Tropical country like mine, Philippines has a whole year round of Summer. We have two official seasons – wet and dry, but jokingly we sometimes tell foreign visitors that we have indeed only two seasons, which are hot and very hot. Silly isn’t it? Well, joke aside, the most exciting part in Summer for us Filipinos that we always look forward to is hitting the beach and of course, the grand summer vacation. Summer season is great, specially for students, who are dying to get a good break. A nice one in which you stay up and wake up late as much as you want without worrying the next day.On top of the thought of having some days off, we also pair the excitement with simple,yet something big for us. Go figure! Nah, I’m just referring to the food. In our culture, the thought of sharing the most simple dish as long as we are together is what matters.Filipinos value the time spent with families, relatives and of course dear friends.We can find happiness something from the ordinary. In other words,the vibe of summer will not be complete without spending time with loved ones, going to the beach and most specially rewarding oneself with a delicious treat.
Personally, I consider myself a beach bum and I never get tired of the idea of associating the beach when I hear the word Summer and In fact, I consider myself lucky living in a tropical country because I can get a good doze of vitamin sea whenever I want to, may it be Summer or not, well unless typhoon hits the archipelago.
Before flying, I was imagining how are beaches like abroad. Generally speaking, I’m pretty inquisitive not only in terms of the beaches,but also other things that my brain gets curious of, however in this blog I would like to highlight questions that I came up randomly. Disclaimer-it’s purely based from my own experience,interviews and plus a little research on the side.
When does Summer officially start?
In the Philippines, Summer usually kicks off in March and ends in May.In the 3rd month of the year is when students usually end their school semester. It is also a commencement month for most schools.Although Philippine schools’ regulations have been changing in terms of the opening and ending of classes, still this month is popularly considered as the start of Summer vacation.
In Japan, I asked some people regarding the official start of Summer,however not all answers were the same. So, I looked it up and it says that Summer in Japan lasts from June to mid- September depending on the location.
What is Summer like at home and abroad?
Standing on my own experience,the months of April and May are the hottest in my country.Gradually day to day weather will become warmer and drier and it gets pretty humid. The idea of taking a shower two or three times a day is pretty normal during this season.Activity like island hopping tours is on top of the list because the water is at its clearest and the sky is at its bluest during this time of the year.
I feel Summer is hot and humid in Japan too, with temperatures ranging from approximately 70 to 90 degree F and I heard that July and August are typically the hottest and most humid times of the year. Summer’s heat is not new to me, but it’s a bit of a puzzle why I feel uncomfortable with the Summer season here in Japan. That experience,made me guess that it might be because I arrived in Spring, a comfortable season as most Japanese people describe, nevertheless Summer in both countries is much alike when it comes to temperature.
What festivities are there in Summer?
In Summer, we have a religious observance which we call lent season or more popularly known as Holy Week- or Semana Santa which often falls in the month of April.This is when many Roman Catholic communities observe rituals such as processions, with many have been influenced with Pre- Hispanic beliefs and in May, there is a festival called Flores de Mayo ( Spanish for ‘’flowers of May’’) and of course how can I forget the Fiesta celebration in small towns.
Japan on the other hand is no doubt rich in culture.In regard to my notice, Japanese people are into Summer festivities.The country has countless festivals and events that varies from street dances in daylight and awesome fireworks display at night. What else can I ask for? Talking about fireworks, The Sumida River Fireworks festival has grown into one of Tokyo’s biggest and popular Summer events and according to my research, this festival started in 1733. Awesome isn’t it?
What are popular foods in Summer?
Who can say no to food? It is a vital part in every occasion
and Summer is not an exception to that.Even though we experience warm weather most of the time. There are still some popular treats that we usually crave to eat in Summer.To name some, of course we have the most in demand Halo Halo. Ice candy, fruit shakes, buko (coconut) are also perfect on a hot day. In addition,Summer fruits also exist. Well, it depends on someones taste, but most of them are guaranteed appetizing. For example, Pakwan(Watermelon), Caimito (Star Apple), Lanzones and many more.
On the other hand, there’s nothing good trying new summer treats in Japan. On a hot summer day Kakigori ( shaved ice) is best to have. It’s like you are going to have freshly fallen snow with a different flavor surprise.
In terms of fruit, I saw some tropical ones too that I can find in my country.Like watermelon and pineapple,but peach is not a common one and I recommend it to those who haven’t tried because of it’s sweet and refreshing. Definitely a must try to have.
What is the common type of fashion do people wear in this season?
Except for the monsoons ,Filipinos enjoy a tropical climate all year round, though Summer is a perfect excuse to bare your skin, however there are still Summer staples for stylish dressing – shirts, shorts, blouses and trousers. In Philippines, Summer calls for something colorful – everything that is energizing and refreshing. The point is always dressing fun under the sun.
On the other hand, the general feeling on the streets of Japan in Summer is mixed. I think Japanese are into neutral colors even though its Summer, however it’s evident that cute outfit has been a trademark in Japan fashion whole year round.
To conclude,Summer abroad and at home has no big difference.Regardless of the complaints from the scorching heat, for me it’s still the best season ever. The vibe in Summer is incomparable and I’m so excited thinking about what will my next Summer adventure be. Do you know what’s yours? Let me know!