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Sarcasm Aside

random thoughts of a self-diagnosed neurotic with the attention span of a five-year old... a blog by Alternati

Pinatubo, Pulag and Apo

Tuesday, August 29, 2006



Mount Pinatubo

A friend of mine told me there was a lake on the crater of Mount Pinatubo. I gave her my fair share of "owss..." and "stir...". Being born skeptical has its down sides.

All I remember of Pinatubo is the ashfall and the lahar. I was in grade school when it erupted and the gray snow on the grounds of Saint Louis Center was as unusual as a tourist NOT wearing one of those black bonnets with "BAGUIO" knitted at the front. I remember also going to Bulacan for Semana Santa and we passed by Tarlac. It was raining then and the tires of the family car were halfway in a gray pool. The first lahar I ever saw. I had to take some home with me in a mineral water bottle.

(Ending my Flashback)... That was all I ever associated with Pinatubo until I saw this picture.


This is Pinatubo's crater now. My friend was right, there is a crystal clear (often times) lake approximately 2.5 km in diameter. I don't know yet how to get to the crater, but I think you have to hike and camp based on the other pictures in this album from Oggie Poggie.

Before the lake became a tourist attraction, It was a hazard in 2001. Basically, it was a huge catch basin and in a decade accumulated 210 million cubic meters. An Oxfam geology research team found out that the crater walls couldn't carry that much weight especially at a weak point named, Maranot's notch.

The numbers potentially affected totals 7,600 families of some 39,000 people. The level of the water was within 5 meters from the rim before the government decided to act. Ayta (I think its spelled Aeta) tribesmen built the canal over 22 days using only hand tools – picks, shovels and wheelbarrows – because there are no roads to bring earthmoving vehicles to the summit and the unstable ground ruled out the use of explosives.

The SPAN article here. Once again, the government waits til the last minute to act. At least they did this time and prevented another catastrophe... The government usually are like cop cars on TV, they always arrive when someone did the saving already.

But I sure wanna go there and check it out. I wonder if you could swim in the lake... (I don't know how to swim so this is wishful thinking)


Mount Pulag

Another mountain I wanna visit, and hopefully this year. We are planning a trip to Sagada and Banaue by the end of the year and I'm hoping we could squeeze in Pulag in the itinerary. I have seen too many photos of my friends standing on a grassy mountain side, with windbreakers, bonnets, mufflers and that "I'm on the top of the world (Luzon)" look in their eyes.

Mount Pulag is the highest mountain in Luzon, 2,922 m above sea level (Imagine 6.5 stacked Petronas Towers , or 120 stacked SLU Otto Hahn buildings). It is the second highest peak in the Philippines. It has wet weather all year round and is said to be extremely cold. It was declared a National Park in 1987.

If for anything else... I wanna see a sunrise on Mount Pulag...


And a sunset...


Photos from Kiko.



Apo

The tallest peak in the Philippines. I have no aspirations to scale this mountain yet, probably after Pulag and after intensive training (arrgghh.. just the thought of exercise and gyms makes me wanna reach for a cigarette) Ok... ulterior motive, the real reason I mentioned Apo is to rave about the new tribute C.D. for Apo (Hiking Society, not the Mountain... err... not exactly)

I downloaded tracks on "Applewire" (doing the quotation marks action with my hands), I wanted to try it out first. Earlier this year, I wanted to buy Ultraelectromagneticjam, The tribute CD to the Eraserheads they did. It had some good tracks but most were so-so, glad I didn't waste my hard earned pesos on it. On that C.D. I liked the Spoliarium by Imago, Alcohol by Radioactive Sago Project and Maling Akala by Brownman Revival. Let's face it, no one can recreate the teenage angst Eraserheads had during the 90's. Its a tribute album, tribute being the operative word, so instead of trying to redo the song, its better to interpret it in the style of the band singing it, and the three artists I previously mentioned did just that.

I can't name any Apo song, however when I hear them, I know the lyrics... what's up with that?

This Apo tribute named "kami nAPO muna" is a good compilation. It starts with Parokya ni Edgar's Pumapatak Na Naman Ang Ulan. Chito Miranda has such a great amount of charisma (he is like a filipino Billie Joe Armstrong during the Dookie age) He can sing out orders in a tapsilogan to a waiter to the tune of Toxicity (System of a Down) and get away with it. I'm getting sidetracked...

Other tracks I really like are Ewan Ko by Imago (this band never disappoints me and Aya de Leon's voice is to die for), Awit ng Barkada by Itchyworms, Nakapagtataka by Spongecola,, Doo Bidoo by Kamikazee and Panalangin by Moonstar 88. Most of the tracks are really good, these are just my pick of the litter.

I'm gonna buy a copy of this next pay day, I allow myself one per pay day.


C.D. available in local stores and on Amazon:
Ultraelectromagneticjam: The Music of Eraserheads
kami nAPO muna: Tribute to Apo Hiking Society

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