While some parts of Luzon are already experiencing rains, PAGASA clarified that “tag-ulan” season has yet to begin in the country.
In a press conference held at the PAGASA Weather and Flood Forecasting Center on Wednesday afternoon, the bureau confirmed the start of the southwesterly windflow or weak habagat that brings rains in Palawan and Mindoro provinces. However, only three out of the eight monitoring stations of PAGASA under Climate Type 1 have satisfied the established criteria: a total of 25 millimeters or more of rain, with three consecutive days having at least 1 millimeter of rainfall per day.
According to PAGASA, the onset of rainy season may be declared between May 28 to June 8.
Here’s the report:
Contrary to popular belief, the rains don’t have to ruin your travel plans. Though destinations may be limited by inclement weather, you can still enjoy these three activities that will relieve your travel-itchy feet.
#1 Go on a muddy adventure!
If you’re up for a thrilling experience, try the Dune Buggy Adventure in Puerto Galera in Mindoro. The rain-induced rough and muddy roads are the perfect terrain for driving the dune buggy around natural obstacles. And because studies show that worrying less boosts your body’s immune system, we recommend taking a break from city life by taking on this adventure packed with mental and physical benefits.
To get to X-treme Sports Philippines, ride the air-conditioned bus going straight to Batangas pier via CALABARZON Expressway for less than 200 pesos. Travel time will take around 2 hours.
Upon arrival in Batangas pier, go to Terminal 3 and find the ticket booth of the ferry going to Puerto Galera. Passengers are required to pay a Terminal Fee of 30 pesos per person, while Environmental User Fee for tourists going to Puerto Galera is 50 pesos.
Puerto Galera has 4 major points of entry so make sure that the ferry is bound for White Beach. It is located at the Holy Child School in Santo Nino (opposite the Shell petrol station), just outside of Puerto Galera, on the way to White Beach. Don’t forget to look out for their signs but it is very easy to get by jeepney, tricycle or motorbike.
Affordable activity by just P500 for 6 laps P100 for passenger per ride…
For inquiries, contact Herman on +63-(0)917-552-8114 or email them at email@example.com for booking.
#2 Chews your own adventure!
If outdoor adventures are limited during the rainy season, it’s no holds barred for your taste buds! So why not travel a bit farther to indulge in no less than the country’s culinary capital—Pampanga? The home of great cooks trained by the Spaniards during the colonial period, this province abounds with heirloom recipes passed on from generation to generation. By car, Pampanga is just one hour away from Metro Manila via the NLEX.
In Clark Field in Angeles, Pampanga, the Binulo Resturant is best known for serving authentic Capampangan cuisine, and the Aeta method of cooking food in bamboo. Indulge in their signature dishes, such as Pangat na Ulang, Beef Kare Kare and Suman with Mango Ice Cream. Expect to spend P120 to P150 per person here.
Still in the same area, Didi’s Pizza has been serving Filipino-style pizzas since the 1970s. Popular for their sweet tomato sauce and locally produced cheese, this restaurant sells over 200 boxes of pizza a day!
Don’t want to leave the city? Take your pick from the various food parks mushrooming all over the metro. This way, you can sample different cuisines under one roof. Just make sure that the area is well protected and comfortable, allowing you to stay dry even when it rains.
#3 Culture Shock
Indoor activities don’t have to be boring. Enrich the mind and find inspiration in our country’s top museums. Now is the perfect time to check out the Spoliarium at the National Museum in Ermita, Manila. Getting here is convenient as it’s only a few minutes’ walk from LRT-1’s United Nations Station. Open on Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, the entrance fee is only P150 pesos for adults, and is free on Sundays! Prepare to breathe in the most important ethnographic, anthropological, archaeological and visual artistry of the Philippines from the prehistoric period to the modern times.
If, by chance, you find yourself in the “country’s summer capital” during the rainy season, we suggest you visit the widely hailed as a master of contemporary Philippine art, “BenCab Museum” which houses nine galleries, a café and one function room for workshops, seminars and other art- related activities.
The museum is at Km.6 Asin Road, a brief 15-minute drive from the center of Baguio City. You can also take a jeepney at the terminal near the Baguio Market. Bencab Museum is open daily except on Mondays from 9:00AM to 6:00PM. Entrance fee is PHP 100.00 for students with valid school ID, and PHP 80.000 for seniors/PWD with valid IDs.
