The Seasons of Weather in the Philippines

tropical cyclone - weather 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 only thing that bothers me about Philippines weather is when people know about tropical cyclones soon to arrive and then do nothing to prepare for them. It bothers me more than the storms themselves.

The Seasons

There are only two official seasons of weather in the Philippines and they are:

– Dry Season (tag-araw) – November to April
– Rainy Season (tag-ulan) – May to October

There are other “unofficial seasons” and they are:

– Winter/Cold Season (tag-lamig) – November to January
– Summer/Hot Season (tag-init) – March to May
– Spring or when things grow (tag-sibol)
– Autumn or when things die off (tag-lagas)

The Perception of Cold or Hot

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 these people came from places where it always went below freezing in the winter. They had more brown fat on their bodies, which served to insulate them from the cold.

Even though I’ve lived in the Philippines for several years, 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 (and I have nice, warm leather jacket hanging in my closet) during the cold season in a few more years. Somehow, though, I doubt I ever will.

Keeping Tabs on the Weather

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 is 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 provide, I can tell whether it’s safe for me to be running around outside of my neighborhood. I ignore the fact that a lot of Filipinos are running around regardless of the weather, aching to be another statistic, and stay home when I don’t believe it’s safe to be out there.

Right now, it’s rainy season again (and still hot). Some people are taking showers in the rain, with bar soap and shampoo. Others are doing all kinds of things you would never see them doing anywhere else.

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11 Responses

  1. PAT FISHER says:


    • RT Cunningham says:

      Hi Pat, you don’t have to worry about special shots. I didn’t and I moved to another island in 2006. The flu there is like the flu anywhere else. Just take aspirin or acetaminophen if you get a fever.

  2. tom hamby says:

    i recently relocated to tarlac, philippines, after visiting here in the 60s…….i remarried and love it here…….the one thing you didnt mention, is the extra fees that americans pay………..sorta like bribes

    • RT Cunningham says:

      I don’t pay extra fees, other than what’s required by law. Of course, I let my relatives do anything where I might have to pay something extra.

  3. Lol says:

    I kinda like made this on my own but starting October, you would call the sight everywhere in the phil to look in the phil. Not the red leaves but the red sky whoch I can only see so yea. Sept= Late Summer to Early Autumn Oct= Mid Autumn and November = Late Fall to Early Winter. December = Mid Winter and January = Late Winter to Early Spring. I hope you get what Im takking about lol

  4. Patricia Mirasol says:

    Project NOAH’s another good weather source:

  5. Hi RT, it’s Jason.

    You lived in Phoenix? I lived there for a short time, but mostly stayed around the Tucson area. I remember the snowbirds. Everybody use to complain about them.

    Great article…..I love what I see on your blog and will read more.

    See you later!

  6. Jim Taylor says:

    I’m seriously considering moving to Daet come December (once I get my house sold), my biggest fear is that after a few months, I’ll risk getting deported & forced to come back to the states.

    Any suggestions as to how to avoid this or on how to just completely disappear & off the radar?

    After spending 9 years fighting the system trying to get the wife & kids to the usa, I’ve just got to the point where I’m totally discusted, not only with our immigration problems, but our entire government. Time for a change

    • RT Cunningham says:

      As long as you have your passport, you can get a temporary visa stamp incrementally. Then fly and stay in Guam overnight once a year and you’ll never have to worry about it.

    • dave hogg says:

      open a company, apply for retiree visa you can stay as long as you wish, you renew it each year i live in daet.

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