17 June 2010

The Heat Post

Before I leave the Philippines for yet another time, I really should blog about the heat. Funny because I spent a total of 14 years here, and yet I rarely recall instances in which we complained about the heat. Yes, I remember times in which it would be May and we would look at the thermometer and marvel at how it is 35 C. But in other times, it seemed that the heat was just normal.

And yet, coming back from a temperate country, the heat seems to be rather stifling and unbearable.

So I arrived here in May. The weather pattern usually consists of a bright sun, and that is all. The temperature would max out at around 35 C, and during the night, it would go low at around 29. Yeah, not a lot. The fans would be running all day and all night long.

Then June came. The weather changed a bit. The bright sun is still there, but for most days, the clouds would start to roll around mid-afternoon and the rain would fall from the afternoon up to the evening. That would lower the temperatures a bit. However, sometimes, the rain just wouldn't fall, and the heat would still linger.

The heat isn't really the culprit, but the humidity is. If only it were a dry heat, then it would be fine. But no, it is hot and sticky, and the humidity is so high, that even though the temperature is just around 35, it feels 45. Your skin gets so sticky you would want to hit the showers every 30 minutes. It drains your energy just moving around the house. I brought my running shoes with me thinking that I would want to exercise every morning by running around the neighborhood like I do in Buffalo, and yet the heat and humidity just is discouraging, that I haven't used them since.

It is here that I invented throat spa. This consists of sitting down and eating ice cream just to cool down your body. Yeah, pathetic, and unhealthy, but that provides temporary relief.

Water is also vital. I think I have drunk so much water here every day, that every time I end a meal, I feel bloated not because I had too much to eat, but because I had too much to drink.

Due to the heat, it seems that it is so tempting to just lower one's metabolism and hibernate, go to sleep, as moving is so sticky and discouraging.

Oh well, yeah, there is air conditioning, but that isn't common here in the Philippines, and it's not the case that one is always inside. Besides, if you switch on the air conditioning for a long period of time, you'll get a surprise once you receive your electricity bill.

If only one can move the Philippines a few degrees higher and out of the tropical zone, that would be awesome.

(House at the corner of Calle del Coliseo, from my Bogotá, Colombia Series)


  1. throat spa... I like that!

    I totally know what you mean. Brazil was super hot this way and Porto Alegre and Parati were just almost unbereable because of the humidity. Even the sea was hot!

    China can be really hot and humid in the summer... I used to take three cold showers a day in Beijing.

  2. Zhu,

    Which brings to me the conclusion that I think humidity is way worse than heat: it can be very hot and yet not humid at all, so it is still comfortable, but it can be so humid and yet not hot but it is so uncomfortable due to the humidity index.

  3. LOL on the throat spa!
    Like you, it's the humidity I really despise and unfortunately, we can't do anything about moving the Philippines up a notch on the latitudinal level - unless there's a massive shift in tectonic plates *gasp*

  4. TNP,

    I know! Unfortunately, my lifetime is too short to see the Philippine archipelago move due to the shift of tectonic plates. It's way easier to just move myself!