We all know there are four seasons of weather (spring, summer, winter and fall), right? In tropical countries like the Philippines, the four seasons aren’t even recognized. Officially or unofficially, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is what the people living in the Philippines recognize.
The one thing that bothers me the most about the weather is when people know a tropical cyclone (typhoon) is rolling in and still do nothing to prepare for it. It bothers me more than the storm itself.
There are only two official seasons of weather in the Philippines and they are:
There are other “unofficial seasons” and they are:
When I lived in Phoenix, Arizona, I used to laugh at the people we called “snowbirds” - people who came to Phoenix for the winter from places where it was much colder. The snowbirds would walk around in T-shirts and shorts when everyone else was wearing heavy clothing, sweaters and jackets. It was amusing, but understandable.
The temperature rarely went below freezing in Phoenix and those people came from places where it always went below freezing in the winter. They had more brown fat on their bodies than we did, which insulated them from the cold.
Even though I’ve lived in the Philippines for more than a decade, it’s almost always either warm or hot for me. The Filipinos are running around in sweaters and jackets during the cold season while I’m wearing a T-shirt. I guess I could be considered something like a “snowbird”, but not coming from a place where it snows.
Of course, I’m adapting to the climate more and more as time progresses. Acclimation is a wonderful thing. Perhaps I’ll be wearing a jacket during the cold season in several more years. Somehow, though, I doubt I ever will.
Most of the bad weather in the Philippines occurs during the rainy season (but not always). That’s when the tropical storms and cyclones like to roll in, destroy things and kill people. There’s a website I visit almost every day during rainy season, to find out what the current state of the weather is: The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)
Looking at the satellite map they display, I can tell whether it’s safe for running around outside of my neighborhood. I ignore the fact that a lot of Filipinos are running around regardless of the weather and stay home when I don’t believe it’s safe.
It’s rainy season again (and still hot). Some people are taking showers in the rain and doing all kinds of things you would never see them doing anywhere else.
Originally published in August of 2013. Updated for readability and minor corrections.