Wenceslao: Rain

wenceslao
wenceslao

Rain fell in some areas of Cebu at midnight the other day. I also read a weather bureau report that the extended dry season may soon be over. But the heat is back today, which makes you wonder if the forecast will really come true. Anyway, let us just monitor the climate in the coming days and hope for the best.

The decision of some local governments and the education department not to hold classes because of the hot days should be a lesson for the decision-makers regarding the correct month to open the school year. Traditionally, the school year starts in June or after the months that we designate to be summer. There were moves to tamper with that, but the opening of the school year has always been based on our past experiences with the weather. With the current extended dry season, we now know that pegging the opening of the classes based on the weather can be difficult in these times of climatic changes. We now also know that heat can be as much of an influence on the holding of classes as rain.

Our previous experience with the El Niño phenomenon shows that it is usually followed by a season of heavy rains called La Niña. That, too, can be a problem for students, especially for those living in the upland areas and who cross some rivers daily. There are times when the water that flows in the rivers swells after a particularly heavy rain. That is when crossing the rivers becomes dangerous.

But no matter the hassle, many people prefer the rainy season over the dry season. When rain falls regularly, especially in the upland areas, farmers won’t have much of a problem with planting agricultural produce. When agricultural produce is abundant, we won’t have much of a worry. It is when the mountainside turns brown that we should begin to worry. It is a sign of a parched mountainside, a lack of agricultural produce and impending hunger.

When rain falls regularly, springs are alive, the grasses and the leaves of agricultural produce are green and the soil is moist. Insects and other living things become alive and the farmers are smiling. There are excesses, true, like when the rivers swell or when typhoons hit us, but the benefits far outweigh the deficits. I therefore prefer the rainy season over the dry season. That is why we wait for the onset of the rainy season with bated breath.

My memory of La Niña was when we stayed in a hut that we built on the banks of the river that dried up because of the El Niño. When it finally rained heavily, water in the river so swelled it almost carried with it a portion of the hut. We were lowlanders and lacked initiative. We simply watched as the water started to pull down the soil that propped up two of the posts of the hut.

When a young farmer, who was visiting us, saw what happened, he gathered some big stones to strengthen the hut’s foundation. We were forced to act by helping him in what he was doing. It was then that I realized the difference in the resolve that the said farmer and us lowlanders possessed. It was Survival of the Fittest 101, and we lowlanders failed in that subject.

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