Still outside the metro, but not as far is the Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo Rizal, which offers an overlooking view of the city skyline, several art galleries and an open-air Mediterranean-inspired villas, surrounded by crafted green gardens. Pinto means door in Filipino, and the museum aims to be a gateway for modern and contemporary art.
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, the museum can be reached through public transportation. Just take the LRT Line 2 and get off at the Santolan Station. From there, take a jeepney or an FX bound for Antipolo (look for jeepneys bound for Antipolo-Simbahan-Junction or Antipolo-Shopwise), Tanay (Tanay-Antipolo), or Teresa.Get off at the Ynares Center, ride a tricycle and ask the driver to drop you at the Grand Heights Subdivision (some drivers may not be familiar with the museum)
So round up your family and friends and squeeze out some fun from the rainy season. Remember that rain or shine, the opportunity to learn something new always awaits!
If you’re a pluviophile or a person who loves the rain, you probably jumped for joy when PAGASA officially announced the onset of the rainy season last May 24. It’s also enough reason for ceraunophiles (people who are fond of thunderstorms) to celebrate!
But for those not too fond of rains, they often complain how rains could ruin their well-thought-of plans, especially for the weekend. The question remains: does it actually rain more on weekends?
According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Mr. Gener Quitlong, the weather doesn’t depend on any specific day, but on the prevailing weather systems, such as the easterlies or a low pressure area.
Rains can also be influenced by an area’s state of urbanization. The more urbanized a place is, the more manmade pollutants it has, which may influence the weather.
“Cities impact rainfall and can create their own rain and storms,” Dr. Marshall Shepherd, an Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Geography at the University of Georgia in the U.S. explained.
But there may be some truth to the observation that it tends to rain more on weekends. Dr. Randall Cerveny of the Arizona State University, together with Geography Professor Robert Balling, examined rainfall in the Atlantic Ocean between 1979 and 1995 by analyzing global satellite data. Though the ocean tides were not affected by the day of the week, they found that the US was soaked during weekends. “Records from monitoring stations showed that levels of two urban pollutants, ozone and carbon monoxide, rose as the weekend approached,” Cerveny stated. On weekdays, human activities, such as daily commute and the use of heavy-duty office appliances are its peak, making the cities cesspools of pollution. This build up of pollutants may have taken effect by the time the weekend rolls around, giving rise to the possibility of rain.
But regardless if it’s the weekend or not, you know what to do this rainy season: bring umbrellas and raincoats, and most important of all, think of alternative and creative ways to enjoy your weekends in case it rains!
– By Angelyssa Lopez, PanahonTV intern
After the hot and humid weather, everyone anticipates the cool-down effect brought by rains. But despite the relief it brings, the wet season also poses numerous threats to health. Arm yourself against the top three diseases that proliferate during rainy season.
Dengue is transmitted through the bites of infected mosquitoes, which propagate during the rainy season as these inhabit areas with stagnant water.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are the primary and secondary carriers of the virus, respectively. They breed even in the small amounts of water in storage units such as tanks, flower vases, cisterns and backyard litter.
Based on the latest report from DOH, from January to June 2015, a total of 32, 440 suspected dengue cases were reported nationwide. Majority of cases were male at 54%. A total of 105 deaths were recorded.
Dengue can be detected with its symptoms, such as the sudden onset of high fever which may last from 2 to 7 days, joint and muscle pain and pain behind the eyes, weakness, skin rashes, nose bleeding, abdominal pain, vomiting, dark-colored stools and difficulty in breathing.
The DOH reminds the public to take note of its proper treatment, prevention and control.
• Do not give aspirin for fever.
• Increase intake of water or rehydrate a dengue suspect.
• If symptoms persist for 2 or more days, bring the patient to the nearest hospital.
Prevention and Control
Follow the “4-S” against Dengue
1. Search and destroy.rain
• Cover water drums and pails.
• Replace water in flower vases regularly.
• Clean gutters of leaves and debris.
• Collect and dispose all unusable tin cans, jar, bottles and other items that can collect and hold water.
