Philippine Island Times Adventures of an American expat in the Philippines

October 2, 2009

I Smell Wet Dog

Filed under: General — Donald @ 8:16 pm

This time there really is a wolf. Filipinos tend to call every circular storm a “typhoon”, but Pepeng (“Parma” to most of the world) is the genuine beast, and with some very sharp teeth. Reports vary, but all put the maximum sustained winds somewhere between 200 and 300 kph (134-196 mph). Some say it will be stronger than Katrina and maybe the strongest storm ever recorded in the Philippines. The path is again well north of us here in Siquijor, and north of Manila too, but it will drag in lots more rain there, and they cannot handle it. One of my friends was in Manila yesterday looking for her missing sister. She found her safe at home, up on the roof, where she has been for days. Pepeng is forecast to weaken as it makes landfall in Luzon, but also to slow its westward progression and linger for a while. People are evacuating countless towns on the coast, below dams and volcanoes and steep hills (to avoid the inevitable mudslides), and on and on. Even after the water goes down there will be lots of illness among people who waded for days through waist high sewage and who will be eaten by mosquitoes for weeks. This is dengue fever season too.

None of those problems for me personally. My symposium in Mindanao has been postponed until November and our fiesta here in Solangon is coming up next Wednesday. Streamers are flapping wildly across the main street (maybe the other one too; I haven’t been up the mountain today) and I hear music blaring from our outdoor basketball court, announcing tonight’s disco. Filipinos don’t cancel many parties.

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