Monday, August 13, 2012

What to do before, during and after the flood?

Don’t wait for another flood to learn what to do.  Now, before the flood, it is time to learn.  Let's first be informed of the different types of flooding.

Flooding can be divided into different categories according to their duration:

1. Slow-Onset Floods
Slow-Onset Floods usually last for a relatively longer period, it may last for one or more weeks, or even months. As this kind of flood last for a long period, it can lead to lose of stock, damage to agricultural products, roads and rail links.

2. Rapid-Onset Floods
Rapid-Onset Floods last for a relatively shorter period, they usually last for one or two days only. Although this kind of flood lasts for a shorter period, it can cause more damages and pose a greater risk to life and property as people usually have less time to take preventative action during rapid-onset floods.

3. Flash Floods
Flash Floods may occur within minutes or a few hours after heavy rainfall, tropical storm, failure of dams or levees or releases of ice jams. And it causes the greatest damages to society.

Flooding can also be divided into different categories according to their location:

1. Coastal Floods
Coastal Floods usually occur along coastal areas. When there are hurricanes and tropical storms which will produce heavy rains, or giant tidal waves created by volcanoes or earthquakes, ocean water may be driven onto the coastal areas and cause coastal floods.

2. Arroyos Floods
A arroyo is river which is normally dry. When there are storms approaching these areas, fast-moving river will normally form along the gully and cause damages.

3. River Floods
This is the most common type of flooding. When the actual amount of river flow is larger than the amount that the channel can hold, river will overflow its banks and flood the areas alongside the river. And this may cause by reasons like snow melt or heavy spring rain.

4. Urban Floods
In most of the urban area, roads are usually paved. With heavy rain, the large amount of rain water cannot be absorbed into the ground and leads to urban floods.

Here, in the Philippines, we get the weather forecasts and warnings from Philippines Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).  So, we must always tune-up to the news on TV or better yet, check the PAGASA site.

Here's the three latest color coding scheme of the Community-Based Flood Early Warning System (CBFEWS) under the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) project.

1.  YELLOW WARNING means heavy rains, measuring from 7.5 to 15 mm, had been observed in an hour and are expected to continue in the next two hours.  Residents are advised to monitor the weather condition and watch out for the next warning through various news channels because this much rain can cause flooding in low-lying areas and communities near river channels.

2.  ORANGE WARNING means intense rains, measuring from 15 to 30 mm, had been observed in an hour and are expected to continue in the next two hours.  Residents in high risk areas are advised to be alert and to get ready for possible evacuation due to the threat of floods.

3.   RED WARNING means that rains measuring more than 30 mm had been observed in an hour and are expected to continue in the next two hours.  Residents from low-lying areas and those near river channels are urged to evacuate immediately for serious flooding is expected.

It’s a good idea to have a basic kit ready at all times. This kit should comprise the items
• first-aid supplies
• torch/flashlight
• battery operated portable radio
• spare batteries for radio and torch
• gloves
If you live in the province you may have to move livestock, machinery, pumps, irrigation
equipment etc to high ground. Prepare by knowing the flood heights that affect your
property and knowing where higher ground can be found. Remember that higher ground
may become isolated with rising flood water. If you are likely to be isolated by flood
waters, paint the name of your property on the roof in large letters.  And if you live in the city, mostly the vehicles are affected, be sure to know where's the highest place in your area.

Here's the list of FLOOD SAFETY RULES:

Find out how often your location is likely to be flooded.
Know the flood warning system in your community and be sure your family knows it.
Keep informed of daily weather condition.
Designate an evacuation area for the family and livestock.
Assign family members instructions and responsibilities according to an evacuation plan.
Keep a stock of food which requires little cooking and refrigeration; electric power may be interrupted.
Keep a transistorized radio and flashlight with spare batteries, emergency cooking equipment, candies, matches and first aid kit handy in case of emergency.
Store supplies and other household effects above expected flood water level.
Securely anchor weak dwellings and items.

