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After a two-week hiatus, the Southwest Monsoon prevails in the country again.
 
Locally known as Habagat, the Southwest Monsoon is defined as warm and moist winds moving in a southwest direction. Due to these characteristics, Habagat can cause monsoon rains that can last for a couple of days or even a week.
 
Cloudy skies with light to moderate rain showers and thunderstorms will prevail in Visayas, Mindanao, the Ilocos Region, the Cordillera Administrative Region, MIMAROPA, Batanes and the Babuyan Group of Islands. Meanwhile, the rest of Luzon including Metro Manila will experience generally fair weather with localized thunderstorms.
 

 
 
Special Weather Forecast
 
Classes in public schools and work in government offices for tomorrow September 21, 2017 have been suspended. According to Malacañang, the declaration is in line with the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law and will not be a special non-working holiday but a “Day of Protest.”
 
Pro and anti-government activities are expected to be staged tomorrow, while some may use the suspension to unwind from work and school. According to PAGASA, no weather disturbance is expected to affect the country during the observance.
 
 

 
 

 
 
Rains affect western section of Luzon
 
The Southwest Monsoon, warm and moist air coming from the Indian Ocean has slightly weakened in the absence of a weather disturbance surrounding the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
 
But today, it still affects the western section of Northern and Central Luzon, bringing cloudy skies with light to moderate rains in Ilocos Region, Zambales and Bataan.
 
In the rest of Luzon including Metro Manila, down to Visayas and Mindanao, partly cloudy to cloudy skies will prevail with possible isolated rain shower and thunderstorms.
 
The country will remain storm-free in the next two to three days.
 
Question of the Day
Panahon TV follower Gerby Flores asked: “Ilang bagyo ang papasok kapag August?” (How many tropical cyclones will enter or develop this August?)
 
According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Gener Quitlong, two to four tropical cyclones may enter or develop in PAR this month based on climatological records.
 
These tropical cyclones’ track may be a hit or miss. If these weather disturbances hit the landmass, it may make landfall in Northern Luzon.
 

 

 
Two weather systems are still bringing rains in the country today.
 
These include the Tail-End of a Cold Front in the eastern section of Mindanao, and the Northeast Monsoon prevailing in Luzon and Visayas.
 
 
jan 24 5am
 
 
Today, cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms will be experienced in the regions of Caraga and Davao. Residents of these areas are alerted against flash floods and landslides.
 
Cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms are expected in the rest of Mindanao.
 
In Luzon and Eastern Visayas, cloudy skies with light rains will prevail, while moderate rains are expected in Cagayan Valley and the provinces of Aurora and Quezon.
 
Meanwhile, partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains are expected in the rest of Visayas.
 
In an interview with PanahonTV, PAGASA Weather Forecaster Loriedin de la Cruz said that no weather disturbance is expected to affect the country in the next three days. However changes may still transpire, so stay tuned for updates.
 

 
Gale force winds are affecting more areas in the country as the Amihan intensifies. Due to rough to very rough seas, small seacraft and fishing boats are not advised to venture out, while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves.
 
jan 24 5am gale

According to PAGASA, two weather systems still prevail in the Philippine Area of Responsibility today. As the Tail-End of a Cold Front affects the eastern section of Southern Luzon, the Northeast Monsoon or Amihan dominates Northern and Central Luzon.
 
The Cold Front is an area in the atmosphere where masses of warm and cold air converge, resulting in thunderstorms. Ordinarily, the axis of the Cold Front is in level with Taiwan or Japan. The only part that affects the Philippines is its tail end or extension. The Amihan, characterized by cold and dry air coming from Mainland China, is responsible for lower temperatures.
 
jan 23 5am blue map
 
Ready your umbrellas because cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms are expected in Metro Manila, Bicol, Davao, Aurora, Rizal, Laguna, Quezon and Samar.
 
In the Cagayan Valley Region, Cordillera and the rest of Central Luzon, cloudy skies with light rains will prevail, while partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains are expected in the rest of Luzon.
 
For the remaining parts of Visayas and Mindanao, partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms will be experienced.
 
Here’s the weather forecast in the next three days:
 


 
Gale warning remains over Northern Luzon, and the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon, Southern Luzon and Visayas. Fishing boats and other small seacraft are advised not to venture out in these areas while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves.
jan 23 5am gale

 
Mental health is just as important as physical health.
 
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), mental health illnesses are the third most common forms of morbidity among Filipinos. In fact, between 17 to 20 percent of Filipino adults experience psychiatric disorders, while 10 to 15 percent of Filipino children aged 5 to 15, suffer from mental health problems.
 
