Do you know the Philippines?
We are an archipelago north of the equator and part of the Asia continent. We are composed of 7,101 islands and we hit the 100M population middle of this year and that baby will be supported for life according to the government – a reminder that we are on the way to starting from 1 again – 1 million 1, 1 million 2, 1 million 3 …
We are a country colonized by Spain for over 300 years and gained our independence in 1898 so we are a free country for over 100 years, 116 to be exact but we have to fight off the Japs and the Joes during WWII. We have presidential form of government and boast to be a democratic country but was in dictatorship for over 20 years and Martial law for the early part of it
My countrymen, as of the twenty-first of this month, I signed Proclamation № 1081 placing the entire Philippines under Martial Law… President Ferdinand Marcos September 21, 1972
We are known for nice beaches, friendly people and corrupt government. We speak English as second language (first for some) but only if you live in the city and working in BPO industry, we have over 100 languages and dialect so you can have choices but generally everybody can carry a conversation even in the remotest part of the country.
We are a proud country. We take pride in our achievements and take offence at the slightest mention of the realities in the social media. We are admired by the world for our great talents in singing, hospitality and resilience in times of natural calamities.
Yes, natural calamities are part and parcel of the Philippines. There is not a year where we are not visited by typhoon and we are not just talking about rain … what I mean is RAIN that causes all spaces filled with water and more.
Of the 36 alphabets, the Philippines sometimes uses all of them to name all the storms, typhoons, cyclones that visit the country. We average 20 per year and like 1 or 2 will become massive, gathering speed and strength in the sea and dump it on land wrecking havoc no Miley Cyrus can sing off.
Floods, landslides and tunnel winds are normal during typhoon season and even with slight rain the metro gets flooded because of poor urban planning and people’s lack of respect for cleanliness – garbage all around.
As I write, the country is taking a beating from the current typhoon that is hitting the country #RubyPH with international name #Hagupit (which means lashing in Tagalog) – less than #Yolanda but equally devastating with speed of 195kph and gustiness of 230kph entering the country last Thursday and Monday traveling westward had reduced to 160/195kph. That is the strength we are anticipating where I live. The typhoon is moving slow at 16 km/h means that the more time it stays in the country more rains will be dumped and more landslide and flooding expected before it leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
Historically the country had survived many of these calamities and not discounting the earthquakes that almost flattened the north of the Philippines in 1991 and recently the islands of Cebu and Bohol in 2013 and volcanic eruptions of Mr. Pinatubo in 1990 and Mt. Mayon whose acting up at present.
Just to illustrate, we have list of Typhoon andTropical Storms per year categorized according to the number of fatalities or the cost of devastation. There are also list according to Categories and of course the higher the ranking the more problems they are for the seven thousand one hundred one island of the Philippines.
Here’s my top 9 based on what I can find in the net #Ruby will be added to the list after it leaves the country …
|Rank||International Name||Local Name||Date||Speed and other discerption||Fatalities / Displaces||Location||Damage Estimate|
|1||Haiyan||Yolanda||November 8 2013||Category 5
195 mph (315km/h)
|6,340 confirmed deaths; 1,061 missing; Injured 28,689||Central Visayas||2.051B USD|
|2||Angela||Rosing||November 7 1995||Category 5 180 mph (290 km/h) sustained winds||Over 900 deaths||Bicol region, Calabarzon and Metro Manila||350M USD|
|3||Mike||Ruping||November 18 1990||Category 5
175 mph (280 km/h)
|Over 700 deaths||Visayas region||220M USD|
|4||Bopha||Pablo||December 3 2012||Category 5
175 mph (280km/h)
|600 / 170,000||Northern Mindanao||1.04B USD|
|5||Durian||Reming||December 9 2006||Category 4
155 mph (250 km/h) sustained winds
|More than 1,500 deaths||Bicol Region; Calabarzon region||530M USD|
|6||Ike||Nitang||Septemeber 6 1984||Category 4
145 mph (230 km/h)
|Estimated 1,500 deaths with over 200 thousand displaced||Northern Mindanao||1B USD|
125 mph (205 km/h) sustained winds
|Ship wreck with at least 700 fatalities; Over 1500 death||North Mindanao, Visayas and Bicol Region, Metro Manila||480M USD|
|8||Son-Tinh||Ofel||October 29 2012||Category 3
125 mph (205 km/h)
|Over 50 people dead / missing||Central Philippines||184m USA|
|9||Ketsana||Ondoy||September 28 2009||Category 2
105 mph (165 km/h)
|Over 700 death||Luzon island||1.09B USD|
Our faith in God and our resilience as people had let us endure all these davastations in our country and we are happy that the international community never ceases to help us everytime it happens – as evidenced of the the out pouring of help last year after the typhoon #Yolanda flattened a whole region in its path. We cannot thank you enough.
But this is the life living in the Philippines … we are blessed with so many things — good sunny weather most of the year, nice pristine beaches all year round, bountiful food and one of the nicest people in the planet, and we are also doomed to endure the fate of nature being part of the ring of fire and the longest fault line and the path of the storms every time it brew in the middle of the pacific ocean. Studies shows that the situation will not get better, it will get worst because of the changing climate and the greediness of the few that affect the many to act on them.
We should think now how we can mitigate (and or eventually adapt) to the changes in the season.
While doing that, our love affair with the typhoon will continue, we are waiting for #Ruby to pass through and leave us alone but we hope that it will not leave a trail of devastation like Yolanda did.
Be safe everyone … stay at home and you even have excuse to curl up in this bed weather.