Friday, November 30, 2012

Philippine Weather Forecast December 2012

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Friday said that warm weather will continue to prevail in many parts the country until weekend despite a storm spotted hovering near the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).

Weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said that even if the storm (international name: Bopha) enters the country "either Sunday evening or Monday morning," it is still too far to affect any part of the country.

"Kung sakaling pumasok itong bagyo sa loob ng PAR ng Sunday evening, mararamdaman natin ito Lunes ng umaga but if it enters Monday morning would likely felt in the evening," he noted.

Once it enters Philippine territory, Aurelio said the storm will be locally named "Pablo" – the first in December and the 16th tropical cyclone to enter the country this year.

For the month of December, he said one to two tropical cyclones may still enter the country.

Aurelio asked the public to prepare as the storm might intensify into a typhoon and has a "high chance" to make landfall in eastern Visayas or eastern Mindanao.

Until Sunday, Aurelio said that, aside from possible light passing rains mostly in the afternoon or evening due to localized convection, it would still be generally sunny in most parts of Visayas and Luzon including Metro Manila.

However, he said that many areas in Mindanao will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with light to moderate rains due to the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ).

Meanwhile, the coldest morning in Metro Manila for this month was recorded Thursday with 19.7 degree Celsius at around 6 a.m. at the PAGASA's Science Garden in Quezon City.

Aurelio said that morning temperatures in the metropolis usually ranges from 21 degrees to 26 degrees Celsius.

Mendoza attributed the drop in temperature to the effects of the northeast monsoon or "hanging amihan," the cold winds associated with the Christmas season.

It starts blowing into the country from Siberia every mid-October and strengthens every mid-December.

The northeast monsoon usually peaks from early January to mid-February. The coldest morning recorded in Quezon City was on February 4, 1987 at 15 degrees Celsius.

In its advisory, PAGASA said the Davao Region and the provinces of South Cotabato and Sarangani will have cloudy skies with occasional light to moderate rainshowers or thunderstorms.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country will be partly cloudy with isolated brief rainshowers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening.

Moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast to east will prevail over Luzon and coming from the northeast over Eastern Visayas and the coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough.

First Bisaya Martyr San Pedro Calungsod

By Eddie O. Barrita

The 27-hectare site for the national thanksgiving mass for the first Visayan martyr San Pedro Calungsod at the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City on Friday afternoon is turning into a sea of multi-colored umbrellas.

Organizers expected some one million devotees from all over Cebu and other parts of the country to attend the national celebration for the country's second saint.

The mass site, however, can accommodate only a little over half a million people, with a maximum of two persons per square meter of available space.

Organizers said the other devotees may spill over to other parts of the 300-hectare SRP.

Devotees loaded in buses from both the city's southern and northern part started pouring in at the mass site early morning Friday.

Many devotees wanted to enter the mass site early dawn Friday but were refused entry because of strict security measures.

By noon, the mass site has turned into a sea of umbrellas as devotees tried to protect themselves from the scorching heat of the noonday sun in the treeless mass site.

Organizers earlier urged devotees to bring umbrellas to prepare either for rain or the sun.

But as correctly forecast by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in Mactan, Cebu is enjoying fine weather Friday.

PAGASA Mactan Station Chief Oscar Tabada, in a special forecast for Cebu this week, said there is no tropical cyclone within the Philippine area of responsibility and there will be sunny skies during the whole day Friday with less chance of rain.

Among those expected at the event, which is spearheaded by the Archdiocese of Cebu, are high-ranking church officials, including Vatican City-based Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect for the Congregation of Saints and newly installed Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.

President Benigno Aquino III has arrived in Cebu at mid-morning Friday.

He is expected to deliver a speech after the 5 p.m. national thanksgiving mass to be officiated by Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.

More devotees are joining two foot processions from the city's northern and southern districts and a fluvial procession at 1 p.m. that will bring the image of San Pedro Calungsod from the Ouano wharf in Mandaue City to the SRP for the 5 p.m. mass.

Calungsod worked as a catechist in Guam with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores.

