Brownout!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the deafening scream of Kagay-anons and the entire Mindanao almost every summer, every year.
For a city that was spared from power outages in the past, brownouts seem to be a horrifying experience. No electricity means no internet, no TV, and even no water in some parts of the city. We often hear people complain and that’s understandable. But, I also found some advantages on these frequent rotating brownouts.
Instead of killing your time watching TV or looking at your Facebook, brownout is the best time to talk and laugh with your parents, spouse, and kids. Time is precious and that is often wasted in today’s setting when everybody just smile and laugh silently at the corner with their smart phones, tabs, or laptops. Let go of those gadgets even for just four hours a day and spend time playing with your shadow together with your brothers and sisters. This is one of the priceless and unforgettable childhood experiences that I have, playing with our shadows and form different characters like dogs and butterflies on the wall with my brothers and sisters. In the 90s, brownout was also a huge problem.
Playful and Romantic Night with Nature
The beauty of the moon and stars are rarely seen and appreciated when lights are on. Try playing traditional Filipino games like patintero or tumba lata under the moon light. It is more fun than playing Minecraft on Facebook. Couples can have those silent, romantic, and Meteor Garden-ish moment together while staring to the moon and stars.
Exciting Ghost Stories
Share and hear scary ghost stories with your family, cousins, and friends. Don’t forget to have blankets and pillows with you.
A four hour brownout can thaw frozen meats. Refreezing a thawed meat not only alters taste and texture but can also be risky if not done properly. So, instead of risking yourselves, bring those meat out to your back or front yard and have a barbecue party with everybody that you know and care.
Having no electricity also means no pollution. When machines cease to operate, we also temporarily stop air and noise pollution.
A Moment of Prayer
Brownout brings silence. This is the perfect time to reflect. Count your blessings, ask forgiveness, and strengthen your relationship with God. Praying is one of the most important things in life often neglected when there’s electricity.
You see, rotating brownouts aren’t bad at all. It is a cleaner, simpler, and wonderful life. My suggestions above boil down to one major point and that is there is still Light and Life in the absence of electricity.
Photos by Rappler and UNTV