Archive for the ‘Mayon Volcano’ Category

Imminent eruption of Alaska’s Mount Redoubt reminds us of Mayon and Pinatubo

January 30, 2009

The snow-capped Mt. Redoubt in Anchorage, Alaska is showing signs of restiveness that makes eruption probable. Residents living close to the 10,200 foot volcano are on alert as they set aside gears and provisions for the imminent volcanic eruption. Having seen showers of ash and pyroclastic debris in the past, the people there prepare masks and goggles, the first line of defense to protect their eyesight and breathing.

This isn’t unfamiliar to our kababayans in Bicol where Mt. Mayon displays periodic volcanic activity which forces the evacuation of villagers from its slope and gulleys. The PhilVolcs and government officials coordinate with the community to avoid loss of life and property during such emergency.

Farther north in Luzon Island of the Philippines is Mt. Pinatubo also blows its top with tons of lava and subterranean debris shooting up in the air. Ash deposits and later lahar destroy towns along its path.

In June 1991, the Mount Pinatubo brought hardship and misery in the neighboring provinces of Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga. The eruption forced indigenous tribesmen, the Aetas, to scamper from their mountain dwellings as volcanic debris rolled and covered lowland settlements, reaching as far as the environs of Manila. Pinatubo’s gigantic eruption destroyed crops and agriculture land, countless homes and villages making it one of the biggest eruptions in memory. (Photo Credits: Blastard; DiffusedPixel; US Geological Survey PD) =0=

Mount Mayon and Mount Pinatubo


A Rawitdawit on the 1814 Mayon Volcano Eruption

December 21, 2008

In 1962, while visiting the town of Budiao, Bishop Teotimo C. Pacis recorded an old rawitdawit (poem) on the eruption of Mayon Volcano in 1814 (Realubit 1983: 336). Bikolnon scholar, Maria Lilia F. Realubit included this rawitdawit in her book Bikols of the Philippines (1983). Here is the untranslated rawitdawit:

Kan taon 1814 pag-oran nin bato
Kaaldawan Martes dos de Febrero
Alas siete an aga oras campanario
Iyo si pagsimba kan gabos na tawo.

Aso madali na magpoon an misa
An poro kan bukid natatahoban na
Nin asong malibog makakangalas na
Ining horog-dorog makakatakot na.

Oras alas nueve an gabos na tawo
Sa lawog simbahan riribok nang gayo
An padi nagtaram dai magluwas kamo
Ta kun magpirit igua nin peligro.

Iyo nang pagpoon pag-oran nin bato
Di na nakaluwas an gabos na tawo
Duman sa simbahan huli ta sirado
Alagad an padi nagluwas secreto.

Na kan mapara an pag-oran nin bato
labing ciento ochenta nagadan na tawo
Gaba si simbahan sagkod campanario
Huling darakula naghugpa na bato

Iyo nang pagpoon nin pagdurulugan,
Si pagsadiri ninda saindang binayaan;
May nagpasan baol, estampa kung minsan
Iguang nagpapandong anit nin karabaw.
Digdi na natapos an sakong pagsaysay
Huli ta dai na akong naisipan
Alagad an iba kun may naaraman
Idagdag na sana ining kasaysayan.
(Realubit 1983: 175)

The word “mayon” is said to be from the word “magayon” which means beautiful in the Bicol language. Indeed, Mayon volcano is renowned for its almost perfect inverted cone shape. Its beauty, however, is matched by the ferocity of its eruptions. The worst recorded eruption occurred in February 1, 1814 which buried almost the entire town of Cagsawa. The poem above tells how the people tried to find safety inside the church of Cagsawa. However, as the picture above shows, the whole church was buried except for the tower. The rawitdawit above, narrating the events of the 1814 eruption, is by now almost 200 years old.

Filipina is Miss Earth 2008

November 10, 2008

The Philippines’ Miss Karla Paula Henry was crowned Miss Earth 2008 at the Clark Expo Ampitheater in Pampanga Sunday besting a field of beautiful, talented and environmentally- conscious girls from 85 countries. It was the first time that a Filipina won the Miss Earth pageant which is considered as among the top 3 pageants worldwide.

Other winners are Tanzania’s Miss Miriam Odemba 25,1st runner-up, who was crowned Miss Earth Air; Mexico’s Miss Abegail Elizalde Romo 23, 2nd runner-up who was crowned Miss Earth Water and Brazil’s Miss Tatiana Kelen Alves 24, 3rd runner-up who was Miss Earth Fire. Aside from the four, those who made it to the top eight were: Spain’s Miss Adriana Reveron Moreno, 23; Colombia’s Miss Ariane Rodriguez Merchan, 22; Venezuela’s Miss Daniela Torrealba Pacheco, 19 and Switzerland’s Miss Nasanin Nuri, 19. Rounding up the top 16 were Thailand, Poland, Nigeria, Czech Republic, Romania, USA, Russia and Korea.

