The headlines are about the searing temperatures in Manila. It’s averaging 35 degrees Celsius and it’s mostly because of the cloudless skies and the sun hitting us directly.
Which makes me wonder why there are very few shade structures in Manila. Hundreds of years of experience of the hot summer sun should have produced shade contraptions but there is none. It’s probably the influence of Western architecture which is more appropriate in temperate countries: glass buildings, skylights, no sun shading.
I have a proposal. Instead of spending thousands of pesos on Christmas lights and decorations every December, let’s have a summer festival where people, households, establishments and companies will put up temporary shade structures around their area in order to block the sun, produce shade and make summer more pleasant. At least such structures are more functional than the Christmas lights and Snowman that we have during Christmas.
In fact there should be an ordinance to put up shade structures in public places like open parking lots.
Temporary structures can be tents, or recycled materials such as tarpaulins. Now we can have use for all the billboards using those big tarps.
Hopefully it will be more bearable to walk in the city during summer, to get in the car in the open parking lot.
Then we will see unique ideas to generate shade. I suspect that the banderitas used during fiestas have the double purpose of providing festive atmosphere as well as shade. Maybe somebody can invent a portable tent for the car. In the long term this will generate more awareness in the environment as we think of planting more trees, designing buildings which are cooler through natural means, and of course making summer living in the city more fun