Watch for rapidly rising flood waters.
Listen to your radio for emergency instructions.
If you find it necessary to evacuate, move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood waters.
Store drinking water in containers, water service may be interrupted.
Move household belongings to upper levels.
Get livestock to higher ground.
Turn off electricity at the main switch in the building before evacuating and also lock your house.

Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding.
Do not attempt to cross rivers of flowing streams where water is above the knee.
Beware of water-covered roads and bridges.
Avoid unnecessary exposure to the elements.
Do not go swimming or boating in swollen rivers.
Eat only well-cooked food. Protect leftovers against contamination.
Drink clean or preferably boiled water ONLY.

Re-enter the dwellings with caution using flashlights, not lanterns or torchers. Flammables may be inside.
Be alert for fire hazards like broken wires.
Do not eat food and drink water until they have been checked for flood water contamination.
Report broken utility lines (electricity, water, gas and telephone) to appropriate agencies authorities.
Do not turn on the main switch or use appliances and other equipment until they have been checked by a competent electrician.
Consult health authorities for immunization requirements.
Do not go in disaster areas. Your presence might hamper rescue and other emergency operations.

ARTICLE CREDITS:,%20During%20and%20After%20a%20Flood.pdf

Climate Change in Metro Manila

Chest-deep water greets commuters on Araneta Avenue in Quezon City 
early Tuesday morning as heavy rains continue to submerge 
many parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces.  
 Photo Credits: GMA News

I tried to calculate everything of what just recently happened here in Metro Manila, including some parts in the Northern Luzon, that made a big impact to the hearts of every Filipinos, worldwide.  I am concerned that we're already experiencing severe climate changes.  Those changes perceived is what we call Global Warming, simply the result of a normal climactic swing in the direction of increased temperature.

We had vehemently hot temperature that occurred in the whole summer.  I never experienced a long summer of extreme heat from the previous years.  Metro Manila was even called an "Urban Heat Island" from an article.  Due to increased heat last summer, many had reportedly experienced heat exhaustion or even the worst, heat stroke.

Related Article: Hottest day of the year in Metro Manila

This past few weeks, we've been experiencing from intermittent rainfalls to incessant one.  At first, it was due to the typhoon, Gener that brought strong winds but minimal rains.  Even, if you have an umbrella, it will never give protection because of the strong winds.  But, just this last week, August 6 at around 9 p.m. Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) upgraded rainfall alert from green to red over Metro Manila, as the “habagat” (southwest monsoon) continued to bring heavy rainfall in metropolis that lasted by Friday.

Here's a video from GMA NEWS of the flooded areas brought by Southwest Monsoon:

Could you imagine, it's not even a typhoon, but it brought tremendous rainfalls that caused severe floods to every places in Metro Manila and even some parts in the near provinces.  This is a real scenario for a climate change.  Global warming is really happening nowadays.  We can't blame the Earth for this to happen, but it's really is now.  We have been not so good to the environment.  And, added to that the urbanization of every places.

You shouldn’t think that what you do doesn’t matter, because we can all do something for the world.  Let's help by first improving ourselves even in the simplest way we can contribute for the betterment of our environment.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sauteed Mung Beans with Pork Chicharon

I passed along the shop of Baliwag then, it made me salivate just by looking at their pork chicharon.  I went home with it and ate 2 pieces.  But, guilt striked me.  I am on a diet!  So, I decided to make a dish with it, in a healthy way.  A dish very known on every tables of Filipinos...  Ginisang Monggo or Sauteed Mung Beans.

Mostly this dish is cooked either with shrimps, fish and pork meat.  Some, will add grind chicharon.  But, for my version, as I don't have the other ingredients above, only the chicharon.  I made Chicharon as its main ingredient.


