Renewable energy? We’re big fans!

 

 

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Please don’t kill me for the title. I couldn’t resist. 😀

Did a quick trip to the Alterenergy Wind Farm in Pililla, Rizal this weekend, with stopovers in Tanay along the way. Laguna Lake was visible for most of the drive up the Marikina-Infanta Highway, and the scenery reminded me very much of Tagaytay before it became completely commercialized and kitschy.

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There were plenty of roadside stalls selling fresh produce at farm gate prices, and several intriguing eco- and georeserves along the way. The area is also known for its waterfalls and rivers, and is a popular mountain- and motorbiking destination.

 

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My companions and I reached the wind farm after a mostly bumpy ride from the town of Sampaloc. The first two kilometers of the road we were on were paved, but after that it was more potholes and rough trail than road, so I didn’t really expect the crowds that greeted us when we arrived at the farm’s view deck.

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We found out after we got there that there was an easier route via Pililla, and that most of the visitors arrived from there.

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The place is becoming known as a tourist spot, as evidenced by the small phalanx of vendors selling everything from tatty miniature wind turbine pencil holders to fried chicken skin and fishballs.

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I seriously hope that Alterenergy and the LGU can cooperate to make sure that the farm doesn’t become another environmental disaster area.

 

 

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From The Digital Baul Part 3: Would You Like To Ride In My Beautiful Balloon?

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Okay, I just completely carbon dated myself with that title. Haha. 😀

More from the digital baul/digital spring cleaning series. I found this series of photos that I shot back in 2010 at the Clark Hot Air Balloon Festival. J. called me at 1am and asked me if I’d be interested in joining her and her friend on a road trip to see the hot air balloons in Pampanga, but the catch was that I had to be at the meeting place in two hours.

Erm, okay.

But I figured, hey, why the heck not, since I hadn’t been on a road trip in ages. I took a quick shower, packed my bags, and ran out the door. I made it to the venue in record time, and after fortifying ourselves with fast-food coffee, we were off.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Clark in Pampanga used to be a US military base before Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991, reducing most of the area to fields of lahar as far as the eye could see. These days, Clark is slowly being transformed into a tourist attraction, with its own international airport, duty free shopping, wide vistas, and the mountain looming over everything and everyone. The mountain feels like a living being, a heavy and forbidding presence even when you’re standing in the middle of a flat open field. Maybe I’m just not a mountain person; I much prefer the feel of the open sea.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

That said, Clark was the perfect venue to hold the festival, as the flat land made it easier to accommodate all those balloons.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga. Yes, that *is* a beer bottle balloon. 😀

The main event started at around 5am, with hordes of people jostling each other for space at the safety cordon so they could take photos of the launch. Luckily, we made good time and got there in time to find a decent spot to hang out.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

This flying barn was one of my favorite balloons that day. I like how it looks like it’s surrounded by its babies in this shot.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

And yes, it came complete with animals and a farmer, too. 🙂

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

The obligatory solo-balloon-silhouetted-against-the-dawn-sky shot. 😀

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010. Clarkfield, Pampanga.

And lastly, my favorite balloon of the day. I must have taken more than a dozen shots of this one, trying to get a steady shot without a tripod. I think I ended up half lying on the hood of JR’s car to stabilize myself for this shot. The very hot and very dusty hood of JR’s car, I should say. Good times. 🙂

All of these photos were taken using my old Lumix TZ3, which was already ancient by the time my dad gave it to me as a hand me down. Most of these are also straight out of camera, except for one image which I cropped just a tiny bit. The details are a bit soft, but for an older model, it’s not bad.