The Big Storm of 2006 brought life to a halt today. Personally, I don’t understand why we don’t use the international names for storms. As the effects of the storm are assessed, it will be a difficult time for relief agencies and the Red Cross.
I live on the 9th floor a building: leaves were blown in by the winds. Flying GI sheets everywhere but mercifully, no shoddy construction in my neck of the woods. Areas with tall buildings create all sorts of funky wind tunnel effects so at particular moments, the different gusts led to raindrops being suspended in midair for moment.
As a colleague puts it, “there’s a general consensus billboards have to go.” See the news of one dead -but also many stories of fallen billboards throughout the city. Manila in a state of calamity. Robinson’s Galleria loses its roof (well, part thereof, as did Market Market). I understand that in Lucena City, the water is waist-deep. Luzon without power.
It’s a kind of milestone I think that bloggers like mr. fuji meets manila (latest, here; but the best heading in the series: oh crap) and Tech in Black live-blogged the storm! Leigh Reyes has a YouTube video up; myka’s site also links to a video of damage in a gated community. pinoysnapshots (familiar to readers of this blog as baratillo@cubao) has, well, snapshots: a snippet from his blog:
Then the building began to wobble. A subtle wobble: a horizontal shift from left to right. At first only one person noticed it. The others notice it as well. And another person noticed it. Like an aikido master the building was dancing and deflecting against the wrath of storm. At one of the points on the office floor one could hear the flexing sound made by steel and concrete as the building did its tango with Xangsane. At the point where the sound was strongest there was a disquieting feeling. Everything was quiet except for that sound. It was most disconcerting.
Talking about swaying buildings, etc… See Grace by which I stand (on awating the eye of the storm) The Galaxy According to BalatStar (relieved to be sent home eventually), Emotions, Chit-chat, Foodstuff and More (had to restart the computer five times; those who insisted on going home had to sign a waiver) and &nsbp, along with Ahhhhh and The Wandering Knight of Solitude (worried over appliances at home) and iceuck (vibrating floors) for small but remarkable observations from those forced to go to work during the storm. How people cope: Teluride had a playlist to tide her over; scribblings of a blue kind was armed with chocolate milk.
Droll statement of the day from Madame Chiang: “it would be a major understatement to say it’s kind of windy outside.”
Anyway, in the news… The House leadership’s announced it will resort to a sine die session to pave the way for Plan B.
The classic account of a sine die session is, of course, Nick Joaquin’s 13 o’clock, in which then Senate President Marcos kept his position by surreptitiously turning the Senate clock back on. In those days, under the 1935 Constitution, the legislature met only 100 days out of the year. The present constitution mandates what is, officially, a year-round session.
In the blogosphere, waiting watching wishing, a first year law student, was among those who witnessed the oral arguments at the Supreme Court (she found some of the questions irrelevant). Edwin Lacierda, an established law professor and practitioner, did too.
dennio series 2006 reflects on a Filipino director’s views on the decline of comedy shows.
some interesting blog posts on Thailand. A foreigner who seems to be studying there, in between scathing remarks concerning Thai classmates, says teachers warned them not to discuss the coup. A Malaysian hopes his country’s politicians learn their lessons from the Thai coup. A Thai tries to explain to a foreign audience the role and stature of the Thai monarch -and expresses dissatisfaction with media coverage of the coup. A different view’s in thoughtful entry from Left Flank, who thinks the King is the ultimate culprit. He shares the skepticism of The Economist when it comes to People Power but suggests,
As I argued before, what is important is not stability at any cost, as the New York Times seems to favor, but rather, that Thailand has a constitution and governments that can redistribute the fruits of globalization fairly to all Thais. And, within that constitution, there needs to be leaders who represent all Thais fairly, not just those useful for re-election. One would think, that, after six years of a divisive American executive, the Grey Lady would not support divisive leadership for the sake of some emergency, like a war on terror or investors’ needs. Cheap healthcare and subsidies should help all citizens and enrich the nation, not exist as planks in a populist platform. Most of all, those who subvert the law, even in the name of preserving it, should be punished. As Jefferson said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
The blog also refers to epilogos, who thinks the Thai generals are stuck in a trap.
Feral Scholar uses a conversation on the Thai coup to promote the idea that a little pitchfork-wielding by angry mobs might be healthy (a defense of the Jacobin urge, she explains). He (a feminist) says, “the fear of disorder is a male-constructed fear”.