Typhoon Ambo: Earth Vagabonds safe

sunset after typhoon ambo

Last Updated on May 27, 2023 by Ellen

We’re especially thankful for this beautiful sunset tonight. It’s proof we’ve made it through another Philippine typhoon. 

Over the past 36 hours we’ve had rain, thunder, wind, and waves. But fortunately, we were at the very far edge of the storm and the effects here were minimal.

It was supposed to be worse. Early tracking models put us closer to Typhoon Ambo – the first tropical storm of the season here in the Philippines. (Locally, the storm is called Ambo. Internationally it’s called Vongfong.)

Typhoon Ambo

We were relieved to hear yesterday that its path had changed.
I took some photos from our roof through mid-day today showing the changing conditions. But all in all, this was pretty mild.

clouds from typhoon ambo on the roof of our apartment

Current reports are of one death, homes destroyed, and many people displaced on the eastern Philippine island of Samar. The weakening storm is continuing north and west (away from us) near the populous island of Luzon, and dumping heavy rains on Manila.

This is actually our second typhoon experience. On Christmas Eve 2019, the very late-season Typhoon Ursula passed near Cebu, our first home in the Philippines, causing extensive rains and some flooding.

Ironically, that same same storm continued westward and directly struck the northern coast of Panay, where we are now. Our current apartment at the Hangout Beach Resort even sustained damage: shattered glass balcony doors.

Storm experience

Folks here did prepare for Ambo; mainly by moving boats to safety. I watched yesterday as the many watercraft that have been moored in that calm, shallow waters around Boracay – the tourist island we have a direct view of – were taken to safe harbors, including the small river channel near us. Smaller fishing boats were literally carried by groups of guys up onto dry land.

locals securing boats ahead of the arrival of typhon ambo

Overnight there were downpours and rumbling thunder. But by daybreak, the rain was intermittent. Ellen even managed to go into town late in the afternoon without getting wet.

Throughout the day, we did observe the changing swirling winds and seas as the system moved further away.

By sunset, the sea was completely calm. The clouds looked kinda crazy, but the colors were gorgeous.

Looking ahead…

I noticed our beachfront looks different. A lot of sand has been washed away and more small rocks have been thrown onto the shore. It’s probably a regular occurrence during these weather events and will ‘rectify’ over time.

According to Philippine media, there are an average of 20 tropical storms each season affecting this tropical island nation. Our original travel plan was to be departing the Philippines about now – to avoid the rainy season. But with the COVID-19 lockdown and international travel suspended, we expect to be here for many more of this season’s storms… hopefully without any further damage.

reshaped shoreline from typhoon ambo

As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails, & more beer.

Life is NOW!

Thanks for reading, “Earth Vagabonds safe from Typhoon Ambo.”

Tedly and Ellen post every day during their Philippine Quarantine. In addition to the season’s first typhoon, they also got lucky when a wildfire hit on the hillside behind their apartment.

Visit our special COVID-19 section.

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