The ghost month of August

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By Evangeline Murillo

Tea For Two

Thursday, August 7, 2014


MY SISTER says that August is not a good month for Chinese Feng Shui. It seems that this month spells disaster because this is when the ghosts of those who passed away in a violent manner come out of their worlds to wreak havoc to the living. Filipinos don't actually know this as part of culture but since the Chinese have become so part of us, most of those related to Chinese families and friends are warned of the same belief.

I know one thing though, that August is a month full of rain and many decades ago, the torrents came 24 hours a day for the whole month! The consequence was indeed disastrous. Landslides in Baguio saw the road to Aurora Hill eroded with many casualties for whom the people of Baguio wept.

Human interest stories flooded the papers and one of them was that of a mother and her child found in a tight embrace. Both were recovered among the lifeless. The site became somehow likened to a smaller cemetery but since human memory is really short, after sometime, people started building again in the same place, just beside the river or the creek. When will we ever learn?

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Baguio residents should heed a lesson from events like this. We've had a lot of casualties during the rainy season and most have to do with erosion.

Remember the landslide at the Little Kibungan of La Trinidad? Please, never again. Some foreign friends in the past witnessed the never ending rains of August. They asked when the sun will shine again in Baguio.

This year we started August with rains, but luckily once in a while the rains fade into a drizzle and somehow they manage to stop for short intervals where we can walk and run outdoors without umbrellas in tow. We are thankful too for malls that are big and wide enough for us to roam around without getting drenched. I think Baguio needs more malls, clean ones that shade us from the year round rains especially in the month of August.

Also, many ask why we start classes for major schools on a rainy month like this. Hey, this is just a transition stage. Next year, with the blessings of heaven, our classes start on September. Then, we avoid the rainy months that start really in June when the children have to be with their parents and avoid accidents due to heavy rains and typhoons outside their homes. To start classes on September is not only advantageous for us internationally because we are in tune with the other schools that start classes every September. Events worldwide and particularly within the Asean region can be done in partnership easily. We should have done this long ago. Baguio in rains and storms is not a pretty sight. Seeing students soaked to the bones while in class or on their way to school pinches the heart. What more of fatal accidents when the young cross flimsy make shift bridges to reach school? By next school year, conditions will be better for our students we pray. And until such time, brace yourself from the chilling cold of rains, keep warm and on this month of the ghosts, pray for the departed and be kind to all! Love you Baguio!

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 08, 2014.

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