Norman Marigza


Global Astronomy Month 2018 – Philippines

Report from the AWB National Coordinator for the Philippines

The Global Astronomy Month celebrations in the Philippines was participated by various astronomy organizations with the shared passion to bring astronomy closer to all without borders. Although only 3 events were registered by AWB members Sobina and Norman, various outreach astronomy events and online campaigns took place throughout the month.


On the 1st day several Free Telescope Viewing (FTV) events were setup at various locations. The Bedan Society of Young Astronomers (BSYA) conducted an FTV event at Robinsons Place Las Piñas on March 31 and April 1. Manila Street Astronomers (MSA) held an FTV event called Shoot for the Moon at Lamp Quarters Food Park, and also at McDonald's Antlers in Dasmariñas City, Cavite. Also, MSA founder Gary Andreassen conducted his first FTV at Fort McMurray, Canada after migrating there to continue his passion of sharing astronomy to the public. The Philippine Astronomical Society (PAS) went around the side-streets of Araneta Center, Cubao with a Celestron C90 for their PASilip (PAS + “Silip” meaning to peek). Meanwhile MSA volunteer and UP Astronomical Society member Miguel Bacaoco held an FTV at the New Government Center, Bacolod City


On the 2nd day MSACo-Founder Louie Lu conducted an FTV at the parking lot of a Jollibee fast food in Mandaluyong City. The BSYA conducted an FTV at Rizal Park, Luneta. Present also were Abdur Alindao of MSA and Khristian Dimacali of PAS who also followed up with a setup at Liwasang Bonifacio.

On April 4 the Judenite's Astronomical Organization (JAO) held a 3-part Practical Astronomy Workshop for its members led by Maria Sobina Yu, the organization's founder and president.


As the Moon, the highlight of this year's GAM was becoming less visible in the early night sky during its waning phase online campaigns became essential. MSA posted an album set of infographics about the Moon on Facebook entitled Fly Me to The Moon. The Astronomy PH e-zine featured works from various astro-artists on Facebook following the Sining ng Langit GAM feature it had last year. Consequently, PAS conducted a similar compilation from FB followers via their FB page.


Abdur Alindao, who last year conducted an almost daily MSA-FTV for GAM, continued with a series of setups in his area at Cavite. On April 11 MSA had an FTV of Venus at the Islamic Studies, Call and Guidance School (ISCAG School) in Dasmariñas, Cavite. A solar FTV was also held in ISCAG on the 15th which was followed by an FTV setup at McDonald's Calamba road, Tagaytay. Abdur continued his FTV setups at the ISCAG compound on April 16 and 17. On the 18th he headed out to Salitran Children's Park for an FTV.


On April 13 members of the UP Astronomical Society setup an FTV at the Quezon City Memorial Circle. And on April 14 the Indiana Aerospace University Astronomical Society (IAUAS) and the University of  San Carlos Physics and Astronomy Society held a stargazing event called Look Up in celebration of the 99th Anniversary of the Cebu City Public Library.


On April 20 a BSYA-MSA FTV setup was held at SM Southmall Las Piñas, marking a return to MSA's first mall venue. Abdur of MSA and Khristian of PAS conducted an FTV at Liwasang Bonifacio. Astronomy student Margie Laurence Palacios conducted an MSA FTV using a Celestron PowerSeeker 70 AZ lent by fellow astronomy student and MSA volunteer Aleandra Rivera at Novaliches, Quezon City. An MSA FTV was also held at Quezon, Bulan, Sorsogon by Phoebe Pura during the community's barangay fiesta.

On April 21MSA and the Philippine Union of Student Organizations for Astronomy (PUSO for Astro; “puso” translates to heart) conducted a Messier marathon and Star Party at the National Arts Center in Mount Makiling, Los Baños, Laguna as part of the Global Star Party and the International Dark-Sky Week. Solar glasses were also distributed for the SunDay celebration the following morning.


On April 22 the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) held a SunDay event at the Mall of Asia. The IAU-AstroSoc in partnership with USC Physics and Astronomy Society held a Lyrid Meteor Shower viewing at the IAU arena. The MSA setup at Twin Lakes Tagaytay with Astronomy and Physics Society of Saint Edward Integrated School (APSSEIS) adviser and MSA volunteer Maine Rose Garcia. Simultaneously, the MSA were also at SM Cherry Antipolo for Earth Day 2018. A workshop for kids on how to turn their plastic bottles into basic telescopes was conducted in coordination with the Earth Day theme. Christopher Lu also conducted a lecture on exoplanets. After the SM Cherry setup, Christopher held an FTV at Caltex, Kalentong, Mandaluyong City.


On April 23 and 24 there was an MSA FTV at McDonald's Antlers. A PASilip was conducted by the PAS at Valenzuela People's Park however cloudy skies cut the setup short.


On April 25 MSA conducted a lecture and FTV called Under the Stars at De La Salle University – Dasmariñas as organized by the Lasallian Educators Society. This is the 2nd MSA-LES collaboration.

On April 26 a PAS lecture for kids was conducted at Elizabeth Seton School by Khristian. MSA had an FTV setup at McDonald's Calamba Road, Tagaytay


On April 27 MSA conducted their FTVs at Twin Lakes, Tagaytay and at Molino Homes Subdivision, Salitran, Dasmariñas City, Cavite. On April 28 MSA was at McDonald's Calamba Road, Tagaytay, and at SM City North EDSA. The SM event included a lecture on light pollution by Norman Marigza, and exoplanets by Christopher.


On April 29 Daisy Vidal conducted an independent FTV using Ramon Santiago's telescope “Baby Stellar”. Both Ramon and Daisy are astronomy enthusiasts who have gotten hooked to sidewalk astronomy. An MSA FTV was also conducted by Margie and her younger brother. Meanwhile a BSYA-MSA FTV was conducted at Rizal Park, Luneta.


And for the last day of GAM a BSYA-MSA was conducted at Rizal Park, Luneta with participation of Khristian and Emmylou Garcia of PAS and Maine of APSSEIS. Abdur, who intended to be at the Rizal Park setup, held an MSA FTV at McDonald's Antlers.

On behalf of the AWB, I extend our deepest gratitude to every individual in the Philippines, and across the globe, who took part in GAM 2018 to bring astronomy closer to all. One People. One Sky! Until the next Global Astronomy Month!


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    About Me

    Astronomer, Physicist, & STEM Educator AWB National Coordinator for the Philippines Co-Founder of Manila Street Astronomers Founder of Guild for Astronomy Innovation and Advancement Adviser of the Philippine Union of Student Organizations for Astronomy Founder of Solar Observation Program of Rizal Technological University


    Location:Quezon City, NCR
    Philippines (the)
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