To promote healthy eating, internist-cardiologist Willie Ong enumerated brain foods you should always have in your kitchen:
 
1) OILY FISH
 
Examples of oily fish are sardines, salmon, tilapia, tamban and bangus. According to Ong, these types contain fatty acids that help develop brain cells.
 
tilapia
courtesy: peters-pan.blogspot

 
WHAT’S IN IT: “May taglay itong omega-3 fatty acids na nagpapaganda ng daloy ng dugo. Dahil dito, mababawasan ang tsansang magkaroon ng sakit na stroke at atake sa puso.” (Oily fish have omega-3 fatty acids that help blood flow, minimizing the possibilities of stroke and heart disease.)
 
INTAKE: thrice a week, 4 ounces per serving
 
 
2) NUTS
 
Examples of brain-boosting nuts are peanuts, cashew and walnuts. Nuts have Vitamin E and Niacin, known as healthy fats that help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
 
nuts
courtesy: motherearthnews.com
 
WHAT’S IN IT: “Ang mani ay maganda sa puso, utak at nakapagpapababa ng cholesterol. Ayon sa pagsusuri, kapag mataas ang lebel ng vitamin E sa iyong katawan, mas matalas din ang iyong pag-iisip. May tulong din ang mani para sa memorya.” (Nuts are good for the heart and brain. It also lowers cholesterol. Based on studies, those who have high Vitamin E levels also have sharper minds. Nuts also help in improving memory.)
 
INTAKE: Avoid salted fried nuts. Limit consumption to a palm-size portion or 30 grams daily.
 
 
3) EGG
 
Eggs can be cooked in different ways, and have high levels of choline, as well as Vitamins B2 and D that are good for kids, too.
 
boiled egg
courtesy: samalatnews.com
 
WHAT’S IN IT: “Ang itlog ay mataas sa choline, isang kemikal na kailangan ng mga bata para mag-develop ang kanilang utak at memorya. Mataas din sa Vitamin A, iron at folate ang itlog.” (Eggs are rich in choline, a chemical that kids need for brain and memory development. Eggs also have high levels of Vitamin A, iron and folate.)
 
INTAKE: Kids may consume one egg per day. However, those who have high blood or high cholesterol should limit intake to three eggs per week.
 
 
4) COFFEE

 
Help improve short-term memory with your morning buddy that’s rich in caffeine and antioxidants.
 coffee-stock-photo-0e8b300f42157b6f
courtesy: nj.com
 
WHAT’S IN IT: “Makatutulong ang kape para maiwasan ang Alzheimer’s disease at panghihina ng ating isipan. May sangkap na antioxidants at caffeine ang kape. May tulong din ang kape sa pag-memorya ng iyong inaaral pero panandalian lang ang epekto nito.” (Coffee helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and strengthens the mind. It has antioxidants and caffeine. Coffee helps you memorize, but only on a short-term basis.
 
INTAKE: Limit consumption to two cups per day to avoid palpitation. Full cream milk and whipped cream, which are rich in fats, should also be avoided.
 
 
5) AVOCADO

 
Avocados are good for digestion and help lower bad cholesterol, preventing the risk of cancer.
 
 Avocado 
courtesy: steptphealth.com

 
 
WHAT’S IN IT: “Ang abokado ay may taglay na good fats at healthy oils. Dahil dito, nakatutulong ito sa pag-iwas sa sakit sa puso at stroke. May sangkap din itong Vitamin B6 at Vitamin E na pampakinis ng ating balat and may help relieve stress.” (Avocado has good fats and healthy oils that help prevent heart disease and stroke. It contains Vitamins B6 and E that are good for the skin and may help relieve stress.)
 
INTAKE: Half cut per day, thrice a week.
 
 
According to Ong, apart from healthy foods, a healthy lifestyle is also important for mental health.
 
“Umiwas sa alak at mga bisyo. Ang pag-inom ng sobrang alak ay nakababawas ng brain cells sa ating utak. Hihina ang iyong memory. May sakit na kung tawagin ay “alcoholic dementia.” Ang ibig sabihin nito ay nagiging ulyanin ang pasyente dahil nabababad ang kanyang utak sa alcohol. Iwas din sa paninigarilyo at pagpupuyat.” (Avoid alcohol and other vices. Drinking excessive alcohol diminishes brain cells and causes poor memory. There is a condition called alcoholic dementia characterized by forgetfulness because of too much alcohol consumption. One should also avoid smoking and lack of sleep.)
 
So whether you’re an employee striving for a promotion at work, or a student wanting to get good grades in school, it pays off to always eat healthy!

(UPDATED AS OF 11:00 AM) The Low Pressure Area (LPA) and Tail-End of a Cold Front dumped almost a month’s volume of rain in one day in some provinces earlier this week.
 
