Sudden downpours

I moved into my house two months ago. And in my total of four months, I’ve learned two things about Palawan’s downpours: they come suddenly and they don’t last long.

You don’t even have time to notice the clouds form. That’s how suddenly they appear. One to 5 to 15 minutes later, they just stop.

Imagine a giant shower fixture in the sky. It was just installed correctly. When you turn the handle, the water comes out. When you turn the handle the other way, the water stops.

Commercial buses in Palawan look rugged. A red pail may dangle from the roof of the bus. Those are usually empty but if it was another container, woven baskets, for example, usually contain something. It may be dried fish wrapped in newspapers. The rooftop is where passengers stow their belongings. Suitcases. Trussed-up beddings. There’s going to be beat-up corrugated boxes tied with plastic string. Who knows what they contain?

I was minding my business one day when two events occurred almost simultaneously. The rain began.

Palawan downpours contain large raindrops. These are large drops of rain. Now imagine them splattering against a GI-sheeted roof. Imagine the heavy drops and imagine that noise multiplied thousands of times.

"Sudden Downpours" "Retired No Way" "GI Roof"

Listen to the drumbeat of rain.

The second event was the sudden halt of a bus and that caught my attention. The driver wasn’t going to wait. As soon as he felt that it was a Palawan downpour, he stopped driving and got to work.

"Sudden Downpours" "Retired No Way" "GI Roof" Bus

He clambers on to the roof.

The tarp that was draped over the rooftop was already half gone.

I can’t make up my mind if he had just departed or was arriving. If he had just departed, then he probably draped the tarp at the bus terminal–probably just ten minutes ago. He would have been on his way to pick up special cargo. You normally don’t see commercial buses in the area where I saw him.

"Sudden Downpours" "Retired No Way" Rooftop Bus

He assesses the situation with a few trial shoves.

He was going to protect his rooftop.

"Sudden Downpours" "Retired No Way" Rooftop Bus Driver

He decides to retie the tarp.

"Sudden Downpours" "Retired No Way" Rooftop Bus Driver


"Sudden Downpours" "Retired No Way" Rooftop Bus Driver

He moves the red bucket.

"Sudden Downpours" "Retired No Way" Rooftop Bus Driver

And returns to the tarp.

Where was the rain during all this?

It had ceased after the first photo of the bus. The initial downpour lasted about a minute. Then it stopped and after the last photo above, it resumed again.

It was that unpredictable.


4 responses to “Sudden downpours

  1. we are lucky to have this kind of weather, in the news manila is always flooded.


  2. We were in Puerto Princesa in Nov ’08 for 4 days and went to a very amazing restaraunt whose name I wish I could tell you. It was near the city center. The dining was under thatched “huts” with a few tables beneath each thatched roof “pavillion”. The narrow walk-ways along the seating areas were open to the sky. That night the rains fell just like this post described – sudden sudden. But it almost never ended! We ate our amazing dinner and then had drinks for what it seemed like an hour after while the inundation continued. The waitpersons held a serving tray over their heads as mostly ineffectual umbrellas with the other hand holding a serving tray filled with food or drinks. This was more to protest the food or drinks since all of the serving staff were wetter than wet is! I left my camera in the hotel room for that excursion – dang! Thanks for reminding me of that memorable trip!


  3. Pingback: Understanding the trip to Underground River | Retired? No way!

  4. Pingback: Surging rainwater coming from higher ground and mudslides | Retired? No way!

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