In case some of your wishes have yet to come true, try casting them on some shooting stars this week!
Meteors, also known as “falling stars” or “shooting stars”, are streaks of light caused by tiny bits of dust and rock called meteoroids falling into the Earth’s atmosphere. If any part of the meteoroid survives burning up after hitting the Earth, that remaining bit is called a meteorite.
The belief of wishing upon shooting stars dates back to around AD 127 to 151 when Greek astronomer Ptolemy wrote that occasionally, out of curiosity or even boredom, the gods peer down at the Earth from between the spheres. Stars sometimes slip out of this gap, flashing towards the earth.
SOUTHERN DELTA AQUARIDS METEORS
On its website, PAGASA announced that the Southern Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower will occur from July 28 to 31, and is estimated to peak starting on the late night of July 29 until early July 30.
These meteors will originate from the constellation Aquarius, the Water Bearer.
(photo from PAGASA)
Though the bright moon might interfere with the activity, those who are lucky might spot about 15 meteors per hour under good sky conditions.
According to astronomy website sky.org, the best viewing window for the Southern Delta Aquarids meteor shower from any time zone is between 2:00 to 3:00AM.
Before the shower’s peak, find an open sky, away from artificial lights. You may simply look upward at the window or lie down on a reclining chair.
Enjoy this astronomical event and remember to share with us your photos!
Now that the rainy season is in full swing, sudden power outages are possible amidst raging storms. Though we all should have our supply of flashlights, candles, matches and other emergency items, there is still a chance that a power outage can catch us unprepared. If this happens, here are some hacks that will save you from the darkness.
No candles? No problem. Try rooting around the house for some crayons.
Light the tip of the crayon with a match or a lighter. Don’t remove the paper because this will serve as the wick.
When the tip of the crayon is partially melted, slightly melt its bottom and allow it to stand in a glass jar or something that will keep it from making contact with flammable things.
One crayon can last for 10 to 15 minutes. Crayons are made primarily from paraffin wax that allows it to burn slowly like a candle. If you want to make the light more luminous, bunch 2 or more crayons and tie it up with a string. A note of warning though: this emergency candle may cause an unpleasant smell and a lot of smoke because of the burning wax and paper.
Orange peel candle
If you don’t have a crayon, but do have an orange and some cooking oil, you can also make your own candle.
Cut the orange in half and gently separate the fruit from the peel, leaving the peel and the wick (the center part of the stem) intact.
Pour the cooking oil, making sure to fill the peel just below the wick because if you fully douse it, it won’t light. Use a lighter or match to light up the wick. Observe the cooking oil consumption, refill while there is a flame.
The cooking oil will serve as your fuel and the orange as your wick.
This orange may last up to 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on the size of the wick (the longer the better) and the type of the orange (I recommend Sagada oranges because it has a longer wick)
If you don’t have an orange, you can also use butter. Just cut a stick of butter into half, tear a square of toilet paper and roll it until it becomes a wick. Put a hole in the butter using a toothpick or screwdriver, insert the toilet paper and light it up with match or lighter.
So the next time you find yourself in the darkness without candles, remember that you can make your own! Stay safe this rainy season!
— By Sean Kyle Tongko
PanahonTV Intern from Bulacan State University
As an intern from PanahonTV, I never thought I would get to go on an awesome out-of-town trip. Thankfully, I found out the show tackled, not just all things about the weather, but a slew of other topics such as daily life hacks, the environment, and our culture.
This month, I found myself en route to Daet in Camarines Norte with the production crew to cover the Pinyasan Festival 2016. An annual event that highlights the “sweetest pineapple in the world,” the Queen Formosa variety, the festival includes various activities, such as the Kasalang Bayan, sportsfest, beauty pageant, and the Agricultural Night.
Throughout the years, the Camarines Norte province has gained recognition as housing some of the most beautiful spots in the Philippines. These include Bagasbas Beach, one of the country’s top surfing destinations; Apuao Grande Island; and the much talked-about Calaguas Group of Islands. With the islands’ pristine and powdery-white shores and crystal-clear blue waters, many have compared it to Boracay.
Fast Facts about Calaguas
• The Calaguas Group of Islands is composed of 21 islands and islets, only two of which are under the jurisdictions of the towns of Vinzon and Paracale.
• The islands’ names are the following: Tinaga, Balagbag Maliit, Balagbag Malaki, Sepia Maliit, Sepia Malaki, Bendita, Huag Maliit, Huag Malaki, Comalasag, Inggalan, Pinagcastillohan, Banocboc, Samung, Pinanakpan, Matandumatin Rock, and Kagtalisay. The other islands remain unnamed.
