Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rain is here

The third season in Philippine is the rainy season - normally from July to September, it sometimes can be earlier and later a bit. The season is heralded basically with a big typhoon that well happened early this week (Conson). Last year, the season began with Ondoy which was really bad. Its still a tragedy this year but nothing like last year.

You will get a up to half a dozen typhoon in a year. I remember last year there were four of them. Except for two of the typhoon last year, the rest did not impact Manila greatly. The north and east of Luzon actually take the brunt of these storms. The impact is bad because a lot of structures are just not strong. In truth, if infrastruture such as drainage are better built, most of the tragedy can be avoided.

I actually like rainy days as I find it refreshing. There is smell of cut grass and leaves in the air that I find comforting. My favourite time of the year in SG and MY is Dec-Jan period when the rain comes. I especially like rainy days during weekend. I would actually choose a neighbourhood coffee shop/mamak stall/kopitiam to read my weekend papers there. If I have a laptop and there is wi-fi which some places do, I could spend many hours there.

Of course the rain puts a damper on my morning walk to the office if it rains which happens quite often. I have a route that I take that avoids me having to bring my umbrella but I still get a bit of rain. Most morning, I wake up early enough that I avoid the rain. For some reason, it does not rain early early morning but usually happens later in the morning, afternoon or evening.

The reputation that Manila/Philippine is a place to avoid during the rainy season is overblown. Its not a great time to go to the beach but really there is no reason not to visit it. Even if a typhoon happen to come while you are here, its just one-day thing that quickly blows over. Its actually a pretty interesting experience. Many years ago I was caught in the middle of one for the record and was in the eye of the typhoon for 10 minutes. The shops were shut down early and electricity do get cut off but other than that, its kind of surreal experience to be in a typhoon here. If I were someone planning say corporate, group retreats, meetings the rates of many places are so cheap, that its worth it to consider doing it here during this time of the year.

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