In an interview with Panahon TV, PAGASA Weather Forecaster Gener Quitlong said that the biggest amount of rainfall was recorded in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte on Monday, January 16, 2017. Rain amounted to 209.7 millimeters of rain, almost double the average of rainfall expected in a month.
 
ave jan 16
 
In Misamis Oriental, 72.4 millimeters of rain were recorded in the 24-hour monitoring. This period almost surpassed the station’s total average rainfall for January, which is 98.9 millimeters. Widespread rains in the province caused flooding in Cagayan de Oro, forcing local officials to declare a state of calamity.
 

cdo 1
 
cdo 2
 
photos courtesy of John Ian Udang and Rowena Ambit

 
Two days after the flood, rains are still likely to prevail in some parts of Mindanao.
 
The Tail-End of a Cold Front continues to affect Visayas and the eastern section of Mindanao, while the Northeast Monsoon remains dominant in Luzon.
 
jan 18 5am
 
This midweek, cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms will be experienced in Visayas, Mindanao at Palawan.
 
Light rains will be experienced in Cagayan Valley, Cordillera and the province of Aurora, while partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains will prevail in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.

 
It happened on a Saturday morning. Heavy rains continued to pour as a number of cars were already floating in water. A few hours later, people were soaked in neck-deep floods, while some were stranded on roads, bridges and roofs. Rich and poor alike, survivors cried for help as they witnessed their prized belongings swept away by raging floods. Such was the scene that unfolded at the height of “Ondoy,” the worst storm to hit Metro Manila in almost four decades.
 

BACKGROUND

On September 24, 2009, a low-pressure area inside the Philippine boundary developed into a tropical depression and was named “Ondoy,” with the international name Ketsana. Two days later, it intensified into a tropical storm, which made landfall in the boundary of Aurora and Quezon, and crossed Central Luzon for 12 hours. On the same day, it enhanced the habagat, which brought rains concentrated in Metro Manila, Central and Southern Luzon, and some parts of Visayas and Mindanao.
 
ondoy-track
source: PAGASA
 
At 455 millimeters, the amount of rain accumulated in Metro Manila within 24 hours surpassed the normal monthly amount in the metropolis, according to PAGASA.

IN THE WAKE OF ONDOY


“Ondoy” exited the Philippine boundary on September 27, 2009 leaving a wake of devastation
 
ondoy-effects
source: NDRRMC

Based on the final report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (then the National Disaster Coordinating Council), Tropical Storm Ondoy affected 4.9 million people in the country. The enhancement of the habagat resulted to floods in 1,786 barangays in 26 provinces, and landslides in some parts of Cagayan, Pampanga and Camarines Sur. The catastrophic storm also took 464 lives, injured 529 and caused 37 unaccounted for. Damage to infrastructure and agriculture amounted to P11 billion.
ondoy-effects-2

LESSONS


On the seventh anniversary of the disastrous storm, we visited Marikina, one of Metro Manila’s hardest-hit areas. We asked survivors to share with us some of the lessons that the Ondoy tragedy has taught them. Here are some of their answers:
 
1) Preparedness is a must.

14470825_1340729635951088_1763959225_n
 
“Sobrang takot. Kapag may nagbabaha na ngayon, nagre-ready na kami. Nag-aabang na kami, baka sakaling bumaha, ay lumikas na tayo sa matataas na lugar. Alam na namin ang gagawin namin kapag andiyan na eh. Hinahanda namin ‘yung mga gamit namin. May plano na. ‘Yung kahandaan na kasi noong una, biglaan yun. Natakot din kami. Hindi namin alam ang gagawin namin.”
 
(It was frightening. Now, when flood occurs, we start to prepare. We monitor updates, while planning our evacuation to higher grounds. We were afraid before but now, we already know what to do.)
– REY BAYAOA, a 52-year-old shoemaker in Tumana who saved his family of six during Ondoy
 
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“Kasi dati ang ugali namin, pateka-teka kami. Once na nagkakaroon ng bagyo, kampante ‘yung mga tao na hindi tataas ‘yung tubig o kaya, kakayanin ng bahay nila. Pero ngayon, kapag sinabing may bagyo at nag-signal number three na sa Metro Manila, automatic, ‘yung mga gamit na kayang iakyat, tinataas na,”
 
(We were complacent before. We were confident that our homes could protect us from flood. But now, we automatically move our things to higher ground, especially when signal number 3 is raised in Metro Manila.)
– KATRIN ABELLA, 24-year-old employee who recalled losing four neighbors due to leptospirosis that became rampant after Ondoy.
 
2) Be familiar with warning systems.

