Countries in the northern hemisphere now enjoy warm days of summer. But in the Philippines, June is the onset of the wet season that lasts until October. Other than typhoons, flooded streets, and damp laundry, mosquitoes are major rainy-day woe.
Dengue is a fatal disease and cases usually spike in the rainy months. The Department of Health strongly encourage Filipinos to develop a habit of destroying potential breeding grounds and protect themselves from mosquito bites. That’s why almost every Filipino household has the good ol’ mosquito nets.
The Mosquito Net Popularity
Locally known as kulambo, mosquito nets are widely used all year. It has become a part of the Filipino routine to always sleep with a kulambo in place. The kulambo is arguably the cheapest alternative for mosquito-protection so it’s often associated with the poor.
In fact a photo of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sleeping inside a mosquito net earned him praise. He claims he can’t sleep without the kulambo, making him one of the many Filipinos with the mosquito net obsession.
The “Security Net” Syndrome
Following the viral picture, many Filipinos expressed their own obsession with mosquito nets. Psychologists call the condition the “mosquito net syndrome.” This is the obsession with the sensation of the net against their skin and the sense of security it brings.
Weird as it sounds, a few people reached the point of bringing along their nets everywhere. It’s bizarre to see people touching or snuggling with their kulambo in public. So to solve this problem, kulambo socks were innovated and they became a hit.
The first use of the mosquito net dates back to the Spanish era. It was used as protection against malaria at the time. Forward to 2019 and Filipinos still use them to ward off dengue mosquitoes. But for some, this modest commodity serves beyond being a mere protective net.