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BATANG MINDANAW: Early afternoons

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SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 7 May)—If there is one thing I like about early afternoons, it’s that they give me a settling and comfortable feeling, providing respite from the constant noise that plagues my mind during the morning rush. It’s a perfect time to simply laze around or perhaps engage in some contemplation. However, on some days, early afternoons feel like an adversary, a part of the day one might wish to avoid.

Admittedly, we have been experiencing an alarming intensity of extreme heat—not only this May but for several months. The heat has become unbearable, even indoors, in our homes and classrooms, despite having electric fans on. This has forced some schools in the country to suspend face-to-face classes, embracing modular set-ups and online classes, while also reminding people of the health problems/risks the scorching heat brings, as well as prompting warnings for people to restrict the amount of time spent outdoors.

It is unarguably “hot” in the country, reality bites; in fact, the heat index is worsening almost every day, especially in the early afternoons, ranging from 33 to 41 degrees Celsius or even higher. According to a report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer: “25 areas experience a danger level of heat index on Friday, says Pagasa” (News, 5/3/24).

The report identified areas in the country that reached a heat index of 42 to 47 degrees Celsius, including Butuan City and Cotabato City in the list.

In conclusion, quoting from William R. Adan’s “Heat Wave” piece in his column for MindaNews (4/7/24): “The temperature has been abnormally high for weeks now. This is a phenomenon we have not experienced in recent memory.”

Meanwhile, I hope to experience again the usual early afternoons that are bearable, painted in my head or in our heads as a time to simply laze around or perhaps engage in some contemplation. We can only hope…

(Jhon Steven C. Espenido, 23, is from Surigao City. He is an AB English Language student at Surigao del Norte State University.)

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