31 March 2011

What's Going On?

I awakened early in the morning because I was shivering uncontrollably. “What’s going on?” I asked myself, still half asleep.

I groggily pulled the kumot all the way up to cover my head, but it was no use. It was still unbelievably cold!

I don’t remember it being this cold here… ever!!! In the coldest of the cold months in almost half a century of living in this city, I have never experienced anything like this.

I struggled just to get up to check if I had left the windows ajar and if the draft was coming in. They were all tightly shut, even though last night it was still just warm enough for me not to have my shirt on until it was time to go to bed.

The wall clock said it was five, but the morning was eerily quiet. No dogs were barking; and the roosters seemed to all be shivering as well.

Reluctant, but left with no choice, I walked the short distance to the next room to get some warm clothes to put on. They all smelled of cabinet. Dusty, that is…

I had to put on two pairs of thick cotton jogging pants and three sweat shirts just to stop from shivering. Even then, I could still feel the cold piercing through my skin.

In a while, the sun started to peek from below the horizon. When there was sufficient light, I dared to look out the window. What I saw shocked me…

There were icicles hanging down from the leaves of the trees in the front of the house. How could this be? I live in the tropics! They have had frost in Baguio; but Lipa???!!!

I kept the coffeemaker on longer than I usually do. This morning, I wanted my brewed coffee steaming hot!

I was sipping the coffee desperately by the time I had my PC booted up and connected to the Internet. The PAGASA web site jpeg showed this thick mass of clouds swathing from the South China Sea all the way to Japan… A cold front right smack above us, not just the tail-end as one would typically expect during the cold months.

Strange… There were so few vehicles on the road when I finally left for school. It was already half past seven, and I needed to be in school at eight for the Integrated School’s Graduation Mass.

It looked like everyone stayed in because of the unbelievable cold.

In front of the Base, traffic slowed down to almost a crawl because – or so I overheard the onlookers saying to nobody in particular – the couple of jeepneys that were hopelessly wrecked skidded on the icy surface and rammed into one another!

There was more commotion at the flyover in Tambô. Was that a light twin-engined plane I could see from the road below? Indeed, it was!

My immediate reaction was, how the devil did it get there? Again, from the roadside tambays, I overheard that the plane’s wings became laden with ice that formed because of the extreme cold.

The pilot, seeing that he was suddenly in deep trouble, looked for the most convenient place to land. That place was the STAR: the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road, an express highway…

Amazingly, nobody was hurt by the forced landing.

What’s going on? It’s April, for crying out loud! We’re supposed to be sweating even in the mornings because of the summer heat.

Oh yes!!! It’s the first of April. April Fools!!!

[This story was first published on Facebook on 1 April 2009.]

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