Living in the Tropics: Living with Climate Change: Living La Vida Loca

There was this poem we read back in High School that told of a farmer who cursed the Sun and the heat it brought during the dry months and of the same farmer who sursed the Typhoon, monsoon rains and the flood during the wet months of the year. Then there was this old black and White Tagalog film that began with a flood that nearly swept away a family living in a Nipa Hut or Bahay Kubo and started to sorry plight of film’s heroine. And these things still happen. Through the years though the monsoon rains, typhoons and other natural disasters seem to be more frequent … but then again it might be because of our nearness to the events: It seems more because it happens to us. Nevertheless, It does happen and it happens to us – Monsoon, typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding and volcanic eruptions are part and parcel of what happens in our end of the world.

It is the geology and metereology of our place. It is our life. And even with modern day technology the best we can do is to obey nature and respect its power. And remember always why the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the number one book in the Universe crafted by Douglas Adams – It has the words DON’T PANIC written in nice big letters at the front.


1. Always have an umbrella. It shades you against the Sun and protects you against the rains – and on the reare occassion against hail storms. And it is also functions as a walking stick – if its that long.

2. Light: flashlight/electronic torch; matches; lighter, and candles. Useful when the lights go out – which happens during a typhoon, flooding or earthquake or during the unlikely event of jellyfish invading a powerplant and causing the power grid to go down. Make sure though that your flashlight has a set of fully charged batteries or can be powered via the Sun, manually powwered or better both.

3. Cellphones and Radio. Cellphones, can be used to call and even access the Internet, where through twitter and other social media channels you can get updated with what is happening. Although; in the event of network failure, power failure and budget failure – no load; it would be best to have on hand and fully charged a transistor radio. in terms of power consumption and reach in times of crisis nothing beats the radio still.

4. Swiss Army Knife and Rope. Actually, any pocket or utility knife is quite useful to have on hand. You never know when you might need to use it. Also a piece of rope can be quite a blessing if you need to tie-something up or wigh something down.

5. Power Supplies. This may stretch from genset, inverter to ordinary batteries. Batteries though have proven to be very practical in terms of power outages that may stretch for several hours. A good investment for cellphone ( in particular Smart Phones) would be these mobile chargers or pre-charged chargers.

6. Food and Water. Always important. Disasters , natural or man-made, always comes with power outages. And this limits what you can cook and eat. Canned goods, crackers and potable water is what you need in order to survive.

7. A towel can really be useful. Aside from being used to dry up. It can be used as an impromptu pillow, blanket or even bag.


Built to surviva a flood, an earthquake and any other calamities.

In times of floods. one begins to think that it might be worthwhile to go back to the original designs of houses in the Philippines – the bahay Kubo or house on stilts. In one of the talks about how Climat Change was affecting the Philippines one of the suggestions was to build typhoon resistant houses in areas that are flood prone. And the design was a house on long stilts – very much similar to the old Bahay Kubo.


Learn to live with a typhoon, monsoon, earthquake and a volcano. Learn about these things and learn what to do before, during and after these things strike. Adapt one’s lifestyle to it. Use technology but also be aware of its limitations. And respect nature.

Nature to be commanded must be obeyed or To command nature… one must first learn to obey it.

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