Guest Author - Rachel Meneses-Ponce
A tropical country, the Philippines is blessed with only two seasons referred simply as the dry and wet seasons. Dry season is the period of intense heat and humidity with no or little rain in most parts of the country. Filipinos refer to this as tag-init in the vernacular. On the other hand, the wet season is the period when the country experiences monsoon rains, typhoons, floods. This is simply called the rainy season or tag-ulan.
The most pronounced dry and hot period is referred to as summer by the Filipinos which normally begins in mid-March and almost always lasts until May. The week-long observance of the Lent (Holy Week to Filipinos) and the completion of the school-year that include graduation rites, signal summer is in the corner. This is also a two-months school break for students and faculty.
Summer time is fun and relaxation time for many. Activities to do during this period is varied and countless, limited only by one’s creativity, energy and of course budget.
Many would trek to their hometown and spend a week, even a month, in their respective provinces. Others would go to “new” places, be it locally or abroad. This is also a good time to do general cleaning in the house. I think this is the equivalent of the so-called spring cleaning in western countries.
Malls experience heavier flow of people as many would troop to these air-conditioned venues to escape the heat. Needless to say, food sales go up as Filipinos love to eat.
Swimming is always on top of the list of levelling up fun. The Philippines is blessed with many beaches and resorts, from the easy-to-the-pocket to high-end. Famous tourists destinations are the beaches in Boracay, Puerto Galera, Pagudpud Beach, Bohol, Siargao, Misibis Bay and Palawan to mention a few. Snorkelling, diving, banana boat riding are common activities in these places. Lately, white sharks interaction tours are gaining popularity among local and foreign tourists. These tours allow close encounter with the gentle giants of the sea.
Resorts that feature man-made attractions also abound and enjoy patronage. Some feature pools which mimic the waves of the sea and offer scuba diving lessons.
For a quick respite, there is Tagaytay City or Antipolo City for those in Metro Manila. Tagaytay City boasts of a fantastic view of Taal Volcano and horseback riding. Antipolo City on the other hand is where the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage is located. Devotees flock to this place especially during the month of May to join in the celebration of its feast.
Whatever activities they engage in, summer is bonding time with family, relatives and friends.