Comfort in Static

A plastic box with holes and dial sitting atop a banig

Durable and Affordable Radio

For years it has been a constant breakfast staple in our household the unique voice of Joe Taruc along with kapeng barako and pan de sal. Every day I would hear the program Pangunahing Balita and Damdaming Bayan in our kitchen/dining/sala area. According to Wikipedia, these shows are the longest running public affairs program. From the time I wake up to the time I need to leave the house, the radio is tuned in to DZRH. In some occasions, it’s the classical station, owned by the same owner of DZRH. The blaring radio in the morning is a reminder that our father is home and having a dose of his news; or sometimes, I wonder, his dose of background noise every morning.

Last 12 January 2020, days after welcoming the new decade we were greeted with the phreatic eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas. Taal Volcano is known for being a volcano within a volcano or a lake within a lake. We were 110 kilometers away from the eruption site but ashfall still descended on our humble abode. The eruption had forced evacuation for all residents living in 14km danger radius because the activity inside around Taal Volcano has not subsided. Earthquakes were felt and fissures appeared around the lake. Talk about starting your year with a blast. And anything could get worse. And it would.

When the eruption happened, I immediately check our supplies and if we had enough to create our go bags just incase something worst happens. I have seriously taken to heart the lessons that was taught during my fieldwork and trainings conducted during my stint in a government agency.

GO BAG: is an emergency preparedness that you pack in advance and an emergency kit. It should consists of supplies (medicine ,nonperishable food, potable water, clothes, blankets, tools: flashlight, radio, Swiss army knife) that will last for 72 hours (until help or first emergency responders come). The go bag should also house a copy of important paper items like birth certificate, passport and etc.

We have secured the nonperishable goods but lacked the tools like radio and flashlight. Having move recently to a new place we really haven’t been able to fully organized ourself. Good thing there are number of malls near our place. We decided to go to an appliance store in SM Masinag. They have decent selections of radios that would be in our price range. There weren’t a lot of choices but there were a few decent ones. We had a budget of 500.00 pesos to 800.00 pesos. We went with the radio that looks durable and affordable. Our choice was a PENSONIC: Hybrid Radio.

Back of the radio with labels and place for batteries

Anatomy of Hybrid Radio

Side view of the plastic radio

A.M. and F.M. Bandwidth

A few days after buying the radio, we didn’t immediately turned it on. I guess, Ohio is not a fan of morning news. I can’t blame him because all you get are bad, overly sensationalized news. So I only tune in alone. Familiarizing myself with the power, volume, and tuner knobs on the side of the plastic radio. To power, you have to turn up and clockwise the power/volume knob, while another knob is used for scanning. The speaker produces a familiar humming static. It transports me back to another place and time. Flashes of memories and feelings are made present when the static sound permeates the surrounding. Tested if the dial was moving and scanned all the stations in A.M. and F.M.

Besides the fact that we got it to complete our go bag it is also our way to get news and entertainment. The radio for me serves as a gateway to access memories that brings me great comfort and nostalgic feelings. Back at a time where worries seem to be so distant, morning conversations and debates were part of the breakfast ritual, I am back in our round table nibbling on my pan de sal and savoring mg chocolate drink. A time where optimism thrives in my mind.

I tune in to the radio not only to listen to the news but also fill to the space with static that has given me great comfort. -O)-

Radio with its antenna out

Another source of entertainment

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