Melting away

I was back home in Manila just over a year ago around Christmas time. Now, I’m back here for more punishment. My memory of my previous stay was not the most pleasant. I was actually surprised at how much better it is to visit Manila outside of the Christmas season. Reasons? Less traffic, less crowding and less heat.

I couldn’t believe that it is less hotter here in September than it was the last time I was here in December two years past. I suppose it’s due to the rainy weather. It’s still rainy season, after all. Thankfully, it hasn’t actually rained much since we’ve arrived. I never had the need to bring out my umbrella from my bag.

Although it may be heaps cooler right now than previously, I still found myself sweating. A lot. Heaps! I couldn’t stop sweating the moment I step out into the open, beyond the range of cool air-conditioned air. Trying to keep myself dry with a help of a hand towel was like trying to bail out water from a sinking boat. I’m not sure where all that water is coming from, actually. It’s really a bit much.

When I’m finally back in the comfort of an air-conditioned area, it takes a while for me to stop perspiring. In the end, I still end up with a wet shirt, wet hair and sticky skin. Disgusting, I know. But that’s how it is since my arrival in Manila a few days ago.

Whenever I’m in shops, the security guards (for you non-Filipinos reading this, there are security personnel for mostly every shop) would look at me suspiciously. I don’t blame them. I look like I was guilty of something the way I was perspiring profusely.

Raquel found it funny that we came across some people who were wearing jumpers and jackets in this warm weather. It wasn’t even remotely cold outside! Even at night. I must have been away from Manila for far too long. I remember my previous American employers complaining about the same thing. And now we’re the ones doing the complaining.

I was hoping that these sweating episodes would last a maximum of four days. But it’s day six now and I’ve only started to adjust to the humidity and heat. That’s a bit of good news, I guess. I don’t feel the need to change my shirt yet.

In the meantime, I’ll probably continue to take refuge at air-conditioned malls and hotel lobbies until I finally stop melting in this humid place I call home. The only things that make this trip worthwhile was that I get to be with family, relatives and long-time friends again. And probably the chance to do some inexpensive book shopping. If not for these, I’d rather be back in good old Melbourne.

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Published in: on September 19, 2008 at 7:01 pm  Comments (6)  

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. musta na ulit?

    ako naman hindi pinapawisan pero nag-iinit nga lang buong katawan ko kaya namamanas ako …di ko masuot sapatos ko kasi di kasya hahaha at yung mga daliri ko parang sausages kasi ang tataba…

    pero sulit na rin kasi nakita mo yung mga old friends, places at siyempre family….

  2. Hi guys,

    Hope you enjoyed your holidays in Pinas. Yeah, it’s really difficult to get used to the humidity there now. But that is our roots and our families are there so we would always go back there.

    Next time, try wearing loose white cotton shirts, like Hanes. On my next trip there, I’m thinking of taking a portable ice fan. Hopefully that’d help. 🙂

  3. @akosikenn:
    Kuya Ken, OK, I’ll try it your way next time I go back. 🙂

    @zeejay:
    Hi. I actually enjoyed my stay despite my obvious complaint of the humidity and heat.

    @Blackdove:
    Well, “punishment” might have been too harsh. But it was certainly what it felt like when I was till in Manila. I couldn’t help it that I wouldn’t stop sweating whenever I was outside. I hoped that I would’ve gotten used to it by the fourth day but it didn’t. I was still heavily sweating till the day I flew back to Melbourne. It was very uncomfortable to be sweating so much. What makes me come back? Family, friends and food. The books are just the bonus. Especially since the books I want (Filipiniana books that Filipinos seem to just ignore in the bookshops) is only available in the Philippines.

  4. More punishment? No offense, but what makes you come back then? It’s not the book-shopping is it?

  5. wow geejay your here in the philippines pala.. yes it too much hotter nowadays, and that is inspite of the rain.. worst actually at night we feel really sticky thank God we can hit the shower and feel fresher for .. say 5 minutes.. he he he.. anyway i hope you’ll enjoy your stay… inspite of the heat and sweat..
    regards to raquel !!

  6. In our case, I think our bodies have adjusted to the cooler weather and the occasional harsh winter we had to endure – in short our bodies built an internal jacket, if you know what I mean haha :d. Also, if like me where you live in a place where summers are hot but relatively dry, we have grown accustomed to the cooling effect of quick drying sweat. In the humid weather of our homeland, sweat doesn’t dry as quickly.

    What I found helpful when I have to wear something casual is contrary to the common intuition to wear less when hot. I wear an undershirt (you can buy cheap ones in the local market – buy a lot) which serves as towel and acts as barrier between my good outer-shirt and my body. I also found that a fan, weather electric or the common “pamaypay”, is much more faster than airconditioning to cool you off. Lastly, perform your activities at a leisurely pace. There is no need to hurry – you’re in the Philippines! Enjoy the sun, enjoy the smiles! :d


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