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We went almost a year without any long or recurring brownouts in northern Cebu Province. That appears to have come to an end. I didn’t get too worried when we had an all day brownout last month but then we had another one this Sunday.
When there is a power failure in the Philippines, the locals usually refer to them as a “brownout.” Yes, I know that a brownout in the USA means a reduction in power. This is not the USA here. Here it means a completely power failure. There is nothing brown about them other than they almost always happen in during the day. Perhaps that is even why they call them that.
Power Outages In Cebu
Soon after I moved to Bogo City, we started having a brownout once per month on Sundays. When the lights went off around 8am or earlier on a Sunday, then you knew that they would be out all day. Last month, we saw that happen. Then again this week we were greeted early Sunday morning with another one.
My sleeping is once again all fouled up. It is just part of being me. Sometimes, often actually, I find that I can’t sleep at night and stay up all night and then sleep all day. I have joked for a long time that I am vampire. I personally believe that our bodies try to keep us safe from ourselves. I have one or more auto-immune disorders. Auto-immune disorders are often energized by the sun. Perhaps the sun is or provides an enzyme that kicks in our immune systems. I don’t know the mechanism but it is well documented. All my life, I have been known to break out into some pretty horrific rashes due to the sun.
Anyway, what I’m trying to lead up to is when the lights go out, its a great time to grab the family (or some women if you don’t have one haha) and head to the beach. Yeah, I know gasp, he likes girls. Well, it could be worse, I could be a Republican senator. haha Oh boy, I’m on a roll here hacking folks off with this.
Since I had been up all night, I couldn’t do that and instead it was a great time to sleep. It was a rainy day for most of the day. That’s a good day to have brownout if one must have them. Sometimes it seems they wait until the hottest days to do it. When the sun is the brightest.
The real problem is that we are not yet to the hottest months. May and June will be the months where the sun comes in and beats down on us. The air feels like the breath of the dragon. When it moves, it feels like a dragon has come from the depths of its volcano with a belly full of lava and fried some poor princess just down the block.
There is a lot of new construction in Cebu City. Many new condos and the call centers are rapidly growing but clearly the infrastructure can’t handle it. So, I suppose in order to keep Cebu City running well, they shot the power off for one Sunday a month in northern Cebu. My guess is they do the same for the southern half of Cebu as well.
This went on for about a year, then the brownouts became more frequent and they were having two hour blackouts all over the province. That included Cebu City. Or at least parts of it. Not long after they hit the city more power plants went online. Then for a almost a year, no more brownouts except the occasional line down someplace. That usually take less than an hour to fix.
This last time, the brownout lasted from 7am to after 6pm. Often the phones and the water is out too. I slept through most of it, so that was good. Jessie suffered through reading “her” Amazon Kindle. Sometimes I’d wake up to find her fanning me. She can be such an angel at times.
She woke me up once to sign something. I couldn’t see. I was virtually unconscious. The mailman delivered my BDO card. I reported it stolen in the middle of January and it finally shows up. I was told it would take a week. I should have known better. It took almost two months! But they deliver the mail on Sunday. There’s that strange customer service again. Its great enough that they deliver mail on Sunday but it took two months for BDO or the mail or someone to get my card to me. I suspect it was BDO. Mail service inside the Philippines is usually fine. And of course, no electrical power on a Sunday is not the best customer experience either.
It feels like the officials in Cebu City just don’t care about us. I suspect the officials in northern Cebu care a great deal. They probably care in the city too but one can’t help but notice the power situation remained unchanged until it also involved Cebu City.
Then there is the question of why do they keep allowing expansion when they can’t meet the needs of the current activities in Cebu. It doesn’t seem right. It sure drives me nuts. However, I can see a reason for it. To expand, perhaps Cebu Province needs more money. Expansion should mean more taxes and thus they can upgrade the infrastructure. Yet that seems like a plan doomed for failure. Where does it end? Why keep recreating the problem. It really seems like poor planning. Then again, sluggish growth is also a problem. I suppose either way Cebu was to move on this, it creates problems.
I Love Living in Northern Cebu
I will remain in Bogo for another year. I really hope I don’t have to stay another two years. I love Bogo, its a very nice place to live but I need to move closer to more advanced medical facilities and I also want to get out of these brownouts. At least cut them down some.
People often say if they privatized the power production, these problems would go away. I’ve seen that work in some areas. Bantayan Island though has privatized power production and it hasn’t solved their issues. That might be because Bantayan Island is having a problem with growth. Some of that is environmental issues and regulations and there is a lot of controversy around that.
Bogo is also a high growth area. There is even some talk of a regional airport in Bogo. I don’t see it as very serious talk but Samar just got it. Perhaps it is possible Bogo City will. Samar though is an entire province, not jut a city. Bogo City needs an airport and an enhanced dive spot. There is also talk of SM putting a mall in Bogo City. It seems they do have an interest but finding enough land in a location that interest them seems to be a problem. The mayor didn’t seem all that optimistic that it would happen soon.
If you’re a family guy and don’t have a lot of medical issues then Bogo City is a nice place to live. I may stay, but I’ll have to buy a car to do it. And that is may be a better choice. Perhaps I’ll be able to do that instead. I love living in Cebu and the northern tip has its advantages but these power outages need to disappear for good.
Filed under: Living in Cebu
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