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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Road Trips during the Typhoon Season in the Philippines

The realities about living in Luzon where typhoons visit about 20 times a year during the rainy season have dawn on us again when we made plans to undertake a road trip to Tarlac and Isabela starting today. This is mostly due to our desire to fulfill our plans and the commitments we made when we started this island travel adventure.

We thought it was perfect timing as the kids will have a shortened week because of their first quarterly exams, thus giving us a four-day weekend to enjoy in Northern Luzon. It was also easy to rearrange my work commitments during this time.

Tropical Depression Domeng made an entry Tuesday afternoon and Metro Manila and vicinity immediately felt it with some minor flooding and traffic jams. We still kept our hopes high and made detailed coordination of our long weekend. We even thought of moving the travel a day ahead if it would be expedient and necessary as a response to the weather patterns. Our school age daughter immediately agreed when asked if she would miss an afternoon of dance practice if it means leaving a little earlier.

As we monitored Typhoon Domeng on Wednesday, it became clear that we're heading towards rains, floods and perhaps landslips. A relative that we're going to visit spoke against our plan because of the floods that they always experience in Tarlac when there's a typhoon. 

The final straw that led us to postpone the travel to Northern Luzon is a leak I discovered that almost drained the power steering fluid of our car.  There were other concerns that also weighed in to prompt us to rethink everything.

Last night, when we called our mentors, whom we regard as our second parents, that we can't make the travel to their place. They fully agreed as the risk to my young family is great. They assured us that there's another chance and that they can wait. Such assurance and understanding indeed relieved us from the guilt feeling borne out of not being able to fulfill a promise.

There's a next time under better circumstances and timing. For now we limited our long weekend plans to visiting friends in the Southern Tagalog area.  Indeed, it was a good decision as another low pressure area is now being monitored by PAGASA, the Philippines' weather bureau.  It's good that we listened...

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