Brownouts are part of life here in the Philippines. Those of us that live in, or near, the bigger cities are generally spared the frequency that those in the outer areas experience them. That’s recently changed for us in the Davao area.

It seems we’ve been put on a scheduled rotation with daily brownouts. The terms brownout and blackout are used interchangeably here, and I’ve heard various opinions in regards to the terms, but what I’m going to use for now is – brownout = scheduled, blackout = unscheduled. Regardless of the term you are fond of, we’ll be without electricity, and therefore water after 30 minutes, for 1-2 hours daily. For how long? That hasn’t been stated specifically, but potentially until the next power plant comes on board.

For those not from this region, the impetus for these scheduled brownouts was the region wide blackout that we had in Mindanao a couple weeks ago. From what I’ve heard it hit most of the region. It lasted quite a few hours for most, days for others. Many were out of water for a day or more, also. They’ve blamed that on various equipment issues and lack of capacity.

The article I referenced discusses the short-term issues and the longer term solutions to the lack of power in the region. Since most things don’t go as planned here, when there is a plan, I’m expecting it take a while (American version of that term) longer than is being mentioned. Whether or not the scheduled brownouts are a short-term issue or not, also remains to be seen.

Davao Light has prepared a schedule so at least we know the time frame in which to expect the brownouts. For the most part it’s a 4-5 hour window, and you don’t know if it will be 1 hour or 2, but at least you have an idea. It will help us schedule laundry, and to make sure there is enough water for what we might need to do during the brownout time. No, it’s not convenient, but least there IS a schedule.

ael 283Given that we will have daily outages it appears I’ll need to do a little more with regards to preparation. So far we’ve always gotten by with candles and some flashlights. I believe I need to invest in some of the rechargeable emergency LED lights that are available around town. They even have a model that has a fan and radio, though they aren’t cheap. It would be nice to have one of those around at times. The fan would be great at night, as last night we lost power for several hours in the middle of the night, in addition to the scheduled brownout.

I’m still campaigning for the slogan to be, “It’s always an adventure in the Philippines.”

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