Elephantiasis or filariasis disease in Negros Occidental and Guimaras

By George M. dela Cruz

The Department of Health (DOH) in Region 6 is verifying suspected cases of elephantiasis or filariasis disease in the provinces of Negros Occidental and Guimaras.

At the Sugarland Hotel here Thursday, Ana Maria Luz Hibionada, DOH's regional coordinator for Lymphatic Filariasis Education Program, said the suspected cases are still to be validated through laboratory tests and inspection of the affected areas to confirm whether these provinces are "positive or negative of the disease."

"There are four of them being suspected as a case of elephantiasis or filariasis in Negros Occidental," Hibionada said.

The cases in Negros are in Bago City, Bacolod City (in Barangay Bata), and two other areas in southern Negros which are still under surveillance.

Except for the provinces of Negros Occidental and Guimaras, she said the rest of Panay areas are endemic to filariasis which causes "irreversible bodily deformity."

Filariasis is a parasitic disease caused by microscopic, thread-like worms which can be transmitted through a night-biting female mosquito called, Aedes poecilus, which thrive in bananas and water lilies.

An infected person is characterized with enlarged elephant-like extremities, commonly manifested in the legs and may even affect the scrotum and breast of inflicted women. The parasite penetrates the lymph nodes of the armpit, groin, and legs, Hibionada said.

The disease has three stages -- asymptomatic (without or absence of symptoms) stage; acute stage; and chronic stage. She said filariasis is controllable and can be managed through drug administration by deworming affected persons once or twice a year. Filariasis can stay in a person's lymphatic system from 5 to 15 years, or even more, she said.

Up to now, no immunization can be given or vaccines available for filariasis, Hibionada said but only through massive drug administration, as preventive measure.

"As a public health problem, filariasis is a neglected tropical disease that the government through the DOH is targeting to eliminate," Hibionada said.

The person with filariasis may exhibit psychological, social and economic problems, said Hibionada, because of the enlargement or deformity that can be traumatizing

On a larger scope, the disease penetrated 83 countries affecting at least 120 million people as it poses a big threat to 1.1 billion persons worldwide who are at risk of infection, Hibionada said. In the Philippines, it is the second leading cause of permanent disability.

First found in 1907 in the Philippines, filariasis is endemic in 44 out of 80 provinces in the country wherein 76 percent of the endemic areas belong to 4th-6th class municipalities, she said.

A total of 645,232 Filipinos are infected already and 30 million are at risk, according to a study of the University of the Philippines National Institute of Health.

Specifically, among the clinical symptoms include increase in the size of head for children, inflammation of the scrotum, fever, infection of the lymph nodes, among others.

"We are roaming around the region for a continued massive information campaign in the control and prevention of filariasis in response to the call of the government at eliminating the disease in the Philippines by 2018," Hibionada said.

Office of the President Christmas Tree in Malacañang

Despite being the season for merry-making and cheer, President Benigno S. Aquino III said Thursday the focus of Christmas time is the birth of Jesus Christ, brought into this world to save man from his sins.

In his speech after leading the ceremonial switching on of the Office of the President Christmas Tree in Malacañang, the President said the birth of Christ and the following visit of three kings to the Child King stood as constant reminder to him and to those in government of the importance of humility, faith and devotion.

The President said: "Sa likod po ng mga paghahanda natin sa darating na Kapaskuhan; sa pagsasabit man ng mga parol at makukulay na dekorasyon, o sa pagsisindi ng Christmas lights, batid po natin ang bukal ng ating pagdiriwang.

"Ito po ang pagsilang ni Hesukristo, hindi sa harap ng luho't karangyaan, kundi sa munting sabsaban.

"Nariyan din ang tatlong haring sinuyod ang mahabang paglalakbay, upang bigyang pugay ang pagdating ni Hesukristong tutubos sa ating mga kasalanan.

"Lagi't lagi po nitong ipinapaalala sa atin ang halaga ng pagpapakumbaba, at taimtim na pananampalataya."

The Holy Bible narrates the story on the birth of Jesus Christ who was visited by three kings: Melchor, Gaspar and Balthazar.

The trio travelled far and long to bring their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus, who was born to Joseph and Mary in a manger in Bethlehem.

