Friday, August 19, 2016


Have you ever wondered what the term "siyam-siyam" (roughly translating to 9 and 9 or one of its permutations) stood for? Elders often say "aabutan ka or aabutin ka ng siyam-siyam" when referring to something taking a long time to happen. "Siyam-siyam" actually refers to what is figuratively (and now often in reality) nine days straight of rainy weather. This is not your drizzle type of rains but the monsoon or Habagat type of downpours that usually translate to flooding.

We had strong rains everyday for about 2 weeks and this definitely qualified as "siyam-siyam".

My father was saying that the rains the past days fell into the category of "siyam-siyam." This is coming from a man who has had a lot of experience of heavy rains and his more than fair share of sacrifices and hardships related to weather. Tatay, after all, is a veteran of typhoons and floods and my parents' home is in a flood prone area despite a lot of improvements in the drainage in the past decades. We used to live in a house in an area that's become flood prone since Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) in 2009. Nowadays, those floods and many sleepless nights during heavy rains are now memories, some of which we recall with humor. We are thankful for the blessings of our home and that it keeps us safe during rainy days, especially during times of "siyam-siyam."

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