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It was a very special Bataan Day treat for the people of Orion, Bataan.
A public telescope viewing session, dubbed “Sidewalk Astronomy in Orion”, was held at Orion Plaza on April 9, 2009 by Ezekiel Roel Rodriguez, a young amateur astronomer from the same town.

Rodriguez brought out his own telescope, a home-made Dobsonian reflector, and let anyone and everyone in the plaza look through it to see different objects in the sky from 6 to 9 PM.

People from all walks of life were there. Children, the elderly, and everyone in between – including a few teachers – were able to see the Moon, Saturn, and the bright stars. An elementary school teacher from Sabatan, Orion exclaimed “Ang ganda naman nung mga craters ng Moon at ng itsura ng Saturn na may rings. Sana makita ito ng mga estudyante ko.”

Rodriguez hopes that this would be the day that Astronomy begins to flourish in Bataan. “It definitely will not be the last (public viewing). As long as there are people who were still not reached by Astronomy, sidewalk public telescope viewing will not cease”, he said.

“Sidewalk Astronomy in Orion” was a post-celebration of the “100 Hours of Astronomy”, an international event, held from April 2 to April 5 as part of the commemoration of the International Year of Astronomy here in the Philippines, explained Rodriguez.

Mr. Rodriguez is currently taking up BS Mathematics at the University of the Philippines – Diliman. He is also a member and the incoming Education and Research Cluster Coordinator of the UP Astronomical Society.

By: Annette Qeuzon

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