Tuesday, March 1, 2016

GQNC Road Trip: Windmills

It's been a long time since the GQNC barkada went on a road trip. The last one I was in was when we went to Daranak Falls in Tanay, Rizal. Back then, there were only two cars; the rest traveled by motorbike. This time, however, we were in a convoy of four cars! Kuya Jun, Ate Lucy, Ana, and I were all driving! Well, actually, Kuya Ferdie was driving Ana's car throughout the trip. Because I had a webinar the night before, I promised to bring up the rear as the sweeper, catching up with them when I was ready.

A photo posted by Rochie Cuevas (@rochiecuevas) on

For this trip, we were going back to Rizal province. But instead of just going to Daranak Falls, we were also going to Pililla, where a wind farm is located. We've been staring at the wind turbines from windows in the lab on clear days and I was just stoked to see them up close, finally! The last time I've approached any windmill was when Ate Bing and I went to Bangui, Ilocos Norte. And I was overwhelmed then because the windmills were right on the beach, where the surf was intimidating... I thought there was a rip tide there. And the other tourists also didn't step in the water despite being in the beach.

So, while driving towards Pililla, I was in the car with Krishna, Cindy, and Jojie. When the windmills first came into view, the girls just lost it and started screaming and pointing at the windmills. I felt excited to but since I was driving, I had to keep my eyes on the road... no looking at the windmills... yet. Eventually, I had my first glance at them. That excitement grew as we came closer because more and more windmills came to view. On our final turn into the farm, there were just too many of them; we didn't know which one to look at first!

Out of the car, we started walking on the uphill gravel road. That's when we realised why the farm was placed there: there was a lot of wind. The strong, laminar type too. The wind appeared to stay in one direction but we're not supposed to fly kites there. Maybe it's because the lines might get tangled in the turbines. Oh, well. It's okay. I was there for the sights and the windmills anyway.

And what a sight! We were on what appeared to be the top of a mountain with a view of Laguna de Bay and surrounded by 27 windmills. 

I felt happy seeing these windmills because aside from the curiosity that I had been nursing, I am also proud that the Philippines is dead set on reducing its dependency on fossil fuel for energy generation. We are moving towards clean energy. A lot of organisations have made this project possible. Many of them are private companies, I think. But there are a lot of government organisations too. We are really developing into a country invested in alternative energy sources. 

Despite all the advantages of wind farming, I wonder if there are cons to this technology too. I mean, use of turbines changes the wind patterns right? Would the movement of pollen, pollinators, and birds be affected by changes in wind patterns brought about by the turning of the windmills? What happens to the rate of energy generated when a strong typhoon barrels through the area? I have absolutely no knowledge about this, admittedly, and I'm sure that the experts have taken these concerns into consideration.