Friday, June 5, 2009

Twisted Manila

I got a text message this morning.

"Uy Galen, kng may time k patawag naman meralco 16211 with service ID no 9XX-XXX wla kce ilaw mga 1hr na wawa zeki. Wla kce kmi phone. tnx."

It was from a colleague, a single mom, who lately became a confidant at work. She sought my assistance by asking me to call Meralco and find out the reason behind the blackout in their subdivision. They live in Tandang Sora. Though I strongly suspect that the culprit of the power interruption was the heavy downpour which inundated the city, I still dialed the electric company's number to find out.

"We will look into it sir. Please tell Ms [insert the name of colleague here] to expect power to be restored within an hour."

I was right. The call center agent from Meralco said that it was a downed electric post that caused the blackout.

The ruffle created by the hour-long power interruption was already a mere afterthought when I arrived at the office. The single mom was outside the building, smoking, and telling me that power was restored shortly after getting my text message. Meanwhile, as I read the online version of the Philippine Daily Inquirer in between monitoring the accounts this afternoon, I learned that the downed electric post referred to by the customer agent was the result of a strange unnatural disturbance the city has never experienced before.

"MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) More than 10 shanties were damaged when a brief twister hit an area of the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus in Quezon City on Thursday morning, police said.

Aside from the shanties which were damaged by the strong winds, tree branches and an electrical post also fell across the C.P. Garcia Ave in Barangay UP Campus, blocking the road to traffic, said Superintendent Oscar Palison, Anonas police station commander.

As of Thursday afternoon, the huge cement electrical post was not yet hauled off the road, which was near the corner of Magiting Street and C.P. Garcia Avenue, causing heavy traffic along C.P. Garcia Avenue, which connects Katipunan Avenue to the University Avenue and the Philcoa area, Palison said."

I've seen it being reported in the evening news twice. Splashed on the screen is an image of a narrow tube from the sky, dancing in mid-air and touching the ground as it spins toward the fringes of Manila Bay. A person who happens to be at the Baywalk during the wind's surprise Lambada would gape at its untamed beauty. The sight itself at a distance would be so breathtaking, many would aim their phone cameras to capture its dizzying rotation as it moves away from land.

As I go on reading the news, doubts begin to surface whether climate change has to do with the sudden presence of these small funnels. Should we get worried that as the weather pattern changes, the closer these ominous vortexes gobble up out homes? This morning, a weather disturbance smashed 10 hovels, uprooted ancient trees, knocked down an electric post and left an entire district powerless.

And it happened at the schoolyard of the largest university campus in Manila.

Just imagine the trail of destruction it would leave should the finger of god srikes a densely populated neighborhood instead? Imagine the death, tragedy and trauma it would wreck upon thousands of unsuspecting families who have never seen such tempest.


Twisters whirling in the outskirts of Manila are sights never before seen. The weather bureau never issues a tornado warning in the past.

We should be alarmed.

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Geophysical, Atmospheric and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Thursday warned the public of tornadoes during thunderstorms after two twisters were reported in different parts of the country.
Nathaniel Cruz, PAGASA deputy administrator, said the formation of tornadoes could not be predicted.
“They can appear very quickly and there is no way to predict where they would strike,”



Twister Damages Houses, Downs Electric Post
Weather Bureau Issues Tornado Warning


Jinjiruks said...

ill-effects of man's continuous destruction of nature. abnormal weather condition. pinagbabayaran na natin mga nagawa natin na hanggang ngayon patuloy pa rin sa paghalay sa ating kalikasan.

bampiraako said...

pagod na si mama nature...

alarming nga..

gillboard said...

this news is disconcerting...

Herbs D. said...

ohmygod. dapat may ganyan sa riles. tapos titirahin lang lahat ng mga squatters sa daan at pagsamasamahin silang lahat sa isang island somewhere up north!

really..creeppy. butt he photo's really good mate!

dabo said...

if you searcehd on the net, there this website that compiles twisters around the world. it seems the philippines is no exemption every now and then since time immemorial.

--- --

non believers of 'global warming' argue that nature had been changing for the longest time and we are here just for the ride.

example they used, they said remains of human activities were found in certain areas of the world, which used to be covered by iced/glaciers. glacier they thought was existing thousand of years before civilization emerged.

so earth have been globally cooling and warming just like that.

--- --

anyway it is not really about the question whether global warming is at hand, but rather the impact of 6billion population, that sharing the limited resources available here on the planet.

it is a matter of policy and adapting to change, which unlucky, the government, specially here sa atin.

--- --

@ herbs: i resent your comment. you're supposed to be an arist, not a machine of discrimination.

Yj said...

nakakaloka nga ang mga news lately tungkol sa mga yan....

nakabawas sa takot ang comment mo dabo... pero may takot parin ako....

@ Herbs... lagot ka sa papa dabo mo, papaluin ka niyan pag nagkita kayo...

wanderingcommuter said...

dahil jan, suspended ang enrolment... and from there bigla akong naging environmentalizt. minsan, kelangan lang talaga nating maexperience first hand ang problem before we could have better sense or judgement to it... haaayyy...

Knox Galen said...

WanderingCommuter: I just suspect the relationship between Global Warming and the Tornado Outbreak happening very close to Manila.

I try to be an environmentalist too. Materialist endeavors are so crude and backward.

YJ: Wait till it claims lives. Dun ka maloka talaga.

Thanks for dropping by.

Gillboard: We should be worried.

Knox Galen said...

Jinjiruks: Its a price we have to pay for the carelessness we do to our planet.

Bampira: Mother Nature could rebound, that is if we would give her a reprieve.

Gillboard: Gusto ko makakita ng ipo-ipo sa malayo. :) I wonder how it feels like to witness a wind dance.

Knox Galen said...

Dabo: Those who claim that its just a planetary cycle should be burned at stake. The difference between the glaciers then and now is that we're here to tip off the natural cycle of the planet.

Ipo-ipos are not new to Philippines, what's alarming is their proximity to urban areas.

Herbs: I don't know if you're trying to make a satire out of it, but you're comment only made us realize that we're still dealing with a kid.