diseases. For more tips on going green, follow these simple tips.
7. Instead of driving, try biking like these people who do it for a living.
8. Carpool. Save the environment while making new friends!
9. Travel safe—whether you’re using public transport or your own vehicle. For destination ideas, we suggest taking a break in our star-studded beaches.
10. Finish your food. Pope Francis dishes out this wise advice, stating, “Throwing food away is like stealing from the tables of the poor, the hungry!” Remember that millions are suffering from hunger worldwide.
12. Make your home resilient against typhoons, including the dreaded Storm Signal number 4!
13. Be fit. Now that the holidays are over, plan healthier meals that boost your immune system.
14. Sort your garbage. Better yet, make your own compost pit in your backyard.
15. Be a positive influence on others. Share your resolutions on your social networking page and spread the good vibes!
As we begin the countdown to ending another year, we take a look at the weather events that made 2014 memorable, weather-wise.
Situation: Tropical Cyclones
This year, a total of 19 tropical cyclones entered the PAR (Philippine Area of Responsibility).
The first was Agaton, which made its entry last January 17. Though it was identified as a Tropical Depression, the lowest category for cyclones, Agaton caused severe flooding in Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and the CARAGA region.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), 244,344 families were affected in more than a thousand villages in 16 provinces. There were at least 1,147 houses destroyed and more than one thousand partially damaged. All in all, damages in infrastructure and agriculture were estimated at more than 500 million pesos.
From the 19 tropical cyclones that entered PAR, 10 were under the Typhoon category with wind speeds of 118 to 220 kilometers per hour.
From these 10 typhoons, Ompong and Ruby could be categorized as Super Typhoons.
Entering PAR on October 7 and making its exit on October 11, Ompong, with international name Vongfong, was classified by the U.S Joint Typhoon Warning Center as a Category 5 Super Typhoon.
Packing maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour and gustiness of 250 kilometers per hour, Ompong—thankfully— did not hit the country as it re-curved towards Mainland Japan.
But Typhoon Ruby was totally different story. With the fitting “Hagupit” as its international name, Ruby entered the country’s boundary on December 3 and made its way out on December 11. With maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour and gustiness of 250 kilometers per hour, Ompong made five landfalls.
First landfall: Dolores, Eastern Samar
Second landfall: Cataingan, Masbate
Third landfall: Torrijos, Masbate
Fourth landfall: Laiya, Batangas
Fifth landfall: Lubang, Island
The NDRRMC filed a total of more than four million residents affected in Regions III, IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, CARAGA and the National Capital Region. 18 deaths were recorded while injured persons reached up to 916. Ruby damaged mostly infrastructure and agriculture—the total cost amounting to more than 5 billion peos.
Due to its devastating impact, a state of calamity was declared in San Pablo City in Laguna, Batangas, Albay, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, Naga City, Juaban and Gubat in Sorsogon, Sorsogon City, Aklan; Maayon, Dumalag and Panay in Capiz; and Northern and Eastern Samar.
Because fatal storm surges brought by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 made the public more aware of this weather phenomenon, Ruby kept Filipinos on their toes.
Coincidentally, while Ruby was inside PAR, an astronomical event happened. This was the Full Moon phase, which caused higher tidal variations due to our satellite’s strong gravitational pull.
Weather forecaster Chris Perez explained that higher waves were expected due to the combination of storm surge and the effects of the Full Moon.
Watch the Interview: Storm Tide
PAGASA officially announced the start of the Hot and Dry season last March 26. Easterlies, the prevailing wind system during this time, brought hot and humid weather to the country.
Aside from the easterlies, this season’s indicators included the presence of the High Pressure Area (HPA), which brings good weather conditions, the termination of the northeast monsoon, and the increase in temperatures.
Upon the onset of the Hot and Dry season, the country undeniably experienced a number of scorching days that were especially evident in the Luzon area.
In March, Tuguegarao recorded a maximum temperature of 37.9 degrees Celsius. But its days got hotter in April and May, which brought in temperatures of 39 degrees and 39.8 degrees consecutively.
Meanwhile, the Science Garden in Quezon City documented a high of 36.7 degrees Celsius in May.
The Unpredictable El Niño
Within this year, the El Niño phenomenon became a hot topic during the hot season as PAGASA continued to monitor the ups and down of sea surface temperature.
From April 21 to 28, PAGASA recorded a substantial increase in the sea surface temperature anomaly from 0.2 to 0.4 degree Celsius. It was then forecast that El Niño might reach its peak in the last quarter of 2014.
But with the recent report from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, only weak El Nino conditions were observed in November and December.
Here comes the rain!
The rainy season in the country officially started in June 10. Before declaring the onset of this season, PAGASA first made sure that the following requirements were met:
• Daily thunderstorm activity
• Prevailing southwest monsoon
• 5-day period with a total rainfall of 25 millimeters or more in three consecutive days.
Come on, Amihan!
The Amihan season was officially declared by PAGASA on October 16. The northeast monsoon or amihan is the prevailing wind system, bringing light rains to its affected areas. It also has cold and dry characteristics, resulting to colder mornings.
At this time of the year, a gradual decrease in temperatures was observed in different parts of the country.
Winter season in the northern hemisphere officially started on December 22 this year. This also signaled the start of experiencing longer nights and shorter days in the Philippines.
During the winter solstice, the northern hemisphere leans the farthest distance from the Sun, causing longer nights and lower temperatures for those in the northern hemisphere. The opposite happens in the southern hemisphere where people experience the longest day.
Related article: Winter has arrived
Although a lot has happened this year, there’s more to come this 2015. So brace yourself for those inevitable storms, but remember to keep to the sunny side of the street. With all the changes the weather brings, one thing stays the same: the Filipino brand of resilience that knows no bounds.