Bracing for an ‘off-season’ typhoon

By Herbert Vego

THIS month of May strikes us as a very hot summer month.  But as I was writing this yesterday, super typhoon Mawar was battering Guam, hammering the US territory and plunging it into darkness.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), it was packing maximum sustained winds of 185 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 230 kilometers per hour, and could hit the north-eastern Philippines early this morning and be locally called “Betty”.

May it change direction. Otherwise, enhanced monsoon rains would pelt the western portion of Southern Luzon and the Visayas.

How are we to deal with this “off-season” weather system?

The mere thought of previous typhoons that had devastated us may scare us anew. Experience has taught us that even people who are supposed to rest on their laurels, having retired and are tired of any more work, may suddenly lose everything they have.

We know of farmers who suddenly fall back to poverty in the wake of destructive natural disasters.

There are nevertheless ways to soften the impact of natural disasters. We have heard it said that God would not shower us with problems we can’t cope with.

Everybody has heard this: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Everyone needs a little inspiration to go hard and seize the day. Sometimes we need a reminder that we have the potential to be great so that we can chase our dreams and rise above the harsh realities. And so, this writer would like to quote a few inspirational writers:

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde

“It’s not about how hard you can hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. “—Rocky Balboa in the movie “Rocky”

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”  – Winston Churchill

“If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you. “- Steve Jobs

May those words be our guiding light as we leave behind the sad memories of past typhoons, floods, landslides, earthquakes and other natural calamities.

Having lost valuable possessions to typhoon “Frank” in 2008, I have what it takes to say that while the good days give us happiness, the bad ones give us experience to learn from.

It has been almost ten years since super typhoon “Yolanda” battered the Philippines on November 8, 2013. It was reportedly the country’s “worst-ever natural disaster” that wrecked one million homes, affected 14 million people and officially claimed 6,300 human lives.

To the religious but superstitious, each natural disaster is literally an “act of God” to punish us for all our sins.

We beg to disagree. Why blame God when it’s we who “sin” against nature? An example of such “sin” is illegal logging that depletes forest cover, consequently causing killer floods.

On the positive side, we come to terms with this “punishment” as a wake-up call. It alerts us into realization that we are not owners but mere temporary custodians of the earth and all material possessions thereat.

“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” – Psalm 24:1.



IN fulfillment of a media exchange program with their counterparts in the city and province of Iloilo, 25 media practitioners from the print, broadcast and cable-TV media of Antique – led by Annabel J. Petinglay, president of the Antique Provincial Press Corps (ACPC) and provincial head of the Philippine News Agency (PNA)  — are arriving in Iloilo City today.

They are expected to arrive in the city in time for a lunch meeting with Governor Arthur Defensor Jr.

They will spend the rest of the afternoon sharing “best practices” with Iloilo’s Provincial Information Office (PIO) and the Iloilo Capitol Press Corps); as well as visiting the Regional Museum and the Maritime Museum in the city.

At 6 p.m., both the Antique and Iloilo media will share dinner in a media fellowship at the Casa Real, hosted by Iloilo’s Provincial Information Office (PIO) and Radyo Bandera.

Tomorrow (Saturday), they will be treated to a breakfast meeting at Hotel del Rio, hosted by MORE Electric and Power Corp. No less than its vice-president for corporate affairs, Maricris De Guzman Cabalhin, will be around to welcome them on behalf of President Roel Z. Castro. Thanks to MORE Power’s PR lady, Joy Fantilaga, for arranging the occasion.

Saturday’s itinerary will also see the Antique media visiting the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) projects in Pototan town and the Garin Farm in Guimbal.

Fellow Antiqueños, may your Iloilo visit be a memorable experience.