BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya—The mercury may be rising and forecasters are predicting hotter days ahead for Cagayan Valley, but residents of this northernmost region have learned to cope with the sweltering heat at this time of the year.
Leo Buñag, officer-in-charge of the regional services division for Northern Luzon of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, advised residents of Cagayan Valley to prepare for hotter days, based on prevailing weather conditions.
“We expect to hit 40 degrees (Celsius) this year, based on the readings that we have gathered so far,” he said.
Tuguegarao City, Cagayan’s capital and regional center, recorded the highest temperature in the country at 42.2 degrees Celsius on Aug. 19, 1912, and on May 11, 1969.
At around 2 p.m. on April 2, the temperature in Tuguegarao, where Pagasa’s weather station is located, hit 37 degrees, the hottest recorded this year, Buñag said.
He said the scorching heat is felt more in the urban areas of Tuguegarao and neighboring towns, where the temperature actually felt is 3 degrees higher than the one recorded by the station.
Tuguegarao and its environs may have been recording high temperatures in the past week, but residents consider this a normal occurrence, said Purita Licas, regional director of the Philippine Information Agency based in the city.
“We have gotten used to [the heat] here. We have our own ways of adapting, such as staying indoors when the day is at its hottest,” she said by telephone on Thursday.
Licas said that since the onset of the summer season, the city health office has been issuing advisories over radio, reminding residents to take precautions against heat stroke, asthma attacks and other heat-induced illnesses.
For college student Danica Pasaraba of Balzain village, taking a shower at least three times a day is her way of beating the summer heat.
“Many of us here actually look forward to this time of the year when we can have a reason to repeatedly take a shower to cool down; it’s very refreshing,” she said.
Rogimar Babaran, 35, a tricycle driver, brought his family of seven to a resort pool in Caggay village on Thursday to celebrate his son’s graduation.
“The resort is full of people. It seemed everybody had the same thing in mind: to take a dip in the pool because it really was very hot,” he said.
The banks of the Pinacanauan River in nearby Peñablanca town have also been teeming with people, Babaran said.
Enterprising residents have also been cashing in on Tuguegarao’s label as a “hot city,” through the sale of vanity shirts, with prints that prominently display the country’s highest temperature -– 42.2 degree Celsius –- recorded in the city in 1912 and 1969.