I don't know anybody named Glenda personally, I honestly haven't even heard of anyone famous who goes by that name. Wait, there's Glinda the Good Witch from the musical Wicked, but the spelling is wrong so that doesn't count. Anyway, who knew that in July 2014, every Filipino in Luzon and Visayas, including myself, would forever be marked by that very name. The now famous name that would be linked to harsh winds that uprooted huge trees, caused tall posts to break and fall, destroyed houses and took lives. Oh and let's not forget to mention the massive power outages in Meralco areas that some as of yet are still being restored.

In our particular area in Rizal, the howling winds on the Tuesday night Glenda entered PAR was our only warning before the power went out at 2 in the morning. Good thing Mr. D already bought 2 LED emergency lights and 2 small LED flash lights from Daiso, to help us get around in the dark. No more worrying about the dangers of candles and matches while there are kids running around the house, like causing a fire for instance. Those and the 2 old school fans we bought in the market really helped us survive the nights without electricity. It took a bit of elbow grease and teamwork on our part to get the Little Hulk and Little Miss Banshee to sleep, but me and Mr. D got the job done by taking turns fanning them. 

All these at Daiso for Php88.00 each.

These mini emergency lights were kept open for 2 nights in a row, they consume so little energy that they still don't need to get new batteries up to this day. They're the safe alternative to lighting up candles, I won't have to worry that my house will catch on fire if left overnight and unattended...

These flashlights are small enough to fit inside my pocket, I carried them everywhere during the power outage. Batteries lasts longer since these babies are also equipped with LED lights.

No electric fans or airconditioners, so we did it the old school way, at least the kids were kept cool. Mr. D and me on the other hand got some toned arms from all the hours of nonstop fanning. 
We were good, a bit handicapped without the convenience of electric fans at night but we were alright all in all. We had water, food, gas, a roof over our head and each other, unlike some. Our mobile phones and other gadgets' batteries (they weren't fully charged in the first place) died aftter 24 hours of still not having power, good thing we had a landline phone as back up in case of emergency. We didn't dare go out, it was safer to stay indoors with the kids since the wind wasn't getting any weaker from what we could see outside the windows. We also heard that the flood waters in the center of our subdivision surpassed the height of the average Filipino, in other words we were stranded as usual until the water subsides. So anyway, the power was restored on Thursday at around 10AM while the kids were still sleeping, giving me the freedom to take action and charge everything that needed charging.

I booted up the Kindle to immediately check Meralco's official Facebook page for news updates on power restoration and instead got a warning of a rotational brownout scheduled for the day. We just got it back and they're taking it away again was my last thought before I turned off the tablet and let it charge some more. I broke the news gently to Mr. D and Miss Artsy, but I guess there was just no softening the blow of another brownout to a 9 year old who was looking forward to finally paint because there was sufficient light in her room again. We had an hour to bask in front of electric fans until they died and the lights went out, which wasn't enough time for the fridge to cool down. We were forced to cook all of the fish, poultry and meat in the freezer before they stink and go bad. Fish & Veggie soup and Chicken & Pork Adobo was the easy way out and we took that route, under the circumstances who could blame us. 

Electricity finally returned after 7 hours and lasted through the night, which gave us much needed rest from all the fanning we did. The next day some parts of Luzon experienced rotational brownouts again, which lasted for 4 hours in our area between noon and dinner time. After the incident it has now been part of my routine to check Meralco updates for scheduled power interruptions a couple of times a day since they started implementing that before the typhoon hit.

Typhoon Glenda may have left but the lessons we've learned will stay with us. What lessons you ask? Here's my list:

  • Always be prepared, have emergency lights, flashlights and batteries ready at all times
  • Invest on Powerbanks for your gadgets
  • Look into Solar Power
  • Stock Up on essentials (food, drinking water and sanitation supplies)
  • Must Have Fans

Well, that's me. How about you? What lessons did Glenda teach you this month of July?


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Article published on July 21, 2014

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