The Weather people are calling it a tropical depression or a cyclone. The locals in the bars are calling it a typhoon. I call it damned wet. My 3 ½ hour trip from Calbayog to Manila (1;03 TO Cebu, I hour ground for plane change 1:10 to Manila) became 12 wet and wild (and a bit bouncy). It made me remember that I got to Vietnam in the rainy season, 8 days from now it will be 50 years ago. That was a muddy miserable welcome. I am sure that my sons SCUBA trip 3 weeks ago and my last trip on the ferry from Cebu to Samar would NOT have been so great this weekend.
I am not complaining as I am now in a dry hotel room and there are lots of people in the second story of their house or on the roof because the water is so deep. I suppose one would have to be a bit ignorant no to understand that an archipelago situated between the Pacific Ocean and the South China sea on the pacific typhoon track might have weather that some call bizarre.
Portions of Manilla are below sea level. I am on the 11th floor and as I look at the weather map I am grateful. In fact looking at that map (and being on the 11th floor), I may sleep under the bed rather on top of it. I do not take lightly the plight of the millions of people that do not share the luxuries I am blessed with.
There is another aspect to the wet here even when it is not raining. HUMIDITY. For the second time in 4 months I have some fluid in my lungs, hence the trip to the doctor mentioned in a previous ‘blog’. When I went to the third doctor 2 days ago he asked me where I was from. When I said Arizona he smiled and asked what part. I said the Valley of the Sun, Tempe to be exact and he said he had a brother-in-law in Chandler (neighbors). He also talked about how much hotter it is there than here in the Philippines.
Then he said, “and much dryer”. He further discussed the problem people from dry climates have adjusting to the humidity, not just because the “wet bulb” factor makes it seem hotter than it is, but because the lungs have trouble adjusting to getting rid of the moisture that comes in with the air. It made me curious so I looked up the difference for August. In the valley it is 23%. In Manila where I am this week it is 73%. It speaks for itself. It may not be as hot here but the weather is oppressive and when you add all the diesel smoke it is deadly.
As I head for Vietnam and Cambodia it will still be the rainy season but hopefully not on the same Typhoon track.
That being said, I am still in Southeast Asia and it is the rainy season and WET is WET.