Albert Einstein said that “the only constant is change.” It holds true every time and one of its most frequent followers is the weather. We have seen our share of sunny mornings and rainy afternoons, and warm days and cold nights. But in Los Baños, things got a bit faster.
Have you ever experienced a sunny-rainy-sunny cycle in one hour? You’d have one of those here in UPLB. I had my share of I-got-wet-because-I-didn’t-bring-my-umbrella-because-I-thought-it’s-not-going-to-rain and a little of I-just-forgot-my-umbrella-and-the-weather-didn’t-cooperate. True enough we should always be ready for anything, but who wants to bring a four-foot 600g umbrella every single day? I’m too lazy for that so I thought maybe I could guess when it is going to rain or when it is going to be scorching hot but they say that the weather is like a woman – very extremely hard to understand. Maybe that’s where the term “Mother Nature” came from. So I think I’ll just take my chances.
Weather forecasts are 40% accurate. So much for all that fancy meteorological equipment, you might as well guess if it’s going to rain with 50% accuracy – like tossing a coin or something. Fortunately, Mother Nature isn’t that evil. She gives us a bit of a “heads up” before it’s going to rain. When the day starts sunny and then dark clouds starts brewing out of nowhere, you’ll have enough time to prepare for a drizzle, a deluge or a downpour – whichever earth “feels” like sending you. But when the day starts cloudy, I found it safer to bring an umbrella because you would have no clue when it’s going to rain.
Rainy days suddenly shifting to a sunny day does not seem to be much of a problem. Maybe it is because it seldom happens. The worse that happened to me is that it was raining and it was a bit cold. I wore clothes that are warm – thick black shirt and thick jeans. Then the clouds suddenly broke and the sun poured its radiating heat over the pavements of Los Baños. I got wet because I sweat a lot. I probably lost about a gallon of water that day. It was warm, moist and hot. It was very excruciatingly uncomfortable.
Discomfort wasn’t enough punishment for failing to prepare for bad weather. There was a time in my college life when I left my umbrella home – not just in the dormitory. I had to hope for good weather but the skies had gone against me. It was a Tuesday. I can still remember the horrors. I was about to go to my first class – statistics 1. It was cloudy but not yet raining. I rode the jeep from forestry to Humanities. Then before I knew it, there was a downpour. I literally ran for my dear life – I don’t want to die of asthma. It was a fifty meter run on the slippery pavements of Los Baños on a dark stormy morning. The next day, I had colds which somehow managed to evolve to a respiratory tract infection within a week. Weakened resistance maybe? The same thing happened when my umbrella broke. But it wasn’t as bad as the first. I just caught colds.
It isn’t just the rain that can make you sick. Even the temperature on mornings can really make your nose run faster than late students. Once I had it bad. It was a hot day the night was also warm so I didn’t bother with the blanket and I just put my fan’s speed to maximum. I woke up chilling with colds and a runny nose. The same thing can happened when I sweat too much. I thought it will be a chilly day when the sun broke out of the clouds. It got really warm really fast. All I could think of that day was “I’m melting!” After about half an hour of non-stop sweating, my back is already soaked in sweat. After an hour, I’m coughing.
The most common ventilation system adopted by the university is composed of the most sophisticated technology ever developed by man. It’s called a window. Some classrooms are lucky enough to have an electric fan. Some are luckier to have a working fan. Some are even luckier to have a working fan that blows air in the right direction. But we don’t have to worry about than now because we are about to enter into the dawn of a new age: The age of Air-cons. Or is it just the main library they plan to have air-conditioned?
Unfortunately, the weather is still above us. With University-wide threats off power loss when there is strong wind and heavy rain, these air-conditioning units will be rendered useless during a black-out. Once again, man has to resort to its most prized technology – the window. Lack of ventilation is not the only inconvenience a power outage can bring. Even lights, computers, the internet, and network signal can be disabled, all because of the weather.
Luckily, I have not had any life-threatening or any grade-threatening experience that is caused by a power outage brought about by bad weather. I only get increased blood pressure resulting from stress and irritation because I couldn’t do what I could normally do. No power means we’re back to the Stone Age. No signal means we’re back to using landlines which do not seem to exist any more, or at least something that can be used by the public.
It’s really amazing how humans overly depend on technology that can be easily be taken away by some ill-tempered storm. I am overly dependent on electronic devices so I’m one of those people that always hope that Mother Nature will be in a good mood tomorrow. Although sometimes, heavy deluges are sometimes pleasing, as long as it doesn’t cause a power outage.
So now, to be able to cope up with the girlish character of the weather in Los Baños, I feel that it is good practice to always bring a small umbrella no matter what and bring a very large umbrella when the sun is raging or when the clouds are threatening to fall. It is also good to listen to forecasts even if it’s inaccurate so you’d understand half of what’s happening. Also keep all your batteries charged at all times. You never know when a storm may hit or when Earth feels like dropping a bolt of lightning on one of those transmission lines. And most important of all is to try to stay in shape. Exercise often, sleep early, eat well – not a lot, and drink some multivitamins. Your resistance is your only defense against illness, unless you plan to hire expensive mercenaries called antibiotics.