Miss Earth 2013 candidates visit Bulusan

This video highlights the beauty of Bulusan Lake and other tourist destinations of Sorsogon Province. Although not covered intensively by the mainstream media this visit was a big event in town. I was not able to catch the much celebrated visit for my own photo file though. Thankfully, this video showcased the entire event from the airport in Legazpi City, Albay (Mayon Volcano as a welcoming sight) to the selected spots in beautiful snippets.

I am particularly biased to the Bulusan scenes featuring the local kids from the village of San Roque playing the banduria music. I can just imagine a beautiful performance of folk music with Bulusan Lake as a stunning backdrop!

Featured in this video are the following Sorsogon tourist spots to visit: Siama Hotel in Sorsogon City, Barcelona Church in Barcelona town, Bulusan Lake and Bulusan Volcano Natural Park, Prieto Diaz Mangrove site and Irosin’s Valley view.

Video from vimeo by CSPhotography of Legazpi City


Visiting a tree after Yolanda

My flora visits after Yolanda


Tree growing near the cliff along Porog road in Bulusan. (Photo taken a day after the super storm Yolanda struck the nearby provinces of Leyte and Samar).

The first thing I did a day after that super storm that hit the neighboring provinces of Samar and Leyte was to check the tree, which I mentally noted some  months ago, for a photo shoot. As always these photo trips were always relegated for some mundane household tasks at hand. But after the super storm (Yolanda) I felt an urgency to visit the site and I did not postpone the trip this time. I immediately hired a tricycle and we proceeded to the marked spot of the tree with sitaw (string beans)-like fruits growing  in the village of Porog. I was a little apprehensive though during the 30 minute ride to the village on whether the tree still has its intact leaves or fruits to help the identification.

Luckily, the tree still stands magnificently near the roadside cliff with its leaves and fruits still attractive for a photo shoot that day. Typhoon Yolanda spared us this time, I mumbled to myself.

The sitaw-like fruits were still hanging from the branches like dried up elongated brown strips of brown cardboard swaying stiffly with the wind. Only the pericarp remained with no seeds in sight. I could only wonder where the seeds went.

A lesson learned again in plant photography – not to postpone shoots whenever there is a blooming or fruiting tree around. Well, I guess I have to wait for another fruiting season… this hoping no Yolanda-like monster will come around.

Photos: Alma P. Gamil
Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines, 2013

Joey Ayala and Lupang Hinirang

Try listening to the ballad-like tempo of Joey Ayala’s rendering of Lupang Hinirang  (National Anthem of the Philippines) while images of the super typhoon aftermath run in your head. Moist eyes. Who will not be?

May God multiply the strength of the survivors especially the families tried by the category 6 tropical cyclone.

Take note that Bulusan was in the peripheral track of Yolanda (Haiyan) when it struck the provinces of Leyte and Samar. The province of Sorsogon is 224 kilometers from Tacloban City. Geographically separated only by San Bernardino Strait from the Samar islands.

Our province was fortunate to be spared this time. Fear however will forever be etched in our minds with the proximity of the radius of the swirling ferocious mass that was Yolanda. It was a close call for those living near the coasts of Bulusan and neighboring towns. The changing climate however gave us no choice but to prepare for the more than twenty (20) typhoons that visit the Philippines annually. Yolanda was the 24th this year. The strongest so far.

The speech of the Philippines’ representative to the United Nation’s talk on climate change makes sense in the light of this recent disaster. I hope those powerful nations heed his call: http://www.rtcc.org/2013/11/11/its-time-to-stop-this-madness-philippines-plea-at-un-climate-talks/

As to Joey Ayala’s rendition of the National Anthem? “You’ll never sing the National Anthem the same way again.”  I am singing it now. His way.

Video from YouTube

Bulusan Volcano in a school mural


Bulusan Volcano on a clear day as viewed along the road in Barangay Dancalan in Bulusan.

Bulusan Volcano in a school mural

Bulusan Volcano mural as backdrop for the lyrics of the National Anthem in Bulusan Elementary School.


I never thought that Bulusan Volcano is this pointed and a pair to boot.  The volcano is depicted  in this mural  like a pair of maiden’s breast. The actual Bulusan Volcano however is not that pointed. The left mountain is shaped like a dome  (photo) and the second one has the characteristic sharp peak when viewed from the center of the town of Bulusan. In the above photo of the mural, the artist’s interpretation of Bulusan Volcano obviously differs from its real shape.

Bulusan Volcano is a composite mountain,  a dome complex with several volcanic edifices as listed here from a Phivolcs information page http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/html/update_VMEPD/Volcano/VolcanoList/bulusan.htm.

Photos: Alma P. Gamil