0140F: After the Rains (For the Most Part)

Photo by A. Ticsay
The sun has finally made a few appearances this morning, although it's nothing consistent yet. PAG-ASA, our weather bureau, has reported that the rains will still continue throughout today and should finally abate by tomorrow - at least until the next wave of bad weather. Despite this not being an actual typhoon and "just" the regular monsoon rains, at least 11 have been reported dead and more than 1 million people were affected by the inclement weather. While the rainfall was not quite as intense as it had been during Typhoon Ondoy back in 2009, the total volume of rainfall eventually surpassed Ondoy over time.

I've been working from home for the past two days, primarily addressing the social media front as best as I could. This was really the sort of crisis that makes one consider how companies can manage such a complex situation and come out looking decent somehow. There's the eternal struggle to balance concern for your workforce with the company's obligations to their clients and customers that is quite the high wire act to manage. Even now while parts of Metro Manila remain underwater, even the government has conceded that work in the private sector needs to resume in order for life to get back to some semblance of normal.

Photo by A. Ticsay
Amid everything, there were those annoying moments of using the bad weather for their own purposes. In years past, we used to chide children for wishing for rain in order to get school cancelled somehow. But now we have adults acting like children as they tried to link the monsoon rains with the administrations efforts to push for the Reproductive Health Bill to be decided upon sooner. Others were trying to find meaning in the date of the event by looking at Genesis 8:7-12 as a link to 08/07/12 (while ignoring all other books of the Bible and how silly it would be to quote from those books. But that's life for you and people can be pretty silly when locked up in their homes too long.

With parts of Metro Manila still underwater and some parts still under a state of calamity, once again I can 't help but complain that it seems like we've learned nothing from the likes of Typhoon Ondoy or all the other storms and typhoons that have hit the country and crippled the city and other parts of the country.

Photo by A.Catral
For Metro Manila alone, we know that our city suffers from poor city planning, insufficient drainage facilities and a lot of improper disposal of waste. Beyond clearing the drains, we need to completely overhaul this city and develop more comprehensive ways of shunting out the flood waters from this city, which acts more like a shallow basin during the rainy season. In other words - it floods quickly as long as the rain continues on for an extended period of time and will probably drain off in time provided the rain stops long enough. And that's the challenge really - we only have two seasons in this tropical country and the big one is the wet and rainy one. The rains come every single year and yet no one is willing to invest in the overall of our infrastructure and really make Metro Manila function like the capital of this country. Instead all government funds go to projects that help politicians generate more name recall like multi-purpose halls, basketball courts and the endless repaving of roads that probably don't need it. I'd like to see someone invest some serious cash into mapping out a new drainage system with supplementary pumps and the potential need to re-map certain roadways or elevate areas that are constantly submerged by flood waters instead of trying to figure out how to cope with the effects of the next disaster around the corner.

Of course in the meantime we need to focus on recovery efforts as we return to a sense of normalcy. I'll be going back to work tonight and will see how well I can cope with backlog at the office while the public debates will probably continue regarding how to interpret the weather, how to deal with its effects and who is to blame, as if accountability is the real issue right now.

And of course, the rain resumes just as I wrap-up this blog post. Perfect.
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