Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Inherent Rain Survival Trait of Filipinos

Photo Credit | http://celiabasto.tumblr.com/

Friday, October 19, 2007
The Inherent Rain Survival Trait of Filipinos
Filed under: Filipino, life in Tunisia — bernadetteanne

When it is raining cats and dogs and you’re stuck with a Filipino, you couldn’t ask for a better companion to be stuck with, be it a house, an open space, a car or any infrastructure. Why do I say this? Because rain, be it a drizzle to a downpour worthy to cause a mudslide, is second nature to us to know what to do.

It does not matter if you were born in the Philippines or simply lived there for a couple of years. Rain is a fact of life in the Philippines.

Whatever possessed me to write about such a topic? A couple of days ago, Saturday around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, Tunisia time or Paris time (which is the same), we were bombarded with rain like there was no tomorrow, not to mention the thunderstorm which came with it. It was almost worthy of a full-fledge storm back in the Philippines!

I was reveling at the sound and sight of the rainstorm. I told Eric that I wanted to go to the rooftop and record the storm and take pictures. Eric, of course, did not discourage me because he has this reputation in his neighbourhood in Dasmarinas Village to go out during a storm and take pictures. In short, he did not discourage me for fear of getting struck by lightning because he and I are rain lovers.

Although I think I had gone a little too far when I told him I would like to go out in our garden and walk about in the rain. He looked at me like I had lost my mind and said, “Can you imagine how dirty that rain is?”

I just smiled and say, “Could this rain be any dirtier than the rains we have in the Philippines? Philippines is at least twice as polluted as Tunisia but you never heard anyone getting sick because of basking in the rain.”

Then I gave him a little lesson which I learned when I was a little girl who was eager to walk about in the rain. Why? Simply because I grew up in the UAE and the rain we had was nowhere are beholding as those in the Philippines. One of the treats I look forward to whenever we went on vacation to the Philippines was playing in the rain.

The lesson I learned: do not play in the rain the first time it pours. That is the dirtiest segment of the rain. Wait a little until midstream before you go under the rain. It is so much better when the rain are hitting your skin like pellets.

So, I went up to the second floor of our house, where the bedrooms are, to get my camera when I noticed our marble staircase was wet. I looked up and saw water dribbling down from the third floor of house, which was the huge rooftop. Being the experienced rain person that I am, I started gathering towels and moping the puddles while Eric plugged the leak up on the rooftop with our son Nikolai’s newly bought Play Dough.

I felt tired and thought a shower would relieve the muscles I over-exerted when I bended and wiped the floor. So, I entered our bedroom and lo and behold! There was a huge puddle of water seeping in our bedroom via the spacious balcony adjacent to it! Our bedroom was beginning to get flooded! So once more, I threw towels to suck the water and then dumped them in the bathtub where Eric would wring the water out.

Our sons, of course, wanted to take part. Our youngest, Friederik, slipped and fell to the floor. So, I decided to put him in his carseat. Our firstborn was beginning to panic. I told him, “Don’t panic, sweetie! Mama is a Filipina. This is peanuts!” We finally managed to dry the floors.

But the worst was yet to come! We had a nasty surprise when we saw the exercise room and the main and secondary guest bedrooms. It was literally flooded! You see, the windows here are not insulated enough nor are the doors to the balconies. And therefore, just a bit of a strong rain, water seeps in!

We were running out of towels and so we had to use the floor swiper with the towels. I thought our task would never end. It finally did and we were both exhausted from the exercise. Still think the rain is romantic? I do. In fact when it stopped raining at 3am, I felt a bit sad.

The sound of rain soothes me. It lulls me back to memories of walking under the rain or simply staying in our hose and watching the storm unfurl.

No matter how hard the rain is, there is the pitter patter of rhythm which had inspired so many songs and poetry. It makes me think that despite the storm, there would always be light. (When lightning is so strong, it looks like a panoramic flash, don’t be scared and smile. Then wait until you are in heaven to claim your pictures!)

That after the rain and the storm is the calm we needed.

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