Random Thoughts

Dagupan is hot!

By Leonardo Micua

THE city of Dagupan continues to swelter under the punishing heat of the sun despite the announcement from PAGASA that the long summer season has gone and the rainy season has just set in.

However, this could be a different rainy season as discomforting heat still rile us day and night despite the fact that rain showers and thunderstorms now come once in a while, in fact prompting many of us not to forget to bring umbrellas whenever we leave home.

At night when the temperature is yet too humid, many could not sleep without switching on their room’s air-conditioning system as mere electric fans cannot do the work.   

The missus believes the split-type air-conditioner in the concrete wall is extremely necessary nowadays to beat the extreme heat in the homes day and night.    

Others would take advantage of the budget fares being offered by airlines, that normally includes accommodation for a night or two, by flying to either Hong Kong or Taiwan, where it is colder, just to escape the prolonged heat in the Philippines.    

PUNCH sports columnist Jess Garcia, we were informed, jetted to Taiwan, while another PUNCH columnist Gonz Duque flew to New York for 35-day work holiday.    

It was at this time two years ago that my wife and I were in Auckland, New Zealand, during winter, to breath colder air and visit our two growing up granddaughters.  

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On social media, we read more often that Dagupan recorded as having among the highest heat indexes in the entire Philippine archipelago last summer. 

In fact, the Philippines’ highest heat index at 51.7’C in Dagupan on April 9 beats the highest heat index recorded before at 42′ C at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City

In case you do not know it yet, a heat index is a measure indicating the level of discomfort the average person is thought to experience as a result of the combined effects of the temperature and humidity of the air.

On the other hand, temperature is the degree or intensity of heat present in a substance or objects as shown in the scales of a thermometer or perceived by the touch.

It was learned that a heat index of from 41’C to 54’C is already within the danger level. Persons, particularly the elderly, exposed to this high heat index are likely to suffer heat exhaustion. At the same time, a heat stroke is probable with the continued exposure to heat, 

Inside THE PUNCH office, we often hear Joy de la Cruz, our production chief, moan about the unusually high temperature outside once she goes out for an errand at BDO, which is about 20 meters away.

She observes that the situation is different now than the past when many can yet take the heat from the glaring noon-day sun, said Joy, wondering what may now be happening to our dear planet.     

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For this, we ask: Is Dagupan now the hottest place in the Philippines today? Probably not. There are other hotter places in PH than us, but we are puzzled why the prolonged El Niño seemed to be now directly affecting us.

Add to our woes in the Philippines is the constant yellow alert warnings by existing power plants, which seem to indicate there is now inadequate power supply that may soon result in power shifting, if not blackouts as well as brownouts.

We are also concerned about the renewed water problem in Metro Manila due to the shrinking water level of the Angat dam, the main source of water for the whole metropolis.

There is also a report that a cyclone as powerful as “Ondoy” was spotted in the Pacific Ocean, which is likely to hit us in a few days, that may surely bring another unprecedented rainfall, and destroy crops, properties as well as lives.

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Unfortunately, as we brace all these natural disasters, our officials are enmeshed in unending word wars, instead of uniting and finding the most effective solution so we can survive from the wrath of mother nature. 

Sadly, one of their quarrels centers on the alleged ramming and sinking of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese fishing boat that left 22 Pinoy fishermen clinging to their dear lives in the sea within the disputed Spratlys.

This has already degenerated into a full-blown war between the administration and its arch critics, with neither side wanting to take one step back to allow things to settle down while a diplomatic solution is being worked out.

I sincerely ask for a ceasefire as I know the flood season is now fast approaching.  

You know, cyclones, floods, and El Niño are the products of climate change which was caused by man’s willful neglect of his environment that has now become irreversible. 

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