The question and answer portion was the clincher for the Filipina where the final four were all asked the same question, “ If you are given the chance to speak with newly-elected US President Barack Obama about the state of our global environment, what will you tell him?” Karla Henry said that she would encourage Obama to implement an environmental subject in the curriculum of schools. She added that it is important to teach the youth knowledge about the environment so that in the coming years, they will take care of Mother Earth. “I believe our future lies in the youth”, she concluded.

Karla won US$20,000 while the three others won US$2,000 each on top of other prizes and perks. Karla also won as Miss Photogenic aside from winning the very first Fashion Design competition held at the Amazing Theatre in Pasay City on November 4, 2008. She wore an Ivan Raborar creation.

Miss Venezuela’s Daniela Torrealba wearing a luscious and elegantly-designed dress which complemented her classy personality won the Best in Long Gown Award during the long gown competition held at PAGCOR, Grand Theatre in Paranaque last November 3, 2008. Miss Talent was won by Australia’s Rachael Smith during the Talent Competition held last November 2, 2008 at Tamayo’s Villa Immaculada in Manila.

The preliminary swimsuit competition was held last October 25, 2008 in three locations: Sabang Beach Resort, Puerto Princessa, Palawan; Golden Sunset, Calatagan, Batangas and Manila, Philippines. The candidates were divided into three groups and the top 15 in each group then competed in the final swimsuit competition held at the Fontana Leisure Park in the Clark Freeport Zone, Angeles City, Pampanga last November 1, 2008. The Best in Swimsuit and Miss Fontana awards were garnered by Miss Mexico Abigail Elizalde and Miss Philippines Karla Paula Henry respectively. The National Costume competition was held at the PAGCOR Grand Theatre in Paranaque City last October 28, 2008. The Best in National Costume was won by Miss Panama Shassia Ubillus who was unanimously chosen by the members of the press.

The Miss Earth candidates have been touring the country’s different tourist destinations like the Philippines’ bets in the New 7 Wonders of the World- The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, Mayon Volcano, Chocolate Hills and other sites planting trees, picking-up garbage and promoting the message to protect our Mother Earth. Several of them including Miss Earth Japan, Hungary, Netherlands, Guam, Israel, Liberia, Brazil and Mexico were here in Legazpi City last October 22-24 planting trees, promoting Mayon Volcano and joining the Parada de Legazpi last October 23. Among Legazpi’s visitors were Mexico’s Miss Earth Water Abegail Elizalde who was also the Best in Swimsuit and Brazil’s Miss Earth Fire Tatiana Alves.

Photo credits: XINHUA/ Reuters

1st Mayon Trail Run a Success

October 23, 2008

More than 150 runners answered the starting gun in the 1st Mayon Trail Run- a 5 kilometer fun run and an 18 kilometer foot race which had the runners negotiating man-made and natural obstacles including climbing a hill, fording a river and navigating sandy trails laden with volcanic debris.

The one of a kind race held last October 19, 2008 was organized by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Legazpi and North Face and is part of an ongoing awareness campaign against gobal warming. The runners who came from all over the archipelago from as far as Cotabato, Davao, Cebu, Laguna, Metro Manila and from the Bicol region competed for the honor of being the first Mayon Trail Run King aside from winning P30,000 for the Champion, P20,000 for second and P15,000 for third on top of North Face products as additional incentives. The highest placed woman runner earns an additional P5,000.

Eighty eight runners- 78 male and 10 female with a good number of them holders of national and international titles took part in the 18 km foot race and they admitted it was one of the most grueling and unusual race they had participated in. The race started from the Penaranda Park infront of the Albay Capitol Building then to the top of Lignon Hill, crossing the Yawa river towards the lava front via the Bonga gulley and made a u-turn back to the top of Lignon Hill.

In the end, Elmer Sabal of Cotabato City was crowned as the 1st Mayon Trail Run King with a time of 1:09:30 followed by SEA Games gold medalist Allan Ballester who came in second at 1:10:08. Elmer’s brother- Cresenciano Sabal salvaged third place with a time of 1:10:35.

In the distaff side, Leszl Lumindas Gitarueles came in first (1:32:26); Merlita Arias was second (1:45:07) and Ellen Tolentino was third (1:49:08). In an interview, Gitarueles, 34, said she is a fitness instructor from Cebu and said she participated in the Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia) International Climatron and was fourth. She also placed fifth in the Hongkong Chartered Marathon. Merlita Arias, 34 also from Cebu said she’s a PE Teacher and is the first Filipina to represent the country in Sky Running where she finished 6th in the Multi-International Runner. She admitted she is no stranger to Albay having participated and won first in the 21 kilometer race during the 2005 Magayon Festival.

MTR Project Chairman and JCI Legazpi Vice-President Yves Eli Yu said that the Mayon Trail Run will now be a yearly event and took the opportunity to thank the City Government of Legazpi who is in-charge of the Legazpi Port Fiesta and the Ibalong Festival; the Provincial Government of Albay, CIRCA, Smart, Pacific Mall and councilor Cerilo “Celoy” Chan for their support and cooperation in making the inaugural Mayon Trail Run a resounding success.

