Weather-Weather Lang

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By Peter Rey Bautista

All In Good Time

Friday, July 4, 2014


THIS story was written some time ago. I sent it to the editor but put it on hold and asked be printed again just to show how much of what has been going on is already expected in the month for Disaster Awareness and Preparedness.

The storm surge during Yolanda was just one of those disasters that could have been predicted. Storms today can now make their own tsunami. And there will be more, and much worse. Tis the season once more. Here are a few things I wish to share from a conference I attended as the Mayor and on Climate Change and Global Warming in 2008. I attended the conference as requested by Dr. Neric Acosta and Mayor Marides Fernando of Marikina City. Here are excerpts from the conference.

Ice caps are now melting faster than ever before, so too with glaciers. It is the changes in temperature that affect this change. By just an increase in temperature, the melting ice immediately increases the water level in the oceans and seas. And so how should this affect us in the tropics? Everything! In this conference, I learned most areas prone to Climate Change will involve the most beautiful places on Earth... the Islands of the Maldives, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Yes the Philippines! Here goes the inside story. From all the changes in temperature, all weather patterns change too. Storms more violent, regular tornado occurrences and more hurricanes. When any of this occur, it involves also all bodies of water. Water temperature will figure prominently in the power of any weather disturbance. Warm air also fuels all this. All it takes is a degree of change in weather and we lose land. There's just too much water around. More rains to pour and surely more flooding. We all experienced Ondoy, lives lost and lessons learned. Those affected were all in low lying areas.

Provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and NCR. All of those who lost love ones or property must be too affected that they have changed their ways. Then comes Habagat that included Cavite and it was worse. Apparently when we watch the news we thank the Lord it did not affect us. It is us in the highlands that seem to be the "lucky one". While we watch all this over the news, lives will forever be changed. Surely, the uplands will be considered by those affected by flooding. Places like Antipolo, Tagaytay will now feel the effects of all these. Many will move upland or higher ground. But there's this place up in the mountains so beautiful that people have thought of moving to.

It's way up high, not the Mt. Province or Mt. Pulag but a place above the clouds called Baguio City. It is so beautiful up there, crisp mountain air and weather of Spring all year-round. Wonderful people with wonderful culture. Bountiful Blessings from the Almighty. Then this is where it hits every Juan from Baguio. Unfortunately every Juan wants a piece of Baguio. With more people, there's more garbage, with more people there's more crime, with more people more problems then there's less land and forests and therefore less water. What is beautiful has now changed just like the weather, not just a drizzle but in a storm surge kind of way. Sure there's no flooding in Baguio but that only made it worse for us. Let us learn from the conference. I share it to every Juan in Baguio as it is now affecting the way we live, a life we are not used to. No matter what the local government does, nothing happens, it's not them or maybe it is.

As they say "weather, weather lang". We did experience some freak weather condition when Pepeng left and came back thrice. Whether people will listen to what has been said or not, I will not put blame, but what we can all do is to prepare for what's coming, and what I have shared. Many have decided to call Baguio home. Some with pure intentions the others I'm just not sure of. Let every Juan be aware of what may come. Let every Juan be prepared. At present, our leaders had cases filed against them for offences against the environment not to mention that offences made by our city has affected our neigbors. The climate sure has changed. Weather, weather lang talaga. All I'm saying is every Juan must be prepared and aware.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 05, 2014.

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