Monday, March 8, 2010

Hibok-hibok Observatory Experience

I knew about this place but did not plan on seeing this time, since I thought it was far (located in the mountains). But I learned it is not really that distant from town center!

I casually asked Ray (my habal-habal driver) where else could I go before noon since I was scheduled to leave for the port still after lunch. He suggested this place. I asked if it wasn’t far, how many minutes and so on… Sum it all, here we were – even after passing other interesting places (previous stories) in and around Mambajao!

Good I agreed to come up here. I learned many things from the very helpful officer of the station. He is a good conversationalist and when he talked to me about many things volcano, he would expound on many words for my lowly mind to fathom. Interesting story!

Like 50 years before the deadly eruptions of 1948~1953, there was no recorded sign of violent activity. So people were not that ‘warned’ or were not that ‘scared’, especially that there was no government unit (yet) concerned with volcanoes and earthquakes. The deadliest was in 1951 where many bodies were buried. I liked his detailed descriptions of what are tremor, pyroclastic, cauliflower ash cloud, dome, nuee ardente, pelean, lava, lahar and many other such scary words and phrases!

And I liked it too that he told his volcano-related stories even as we enjoyed the views out at their nice little resting area.

Views? Well, here are examples…
Yes, tehy even have their own flagpole! And that in the distance is another volcano!

He said some locals (especially the young lovers) like frolicking out there...
then leave rubbish scattered around. Hope these animals will discourage them!

Mambajao and the sea down there...

And of course... White Island! Yes, the sandbar...
Where we came from earlier this morning. Ganda, right?!

And that is Ray on the left, an observatory staff (in blue) and Mr. Officer!
Sorry sir, I forgot your name, but you are a great educator. And thanks!

Okay, let’s get out of here and head back downhill. But not all the way down. Because? Ah eh… we ordered morning snacks, right? That's next!

To read the chronology of stories on this trip, click the following article numbers:
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45
46 47 48 49 50 51 52


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