The Weather in the Philippines

weatherWe all know there are four seasons of weather (spring, summer, winter, and fall), right? In tropical countries like the Philippines, the four seasons aren’t even recognized. Officially or unofficially, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is what the people living in the Philippines recognize.

The one thing that bothers me the most about the weather is when people know a typhoon is rolling in and still do nothing to prepare for it. It bothers me more than the storm itself, especially when typhoons affect some place in the country every single year.

How Many Seasons of Weather in the Philippines Are There?

There are only two official seasons of weather in the Philippines, and they are:

  • Dry Season (tag-araw) – November to April
  • Rainy Season (tag-ulan) – May to October

There are other “unofficial seasons” of weather in the Philippines, and they are:

  • Winter/Cold Season (tag-lamig) – November to January
  • Summer/Hot Season (tag-init) – March to May
  • Spring, or when things grow (tag-sibol)
  • Autumn, or when things die off (tag-lagas)

The Perception of Cold or Hot

When I lived in Phoenix, Arizona, I used to laugh at the people we called “snowbirds”. The people who came to Phoenix for the winter from places where it was much colder. The snowbirds would walk around in T-shirts and shorts when everyone else was wearing heavy clothing, sweaters and jackets. It was amusing, but understandable.

The temperature rarely went below freezing in Phoenix, and those people came from places where it always went below freezing in the winter. They had more brown fat on their bodies than we did, which insulated them from the cold.

Even though I’ve lived in the Philippines for a long time (off and on), it’s almost always either warm or hot for me. The Filipinos are running around in sweaters and jackets during the cold season, while I’m wearing a T-shirt. I guess I could be considered something like a “snowbird”, but not coming from a place where it snows.

I didn’t adapt to the climate before I went to the United States the first time, after being here for more than six years. Although I’ve spent more time in the Philippines than in the United States since 2006, I simply haven’t had enough time to adapt. While I was in the United States, I spent time in Florida, Hawaii, and Maryland. I was almost constantly cold in Maryland.

I’ll soon be spending several months in an even colder place, the state of Washington. That’s where my younger son, Jon, is stationed with the Army and living with his family.

Keeping Tabs on the Weather

Most of the bad weather in the Philippines occurs during the rainy season. That’s when the tropical storms and typhoons like to roll in, destroy things and kill people. There’s a website I visit frequently during rainy season in the Philippines, to find out about potential problems: The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration

Looking at the satellite map they display, I can tell whether it’s safe for running around outside my neighborhood. I ignore the fact that a lot of Filipinos are running around regardless of the weather. I stay home when I don’t believe it’s safe, even when others think it is.

When it’s rainy season (and still hot), I see people taking showers in the rain, playing basketball, and doing all kinds of things I’ve never seen anywhere else in the world.

Image by Wolfgang Stemme from Pixabay

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