Skip to main content

In Frank's wake.

Iloilo City- University of the Philippines Visayas campus- I arrived in Iloilo City exactly a day after Typhoon Frank (Fengshen) passed north of this city (on the first flight after the airport was reopened). While the storm hit Aklan province, Iloilo City bore the brunt of Frank's rainbands. Water was clearly dumped in the city sinking a majority of its districts in up to 4 meters of water.

The road from the new international airport is littered with the remains of washed out houses and vehicles some of which were completely filled in with mud. Not a few of the cars were brand new. Evacuees line the road and many have begun the clean-up. One resident told me that the water just rose within five minutes leaving them caught unawares. The only good thing is that this happened during the day and if it did happen in the night,the death toll would have been horrible, says the cab driver who took me around.

Iloilo is defined by two rivers and a geography the gives the city its name. Residents say that they have never experienced an "Ormoc style" deluge in their lives till Saturday. This is attested by a centenarian who lived to see this day.

The blame game on the sinking of the ship "Princess of the Stars" is on. The Sulpicio Lines ship (presumbably its largest and most modern) suffered engine trouble midway on its voyage from Manila to Mactan on rough seas off Sibuyan Island. With little power the ship eventually foundered and tipped over trapping 800 passengers and crew. About 50 or so survivors have been rescued with some drifting on to shores off Quezon and Masbate.

Blame has been heaped on PAGASA, the Philippine Coast Guard, Sulpicio Lines and of course the ship's captain (as of this writing, still unaccounted for).

The truth is like this. This is material that the National Geographic Channel's top rating "Seconds from Disaster" makes a good program on!

In the NGC show, a disaster happens when all the causal events come in line. Initially the causes seem unrelated but they are not. The show tells viewers no one can really wash themselves off the responsibility.

PAGASA still has no capability to make less than 12 hour forecasts. The PCG needs to review its protocols in allowing ships to set sail. Sulpicio Lines needs to see if its captains are up to their tasks. Investigators will have to connect the dots.

We have to be fair to Sulpicio, while it had the reputation as a sinkable shipping line, its ships are now new and did not overload.

The question is why this happened.


Jego said…
The question is why this happened.

And that is a very good question. Why does anything happen?

Youre right about the blame game. Someone will have to pay for this whether they deserve it or not. It's good PR for the government. Sulpicio is the easiest target because of its record. The Coast Guard? A few token heads will roll for show (and given new assignments?)

Pagasa can only do so much. It's the weather. Pagasa can only deal with probabilities.

Sulpicio is toast.
blackshama said…
Even JMA (Japan Meteorological Agency) and the American JWTC in Guam say that Frank messed up the computer models! They have better equipment, computer models and well paid PhDs than PAGASA.

PAGASA can't be fully blamed.
Bren said…
One of my old aunts says this is because Filipinos are not praying enough.
AdB said…
And guess what? Sulpicio Lines are blaming the poor captain (who's probably dead)....
blackshama said…
The running joke is the reason why Iloilo got a mudpack is because Raul Gonzales was in town!

Jokes aside, the situation is really bad. Large parts of the residential areas of the city are covered in mud.

As for the Captain, well a good captain goes down with his command.

The survivors say they learned something that allowed them to survive from the movie "Titanic"
Yes, indeed "WHY".

For now, the question is WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO? The entire western visayas is damaged. It is just way too overwhelming.

I have a blog detailing accounts of Typhoon Frank in Aklan. Visit

Thank you for your blog.
Yes, indeed WHY.

Overwhelming talaga. The entire western visayas is affected.

I do have a blog narrating accounts of what had happened in Aklan when Typhoon Frank came to town. Visit

Thank you and more power.

Popular posts from this blog

Simoun's lamp has been lit, finally.. not by one but by the many!

"So often have we been haunted by the spectre of subversion which, with some fostering, has come to be a positive and real being, whose very name steals our serenity and makes us commit the greatest blunders... If before the reality, instead of changing the fear of one is increased, and the confusion of the other is exacerbated, then they must be left in the hands of time..."
Dr Jose Rizal "To the Filipino People and their Government"
Jose Rizal dominates the Luneta, which is sacred to the Philippine nation as a place of martyrdom. And many perhaps all of those executed in the Luneta, with the exception of the three Filipino secular priests martyred in 1872, have read Rizal's El Filibusterismo. Dr Rizal's second novel is a darker and more sinister one that its prequel but has much significance across the century and more after it was published for it preaches the need for revolution with caveats,  which are when the time is right and who will instigate it.

President Manuel Luis Quezon's Code of Ethics

Being a denizen of Kyusi, in honour of the man who gave my city its name and for being the most colourful prez the Philippines ever had, I have the pleasure to post Manuel L Quezon's Code of Ethics on his birthday. Let us profit from the wisdom of the Kastila.

1. Have Faith in the Divine Providence that guides the destinies of men and nations.

2. Love your country for it is the home of your people, the seat of your affection and the source of your happiness and well-being. It's defense is your primary duty. Be ready to sacrifice and die for it if necessary.

3. Respect the Constitution which is the expression of your sovereign will. The government is your government. It has been established for your safety and welfare. Obey the laws and see that they are observed by all and that public officials comply with their duties.

4. Pay your taxes willingly and promptly. Citizenship implies not only rights but obligations.

5. Safeguard the purity of suffrage and abide by the decisions of the…

Flame trees in bloom

The hottest summer courtesy of El Nino in at least 10 years gave runners and walkers in the University of the Philippines Diliman campus a visual treat. This year the flame trees Delonix regia are in full bloom!
In past summers it wasn't as hot and dry so the trees did not shed their leaves and few blooms were produced.
It is the tropical version of the Japanese Hanami or the Cherry blossom viewing season. While Hanami tells us the fragile impermanence of beauty, the flame tree hanami tells us that summer burns but soon it will all be over.