One of the things you have to learn to deal with when you move to the Philippines is the sometimes-extreme weather; from sweltering heat waves to thundering typhoon storms, the weather here can fluctuate from one end to the other, and adjusting to it is of vital importance.
The months of December, January and February are the cooler months, and they are, quite simply, a very welcome reprieve from the summer heat. The rainy season (which has just finished, making everything so green and lush) is followed by skies that are clear and blue every day without fail, and the temperature is such that you can walk around in long trousers and a shirt without sweating.
The heat starts to rise as spring approaches and, while March normally comes and goes without much of a whimper, April and May certainly make their presence felt; these months, directly preceding the rainy season, are hot, humid, and somewhat uncomfortable. Walking around in the afternoon is to be avoided if possible, shorts and t-shirts are the order of the day (and night), and sitting by the pool all day is a thoroughly reasonable thing to do, as well as a richly satisfying one. The rest of the time, stay in the air-conditioning as much as possible.
December through to May is the best time of year to plan any domestic trips around the Philippines, as you are virtually guaranteed good weather.
The first drops of rain start up in June, but it is not until July and August when the real heavy downpours start up – carrying on all the way into September – and it is during this time that the typhoons start hitting the different regions of the country, and their effects can be wide-ranging (for example, a typhoon that hits the north of the main island of Luzon can mean continuous rain and powerful winds in Manila several hundreds of miles away).
The winds can also make a big difference to your movements, as I have seen rain falling almost horizontally. During this period, it is always advisable to carry an umbrella, although, if it’s too windy, an umbrella does not offer much by way of protection and you must always be prepared to wait indoors for the downpour to ease off. You should also take note that, during these months, clear skies cloud over and break into torrential rains in less than a minute.
October and November are still part of the rainy season, but it is now more intermittent and the typhoons are fewer and farther between. While it is still preferable to carry an umbrella with you, the rains don’t come as often and you tend to get a little bit more of a warning.
The Philippines is a wonderful place to live, but it is a nation extreme in many different ways, and one of those ways is the weather, with the country being made up of thousands of islands that are the first land masses that any winds or typhoons coming in from the Pacific Ocean land on.
With a little bit of forewarning and preparation, you will not be caught out more than you need to be.