The leveling up of Mindanao’s rolling brownouts

Just when I thought that we have hit rock bottom with these daily power outages, I realized that things could still get worse. Yesterday, we had a 2-hour brownout in the morning followed by another 4-hour outage that lasted until past 10PM. It came as no surprise since we have been forewarned. We knew that we have entered the cumulative 6-hour phase of this rolling brownouts every single day. But what surprised me was that power went out again exactly 2 hours after it came back.

So today, we had just the worst so far. And I am guessing there are more to come. Apart from the 2-hour power interruption that started past midnight, we had another one from 9AM-1PM. Then another one started at 9PM tonight. It would be safe to say that today we have leveled up to 7-8 hours.

It might seem like I am obsessing about something that is beyond my control. That may be true, but it is not about complaining about something none of us can actually change. The summer heat is exacerbating all the problems that have led to this. I understand that. But I am curious about what measures our government is taking to address the problem. Because solutions, whether planned or already rolled out, should be nice to hear.

To put things in perspective, Mindanao’s power woes have been around for years. But for us who live here in Davao City, it was a burden we were relatively spared from up until now. We seldom had power outages in the city from what I can remember since I came home in 2009. It was only after a brief visit in Zamboanga last May 2013 that I realized how Mindanao remains hobbled by daily power outages. When we started having 1-hour power outages every day, I heard that Zamboanga experienced 9-hour brownouts. I could not imagine then how difficult it must be if it happens on a daily basis. But now I am beginning to understand the challenges and pains better.

There are some good things about having this problem though like:

  • having more unplugged time
  • having more time to read books
  • relearning the virtue of patience over and over again
  • feeling happy every time I finish all my work at the end of the day despite the disruptions
  • having more time for contemplation and creative thinking
  • and more

On the downside, the broken brownout schedules is seriously affecting my work. It is hard to work out a schedule to finish all the writing I need to do. It is not like I am productive all day. I work best at certain hours of the day. It makes me think that it would be nice to have a job where I do not need electricity to get things done. Organic farming, fishing, or some other work sounds nice during these times.


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