Typhoon approaches, Mom Diane’s plans, Ati power

A typhoon is brewing. Actually, the storm named Ofel, is currently categorized as a tropical depression. However a tropical cyclone warning has been issued for some areas.

The screen grab above shows the situation and expected path of the storm. It is projected to pass north of us. I marked our position in Malay, Aklan, on the northern tip of the island of Panay, with the big red ‘X’.

Still, the sea in front of our waterfront apartment is churned up pretty good. Nobody is fishing today. Winds and bands of rain started picking up overnight as the probable typhoon approaches.

Typhoon approaches

Truthfully, my wife, Ellen, is loving it. Lower temperatures, cloudy, breezy, passing showers; very comfortable and welcome to a woman who suffers repeated daily hot flashes.

Hopefully Ofel will skirt through the Philippines without causing any major problems. The last thing this nation needs as it struggles with COVID and economic hardship due to tourism declines is a natural disaster.

We’ve been lucky thus far through ‘typhoon season’. Typhoon Ambo, in mid-May was the only storm to affect our region this year. Last Christmas Eve Typhoon Ursula slammed our exact location. Electric power was out for a month. Buildings are still being repaired today. Luckily, we were in another part of the Philippines at that time.

Mom Diane’s travel plans

Hopefully weather won’t be an issue when my mother plans to leave the Philippines next week. She has a Japan Airlines ticket; Manila – Tokyo – New York, for next Friday, October 23. For now, getting to Manila is proving to be the hard part.

She booked a flight from our local small airport (which has reopened to service limited domestic tourism flights to nearby Boracay island) but it was cancelled. Then other online flight options disappeared too. Now the schedule and prices are fluctuating by the hour.

We have noticed more planes landing and taking off in the last week or so — three or four on some days. Most are smaller turbo-prop, commuter-sized aircraft. But I did notice full-sized, twin-jet-engine, Air Asia planes too.

Fearful of a last-minute flight cancellation, an overnight ferry (12 hours) is an option, then private car transfer to the Manila airport. A local friend had even offered to travel with her. What an adventure! We’ll see what happens.

Further, she has discovered more COVID related requirements which must be fulfilled. Exit visa, COVID test and police ‘permission’ are all part of the stepped up travel safety measures.

Ati power project update

Similarly, we’re hoping the weather does not mess up the schedule for our electric power project. This morning we received word that the power company (AKELCO) plans to make the individual household hookups for 19 new Ati customers on Friday. We’ve been waiting months for this moment.

The Ati are a disadvantaged, indigenous, Filipino people we have been assisting during the coronavirus crisis. We’ve helped with food and employment and medical treatments, restarted their chicken egg business, improved their drinking water situation, wired the nipa huts for electric power.

I’d really like to see light bulbs burning in the small Ati homes this coming weekend. But all we can do is wait and hope that storm winds and rain don’t cause other power system problems which delay the Ati connections. Stay tuned.

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

Life is NOW!

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