He added that the Mayon Trail Run was conceptualized to promote awareness of Climate Change. The runners experienced first-hand the effects of global warming which had greatly affected Albay province with the two successive super typhoons that hit Albay and the Bicol region in 2006. He added that he was jubilant that the MTR took place a day after 10 lawmakers from Asia, Africa, Europe and South America signed the “Manila Declaration on Climate Change” which calls on rich nations to create a global fund to help lessen disaster risks brought about by rising sea temperatures. The 5 page document called “The Manila Call for Action of Parliamentarians on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation” was signed at the close of a two day meeting in Makati City.

Yves Yu concluded that events like the Mayon Trail Run (MTR) will be a big step toward Global Warming awareness. Provincial Tourism Officer Joe Briones, on the other hand said that the Mayon Trail Run could draw a new breed of tourists looking for ecotourism and adventure sports.

Mayon Trail Run

October 11, 2008

In celebration of the 1st anniversary of the National Conference on Climate Change Adaptation, the Runners in Action on Climate Change will hold the first ever Mayon Trail Run on October 19, 2008, 6 am at the Penaranda Park in Legazpi City. The participants will charge the Lignon Hill, cross the Yawa river, climb the Volcanic slope, reach the Lava Front head back to Lignon Hill and be crowned “The King of the Mayon Trail Run”. Are you up to the task?

The Mayon Trail Rn is 18 kms but casual trail enthusiast and beginners are most welcome as the route can be walked in about 3-3.5 hours.

Be a part of the First Ever – MAYON TRAIL RUN

Charge the LIGÑON HILL
Cross the YAWA RIVER
Reach the LAVA FRONT!

October 19, 2008
Peñaranda Park, Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines

18K TRAIL RUN PRIZES (Open Category Only)
-Starts at Peñaranda Park – Ligñon Hill – Lava Front – Back to Ligñon Hill to Finish

Cash Prizes
KING OF MTR – Php 30,000.00
2nd Place – Php 15,000.00
3rd Place – Php 10,000.00
additional special prize of Php 5,000.00 to first female finisher.

North Face Product Prizes (Open Category Male and Female)
1st Prize – Php 8,000 worth of North Face Products
2nd Prize – Php 5,000 worth of North Face Products
3rd Prize – Php 3,000 worth of North Face Products

Note: Prizes are for TRAIL RUN Category Only.

Start Peñaranda Park – End Ligñon Hill

After more than 900 earthquakes, Legazpi City sets to inspect buildings

September 7, 2008

Cone-shaped Mayon Volcano which spews intermittent plumes on its crater and shows definite signs of restiveness is the object of close watch by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PhilVolcs). It was reported that 900 earthquakes of varying intensity rocked the city since August 15, 2008. GMANewsTV (09/07/08)

As a result, Legazpi’s city council voted on a resolution to have buildings inspected for damages. Citizens of the picturesque locale which nestles on the foot of the volcano prepare to assess the structural worthiness of malls, schools, churches and other infrastructures which might have sustained damage. (Photo Credits: Engr. Denz Rodriquez/dxpsycho)=0=

Mayon Volcano grumbles as Penafrancia Fiesta draws near

September 2, 2008

While the Penafrancia fiesta boils and gains steam in Naga City for its September 2008 celebration, majestic Mayon Volcano in Albay on whose feet Legazpi City rests, shows signs of restiveness and possible eruption. White steam clouds billow on its summit.

For the last few weeks, an advisory to keep distance—at least 6 kilometers away from the crater is in place by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PhiVolcs) as series of minor tremors of tectonic origin are felt in the area. Even Taal volcano in Batangas also shows similar activity; light earthquakes are felt in the last 24 hours. Inquirer (09/02/08, Aguilar E.).

Earthquake in Legazpi City & Mayon Volcano’s possible eruption

August 15, 2008

A moderately strong earthquake which registered 6 in the Richter scale occurred in Legazpi City and Virac, Catanduanes on August 15, 2008. The quake whose epicenter is 42 kilometers northeast of Sorsogon, Bicol, was Intensity 5 in Sorsogon City and Irosin, Sorsogon; Intensity 3 in Naga City, Camarines Sur; Bulan, Sorsogon; Roxas City; Masbate City; Catarman, Samar; and Intensity 2 in Palo, Leyte; Borongan, Eastern Samar; and Silay, Negros Occidental. No casualties or damages were reported. Philstar (08/15/08, Flores,H.)

Meanwhile restive Mayon Volcano in Albay, Philippines is showing signs of possible eruption; a pyroclastic flow can occur anytime. Ed Laguerta, Philvocs resident volcanologist said there is a build up of magma in the volcano. Part of the Pacific region’s “ring of fire,” Mayon has erupted more than 50 times since 1616, the last was in June to August 2006. Four months after the last eruption, about 1,000 people died when Tyhpoons Milenyo and Reming dislodged tons of volcanic debris that swept villages near the volcano.

In preparation for an emergency, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda instructed disaster officials not to allow people within 6 kilometer radius from the crater which spewed a 200-meter ash and showed intensified summit glow in the past weeks. Bicol Mail (08/15/08, Arguelles M; Barcia R.) =0=