Trangkaso, Climate, Bugs…

“My Philippine Home”

Kaibigan Manong sitting on porch taking break from clearing land in background

I remembered the name of the illness that I had.  It is called “Trangkaso” (I had the spelling wrong, but was corrected by another Filipina. Blair told me that it was, Trangkaso) she is an intelligent Filipina, Blair B.

Great comedy show though it was taken from real circumstances…

That little yellow house was near some, abandoned for years, railroad tracks and I used to enjoy a sitcom starring the now deceased, “Dolphy.”  The name of that comedy was, “Home Along da Riles,” translated – Home Along the Rails.”  I recall watching that show many times, and though I could not understand some of the language, the visual actions consistently made me laugh.

The show depicted the lives of a poor Filipino family, the Kosmes, living alongside the railroad tracks. The main character, Kevin Kosme, strives to raise his four children on his meager earnings. Despite their situation, the family remains tight-knit and keeps a very positive outlook on life. As a running gag in the show, their house shakes violently when a train passes by.

But it wasn’t all fun and laughter.  Take the time… I was out all day and when I returned during the early evening hours – bugs had invaded!  I am not speaking of a window left open and a few get inside, no, it was as if the home had become a hatchery for every imaginable creepy, crawly thing! I didn’t know what to do with them; I went to the neighbors and mentioned to Fe about the multitude of bugs.

She took it in stride and told me, “Yes it happens every time the wet season comes,” anyway Fe came over and helped rid the place of them.  She was a real lifesaver for me.  There are two seasons in the Philippines – dry and wet…the dry season runs from December to May. The dry season may be subdivided further into (a) the cool dry season, from December to February; and (b) the hot dry season, from March to May.  March to May are their summer months and the kids are home from school.  They return after Labor Day, which occurs in the Philippines during the month of June.  There are some subtle differences.

The climate of the Philippines is tropical and the rainy season is from June to November; relatively high temps, high humidity and abundant rainfall characterize it. It is similar in many respects to the climate of the countries of Central America. Temperature, humidity, and rainfall are the most important elements of the country’s weather and climate.

Map of the Philippines showing the locations o...
Map of the Philippines showing the locations of Visayas, Mindanao and Luzon region. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The difference between the annual temperature of the southernmost station in Zamboanga, Mindanao and that of the northernmost station in Laoag, Luzon is insignificant. In other words, there is essentially no difference in the annual temperature of places in the whole of the Philippines whether the big island of Luzon, the Visayas or Mindanao, their three major island groups.

Let’s talk of the humidity for a moment… Due to high temperature and the surrounding bodies of water, the Philippines have a high relative humidity. The average monthly relative humidity varies between 71 percent in March and 85 percent in September. I can vividly recall sitting on the porch of the home in Bauang and surveying the surroundings… the green leaves on the trees and the green foliage of grass, and plants melded in with the blue and heat from the sky.  Why, I had never seen the sky so green.

The combination of warm temperature and high relative and absolute humidity’s give rise to high sensible temperature throughout the archipelago. It is especially uncomfortable during March to May, when temperature and humidity attain their maximum levels.

Typhoons have a great influence on the climate and weather conditions of the Philippines. A great portion of the rainfall, humidity and cloudiness are due to the influence of typhoons. They generally originate in the region of the Marianas and Caroline Islands of the Pacific Ocean and have the same latitudinal location as Mindanao. Their movements follow a northwesterly direction, sparing Mindanao from being directly hit by majority of the typhoons that cross the country. This makes the southern Philippines very desirable for agriculture and industrial development.

I could delve more deeply into the topic, but I have already said too much, I think.


Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.


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