Metro Manila · No Electricity: Brownouts & Blackouts

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With an increasing number of storms and other calamities, coupled with fragile infrastructure, chances are high that you experience at least one or two brownouts per year in the Megacity Manila. Here is what you should know about power outages and how to be prepared.


Blackouts refer to a complete loss of electricity flow in the power grid. Fortunately, that does not happen very often in Manila. Blackouts are rare, where brownouts are much more common.


A brownout refers to the decrease of electricity flow in the power grid. Brownouts happen in the Megacity from time to time, especially during summer. Brownouts range from a couple of minutes to a few hours maximum. Sometimes, brownouts are intentionally caused due to the lack of electricity to serve the whole Megacity. In that case, the power distribution companies establish 'rotating' brownouts where every city inside the Megacity will have no electricity for 1-2 hours. These planned brownouts will be announced beforehand.

Stay Calm & Keep Working

If a brownout or blackout affects you while you are inside your office, you should be fine. Most of the office buildings have emergency generators which jump in to compensate for the lack of electricity delivered by the power grid. They normally have a capacity of a couple of hours so that it rarely happens that you will have no electricity at all. Shops such as 7-ELEVEN will also continue working, so you will not starve.

At Home

Keep a powerful flashlight and some extra batteries in your home. A stock of candles and a lighter are a good thing to have as well, giving your brownout experience a romantic twist. 

Always make sure that you stock a food and beverage ration for a couple of days at home. It might come in handy on different occasions such as calamities and sudden loss of electricity. Just make sure that you can prepare your food with the power out and you will be fine until everything is up and running again. 

Do not use the elevators in your buildings until you are sure the emergency power supply works without interruptions. 

Computers & Gadgets

In general, we would recommend the use of laptops and tablets over the use of desktop computers. The latter will crash in case of sudden loss of electricity which might affect the hardware. Laptops and tablets have batteries which are immediately triggered as soon as loss of electricity is detected. Make sure your gadgets are always charged. If you have a desktop computer, you might consider buying an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) which gives you enough time to save your work and shut your computer down.


Read more about electricity and gas in Metro Manila - and why you should pay your electricity bill at time...