We were sent home a bit earlier today—5:00pm instead of the usual 5:45pm—because Typhoon with international name “Hagupit” was about to reach Hong Kong. In fact, the No. 8 storm signal was raised around 6:00pm. Bad news for me! This means we might need to work tomorrow since Signal 8 never lasts more than 12 hours. Sigh! I wish Hagupit (PAGASA name: “Nina”) did not arrive too soon. Anyway, the extra 45 minutes I saved today were enough to enable me to make this post.
Isn’t it ironic that the local designation for typhoons has become more foreign-sounding nowadays while the international community seems to be more accomodating to Filipino-sounding names? The name “Nina” has Hebrew or Spanish origins while “Hagupit” is definitely Filipino. I prefer the previous system actually wherein typhoon names were taken after Filipino women’s nicknames ending in “ng” from A to Y. I grew up with that nomenclature and I find it more classy than the current one despite the nicknames having been derived from Spanish.
When the Philippine Weather Bureau in 1999 initiated the “Name A Bagyo Contest”, I wish they required that the entries be absolutely derived from Filipino. When I say Filipino, all the dialects should have been included. The current naming process may be more systematic for PAGASA but, as in other aspects of our eroded culture, this shows how we tend to forget the need to promote our own language. Sigh! Sigh! Sigh!