As noted previously, Fr. Bernie Rosinski is in the Philippines teaching English. We are grateful that while he is there he continues to write reflections for our province blog:
A phenomenon takes place virtually every day on this Island of Mindanao that in the United States occurs only twice a year. I am referring to the fact that here the sun rises at about 6:00 AM and sets each day at about 6:00 PM. Where this blogger comes from, the phenomenon happens only on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes: March 21/22 and September 21/22. Mindanao is merely 6° N latitude from the Equator.
Imagine, if you will, never having to use a jarring alarm clock to wake you from sleep up because the sun does that for you. Imagine, if you are a farmer, never having to change cow milking time due to a change to “daylight savings time’. Imagine, if you will, always having the kids traveling to and from school during daylight hours. Imagine. Once the sun goes down in the evening the body can relax, the family gathers together around the table and each one has time for each other. Imagine, having a constant electrical power bill that barely fluctuates due to seasonal variation. Now you begin to have some idea of the daily rhythm of the Philippines.
Other rhythms exist here in the islands but need to be discovered and entered into. Some are local and some are zonal. There are rainy and dry seasons, for example, though I have yet to experience them. There are growing seasons and resting seasons. Then there is the typhoon season.
Finally, the Philippines form part of the “ring of fire” of volcanoes and earthquake prone areas that swing down from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska around Japan, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines eastward to Chile, Peru, Central America, Mexico, and California in the Western hemisphere. Such disturbances are not rhythmical but occasional. And yet, over time, they too become part of the life here in the islands.