18 March 2004

---Though I Miss The Sleet, I Still Prefer Manila

The picture above brings back old happy memories.

In 1995, I was in the US East Coast going from hospital to hospital to fulfill invitations for my medical residency training. That was also the time the place got its worst snow downfall. I think no snowfall has broken that record yet as proven by this data I got from yesterday's major daily from Long Island:

Truly, it was the worst time to be in the East Coast. A cab driver whom I had the chance of talking to was surprised to hear that that was the first time I saw snow. I told him the only "snow" I can relate to in the Philippines are the ice cubes I see in the freezer section of my refrigerator. I told him that most Filipinos longed to see what and how winter felt like. "Get outta here," he retorted. He said that for most Americans, winter is a dreary, bitter, and of course, cold season that means snow plowing and getting into layers and layers of clothing they call "thermals" and "parkas." They're sick of winter while we Filipinos seem to look forward to see what it was all about.

I guess people have this tendency to long for what they do not have and conversely grow sick and tired of what they have been used to for a long time.

Last Tuesday, a late-winter snowstorm blew out of the Midwest and into the Northeast, making driving treacherous and closing schools just four days before the start of spring (this coming Saturday).

Up to 9 inches of snow was forecast overnight in New Jersey, with 10 inches possible in Ohio and parts of Connecticut, and a foot in upstate New York.


Unlike Filipinos, Americans consider the weather a big topic in conversations and news that almost always break headlines. In the Philippines, weather news is not a big deal and definitely will not make headlines, unless of course, its a super typhoon that flooded a whole province and toppled numerous houses. Then again, that happens yearly, and what would really be news for us would be to have a year with no typhoons at all.

By this time, most Americans are already sick of snow and with spring expected to come this Saturday, I guess most of them were pissed off by that Tuesday surprise of a snowstorm.

And here in Manila, its beginning to smolder middays as summer approaches. We have our weird moments too. The weather bureau just said that a storm is expected to hit us in two days.

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