For residents of seven villages on Talim Island in Cardona, Rizal, power outages remain a way of life during storm or heavy rains.
Joselito “Bong” Bernabe, officer of the Cardona Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), said five of the seven island villages were without electricity as of 5 p.m. of July 29. These are Barangay Tuna, Lambac, Boor, and Malanggam-Calubacan.
Bernabe told Manila Bulletin that toppled electric posts and electric cables torn down by dangling bamboo leaves are usually the cause of power outages in the island villages.
Power interruption hit the five villages in the morning of July 28, Wednesday.
Other island villages have also been experiencing on-and-off brownouts since July 23, the height of heavy downpour and strong winds brought by the southwest monsoon induced by tropical storm Fabian.
Electricity in Barangays Navotas and Subay, also on Talim Island, was restored ahead of the five villages.
Bernabe, who was once an islander before his family moved out and settled in the mainland Cardona a few years ago, recalled his younger days on the island when he personally experienced spending days and nights without electricity for two months.
“Life is really a stand still during power interruption because having no electricity, there will also be no internet, no computer, no cellphone signal,” Bernabe said in Filipino.
Residents, who are mostly fishermen or farmers, rely mainly on candles and kerosene lamps to keep their surroundings lighted during the night.
Middle income families in the island have either solar panels or generator sets to power up their homes and business establishments such as mini grocery stores and food stores.
Some owners of generators usually set up charging stations for their neighbors who would want to charge their mobile phones and other rechargeable gadgets.
“All we can do, on our part as a staff of the municipal government, is to report the power interruption to Manila Electric Company. We really do not know why this problem (power interruption) has been happening for decades now,” Bernabe told this reporter.
By experience, Bernabe said, power would be restored gradually in the area.
The MDDRRMO officer said the islanders are hoping that MERALCO and concerned government agencies would finally solve the decades-old problem of Talim Island residents.
As of 7:40 p.m., July 29, electricity in all the seven barangays has been restored.