Rain, be gentle

By Herbert Vego

IT HAS BEEN one week since the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) declared the rainy season this year “open”. Yesterday, I woke up to the “tune” of a drizzle.

The rainy season is most welcome because the heat index now feels like hell while our faucets belch air instead of pouring water.

The color of my backyard vegetable farm has transformed from green to brownish.

Rain just moderately, I pray. Too much of it could be as disastrous as typhoon Frank which submerged Iloilo City with a six-foot flood on June 18, 2008. A few days from now, it would have been 16 years ago.

Because of that typhoon which damaged my camera, my typewriter and books, I still get nervous whenever rains pour longer than usual.

It seems only yesterday – more so because there are still victims of that tragedy who remain homeless and hungry, who have yet to feel the “tender loving care of government” despite the floods of donations that have poured from government and civic organizations worldwide.

I remember my teenage niece asking, “What have we done to deserve this karma?”

As if on cue, a radio news reporter attributed the flood to “basura nga nagpugong sang ilig sang tubi sa kanal.”

Still, we were better off than those who had worked hard for years to earn the money for a home that had gone with the flood.

I asked my niece not to yield to depression, reminding her of the famous quotation, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Fires, floods, earthquakes and many other natural disasters that are inappropriately called “acts of God” should be taken as tests to be passed. It’s by passing them that we win the game of life.

To further soothe her sunken spirit, I enthused, “All you need is faith. Remember when Jesus Christ walked on the sea before the unbelieving eyes of his disciples?  That done, he asked Peter to walk likewise. Peter believed him and walked on the sea, too, but later sank when he began doubting.”

I tried to boost her self-confidence by recalling nuggets of wisdom from inspirational books to support my assurance that any adversity can be turned into prosperity

I recited a quotation from American book author Napoleon Hill: “What the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve.”

Thomas Edison, inventor of the phonograph and light bulb, said this famous quotation: “Genius is one percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.”

Once there was a man who, desirous of having an easy job, sought the advice of the late American preacher Henry Ward Beecher.

“Young man,” said Beecher, “you cannot be an editor. Do not try the law. Do not think of the ministry; neither manufacturing nor merchandising. Abhor politics. Don’t practice medicine. Don’t be a farmer or a soldier or a sailor. All these require too much study and thinking. My son, you have come into a hard, hard world. There is only one easy place in it and that is the grave.”

Finally, I revealed to my niece that I had gone through worse ordeals, as in getting a woman’s “no” for an answer to my love offering.



MY crystal ball shows an image of a power company taking over Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) in July this year.

It could be anybody’s prediction, though, now that the Senate has approved House Bill 9805 for a 25-year franchise to Negros Electric and Power Corp. (NEPC), which is really a joint venture between Ceneco and Primelectric, with a target investment of P2.1 billion.

All systems go as soon as President Marcos affixes his signature to that franchise law.

NEGROS Power for short, NEPC is the sister company of Iloilo Ciy-based MORE Electric and Power Corp (MORE Power). Both companies are headed by Roel Z. Castro as president and CEO.

The coverage areas are the cities of Bacolod, Silay, Talisay and Bago, and the towns of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto.

Meanwhile, NEPCI has deployed five response teams in Bacolod City and has set up a temporary office there for 250 employees.

More than half of the 400-plus Ceneco employees have asked to join NEPC.


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