PUJ route dry run draws ire from drivers, commuters

LEGAZPI CITY—The local government of Albay, through the Legazpi City police, implemented a traffic rerouting dry-run for public utility jeepneys with routes from Daraga to Legazpi City and vice versa last Sep. 4, drawing ire from both commuters and drivers.

Nilo S. Berdin, Legazpi City chief of police, said that the rerouting is for the fair and equal distribution of vehicles in the area and the province’s effort to lessen the traffic going to and from Legazpi City.




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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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​#MayonWatch2018: Everything You Need To Know About Mayon’s Eruption

First, where is Mayon?
Mt. Mayon, the Philippines’ most active volcano, is in the province of Albay. The cities and towns that have jurisdiction over it are Legazpi City, Tabaco City, Ligao City, Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga, Malilipot, and Sto. Domingo. It is about three hours away from Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogon (also active), and Mt. Asog (also active) and Mt. Isarog (potentially active) in Camarines Sur.

What is happening?
Alert Level 4 has been raised over the volcano by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs). The highest alert level is 5. Alert Level 4 means there’s an imminent big eruption and minor eruptions may occur from time to time. That’s why we see a lot of ash columns emitted from the crater.




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‘Road constructions put Mayon’s World Heritage Site application at risk’

LEGAZPI CITY—Mayon Volcano Natural Park’s (MVNP) application for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) World Heritage Site is at risk if the road network constructions within the designated protected areas site and the 6-kilometer radius permanent danger zone are given green light to continue.

This is the fear of the technical working group for MVNP nomination to be among the “elite group of destinations” in the world.





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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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Chek Paints: Raising Funds for Buboy’s Treatment

NOTE: This feature story was written last August 5 during the celebration of Ibalong Festival 2017 in Legazpi City.

When she was three years old, Yonnah Francheska “Chek” Toledo received a scolding from her mom Louraffy for drawing random scribbles over a white pillow with poster paint. But that did not stop Chek from moving on to coloring and painting dresses over bond papers, coloring books, and then on canvases to perfect her art.

Now at seven, Chek is putting her talent to use by helping raise fund for the medication of her brother, three-year-old Rafaelo Franco “Buboy,” who was diagnosed with profound hearing loss in both ears early February.




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