Monday, April 30, 2012
The fact that electric power is often restored relatively quickly after the outages is causing a degree of bewilderment among customers of the local electric cooperatives here who still shudder at dark memories of the Mindanao power shortages during the previous administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo where Lianga had to really endure up to 8 hours of darkness and no electricity every day and even in the evenings.
On cannot really blame them for the inability to shake off the sneaking suspicion that, in their particular case, the current "power crisis" may be more sham than reality and that powerful economic interests are simply using the threat of such a crisis to muscle their way into the extremely lucrative power generation industry in Mindanao. If there is really a shortage in the supply of electric power in this part of the country then why is the crisis not so apparent as it should be (in Lianga at least)?
To me, it is clear that all the heated arguments about whether or not there is an actual power crisis in Mindanao have, in more ways than one, become largely superfluous if not confusing. The facts are clear. In the past 30 years or so, this island's economy and, therefore, its power needs have been growing faster than anywhere else in the country yet little or nothing has been done by the government during this time to plan and implement programs and projects designed to insure that it continues to get all the affordable electric power it needs to maintain its economic growth and development.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Of course, my family's brief Holy Week sojourn in the foothills of Mt. Kitanglad in Bukidnon province was more of a weekend vacation rather than a pilgrimage or spiritual journey. But in between the thrills and squeals of the vaunted zip-lines and the zorbit rides, the high adrenaline rush of the buggy and ATV trails and the muscle aching challenges of the nature trails of Dahilayan in Manolo Fortich town, one does have plenty of down time to ponder, reflect upon and essentially "soak in" the unique ambiance of this mountainous hideaway.
Dahilayan is actually the home of a group of tourist resorts capitalizing on the cool climate, unique flora and fauna plus the spectacular scenery that can be found some 4,700 feet above sea level. These resorts also promote eco-tourism and facilities geared towards the more extreme recreational activities like the already aforementioned zip-lines, ATV and zorbit rides.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Strangely enough, the images, sights and sounds of the Lianga in my fantasies would always be one and the same every time.
It would always be just past noon after the midday meal and the town would be basking in the midst of a glorious summer afternoon. The sky above the rooftops of the old houses would be, except for some stray wisps of misty clouds on the far horizon, an almost perfect blue and the streets practically deserted, The local people would be huddled indoors seeking escape and relief from the scorching heat of the noonday sun while trying, at the same time, to steal an hour or two of siesta sleep.
Outside the windows of our family house, I could, in my mind's eye, see the heat haze shimmering as it rose in waves from the baked concrete of the town's main street, the sultry air forcing its way indoors only to be enlivened occasionally by the sudden cool breeze vaguely smelling of salt and drying seaweed coming from the nearby sea. The only ones foolish enough to brave the heat outside would be the neighborhood dogs who would squabble from time to time for control of their favorite spots of shady ground, the occasional explosion of angry yips and barks punctuating the sound of muted music from a radio set coming from one of the many open windows down the street.