A sidelight to typhoons, one that is fun but must not be taken as an insult to those who suffer in their wake, is how these destructive forces of nature got their names. For sure, they don’t come whiffing through Pagasa’s radar saying, “Hi, I’m Frank. Behind me is Gener; and that’s Helen over there.”
When we were younger, typhoons reinforced our image of women as wielding influence over both the household and the universe. We rarely questioned why typhoons back then exclusively took on female names, and why the names peculiarly ended with “ing” and “ang.” We took it as God’s will. And He was a God who knew onomatopoeia, for if you listen carefully to the sound of a storm, it has an “iiiinnnnng” or “aaaaannnng” ring to it.