Legazpi City, Albay — Albay power blackout disrupted our lives, bigtime!
On Wednesday, May 28 at about 9″00 o’clock AM the electiricity being supplied by Albay Power and Energy corporation (APEC) thru feeders 1, 2 ,3 and 4 in this city, suddenly went off.
The APEC, (the company created with the takeover of ALECO operations) the local power retailer, said the 35 year old transformer stationed in Barangay Bitano, have given up. Residents in the area heard a loud booming sound coming from the station.
APEC performed (some) emergency repair but to no avail. This signals the start of the agony of the Legaspenos for almost 7 days. The prevailing hot temperature coupled by the power blackout caused great havoc in our regular lives. Residents resorted to panic buying of distilled water, candles, batteries, canned goods and other non easily perishable food supplies.
Affected residents with battery operated transistor radios tuned their ears for any positive news on the resumption of electric service with total desperation and disgust.
A bad timing and more disgusting coincidence, APEC started distributing the monthly bill, to the chagrin of most of the consumers. To make the matter look more revolting, the power bill reflected a jacked-up rate which almost doubled the previous month’s electric rate.
The absence of electricity also disrupted water supply in the city. The absence of water became a haunting reality. In my home, I have a manual jetmatic water pump which could only pump a pail of water every thirty minutes. My house is located on a mountainous part of the city.
I have to bring my laundry to the service which costs P40 per kilo. A water container can be had for P15 at the refilling station, but then I have to queue in line which snakes through the street. I resorted to collecting the water used in bath for flushing the toilet bowl!
Residents in many barangays were on the streets performing “perdon” religious processions asking for rain. No downfall has been observed ever for some days prior to the blackout.
On Sunday evening, the Facebook of governor Joey Salceda posted a rotating brown out schedule. Residents of areas assigned with 6PM to 6AM power disruption bombarded the Facebook with bitter complaints. Many expressed preference of the daytime schedule rather than the night.
Today Tuesday, I am able to write this article because the power is back at 6AM to be shut off again at 6PM. At least we were able to use the rice cooker and enjoy hot coffee from our coffee maker. At night, we use candles and fan ourselves with abaniko (made of anahaw) or cardboards.
The fervent wish of Legaspenos is the restoration of the uninterrupted power service. I walk along the busy streets of the city and hear the deafening and incessant rumbling and irritating sound of the generators occupying the sidewalks, front doors of houses, along the city proper and the malls.