Mayon Watch: Non-local Heroes (Part 5 of a series)

The spirit of volunteerism never runs out in Albay in time of calamity and it’s a practice willingly shared by its international community.

Some 25 Indian students of Bicol Christian College of Medicine (BCCM) in Legazpi City conducted a gift-giving activity and a short variety program last January 25 at Bagumbayan Central School, where 3,922 residents from Buyuan village have been staying for four days already thanks to Mayon Volcano’s unrest.




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Mayon Watch: Don’t Judge Mayon’s Alert Level By The Pics You See Online (Part 4 of a series)

During the early weeks of Mayon’s unrest, some netizens, whose only evidence were the photos their o online friends were sharing, criticized the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) for not raising the alert level of Mayon Volcano to the highest 5 especially after seeing photos of its eruption columns online.

But Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said that netizens must let the volcanologist at Phivolcs interpret Mayon’s activities and declare its alert level.




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Mayon Watch: Lahar (Part 3 of a series)

It only takes 40 millimeters of sustained, heavy rain for an hour and a half for lahar to occur and if Albay experiences scattered rainshowers due to the tail-end of a cold front just like last weekend, there is a high possibility of lahar.

Renato Solidum, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director, said that even if a river channel has old volcanic deposits, rainwater may still plow those deposits, causing lahar.




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Mayon Watch: Ed Laguerta (Part 2 of a series)

When college sophomore Eduardo Pantua Laguerta quit his education in 1978, he did not expect to be employed by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, then Commission on Volcanology (Comvol). He believes it was destiny that brought him to Phivolcs where he is now the senior science research specialist and resident volcanologist at the Mayon Volcano Observatory.

Laguerta is the oldest of five siblings. His parents, both of whom grew up in their relatives’ houses when they were orphaned, wanted them to finish their studies.




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Mayon Watch: Mariton Bornas (Part 1 of a series)

After being disillusioned by the rat race in her previous work at a company in the private sector in 1995, Ma. Antonia “Mariton” V. Bornas joined the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), where she is now the chief of Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division.

Bornas, who grew up in Makati City, did not initially plan to be a volcanologist. Her father was from Nabua town in Camarines Sur so she remembers visiting there as a child and seeing Mount Asog (sometimes called Mount Iriga), an active volcano in the Bicol volcanic chain.




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Masaringaya*

She is so beautiful. You can never get tired of looking at her. She makes the sky bow down to her. She stands tall and proud of where she is and what she represents. She is an endless, timeless symbol of what Mother Nature has given us. She does not stand there as a mere object for viewing pleasures nor as a mere background for photo ops; she stands there, confident of who and what she is. She stands there as an emblem, as an icon to her people. She makes every Albayano proud to be an “Oragon.”




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Helen of Gregory

For nine years, Helen has been roaming the premises of St. Gregory Church in Albay, making friends with and touching the hearts of the strangers she meets. Unlike the infamous Helen of Troy, this Helen doesn’t have a face that can launch a thousand ships.

What she has is a face that can launch a thousand coins.




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Ballpoint Game

“Nature is about disposition, scenery and peace of mind, in terms of our needs, nature has many resources and beautiful sceneries that are sufficient to humankind.”
—Dennis Concepcion.

Dennis Concepcion is known for having unparalleled style in creating still-life art using his ballpoint pen. His road to making art was set in stone the moment he first held a pencil and joined various poster-making competitions when he was in grade school and pursued still-life art in college.

In 2014, he became the president of Guhit Pinas-Albay with the primary goal of helping and motivating young people to show their artistic skills. They also sponsored a charity named “Tiwala Kids” for Legazpi City’s street children.




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Before Nature’s Rage, a Man Must Move

The environment is a friend, an ally, or some would say, an enemy. As nature wreaks havoc to villages, its damaging winds cause the loss of many lives. Some would take it more as an enemy but in truth, natural disasters are part of the Earth’s equilibrium.

The Bicol Region has to survive the pits of gustily winds of typhoons, floods, and threats of volcanic activities.




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Mysterious Nature of Morupandan

‘’Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.’’
— W. H. Auden

The world is full of mysteries. But as we go further into our technological age, that shroud is quickly growing thinner. Still, though, there are few mysteries left. An evidence that there are still places that are covered with strange things.

There is a pristine lagoon called Morupandan in Barangay Gatbo, Bacon District, Sorsogon City. Gatbo is considered as the eighth of East District’s 12 barangays (villages). It has a land area of 949 hectares and with population of 2,761. The village has three sitios (sites): Tagalwoy, Tagudtod, and Macawayan. Sitio Tagalwoy is where you can enjoy the fresh flowing water of the lagoon. For all the people residing in Gatbo, Morupandan is their main source of water whenever El Niño hits the Bicol Region.




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