Thursday, May 2, 2013

Little tricks to beat the summer heat

Summer used to be fun. As a kid, it meant vacation to my grandfather's farm. It also meant long hours of play, reading and just anything under the sun. We can stay up late too. 

But with climate change, the heat has become excruciating. Dangerous even. It is even more challenging if you're living in urban Manila. For one, there are no shades. No trees to provide cool air, enough oxygen. Everywhere, it's a concrete jungle. 

The only place in Manila that has some greens in it are the exclusive villages with their streets planted with majestic trees and the homes have trees surrounding them. The Bonifacio Global City shows some promise but the trees are still too small, too young to provide the much needed relief from the sun's intense heat.  

According to the weather bureau, the heat will intensify this month. So am bracing myself. My mantra is if I got through the first two months (March & April) there's no way I'll be beat with just one more month of heat and humidity. 

With the kind of heat we're experiencing, you would have thought that my air conditioner is turned on 24/7. Nope. The long and short of it is that I have no aircon at home. The studio we're leasing didn't come equip with an aircon slot. We didn't want to go through the hassle of drilling a hole and the complicated maneuvering we have to make it considering that the most part of our wall is also a firewall. 

Good thing we have a tiny balcony. It allows for a bit of ventilation. But just a bit. How then did we survive and are surviving the summer heat? 

Here are some little tricks we've devised to put us out of misery. 
1. Our balcony's sliding door is open 24/7. This way the hot air isn't confined inside the unit. You invite IN the breeze.

2.  We bought and placed indoor plants in the balcony and inside the bathroom. I'd like to believe that the plants absorb most of the heat. I still plan to add two more pots inside the house. And one on my night table to take advantage of their natural cooling effect.
Don't you just love the etagere?

3. Let the industrial fan work. On nights where it's just unbearably hot, our fan is set to its max speed limit. 

4. Chilled bottled water. Nothing beats thirst than iced-cold water. For easy access, store them in refillable/re-usable bottled water.
Photo Credit: Pinterest

5. Fan, the hand-held kind. Remember those native woven kind? Those are powerful in drawing in air. 

6. Eat halo-halo. As Anthony Bourdain said, "it doesn't make sense but it's good." The ice in it provide temporary relief though all those sweet ingredients make you want to gulp more water. Yet, it's such a joy to enjoy this Filipino delicacy in spite of the heat. After all, it's meant to be eaten in summer time. 

7. Take several showers a day. Yes, the water can get lukewarm but at least we temper our body heat each time we take a bath. Body odour is put at bay, too. If your bathroom feels like it has a built-in sauna like mine, shower quickly.

8. Tie your hair into a bun and wear a headband. It's what I do even if I my hair just recently got straightened and cut. 

9. When everything else fail, sleep on the floor. The tiles are cool to the skin :-) And pray that it will come to pass.



p.s. thank you Pinterest for the beautiful photos.

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