June 22, Sunday, 2:30 am

My parents and I are in deep slumber when we had noticed the sound of the howling wind outside. Anong meron???

Who would have known that the eye of the storm, Frank, has landed in Manila that early morning. There was no rain, but the wind was so strong we felt that it would skin our roof bare. No joke! We kept our fingers crossed as we listened to our rusty roof squeaking in the battering wind.

We woke up around 7am and learned from the news that Manila is under signal no.3. The highest storm alert level given by the country’s weather agency PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) (In Tagalog: Pangasiwaang Pilipino sa Palingkurang Atmosperiko, Heopisikal at Astronomiko – Now that’s a trivia bit!)

News regarding the onslaught of Frank in Iloilo and the Visayan region was reported since yesterday. However, the rage of the storm arriving at the doorstep of Manila… well, that was not highlighted in the news! The hell! Yesterday, it was a sunny hot afternoon and my neighbor even had a videoke set up outside their house to have a birthday bash! Who would expect that the eye of the storm will be arriving at the holiest hour of sleep the next morning!

Misinformation and confusion regarding the status of weather in the Philippines has long been a pain in the neck. Not to mention, the finger pointing of mayors and government agencies as to who will announce the suspension of classes and work in offices. Seems like people are already used to the pathetic ritual of going to work/school in the morning, bravely facing the hard rain, and moments later when flood has already risen up to your armpits, they will request you to return home (for your own safety).

Storms are inevitable. To ensure safety of the public, the only way is to be prepared for the said calamity ahead of time. So, you tune over the radio or TV. Just pray that the supply of electricity will not be cut off from your place. You can also check the internet for a real time update.

When I checked PAGASA website http://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/ , this is what flashed before my eyes…

Wow! Very accessible.

After several more attempts and summoning what is left of my patience, the site had finally loaded.

My main concern was to learn about flooded areas in Manila, so I clicked the Flood Forecast tab of the site. Lo and behold!!!

Okeeeyyyy…. So seeking wisdom from PAGASA’s website is not such a good idea. I will stick to FM radio powered by 9 gigantic size D batteries. How reliable!

I believe PAGASA is equipped with the right gadgets to monitor and forecast weather situations. The sad problem lies on information dissemination. The media should be more aggressive in updating the public of the status of weather. Our steadfastness and readiness to face natural calamities should already be innate in us, the Philippines being a country of having an average of 30 storms a year.

Where is hope in PAGASA?

-o0o-

Have an extra drizzle of this unweatherly report from the wisdom of a cow.

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