The President said this story serves as an inspiration to those in government about good governance as it shows the importance of serving the people.

Aquino said: "Ito po ang diwang gumagabay at nagbibigay inspirasyon sa ating mabuting pamamahala. Narito ang ating gobyerno upang paglingkuran ang nangangailangan, at hindi para maghari-harian."

"Anuman pong hirap ng mga pagsubok ang ating pinagdaanan, nalampasan natin dahil sa pakikibalikat ng masisipag na kawani ng Office of the President," the President added, acknowledging the role employees of the OP play in the day-to-day running of the government.

"Kayo po ang frontliners sa pagtataguyod ng pagbabago, at nagbubunsod ng pag-asa at higit na pagkakataon para sa mas nakakarami. Hindi po ako magsasawang magpasalamat sa ipinapamalas ninyong sipag at sigasig," the President said.

He pointed out the symbolism attached to the ceremonial lighting of the gigantic Christmas Tree that stands 43 feet and is festooned with 2,500 white Christmas lanterns with individual incandescent bulbs within.

He said the Christmas Tree stands for the ability of every Filipino to become a source of light and, once this light is gathered as one, can become a source of good.

"Kaakibat po ng tradisyon natin ng pagsisindi sa ating Christmas lights, ang pagpapa-ningas ng isa pang simbolo ---ang paghahandog ng liwanag para sa ating kapwa at bansa. Tandaan po nating may kanya-kanya tayong tungkulin at kakayahang magtanglaw ng liwanag, hindi lang para sa sarili, kundi upang makatulong sa mas nangangailangan," the President said.

President Benigno S. Aquino III Arrives in Cebu for Liberal Party Candidates

President Benigno S. Aquino III arrived in Cebu at mid-morning Friday to meet with local Liberal Party (LP) leaders and attend the national thanksgiving mass for the country's second saint, San Pedro Calungsod.

Immediately after arrival, the President and his party went to a mall in Mandaue City where he held a closed-door meeting with LP leaders in Cebu after a photo session with some of the local candidates.

Lawyer Hilario Davide III, LP gubernatorial candidate for Cebu who attended the meeting, said the President assured them that Cebu will not be declared a "free zone" in the 2013 elections.

"We are happy with the President's statement," Davide said.

That means, he said, that President Aquino will actively campaign for local LP candidates in next year's elections.

President Aquino will also attend the 5 p.m. national thanksgiving mass for the canonization of San Pedro Calungsod at the South Road Properties in Cebu City.

National Christmas Tree of the Philippines

By Lilybeth G. Ison

President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday evening led the ceremonial switching-on of the National Christmas Tree held at the Kalayaan Grounds in Malacanang.

"Kaakibat po ng tradisyon natin ng pagsisindi sa ating Christmas lights, ang pagpapaningas ng isa pang simbolo -- ang paghahandog ng liwanag para sa ating kapwa at bansa," the President said in his speech.

"Tandaan po nating may kanya-kanya tayong tungkulin at kakayahang magtanglaw ng liwanag, hindi lang para sa sarili, kundi upang makatulong sa mas nangangailangan," he added.

President Aquino told the members of his Cabinet who attended the event and other government workers gathered that as public servants, they are there to give service to the Filipino people and to the country.

"Narito tayo para maglingkod, hindi para makasilaw at manlamang. Gaano man kaliit, basta tama ang ating ginagawa, ay magdudulot ng dambuhalang ambag sa ating pag-unlad," he stressed.

"Tingnan na lang po natin ang pambihirang liwanag na idinudulot ng sama-samang pagningas ng mga munting ilaw ng ating sinindihan. Tunay nga pong kapag sama-sama, kaya nating makabuo ng liwanag na tatanglaw sa kahit anong kadiliman," he added.

President Aquino urged everyone to continue to contribute in bringing the light of hope for the good of the country.

"Huwag po nating ipagdamot ang liwanag na maaari nating iambag para matanglawan ng pag-asa ang direksyong tinatahak ng ating bayan. Patuloy po sana nating isabuhay ang aral ng Maykapal at tumutok sa kapakanan ng isa't isa tungo sa katuparan ng ating mga mithiin," he said.