Unfortunately, that's not always practical. If you live in Metro Manila, you'll realize the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) tends to raise their rates every time the expected electricity usage peaks. We're not going to delve too much into that, since that's beyond the scope of this blog, but we can say this: You don't have to brace yourself for eye-popping electricity bills every summer. Instead, you can:
Drink Plenty of Water Every Day
How much is "plenty"? Common wisdom states "eight glasses," though recent studies suggest that four to six may be enough too. In any case, if you're thirsty, don't hesitate to quench that feeling.
Avoid Unhealthy Drinks
However, being thirsty doesn't mean you should drink every consumable liquid you can get your hands on. You can still guzzle alcohol, as long as it's in moderation (i.e. two drinks a day for men, and one for women). There's been some debate about whether alcohol and caffeine dehydrate your body, but as we always say on this blog, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Eat Cool Desserts
In the Philippines, nothing beats the ubiquitous halo-halo when satiating your need to cool (as well as your sweet tooth). You can also visit the numerous dessert parlors around the Metro, like The Dessert Kitchen and Gelatissimo Cafe. Bon appétit!
Turn Up That Fan
Even if you opt for air-conditioning, an electric fan can help circulate the cool air around your home. Choose a high-quality fan (like those with Japanese brand names), and make sure it has the ability to turn from side to side. Also, clear it of dust and other debris regularly, so it can run efficiently at all times.
Wear Loose Clothes
The looser your clothes are, the less likely they'll stick to your skin when you sweat, and the more comfortable you'll feel. You don't have to settle for frumpy attire; it's possible to stay fashionable and comfortable at the same time.
Take a Bath Frequently
Shower in the morning. Shower in the afternoon. Shower in the evening. Shower anytime you feel icky or hot. Sure, your water bills will probably shoot through the roof, but between that and getting hospitalized due to heat stroke, the former will probably be easier on your wallet.
Sleep Like the Egyptians
As you know, Egypt was — and is — sweltering hot, so its people know a thing or two about coping with sky-high temperatures. Apparently, they placed a damp (but not dripping wet) sheet underneath them when they sleep. We're not sure why this works, but it doesn't hurt to try it out!
Change Your Beddings Altogether
If the "Egyptian method" isn't doing enough, consider overhauling your entire bed to make it summer-friendly. Use lightweight linens, gel mattresses and/or flat materials like straw mats to keep the heat out. The idea is to stay as comfortable as you can when you turn in for the night.
Keep Cooking to a Minimum
Cooking heats up your kitchen (and your home, if your living space is small), so it's better if you do less of it in the summer. Research easy-to-cook meals online, so you won't have to spend too much time in front of the stove. Also, consuming cold food like salads, fruits and vegetables can fill you up and cool you down at the same time.
Minimize the Use of Electronic Devices, Too
Computers, mobile phones and other gadgets give off heat, so turn them off if you're not using them. Not only will you keep temperatures to a minimum, but you can also make their batteries last longer. Besides, unplugging has its own set of benefits.
Use an Umbrella When Outside
If you're going outside between 10 A.M. and 3 P.M. when temperatures peak, have an umbrella handy. You'll notice that it becomes less hot when you do so. Also, an umbrella is a handy thing to have when the weather suddenly shifts from sunny to rainy (which happens often in the Philippines).
DIY Your Air Conditioning
If you're worried about skyrocketing Meralco bills, but don't want to feel like you're in a sauna either, try making your own source of cold air from scratch. All you need is a fan, some iceparks and a large-enough Styrofoam cooler. Of course, there are other forms of DIY air conditioning, but that's by far the cheapest and simplest.
And those are our dozen tips to keep cool in the Philippine summer. You can't do anything about the temperature in this country, but you can do something about how you react to it. Thank you for reading, and let us know what you think in the comments!