Indeed, Taal’s devastations were overwhelming and encompassing. Time and again, it has been proven that whenever disasters happen in the country, social infrastructure including electricity shuts down for days or months, depending on the nature of the disaster and where it struck.

             Right now, those who live and work within 60 kilometers of Taal Volcano are reeling from the impact of its recent eruption. According to reports, the ashfall knocked down power distribution circuits throughout Tagaytay City and parts of Batangas, Cavite and Laguna. Volcanic fragments also caused outages in five major transmission facilities.  

             Likewise, museums were ‘put to sleep,’ churches closed amid the volcano’s unrest. Two museums—the Leon and Galicano Apacible and the Marcela and Felipe Agoncillo, both in the heritage town of Taal, were, as in the wintertime  practice of most museums in Europe, “put to sleep” the frames demounted and the pieces of antique furniture covered in fabric.

            Artist Fernando Amorsolo’s multimillion-peso paintings and sets of precious jewelry have been “evacuated” to safety as Taal volcano continued to threaten museums and cultural and religious sites with an explosive eruption that could wipe out entire towns in Batangas province. Windows and doors were shut in the hope of preserving the artifacts from not only volcanic ash but also looters, if any, as the local government enforced a total lockdown on the town.

            Having quieted down though, the country’s seismological sees a 30 percent probability of an explosive eruption which could be similar to the 1754 blast that redesigned the landscape of Batangas province. That 1754 event lasted several months, with the volcano going through low key activity, explosive eruption, then lull before repeating the cycle.

             These chorus of voices need to be heeded and taken a second look by the national government/leaders: (1) Listen to the authorities, listen to those who have been trained to detect/monitor these calamities, listen to those who have studied, practiced and mastered the science of their respective jobs to save (you) people from further harm, para may right kang magreklamo kung mapahamak ka man (Leshlizae);

            (2) The people of Batangas will need jobs, and a way to live going forward. People need sustainable livelihood. That need to be addressed. The Philippines will also need disaster plans on how to move millions of people from hard zones. Pinoys don’t need symbolic gestures. Work!

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            Meanwhile, let’s focus on the New Year 2020. Michael L. Tan says “the Chinese New Year is chunjie, which means the spring festival. The Chinese zodiac is a 12-year Year of the Metal Rat started on January 25, 2020 and will end on February 11, 2021. Hence, the greetings of “Kung Hai Fat Choi” or “Gong Xi Fa Cai.”

              The Chinese zodiac  is a 12-year cycle composed of animal signs that represent each of the 12 years—Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. The cycle begins with the Rat and ends with the Pig.

               According to JVM Francisco writes: “So while the Year of the Pig 2019 was a year of assessment of the past cycle, reflection on our personal successes and failures and consolidation of knowledge we acquired in the past, the Year of the Rat will be one of new developments and renewals in many aspects of our lives.

              The New Year 2020, according to JVM Francisco, will be an exciting year of new beginnings. The year is going to be marked by success on various fronts. New opportunities will abound for earning money, improving one’s career or finding everlasting love.

               “In Chinese horoscope, the events and prospects in our lives are shaped by many factors related to our birth sign. Each lunar year is ruled by an animal sign with very specific characteristics. The Pig is easy-going, laid back and overflowing with good intentions. 2019 was therefore a relatively calm year for most of us, a period when introspection about past and future prevailed. On the other hand, the Rat is naturally inquisitive, energetic and resourceful, so expect a year full of surprises,” he added. (To be continued).