December 19, 2009 ALP Astro Camping Report
by James Kevin Ty
Images by James Kevin Ty  ,  Jett Aguilar , Armando Lee , Erika Valdueza

Last December 19, 2009, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) went to Caliraya , Laguna to have an Astro Camping Session.  Among the members who participated were ALP President James Kevin Ty, wife Charito and son Kendrick Cole Ty, VP Jett Aguilar, Armando Lee, wife Mia and son Jason Lee, Christopher "Benci" Lee and Sandra Torita, Erika Valdueza and Mark Anthony Rivera , Kevin Dagunan and Mary Grace Guide , Crispin  "Mopper" Riosa and Ma. Theresa Masuay.

ALPers Christopher Lee lead the first group on his van going to Caliraya at around 12:00pm with Armando Lee and his family proceeding half an hour later as they have to get his Kayak at Calamba en route to the site.  James and family as well as Jett proceeded half an hour later.  James brought his TV-101 refractor on Vixen GP-D mount ; Jett brought his Takahashi TSA-102 refractor on EM-200 Tenma II mount ; Armando with his William Optics Zenithstar 80ED refractor on Atlas mount while Erika brought her small and cute AstroScan reflector.

The first batch arrived at the site at around 4:00pm and started to set up their tents.  While waiting for the other ALPers to arrive, they were able to see a double rainbow!  It has a primary and secondary rainbow and ALPer Erika was able to image it beautifully! While waiting for the entire group to arrive, ALPer Christopher Lee (our official cook of the event) started to barbecue as well as cook rice.

Double Rainbow !!!

Chow Time!!!

At around 6:30pm, the sky was partly cloudy and with some mild drizzle so most of the ALPers decided to relax and had a hearty dinner while waiting for the sky to improve.  At around 9:30pm, sky started to clear and they were able to glimpse Taurus as well as Orion coming out of the clouds so James and Jett started to setup their telescopes in preparation for some astro-imaging later.

But unfortunately, the weather that evening was for the visually oriented observers only as the clouds and drizzle alternately forbids any imaging to be done :(  Nevertheless, visual astronomy was not that much compromised as some members used binoculars to look at double cluster as well as Andromeda Galaxy.  Orion Nebula as well as Pleiades were also observed that evening.

Unfortunately, mild rain started to ruin the observation session so some of the members opted to take some nap and sleep while James and Jett opted to stay awake and chat on astro stuffs while waiting for the sky to clear.  But after an hour, Jett got tired and decided to sleep on his car as he didn't setup his tent.

At around 3:00am, the sky partly cleared up and James was able to align his scope for imaging but since the clouds come and go, he decided to forgo imaging and did some visual view of Orion Nebula as well as Pleiades star cluster.  Erika also use that opportunity to try dong some constellation shots and was happy to image Ursa Major as well as Auriga.

Ursa Major


At around 4:00am, clouds started to cover the sky again and most of the members decided to call it a day and get some sleep.  At around 7:00am, some of the members were awake and Benci started to cook again for the  group.  Delicious smoke Ham and egg as well as hot coffee and chocolate fill their stomach :)

Benci cooking breakfast for the group with Kevin helping out.

Armand, Jett and James talking astro stuffs while having breakfast.

At 8:45am,. the Sun peek out of the clouds and James pointed his solar filtered refractor toward the Sun and was able to see three sunspot groups namely AR 11035, 11036 and 11037.  James, Armand and Jett got to take a look at The Sun before James started to image the Sun.  Unfortunately, the seeing was bad and he was only able to image the Sun at whole disk.  While James was imaging the Sun, some of the members use the Kayak brought along by Armand Lee to row around the lake while Armand, Mia, Chat , KC and Jason went to do some fishing.

Jett looks at the 3 sunspot groups visible that morning.

James  preparing to image the Sun.

The Sun

Armand brought along a kayak for members to enjoy boating.

Astro kids KC and Jason taking time off to try fishing.

Who is the cutest of them all?  Of course the Astro Scan ! :) LOL

At around 11:00am, they started to pack up their tents and things and take a group pic before heading home.  Armand  and his family as well as Jett , James and his family opted to stop over at Bay and had lunch at Palaisdaan sa Bay and had a delicious lunch!  While waiting for the food to be served, Armand try fishing at the pond and was able to get a catfish.  He was supposed to catch 2 catfish but the last one was huge and the fishing line snap and it got away :(

Armand got to caught a catfish while awaiting for the food to be served during lunch.

Delicious Lunch at Palaisdaan sa Bay !!!

After finishing their lunch, they went home satisfied and planned to do another astrocamping maybe in the month of March.

ALPers posed for posterity after the conclusion of the Astro Camping !

Wacky Shot !!!


For more activity images, click here.



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