• Tinago island has a 1.27-kilometer stretch of powdery white sand called Mahabang Buhangin. There’s no phone signal in the area, but according to our travel guide, Infanta Quezon Councilor L.A. Ruanto, there’s a particular area on the hill, which can allow Smart subscribers to use their phones. Electricity is available from 10 PM to 6 AM.
Tinago Island Activities
Hiking to Tinago Hill
To fully appreciate the island, a trek to the top of Tinago Hill is a must. Aside from catching that elusive Smart Signal, you’ll also be treated to a breathtaking view of the island. The hiking time will take about 20-30 minutes before you get to the top. Remember to bring water and to wear comfortable shoes, clothes and hats. Also, make sure you’re accompanied by a local guide.
We stayed at I Love Calaguas Resort, which offers group accommodations that range from P3,500 to P4,500. But if you want a more intimate experience with nature, try sleeping under the stars by renting a tent for only P350 (good for 2-3 persons).
Play a round of beach volleyball to work up a sweat and an appetite. Volleyball is even more challenging when done on the beach, with your feet sinking into the sand. But it’s arguably safer because the soft sand can cushion your fall.
Aside from the well-known Mahabang Buhangin in Tinago Island, there are other beaches and islands worth exploring.
• Maculabo Island – An unspoiled island that offers activities, such as scuba diving and fishing, which are part of the locals’ livelihood.
• Guintinua Island – also known for its long stretch of beach with powdery white sand and clear waters
How to get to Calaguas from Manila
Buses bound for Camarines Norte can be found at the Alimall Bus station in Cubao, Quezon City, and along the EDSA Highway. Look for a bus bound to Paracale or to Daet. You may find destinations at the Philtranco station in Pasay.
Air-conditioned bus fares range from P500-P600, while the regular ones range from P300-P400. Travel time is 8-9 hours.
The port at located at Minaoagan in Vinzons, Camarines Norte. According to Councilor Ruanto, the best time to travel to Tinago Island would be in the morning until 12 noon wherein the sea is at its calmest.
Because we arrived at the port at 1 pm, the waves were already high, prolonging our boat ride to 2 and half hours—30 minutes more than the usual duration. Boat fees are P3,000 (5-6 persons) and P4,000 (9 persons).
We stayed at I LOVE CALAGUAS resort, one of the seven resorts that offer accommodation in Tinago Island.
According to Bgy. Capt. Ariel Era, the sand darkens during the rainy season.
What to bring to Calaguas
3. Camera (and waterproof bag)
4. Slippers and shoes that are good for trekking
7. Mosquito repellant
9. Plastic bags to waterproof your belongings
For more information and inquiries about expenses and details, visit these travel agency websites: www.northlinkph.net and www.calaguasadventure.net.
What I will always remember about my Calaguas Trip is that every moment was Instagram-worthy. It was as if everything was put in its proper place—the sand, the hills, the sea, the sky. And it got me thinking, that’s nature for you! That’s why it’s our duty to make sure that places like this maintain their natural beauty. I couldn’t bear thinking such magnificence falling to ruin just because of our negligence.
— By John Estrada
PanahonTV Intern from Bulacan State University
Ruel San Telices – Sand Artist
Darius Mirasol – LGU officer
Blessed with scenic spots and beautiful people, the Philippines is undoubtedly a world-class paradise! But with these treasures come the hazards the country is prone to; each year we face an average of 19 to 21 tropical cyclones, frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic activities.
One such event happened on June 15, 1991 when Mount Pinatubo erupted, claiming hundreds of lives. After being dormant for around 600 years, its eruption was believed to be triggered by a massive earthquake known as the “Great Luzon Quake” that struck the northern and central parts of Luzon in July 1990.
Considered one of the most destructive volcanic eruptions of the 20th century, the Pinatubo event produced thick deposits of tephra, pyroclastic stream flow and lahar, which were aggravated by Typhoon Yunya, locally named as Diding.
Based on the records of PAGASA, the tropical cyclone developed east of Samar and crossed Luzon before exiting the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Buddy Javier, heavy rains and strong winds worsened the lahar flow in affected communities. The combined effect of lahar spewed by the volcano and flooding from the typhoon submerged almost a million houses.
After the dreadful event, a lake was formed within the crater of the volcano. Now dubbed as a “beautiful disaster”, the Pinatubo eruption created an amazing view that continues to stun both local and foreign visitors.
Journey to the crater
Just in time for the commemoration of the Pinatubo eruption’s silver anniversary, the Panahon TV team produced a special segment, not only to commemorate the tragedy, but also to highlight the lessons that the Filipinos learned from it. We were five in the group composed of myself, the segment producer, coordinators, and a cameraman.
It was on a Saturday, at around 2:00 AM, when we assembled at the PAGASA Weather and Flood Forecasting Center, where our media van awaited to bring us to Tarlac.
