Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A wonderful day at Magat Dam

It was an absolutely gorgeous day last Saturday as President and Sister Carlos and the two of us took a short 'break' from our traditional bedlam to visit nearby Magat Dam.  It always sounded scary to me as the name is pronounced like the little flesh eating bugs we have in the US and for some odd reason, that wasn't appealing to me.  Well. my friends, it was a marvelous day!  The weather has been cold to the Filipino's and wonderful to us the past month but this day was a little warmer, a little dryer and the sun was shining as we entered the area.  This dam is amazing...it covers 17 square miles and is the largest man made dam in Asia.  

Magat Dam is a multi-purpose dam which serves as a source of hydroelectric power and as a source of irrigation water for about 210,000 acres of agricultural land.  I believe I mentioned in an earlier post about this being an agregarian society.

The hydroelectric power plant is a four-unit powerhouse with a rated capacity of 360 megawatts.  The hydroelectric plant is a peeking power plant which means that it only operates when there is a high demand for electricity in the Luzon power grid to which the plant is connected.

The water stored in the reservoir is enough to supply about two months of normal energy requirements.   [thanks to Wikipedia for these facts and figures]

When we arrived, we found the pier and climbed aboard a 'boat'...I use the word boat very loosely as it was more like what I imagined I would see in Vietnam.  Brenda and I got on first and she spotted water in floor of the the front section where the driver was going to sit.  She repeatedly asked about the water, fearing a leak and when she got no response from anyone, just closed her eyes and accepted...Jerry was our 'driver' and I use that word loosely also...

Our boat
One of the industries in this area is the raising and selling of live tilapia.  We see tilapia farms frequently.  Many of our members and investigators will have a small tilapia pond on their property where they raise, use and sometimes sell in roadside stands the local fish.

An enclosure for tilapia

This man is 'tending' his farm

A cute home on the banks of the dam

Another farm area with a floating shed for storage

What a gorgeous sight

No caption needed-us girls...
While shopping in Santiago one day, Brenda spotted a lady carrying a great purse.  Not being too bashful [an understatement for sure!], she ran up to her and asked her where she got that great purse!  When the lady told her she had made it, Brenda offered her money on the spot and that sweet lady took her things out of 'her' purse, took 300 pesos [about $6.50 US] from Brenda and my friend had a new purse.  When she got back here and we all saw it and heard the story we all wanted one or two and while we were there, we visited her and bought the ones we had ordered.  They are made from the reeds of these waterlilies.  She harvests them, cleans and dries them out and weaves them into a great purse.  I am bringing a couple back for my 'stash' for my girls to choose from when we get home but will use one of these for a while.  They are really pretty!!

Aren't these unusual..and made completely by hand!!

These are water lilies that grow in and on the banks of the dam

Jerry, our navigator

This is a home for a family-in the middle of the dam.  See the dog and chicken?

President and Sister

You know these two...
Days like these are few and far between.  This was the first 'P' day [or preparation day..a day to stop your regular activities and catch your breath] that the Carlos' have taken since they arrived in June of 2010...I truly believe they needed a day off,  even if it was only a few hours.

After a relaxing time, it is back to work for these four missionaries because the work continues...oh, and by the way, I am two for two on my new glasses project-the second man was at church last Sunday, I am told, and we will go visit him tonight.  Welcome February...have we really been 'out' for six months????  As the saying goes..'time flies when you are having fun'...and we are!  We work hard, sleep hard, work hard, sleep hard, etc....and occasionally take a breather...


  1. You guys look great, and it IS beautiful there! Give Brenda a hug from me! Thanks again for sharing.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful and much needed day of rest for the four of you...and who else would you want to spend it with! It would be a treat to see all of those lilies in bloom!! How does she get the dark lily reeds? Very interesting and very cool. Love and miss you :-)