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Google Earth – Baler 2014

Last year we posted some Google Earth images of Aurora province and noted that some areas like Northern Aurora already have high quality images but Baler is still stuck with crappy satellite images. Earlier this year Google Earth updated with high quality images of Baler and some places in Central Aurora. The latest timestamp is July 2014 so they’re pretty much up to date. Here are some images of Baler taken from space. You can check out Google Earth if you want to see a view of your roof.

Google Earth Images of Aurora Province

I’ve been monitoring Google Earth for sometime waiting for high resolution photos of Baler and other towns in Aurora. Last year they updated the low-res images of Baler to slightly better but still low def satellite photos taken in 2010. This month, the images of Baler and some parts of San Luis and Dipaculao were again updated with the same crappy and now black and white photos. But, while Google Earth provides no joy for Aurora’s capital town, some places, especially up north are getting nice snapshots. Here are some screencaps I made for your viewing pleasures. Click on the images to biggify and see if you can spot your roof in the pictures.

Poblacion, Baler, Aurora
Poblacion, Baler, Aurora

Low-res 2010 picture of Baler, Aurora. Some big structures could be identified. From this picture, you can tell that Baler’s town plan is a mess.

01b_baler

A slightly better but black and white picture of Baler.

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Pukut Season

Pamumukut is the local term for baby purse-seining, where a purse-like net called “pukut” is layed out offshore and pulled on both ends like a drawstring from the shore by persons called “mamumukot“. Pulling the net is a choreographed movement, similar to doing the cha-cha. Back in the days, anyone who wanted to get free fish can help in pulling the “pukut” and he will be given a share of the catch. However, this type of fishing was outlawed years ago because of its negative effects on fish stocks. In Baler, there are months when it’s allowed in certain areas and this month, September, is pukut season.

It’s been years since I last saw a live pukut event. Luckily I managed to witness one on Labasin Beach last Sunday, September 14. Check out the pictures:

After about two hours of pulling the net, the day’s catch is about five kilos of small fishes and another five kilos of trash. That’s how it goes, says one of the mamumukot, sometimes you catch many fishes, sometimes you catch nothing.

DEPED Division Integrated Competition 2013

DEPED Division Integrated Competition

Last Friday the 13th I was invited to judge in one of the contests of the DEPED Division Integrated Competition in Math, Science, MAPEH, TLE and PPE. Don’t ask me about those initials, I don’t know what they stand for. So as a value added service, they get free coverage. And this one really needs coverage. Being an event with a captured audience, the DEPED people doesn’t really need to promote it. But judging from what I saw, this could be turned into a festival of sorts. More people should know about this. It’s more fun!

The Division Integrated Competition is a one day event where students in elementary and high school from Aurora Province compete in contests ranging from the usual quiz bee and singing and dancing to other unexpected ones like nail art, tarpaulin making and movie trailer production. This year, all the contest were held simultaneously in three different venues in Baler and the audiences were mostly the participants themselves, their parents, and the teachers. Check out some pictures:

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Dicaloyungan River – A Second Look

Back in the 70s and 80s, Dicaloyungan River was one of the best picnic places in Baler. It’s near the town and there was a big natural swimming pool just by the road. Here’s two pictures of the old place taken from the 1978 MLQ Centenial Yearbook:

Dikaloyungan 1970s

Dikaloyunga 1970s

The original caption from the yearbook reads:

In the midst of the Sierra Madre Mountains surrounded by wide coconut plantations and lusty vegetation is the popular Dicaloyungan Week-end Resort – famous for picnics, outings, dancing and other recreational activities. Constructed and being maintained by the Aurora Engineering District, DPH.

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Top 10 Most Liked Photos on Batangbaler Facebook Page

Hey, i’m not an internet celebrity so every time a picture I posted on FB gets 10 likes I get excited. When it reaches 100 likes I declare a viral hit. So here are the Top 10 most Liked pictures on the Batangbaler Facebook Page – so far.

No. 10. Baler bay looking west from Digisit. 320 Likes.

No. 9. The street dancers from Bayanihan National High School during the Aurora Day 2013 street dancing competition. 323 Likes.

323

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Kuli-Kuli Adventures

Trek to Kuli-kuli.
Trek to Kuli-kuli.

A couple of weeks ago I got a tip from fellow photographer Jaymar about this other waterfalls in L. Pimentel, so we planned to go there and take pictures. I also decided to have a brief detour to Banju Springs in Brgy. Real, a tourist destination with very few online presence. So I posted an announcement in the Aurora Camera Club FB page about the trip and some group members responded. The date was set to Sunday, September 1. The meeting place was at the Quezon Park and I went there early to chek what’s new at the Museo de Baler – nothing. I saw Von and Mato waiting for me when I got out of the museum. There’s also Eddieboi but he’s just there for a quick meet and greet because he can’t come. We took off in our motorcycles a little after 10 am, had a brief stop at Caltex for provisions and fuel then off we went to San Luis. At Disalet Bridge, Rey and Jaymar and his friend were waiting for us. A few more chit-chats then off we go.

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