RT Cunningham

Blame It on the Rain, or Rather the Lack Thereof

umbrellas - rain I never thought I’d be begging for rain.

Well, not in the Philippines anyway. We usually get more rain, along with storms, than we know what to do with. This year is one of the El NiƱo years and we haven’t had enough rain so far. There are droughts and dry weather conditions affecting most of the country. Many Filipinos complain of the rain, even in years like this, but they have to realize that rain is essential. Especially for the farmers. No rain, lousy crops (if any).

The lack of rain is one of the reasons we’ve had a heat index warning for most of the last month.

Rain and Umbrella Weather

It seems like the Philippines is cursed with too much rain in most years. For several months of the year, umbrellas are seen everywhere. Not just during the rainy season. They’re also used when it’s hot and sunny (like now, without the rain we need).

Umbrellas can be bought almost anywhere and most of the umbrellas I’ve seen won’t last a year. They’re cheap and inexpensive (though I guess that depends on income). Better umbrellas will last a lot longer, as long as the youngest children don’t get their hands on them and use them as their personal playthings.

Staying Outdoors

Like most people, I don’t want to spend all of my time indoors. I can do what I do while sitting in the garage (actually, the area under the driveway) if it’s cool enough. The Wi-Fi from my bedroom reaches further than I ever imagined it would when it was set up. These days, however, it’s hot and humid before the sun comes up.

I don’t know how they do it, but the relatives living in this compound can stay outside even during the hottest hours of the day. Of course, their houses don’t have enough space in them for all of them to stay indoors at the same time. Their electric fans are blowing hot air, so what difference does it make?

I’m begging for rain, but not just because it’s hot and humid. My air conditioner won’t shut off until the wee hours of the morning and then it’s only for a couple of hours. My electric bill is higher than it has ever been, and nearly double what it was during the cooler months.

I like being outdoors when I can handle the heat (or the lack of heat). I like playing chess with relatives and neighbors when anyone’s available for it. I like doing things on my laptop and sipping on my morning cup of coffee. The weather I’m dealing with today (that I’ve dealt with for more than a month) keeps me in my bedroom. I don’t make enough money to air condition more than one room at a time or I’d fire up the one downstairs and invite people in.

Playing in the Rain

I hate to say this, but I’ll probably be one of the first people to walk around in the rain when it lasts for more than 15 minutes. And I’ll do it without an umbrella. If I was about 50 years younger, I’m sure I’d be running around naked, like a lot of the kids in this neighborhood do when the first day of heavy rain occurs.

Bring it on.


RT Cunningham
June 14, 2015