*Chicharon (keep its own form)
*Mung Beans (monggo)
*Eggplant, chop
*Bitter melon leaves (ampalaya leaves)
*onion and garlic
*finger chili pepper (sili haba)
*tomatoes, chop
*fish sauce (patis)

Mung Beans preparation:
*For 6 mugs of water, add mung beans.  Then, let it boil.  Add more water when needed.  Stir occasionally.
*When it's cooked, set aside.

1.  Saute onion and garlic.
2.  Add tomatoes.  Cook until light brown.
3.  Add 1 mug of water.  Let it boil.
4.  Add the chopped eggplants. Boil for a minute.
5.  Add the cooked mung beans.  Just add more water if needed.
6.  Let it boil for awhile.until the mung beans makes the soup thicker.  When it thickens, let it simmer.  Add
     water if you desire for more soup.
7.  Add fish sauce to taste.  Stir.
8.  Lastly, add the amapalaya leaves.  Let it simmer for a minute.
9.  Serve while it's still hot!

Sinigang na Baboy sa Gabi (Pork in Sour Soup with taro)

It was raining hard that day.  That's why, it made me craved for 'sinigang' (sour soup) dish.  This kind of dish is very popular to Filipinos.  We definitely serve this at home mostly every rainy season or just plainly when we feel like it.  And, this can be seen in every menu of Filipinos' Restos or carinderia..

Here's how I do it:

*half kilo of pork meat (i most prefer the belly part)
*2 tomatoes, 1onion, garlic
*6 string beans (sitaw)
*1 big eggplant (talong)
*1 tie of river spinach (kangkong)
*4 small taro roots (gabi)
*3 finger chili pepper (sili haba)
*tamarind (sampalok) or 1 pack powdered tamarind
*fish sauce (patis)

1.  Boil 5 mugs of water with pork meat, tomatoes, onions and garlic.
2.  When it boils for 5minutes, add the taro roots. (If you want a thicker soup, add more taro roots) Keep it  
     boiling for 5 minutes then let it simmer.
3.  When you see the pork is getting tender and the taro roots are making the soup thicker.  Add the string  
     beans, finger chilis and eggplant.  Keep it simmer for awhile until the veggies are moderately done.
4.  Add the tamarind or the powdered one upon your taste.
5.  Then, fish sauce and salt to taste.  Keep it simmer.
6.  Lastly, add the river spinach.  Simmer for a minute.  Then, you're done!
7.  Serve it together with fish sauce and sili labuyo.

*Add more water if needed especially in making the pork's meat tender.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pinoy Tuna Penne Pasta with Eggplant and Dried Herring

Prior making this, I was watching a segment on TV about a tuna recipe for pasta.  So,  it made me craved to make my own version.  On TV, they made it on a white sauce.  But, as I don't have the ingredients for making the white sauce.  I decided to make this...

"Pinoy Tuna Penne Pasta"

It's a Pinoy version because of the ingredients.  Like, the famous tuyo (dried herring) and patis (fish sauce).  And, the vegetable is the common organic "small" eggplant sold in the public market.  Added with the main ingredient of the canned Tuna which is from the brand of Century Tuna.  One of the popular canned tuna brand in the Philippines.  

*Penne Pasta 400g (use half)
*1can of century tuna (prefer with oil)
*2dried herring 
*grapeseed oil or olive oil
*onion and garlic

1.  Cook pasta according to the package' direction.  Make it "al dente".  Then, set aside.
2.  Saute onion, garlic and tomatoes with grapeseed or olive oil until it turns to light brown.
3.  Add the chopped eggplants and stripped bits of dried herring.  Don't over fry the eggplant.
4.  Add the canned tuna with its oil.  I prefer the hot and spicy variety of the century tuna.  But, if you don't like the spicy one, use other variant with oil.
4.  Add some oil, if needed.
5.  Add the Penne Pasta.  Mix them thorougly.
6.  Lastly, add some drops of fish sauce to taste.  Then mix it again thoroughly.
7.  You're done!  Serve it while it's hot!