The rainy season in the Philippines is the most challenging time for one’s respiratory tract when all the dust, pollen, and microbes get stirred up from every nook and cranny of the land. The constant cycle of hot and dry, followed by wet and windy, compounded by the need for locals to burn anything (just to burn it), takes a silent toll on everyone equally. Let’s not forget the exhaust emanating from 90% of the public transportation roaming the streets.
Take Mt. Pinatubo or Mt. Arayat for example – on most days, you can barely see either of them. It can be downright hazy when the rain doesn’t snuff out the burning piles of trash festering all around the province; it kind of makes you wonder what you’re being dosed with. As an asthma sufferer, the air around town can creep up and grab me without much warning. You don’t have to be a doctor to understand the importance of breathing cleaner air.
The solution comes in multiple forms. First, clean your air-conditioning unit filter monthly. If you want to up the ante a bit get yourself an Allerair machine and run it when you’re home, it will help clean out what’s floating around your house (www.allerair.com).
If you’re out there walking, riding your bike, jogging, or traveling on your motorbike, you could wear a mask to help filter out the junk. Check out a company called Respro (www.respro.com) that makes performance style pollution masks that can work wonders. These masks have interchangeable filters that you can re-use after a wash.
Even though the mask might make you look like a villain from some movie, it will help out quite a bit. I’ve been using the Respro Techno for about 3-years now and, despite that fact that it can be cumbersome, I definitely breathe much better.