Ang init!! While the well-heeled among us cry over power bills inflated by airconditioner use, imagine the millions of Filipinos who don’t even have electric fans. Worse, imagine those living in the squatter areas! It’s bad enough having to sleep with no airconditioner in a big room with lots of windows. Imagine what it’s like sleeping on a banig in a small room with your eight siblings beside you!
Think too about all the Manilenos sleeping among the dead in the Manila North Cemetery. Yikes! We can think about them, but we cannot even begin to imagine what it might be like being them. Well, actually you could — for all of five minutes. Just close all of the windows in your room and lie on the floor. Then you’ll get a better understanding of how much it sucks to be them. For five minutes.
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Oh the thankfulness!
When we no longer can afford another week of using our airconditioners, all we can do is utter prayers of thanksgiving. Thank you Lord for making me so “blessed” that I wasn’t born in the squatter areas and have to pee in a squatting position over one of those yucky buhos-flush toilets on the ground — or, worse, pack your Number Two’s in a 7-11 plastic bag and wait for the next Calamba-bound train to roll by. I guess, one can consider those of them who live near the Pasig River or one of its waterways or estero feeders “blessed”. They’ve got the best of Mother Nature’s flush systems within a convenient dash. Those living a-la ile de tule (translated: “under the bridge”) have it even more convenient!
And yet, none of those clever waste management systems can assuage the tyranny of Manila’s withering hot-and-humid climate.
It’s no wonder many of my colleagues at the office look like zombies. It’s so hard to get a good night’s sleep when it is hot, and if that sleep deprivation weren’t enough, they have to get up at four or five in the morning to get to work by eight. The future doesn’t look too bright for them what with this new fad crackdown on “colorum” public transport vehicles. I wonder how many of these aircon shuttles will get axed? Maybe the operators of these vehicles will just have to charge us higher fares — to compensate for the extra lagay budget they will need to keep to get around this latest development.
Thank The Lord for the rains in May and June!
At least the temperatures will drop a bit. But then, the humidity of course will persist. Then we get the inevitable onslaught of flies and mosquitoes as breeding grounds of these bugs (like those tires used in squatter areas used to keep the roofs of shanties from getting blown away by the wind) get hydrated and Manila’s trash piles assume the soggy consistency that maggots like. Hayysst! No consuelo at all.
I guess that’s why we all have to work a lot harder — so more of us can afford more airconditioned cars and more airconditioned hours in our houses and apartments. When will it end though? Many scientists believe it will get even hotter in the future. They also say sea levels will rise as a result. So the relief from the heat — the rains — will actually create more problems, the floods. Yikes! Imagine the traffic! So much for working hard. We will have to work harder at working hard the way things are going!
In that sense, maybe the simple lives of the unairconditioned, unhomed, and uncarred (walang kotse) really truly are blessed. They don’t expect much and work only enough to make kapit to their precarious existence. During the day, they don’t really need to worry about sweating so much unlike us unfortunates who have to be in “office attire” and still look bagong ligo after five.
Life nga naman talaga. It makes living it simply so hard. It’s so HOT naman kasi e.
Frustrated artist doing geek for a living.