We departed at 2:30 AM. Though a bit sleepy, everyone was excited for the trip! After approximately two and a half hours, we finally reached Brgy. Sta. Juliana, the trek’s jump-off location. We were able to meet other trekkers though I noticed that we were not as many as expected.
One of the tourism officers said though the average number of visitors during weekends usually plays between 200 to 250, the number of tourists has dwindled from 400 to 650. According to a local, it was probably because of the additional fees that were being collected recently—something we discovered first-hand later on.
At the jump-off site, we were welcomed, not only by the organizers and tourism officials, but also kids selling trekking sticks made from wood. I bought one from a little girl for only P20. I hoped it would give me stability while trekking on a rough terrain.
Comfort rooms made from nipa are also provided at the site so you can change clothes before starting the tour. After the briefing and distribution of food, we returned to the road with our driver and guide.
Aboard the 4×4 vehicle, we were introduced to our driver, Mang Felix, and Kuya Jimmy, our tour guide. We found out that they were among the survivors of Pinatubo’s wrath.
The dusty 4×4 trip started easily enough. But as we draw nearer to the site, the path became rougher and wetter! The flowing streams were run through without mercy, so we were treated to a slightly messy and wet ride.
We had our first stop over at what they called “Toblerone.” Does it look familiar, chocolate lovers?
The little Aetas were also there to welcome the tourists. They greeted and even joined us in our photos.
We resumed our ride and after almost two hours, we reached the parking stop. After unloading the 4×4 vehicle, we started walking—the official start of our journey to the crater.
Along the rocky trail, we noticed rock balancing displays built by the young Aetas. They also had small bahay-bahayan arrangements where they played and rested as they welcomed the trekkers.
As we trekked, we noticed the yellow-orange deposits found in the streams. These are believed to be iron deposits with rusty sediments.
The refreshing part of the trek was the river crossing–the reason why trekking sandals are the recommended footwear instead rubber shoes. The feeling of cold water on your skin was revitalizing! You could even take a dip in the river when you traversed back.
After almost two hours of a five to six-kilometre walk, we finally reached the captivating crater of Mount Pinatubo! The lake had a bluish-green color, but according to Kuya Jimmy, the color of the water could change depending on the weather or season.
We were allowed to dip our feet and legs, but no one was allowed to swim in the lake. For safety purposes, trekkers are now prohibited to swim or take a boat ride, especially because of a drowning incident last 2013. Apart from this, the water is said to be highly acidic and unsafe for humans.
With this enchanting view, the pain, sweat and sunburn from the long hike were all worth it! We were able to take a short rest, eat lunch (included in the package) and capture aerial shots.
To get more of the majestic sights and inspiring stories from the tour, watch our Mt. Pinatubo Eruption 25th Anniversary Special:
OTHER TRAVEL DETAILS
P 1, 550.00 per head – Inclusions: Food (lunch), 1 Liter of Water, Environmental Fee (Capas) Tour Guide, 4×4 Vehicle Ride, Driver
P 700.00 – Separate Environmental Fee once you reached Botolan area. (Since this was a bit pricy, our tour guide said this is one of the reasons why the number of tourists has declined dramatically)
How to get there (from Manila):
– Take NLEX and Sta. Ines Mabalacat exit. Turn right to McArthur Highway all the way to Capas, Tarlac.
– In Capas, after the new two-way bridge and just before 711 and Jollibee, turn left at the first stoplight (landmark: Pandayan Bookstore) then turn right.
– Drive ahead passing Brgy. Aranguren. After about 1.5 kms, turn left at the sharp curved road (landmark to your right: INC church).
– Drive for about 18 kms. until you reach Brgy. Sta. Juliana, Capas- Pinatubo jump off.
– Drop by at the Tourism Office for the waiver signing.
– Those who are 40 years old above must have their own waiver and a photocopy of their ID, which will be checked by the tourism office. Before trekking, the tourists’ blood pressures (BP) will be checked.
– Other participants who do not need to have their BP checked must wait for the others before proceeding to the waiting area.
– Parents or adults must sign the waiver for minors.
What to bring / wear?
– Mosquito repellent lotion
– Cap or turban
– Camera with extra battery
– 1st Aid Kit
– Socks to prevent blisters
– Extra clothes,towel
– Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Recommended footwear includes open trek shoes with straps or slippers that are durable and don’t slip off.
– Raincoats during the rainy season
– Plastic bag to seal in clothes or camera
– Tent (optional)
– Walking stick (available for P20.00 at the jump off)
– Extra snacks (fruits, biscuits) that you may want to share with the Aetas
– Garbage bag
– Facial wipes
– Face mask (to protect you from the dust)
– Masking tape for your shoes if they fall apart during the hike
For inquiries about the expenses and more details about the tour, you may contact Ms. Sonia at 0918-602-1943 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you been to Lake Pinatubo? How’s your trek? We’d like to hear your experience!