One of the volunteers waterproofing the camp.

Early this morning our sleep was cut short by what started out as a drizzle of rain that suddenly became a shower that caught us all by surprise.

Our day started with putting things under the makeshift shed that was hastily created to waterproof our sleep area as well as our electronic equipment. Everyone scrambled to put up some tarps and waterproof our gear and equipment. In the middle of the rain some of us tried putting up a rain gauge to measure the precipitation levels. By the time the rain stopped most of us instead of going back to sleep, decided to watch the breathtaking scene before us, a beautiful mist hanging over the trees and the river. Gigie, one of the activists with us, compared to a scene in “Gorillas in the Mist”.

The rain lasted for about 3 hours, after that our camp cook, afterwards Totoy, made coffee and boiled bananas for breakfast at 6 AM. Then at 7AM, we went on with camp duties, tidying up, fetching water from the river, and making sure that our camp was spic and span when our day’s guests arrived. The boat team went down to drain our inflatable –Ash and Cloud of rainwater. A few minutes later the boats were called in to pick up the rest of our team from the staging area near the dam.

It didn’t take long for the boats to return with the rest of our team which includes University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Sciences, geologist Carlos Primo (or CP for short) David, who gave us a briefing of the simple field tools that we can use to check on some ecological parameters.

CP David of U.P. National Institute for Geological Sciences looks after a volunteer of Greenpeace organization during the installation of a rain gauge in Angat dam.

After the briefing we went on to put rain gauges at 3 different sites, markers to measure water level and field thermometers to check on temperatures. The data were recorded in a log book.  We also had the chance to document a river bed which was close to drying up. We also went on to look for places where we can find a stable 3G signal so that I can transmit data, updates and blogs from the camp but to no avail. On the way back to camp one of our boats Cloud was having trouble starting up which somehow slowed down our travel time back to camp.

It was a long day for all of us with lunch happening at almost 3 PM. But as always, back in the camp, we were rewarded with good food and lots of stories and fun bantering.

After lunch we were informed that we will be visited by personnel from the National Power Corporation, who will check how the camp and the people there were doing. I along with our media folks went back to the Angat Watershed Area Team office to transmit images, update the website and send emails back to the office.

It was a long day for all of us.

Chuck Baclagon