Category Archives: Ages 14-16

Posts by the members of our team that are between ages 14-16 will be found here

Easter in the Philippines – A Post by Pepa Pig

Last Sunday was a holiday known as Easter which is the most joyful holiday to Christians around the world.

In the Philippines most people follow the Catholic faith and Easter is a very significant holiday. Catholic Filipinos are very passionate about the Easter holiday and fully devote their time to it during “Holy Week” which is the week before Easter.

During this time, people go to church everyday and most people fast by not eating meat or even by drinking liquid alone all week.

Many Filipinos also like re-enacting the event of Jesus’ torture. People do this by whipping their backs, and wearing crowns of thorns during the public celebration. Some even choose to nail their hands and feet to a wooden cross to represent the crucifixion of Jesus.

On Easter Sunday, the resurrection of Jesus, they have ceremonies in the church where they place flower petals on a picture of the Virgin Mary and celebrate how the world has been saved.

As you can see, the celebration of Easter in the Philippines is much different than how most United States Americans celebrate the holiday! The Philippines is famous for this way of celebration and many people from around the world come to see it!

~Pepa Pig

Poverty Raises in the Philippines

"Super Typhoon Haiyan and surging rice prices pushed the number of Filipinos living in poverty to 25.8 percent in the first half of last year despite strong economic growth, official data released Friday showed." ~ AFP New

When I think about our economy vs the Philippine's economy, I feel grateful for the small economic stability we have in the United States." 

~ Sparkley Turtle

Why Typhoons Have Two Names

As 2015 begins, there is another typhoon season approaching in the Philippines. An annual cycle of winds causes most typhoons to develop between May and October. In the northwest Pacific Ocean, two different agencies exist to assign names to typhoons. This often results in the tropical storms having two names, like Haiyan/Yolanda. But why are they so different?

One of the agencies is the Japan Meteorological Agency, or JMA. This agency will only name a typhoon if it has wind speeds of at least 65 km/h (or 40 mph) for at least 10 consecutive minutes. This applies to storms which move into or develop anywhere in the Pacific typhoon basin. Tropical cyclone names are chosen from a set of five lists of names set by the JMA’s Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre in Tokyo once the storm reaches tropical storm strength. Members of the ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee contribute the names. Each of the fourteen nations in the Pacific Typhoon Basin submit ten names, which are used in alphabetical order but the official English name of the country. The next tropical storm to be named by the JMA will be Bavi.

The other agency, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, or PAGASA, will assign names to tropical storms which move into or form only in their area of responsibility. This agency will name a typhoon regardless of whether or not it has already been named by JMA, as the agency has its own naming scheme. PAGASA assigns names to tropical depressions from a list of names for the year, in alphabetical order. The next tropical storm to be named by the PAGASA will be Betty.

A tropical cyclone can be labeled any of four divisions, depending on its wind speeds. A Tropical Depression has wind speeds of less than 62 km/h (or less than 39 mph). A Tropical Storm has speeds of between 63 and 88 km/h (or between 39 and 54 mph). A Severe Tropical Storm has wind speeds of between 89 and 117 km/h (or between 55 and 73 mph). A Typhoon is the highest and most dangerous label for a tropical cyclone, having wind speeds of over 118 km/h (or over 74 mph).

Though typhoon season isn’t scheduled to start until May, the Philippines has already been affected by typhoons. In January, a Severe Tropical Storm, named Mekkhala/Amang killed two people and made an airplane crash in Tacloban, although no passengers were killed in the incident. It also disturbed Pope Francis’s visit to the Philippines because of a decision to travel from Tacloban to Manila four hours ahead of the scheduled time.


Severe Tropical Storm Mekkhala/Amang’s path in the Philippines.

In February, Typhoon Higos became the strongest February typhoon on record and the easternmost forming Pacific typhoon. Thankfully, it did not cause any significant damage over any islands. Higos was not named by the PAGASA because it did not enter the Philippines’s area of authority.