Scary blackouts miss Dinagyang by the skin of teeth

By Alex P. Vidal

“There is nothing better than getting shot at and missed. It’s really great.”—Jim Mattis

ON January 6, 2024, the Philippine media announced the full restoration of power in Panay Island, Guimaras, and portions of Negros Occidental.

“As of this advisory, 369.5 MW is being served by Panay power plants, augmented by 35.7 MW from sources elsewhere in the Visayas for a total of 419.2 MW served loads,” read the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) advisory posted on January 5 afternoon.

The Panay sub grid provided more than the 300 megawatts needed to stabilize power supply after Palm Concepcion Power Corp. (PCPC) 7, with a capacity of 135 MW, was synchronized to the Panay subgrid at 1:33 a.m., it was learned.

The day electricity was back in the affected areas after a series of thrilling interruptions since January 2, 2024, was six days shy before the official start of Iloilo City’s world-class 2024 Dinagyang Festival, which officially uncorks on January 12 to 28, 2024, according to the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI).

The scary blackouts, condemned by politicians all over the country and to be investigated by the House of Representatives Committee on Energy on January 11, missed the 2024 Dinagyang Festival by the skin of teeth.

Iloilo City was lucky the snafu “ended” before it could bring so much pang and distress for the Ilonggos during their important annual festivity.

The power outages, caused by the tripping of several power plants, would’ve sabotaged the entire religious and cultural festival and sent the metropolis’ bewildered economy tumbling down.


EAT FISH. In a recent Swedish study of nearly 5,000 boys ages 15 to 18, those who ate fish frequently scored higher on intelligence tests. How much higher? Eating fish once a week was enough to boost scores by an average of 6 percent. Eating fish more than that resulted in nearly an 11 percent increase.

SAVING OUR PLANET. Let’s be responsible. When fishing, let’s make an effort not to disturb small animals. Let’s remember not to use lead weights for angling as lead is a toxic metal. Let’s make sure we discard hooks and nets responsibly or take them home with us as they are a potential threat to wildlife.

SAVING OUR PLANET. Let’s not picnic on plastic. Let’s not take plastic utensils in picnic. Instead, let’s use old mugs, and plates from our own home or buy a set from a charity shop or garage sale. Metal cutlery can be wrapped in a dish towel to stop it clunking around.

HOW TO TURN DOWN YOUR GUY WHEN YOU ARE TIRED. If he’s in the mood but you’re not, let him know he still makes you hot with a sexy kiss and a straightforward “I’m so exhausted, I may conk out on top of you. Let’s do it tomorrow.” (Source: Dr. Yvonne Thomas.)

SAVING THE PLANET. Glassy eyed. Glass is excellent for recycling because there are many different grades to work through before it reaches the point where it can no longer be recycled. Let’s make sure to separate different colored glass and don’t include metal bottle tops or corks that can contaminate the process.

SAVING OUR PLANET. Let’s can the rubbish. Because metal doesn’t break down easily and can be used to make a wide range of different items, metal food and drink cans are great for recycling.

RABIES VACCINE. For centuries, few diseases were as feared–or as fatal–as rabies. A bite from an infected animal equaled death, and victims endured paralysis, hyperactivity, and coma prior to dying. So when the young Joseph Meister appeared at the Paris lab of Louis Pasteur after being mauled by a rabid dog, the 9-yr-old had one shot at survival: the microbiologist’s experimental rabies vaccine.

SAVING OUR PLANET. Let’s can the can. Recycling aluminum cans is a closed-loop system. Every can is infinitely recyclable, and recyclers paid nearly $1 billion a year for aluminum beverage cans. The energy saved by recycling just one can is enough to run a TV set for three hours! If we have to use them, let’s be sure to recycle.

DISPOSE OF CIGARETTE BUTTS: They are made of plastic; take 15-20 years to decompose; and release toxins into the environment. Over 50,000 cigarette butts and 160,000 pounds of trash are picked up from local beaches each year.

DATE QUESTIONS. Conventional wisdom says that a woman should ask a date question to draw him out instead of talking about herself. But science now says screw that. A recent study shows that guys dig chicks who use the word “I” often. Nobody would want to monopolize conversations, but telling personal stories and referring to yourself can go a long way, according to Cosmopolitan.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)