Filipinos poked fun at some tropical cyclone names the state weather bureau released last January, citing references to video games and celebrities.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration‘s list of names for tropical cycles made headlines anew following the entry of “Auring” to the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday, February 17.
Auring is the first tropical cyclone to enter PAR this year.
In its 11 a.m. weather bulletin on Thursday, Auring has intensified into a tropical storm while moving slowly northwestward over the Philippine sea.
PAGASA said the tropical storm is not yet expected to bring heavy rains. However, it advised the public of “increasing likelihood of heavy rainfall affecting Visayas, Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Bicol Region, CALABARZON, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Mindoro Provinces, Marinduque, Romblon, Northern Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo Islands” over the weekend. This may continue until Monday.
Because of the weather updates on Auring, the list of tropical cyclone names resurfaced on social media.
‘Odette, Jolina, Yasmin’
Among the tropical cyclone names, “Odette” gained online attention as some Filipinos said likened it to a fictional character of the same name in the popular video game “Mobile Legends.”
The character’s full name is Odette, the Swan Princess who is a mage class hero in the game.
“Have you ever seen the dawn of Swan Lake? It is beautiful,” one Facebook user commented.
One online user even shared a gif of a game play that featured Odette and said: “It’s the ODETTE for me.”
Others, meanwhile, noticed the name “Yasmin” and attributed it to the name of a local YouTuber and Viva talent Yasmin Asistido popularly known as “Kween Yasmin.”
“WE STAN A KWEEN OF TROPICAL CYCLONE AND A KWEEN OF SONG RELEASE EVERY WEEK. NONE OTHER THAN KWEEN YASMIN ASISTIDO-PENALOSA! PACIFIC OCEAN COULD NEVER!” one user wrote.
A few users noticed that some names appeared to have been repeated such as “Jolina.”
“Every year na lang ata may bagyong Jolina?” a user said.
A teacher responded that “only ‘Uwan’, ‘Verbena’ and ‘Yasmin’ are new in the list.”
“Other names are already used in 2013 and 2017 respectively,” he said.
What’s in a tropical cyclone’s name?
PAGASA reuses the names of tropical cyclones every five years, according to the agency’s website.
“The first tropical cyclone of the year starts with the name beginning in letter A as in AURING under column 1 for 2021 and so on down the list as one disturbance succeeds another. The 5th year (2025) will bring us back to column 1 of AURING,” read PAGASA’s website.
Some names, however, are decommissioned. The criteria for a tropical cyclone name to retire are if it caused:
- 300 or more deaths or
- P1 billion or more worth of damage
The strong tropical cyclones that ravaged the country in November last year are among those that will not be used again.
“Four tropical cyclone names from the 2020 list are now decommissioned: Ambo, Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses. They will be replaced by Aghon, Querubin, Romina, and Upang, respectively, in the 2024 list,” PAGASA said.