The Philippines: Pampanga

Here are some pictures from Pampanga, which is my wife and her parents home province; it is just north of the Manila area. This is from our trip to the Philippines in January 2005. Click on a picture to receive a larger, higher quality version. Enjoy -- Jim

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Pampanga is in a constant battle against lahar, especially since 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Lahar is a mud-like mixture of volcanic ash and rock.
Outside of San Fernando, a river with lots of lahar.
There are many roadside stands with the famous local Kapampangan crafts. Claire's mom is from Barangay Cabalantian in Bacolor, where the following pictures are from.
Cabalantian was devestated by lahar in 1995 when Typhoon Sybil hit the lahar deposits from the 1995 Mt. Pinatubo eruption. Asia Week has a good article on this. This sign explains what happened to San Guillermo Parish Church on September 3, 1995.
However, these pictures show you, if you use a little imagination. This church used to be twice as tall (above ground) as it is now. It was covered with around 6 meters of lahar.
Rather than try to dig out the lahar (which is rather like concrete when dry), they used the lahar level as the new ground elevation for the church.
This used to be an elevated window. Now they have to dig down to have it give much light at all.
A wedding party.
Somewhere in this area is where Claire's mom's family's house used to be. It is now totally covered in lahar.

Claire's dad is from Barangay Santa Cruz of Lubao (not too far from Bacalor but her parents didn't meet until they were both in Manila).
We were there one day for the dedication of a newly refurbished chapel.
What is now a basketball court.

The residence of some of Claire's dad's family.
They raise some chickens there.
Claire and I took a trip a mile or so further down the road to the family rice farm.
While there we met and had our picture taken with the farm's beast of burden, a Caribou (Philippine buffalo).

Some of the town of Santa Cruz.
A church (Catholic of course, the Filipinos are at least 90% Catholic).

Some pictures from a family residence in Barangay Santa Christopher of Lubao.
The raise some hogs there (as I could tell the moment I opened the car door).
A jackfruit tree.
A creek runs near the house.
Let a sleeping dog lie.

Next page: Bataan: march marker, Subic Bay, JEST camp demonstration and zoo, or back to Tagaytay, including Mt. Taal and Sonya's Garden

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31 December 2005
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