2. Self protection measures
• Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
• Use mosquito repellant every day.
3. Seek early consultation.
• Consult the doctor immediately if fever persists after 2 days and rashes appear.
4. Say yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak or a hotspot.
In tropical countries like the Philippines, leptospirosis is rampant during the rainy season when there is a higher chance of contact with water contaminated by rat urine or feces. The bacteria require a wet environment in order to live. Caused by the pathogenic leptospira species of bacteria, leptospirosis can be contracted by swallowing contaminated food, or skin contact with contaminated water. Cuts, blisters and abrasions on the skin can serve as points of entry for the bacteria.
The early stages of the disease may include high fever, muscle pain, chills, and redness in the eye, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and rashes.
DOH reports show that a total of 291 suspect leptospirosis cases were reported from January to June 2015. Most cases were recorded from Region VI, National Capital Region, Region III and Region II.
• Take antibiotics duly prescribed by a physician.
• Early consultation
Prevention and Control
• Avoid swimming or wading in potentially contaminated water or floodwater.
• Use proper protection, like boots and gloves, when work requires exposure to contaminated water.
• Drain potentially contaminated water.
• Control rodents in the household by using rat-traps or rat poison and maintaining cleanliness in the house.
Influenza is a viral infection that targets the respiratory system. A study conducted by the US National Institutes of Health shows that influenza tends to occur during the rainy season in the tropics. Rain and humidity are the key factors in the tropical regions.
According to DOH, influenza is characterized by fever, headache, sore throat and cough. The incubation period is between 1 to 3 days. Influenza is an airborne disease and can spread within a crowded population.
A total of 47,482 influenza-like illness cases were reported nationwide from January to July 2015. Reports from DOH shows that this is 1.7% higher compared to that of last year (46, 696). Majority of cases were male with 51.4%, and belonged to the 1 to 4 years age group.
• Give influenza vaccinations preferably annually.
• Minimize contact with a person who has influenza.
• Avoid crowded places.
• Distance yourself at least 1 meter from people who are coughing.
• Cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing to prevent the spread of the virus.
• Wash hands frequently with soap and water
The rains may provide a touch of romance of melancholy to our days, but it pays to be aware of their downside. At any time of the year, we must always pay attention to our health, since having a strong immune system prevents any illness that come our way—all year round.
Just a week before the end of the month, PAGASA finally declared the onset of rainy season. In a press conference held at 11:00 AM today, PAGASA confirmed that all criteria for the official declaration had been satisfied, including the prevalent occurrence of thunderstorms, and the entry of the southwest monsoon or habagat.
Due to the warm and moist characteristics of habagat, intermittent to continuous rains and thunderstorms will be more frequent in the country. However, Mr. Anthony Lucero of the Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section (CLIMPS) of PAGASA explained that tag-ulan will be officially experienced over the Climate Type 1 areas, covering the western parts of Luzon and Visayas.
Its onset this year was quite delayed compared to the previous years. From 2000 to 2014, tag-ulan occurred during the last week of May to early June. Historically, the latest onset of the rainy season was in 1980, where it was declared during the month of July.
In their press statement, PAGASA said that the El Niño is still present and is expected to intensify into a moderate to strong one in the second half of the year. PAGASA Acting Administrator Vicente Malano further explained that within the next three months, near normal to above normal rainfall condition is expected.
From October to December this year, until the first quarter of 2016, way below normal rainfall will be experienced due to the El Niño. Mr. Lucero said that the full impact of this weather phenomenon will be felt on October with a 60 to 80 percent rainfall reduction, most likely to continue until December.
Based on the latest drought/dry spell outlook for July 2015, 31 affected provinces will experience improvement while 16 will experience the El Niño’s continuous impact. El Niño may gradually weaken in the early months of 2016, and may completely terminate by May next year. Despite the onset of the rainy season, the weather bureau advises the public to keep conserving water.
Meanwhile, PAGASA mentioned that an average of 11 to 16 tropical cyclones is still expected to enter or develop within the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) until the end of this year.
Despite the constant presence of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), dubbed as the breeding ground of low pressure areas, PAGASA Weather Forecaster Buddy Javier said that no weather disturbance is expected to affect the country within the next 3 days.
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.