Cold spell has many Filipinos enjoying cool January weather
by FFE PH News Staff
Hold on to your jackets, bonnets and scarves. The national weather agency Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has just announced that parts of the Philippines may still expect cold weather to linger until February.
The temperature in Baguio hit a 53-year record low last Sunday at 8.1 degrees Celsius. Pagasa said that the persistent cold weather that Luzon and Visayas is experiencing this month is due to the tail-end of cold front and the northeast monsoon (amihan).
In Metro Manila, Pagasa said that the temperature could range from 23-30 degrees Celsius while Baguio will experience 17-23 degrees Celsius. This could drop lower during nighttime.
Meanwhile, the cold spell is drying up lambanog stores in some places in Laguna. Lambanog is a coconut wine that locals have taken to drink to counter the cold. One resident couldn’t help but comment ‘I used to just wear sando (sleeveless shirt) but this time we have to wear jackets. Some people here also started wearing bonnets. It feels like we’re in Baguio.’
Tagaytay also hit a 7-year record low last Friday with 18 degrees Celsius. One resident said ‘Taking a bath in the morning has become a struggle. I have to boil water for my bath and wear a jacket and bonnet whenever I step out of the house.’
But unlike the frosting experienced by some vegetable farmers in the Mountain Province, Tagaytay’s crops like banana, pineapple and papaya are faring well.
In line with the lingering cold spell through the country, the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) issued a warning to the public saying the cold weather can trigger heart attack and stroke. PHA fellow Willie Ong said those whose health conditions have been compromised should be aware of the risks of cold weather.
He said low temperatures can thicken the blood and promote clotting, constricting arteries and increasing blood pressures.
‘Those changes are bad for your heart, leaving you prone to a heart attack. If you have heart disease or are over 50 years old, do not overexert yourself during cold weather.’
Aside from heart attack and stroke, some ailments to look out for during the cold season are colds, flu, fever and arthritis. He reminded the public that to ‘Keep four feet distance from the sick. Use 70% alcohol for hands. Maintain a clean surrounding… Wear jacket. Wear socks or gloves if needed.’