14483512_1340730035951048_2106815400_n
 
“Mahalaga, para makapaghanda ang mga tao. Meron na rin dati, nag-a-alarm. Kapag 15, alert ‘yun. May maiksi, may mahabang tunog. Kapag mas mahaba, malapit na sa critical ‘yun, mga 17 na yun. Tsaka kapag matagal ang ulan, nakabantay na kami. Ang alam ko, kapag hindi malakas ang hangin, habagat yun. Kapag may ulan at hampas ng hangin, bagyo. Okay naman ang PAGASA, maganda ngayon. High-tech na.”
 
(It is important that we know various alarms from the river warning system; a shorter siren means alert level or a river height of 15 meters. A longer siren means an almost critical level, close to 17 meters. When the rains are prolonged, we are already on the lookout. As far as I know, habagat has weaker winds while a tropical cyclone has stronger ones. PAGASA is instrumental since they have more advanced technology now.)
– ROMEO BUENAVENTURA, 58-year-old resident of Barangay Barangka who recalled how they witnessed the sudden rise of Marikina River in September 2009
 
 
3) Never be complacent.

 
“’Yung bahay namin, wala pang one kilometer away from the Marikina River… Sina mama, naging kampante sila na hindi kami aabutin ng baha. ‘Yung bahay kasi namin hanggang third floor, maliban dun, first experience naming ‘yun na sobrang baha. Sa mga dati naming bahay, kapag sinabing baha, hanggang tuhod, hanggang bewang, hindi naming in-expect na kapag sa Marikina pala, floor by floor ng bahay ang pinag-uusapan. So hindi sila lumikas… may dumating na chopper mula sa LGU tapos iniligtas sila.”

 
(My mom lives one kilometer away from the Marikina River. My mother was confident since our house had three floors. Before, floods only reached up to our knees and waists. We were not used to the kind of massive flood Ondoy brought so they did not evacuate. Fortunately, a chopper came to rescue them.) – KATRIN ABELLLA
 
4) We must care for the environment.
 
14469347_1340729902617728_1773803925_n
 
“Yung mga ilog, ginagawa ng ibang tapunan. Kalinisan dapat. Dapat tinatapon sa lagayan ng mga basura. Hindi sa mga ilog.”

(Some people throw garbage into the rivers. We must observe cleanliness. We should manage wastes properly.)

– GENARD GUEVARRA, 21 years old and lives just a few meters away from the Marikina River
 
 
“Kailangan talaga may pagmamahal sa kalikasan. ‘Wag babuyin. ‘Wag lagyan ng basura. Dito ang takbuhan ng ulan eh, mula sa Quezon City at Montalban. ‘Yung mga basura, inaagos.”
(We should love our environment. We shouldn’t degrade it. Rubbish from Quezon City and Montalban are brought here to our city through the river.) – ROMEO BUENAVENTURA
 
 
14489064_1341285032562215_1689893089_o

 
5) Cooperation matters.

 
“Gan’un na lang kaimportante ang kooperasyon ng mga LGUs sa mga kalamidad na kagaya ng Ondoy kasi nga sila ‘yung may kontrol. Kumbaga, sila ‘yung medium ng mga tao para malaman kung gaano na ba kataas ‘yung tubig sa ilog o kung kailangan na ba talaga lumikas. Nakadepende rin sa kanila ‘yung safety ng mga tao, halimbawa, mali sila ng information na ibinigay… mas maraming mamamatay.”
 
(Cooperation among local government units is important during calamities since they have control. They also inform us how high the river is, or if we already need to evacuate. Our safety depends on them. If they give us wrong information, lives will suffer.) – KATRIN ABELLA
 
 
6) There is hope after a tragedy.
“Yung mga gamit, kahit paano, unti-unti namin na-recover. Syempre, hindi naman mabibigla na bibili ulit. Ang mahalaga, unti-unting bumabangaon.”
(We cannot easily replace our lost possessions, but we are trying to recover, little by little. What matters is that we will stand up again.) – REY BAYAOA
 
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7) Keep the faith.
 
“Anim kami. Wala namang napahamak sa amin. Awa ng Diyos, nailigitas ko lahat ng pamilya ko. Kumpleto pa rin kaya ngayon. Kapag umuulan, nakahanda na kami bilang mag-anak.”
(There are six of us in the family. No one was hurt. By the grace of God, I was able to save my family members. Now, when it rains, our family automatically prepares.) – REY BAYAOA
 
 
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More than half a decade has passed, and still, memories from the Ondoy calamity burn clear in people’s minds. But more important than the tragedy are the valuable lessons we’ve learned to make sure that we don’t suffer such great devastation and loss ever again.
 
remembering-ondoy