Dr. Jesus Rodrigo F. Torres Translates English Version of Balatik

Dr. Jesus Rodrigo F. Torres, an ALP 2017 Father Victor L. Badillo, SJ Astronomy Service awardee, together with Dr. Ruby-Ann dela Cruz , were able to successfully after 4 years to finish the translation of another fellow 2013 ALP Father Victor L. Badillo, SJ Astronomy Service awardee Sr. Dante . Ambrosio ‘s Balatik, an Etno-Astronomy Book. The translation project began in March 2017 when Dr. Torres  attended a lecture-seminar of the History and Heritage Working Group of the Southeast Asian Astronomy Network held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

As a student-participant,  he knew almost nothing about the topics which were all about Archaeastronomy and Ethnoastronomy. Professor Wayne Orchiston talked to him during one breakfast if he could translate the book Balatik by Professor Dante Ambrosio because he said “we want to read it too!”

Wayne had a copy with him.  Jesus looked at the pages, read a few paragraphs, and he  knew the work will be difficult. Nevertheless, he said he would do the translation, and when he returned to the Philippines,  he worked on it right away.

But administrative work in two big State Universities gave him little time for the translation. The work of Professor Ambrosio, however, began to grow on him and he looked forward to the time in the evenings when he could lose myself to the world of Filipino beliefs and knowledge about the heavens and the phenomena in the sky.  He got so lost in the work that he did not notice the months and years passing. Right in the beginning, he sought the assistance of Dr. Ruby-Ann Dela Cruz whose research in the technical indigenous terms which had became so indispensable that it would be just fair if she was included as a co-translator to his project.

Professor Mayank Vahia of India, and Professor Duane Hamacher of New Zealand informed him also that it would be best if Balatik can be read by interested astronomers in the world.

Dr. Torres knew that he had a noble task of translating the work of Professor Ambrosio, an important aspect of Filipino culture as well which the work expounds, known to the world. Thus after 4 years, the project was finally done and is now ready for publication.

2017 ALP Father Victor L. Badillo, SJ Astronomy Achievement Awardee Dr. Jesus Rodrigo F. Torres with ALP President/ Chairman James Kevin Ty.  Credit: Angelito Sing


November 19, 2021 Partial Lunar Eclipse Image Gallery

Below are images taken by members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines. Therefore, all images are the property of ALP as well as the imager mentioned. Any intention to use the images should seek permission to the ALP as well as the main author of the image.

James Kevin Ty

Images taken using Canon EOS M6 mirrorless camera on Borg 76ED Refractor mounted on Kenko Sky Memo-R star tracker.


Francisco Lao, Jr.

Images taken using Nikon DSLR camera on Daystar 80mm f/8 Refractor on Vixen Porta Mount.  A sequence of three images centered on maximum eclipse in this morning’s Partial Lunar Eclipse. You can see how the Moon is moving vs. the Earth’s shadow.
Imaged with a DSLR and a 18-400mm zoom lens set at 400 mm, with 2x teleplus.


Eric Africa

HDR composite of the eclipse near maximum (taken around 4:05AM). This was taken with a Canon Digital Rebel t6i through a TMB-152 scope riding on an Astro-Physics AP1200GTO mount.

Alberto Lao 

Image taken using Nikon P1000 iso800-1600 F3.5 – F5.6 I/1.3 to 1/8 sec +/- 1000mm


Raymund Sarmiento

Images taken using Canon 7D DSLR with 500mm f8 mirror lens.


Christopher Go

Image taken using Nikon DSLR with Nikon 180mm f2.8 lens with 2x teleconverter set at 360mm f8.


Peter Benedict Tubalinal 

The final minutes of the Partial Lunar Eclipse as it exits the penumbral shadow. Image taken using Orion ST80 f/5 EQ1 afocal with 15mm Orion Sirius and Huawei Nova 3i smartphone. ISO 50 1/250 seconds processed with Snapseed.


November 19, 2021 Partial Lunar Eclipse

November 19, 2021 Partial Lunar Eclipse

This coming November 19, there will be a deep partial lunar eclipse that will be visible in the Philippines as well as North and South America, Australia, and parts of Europe. In the Philippines, we won’t be able to observe half of this event as the Moon rises only around 17:26 Phil Standard Time (PST). At this time, we will miss the maximum eclipse of 97% which will happen at 17:03 PST. Part of the eclipsed Moon will still show a bright reddening as the Moon grazed through the southernmost part of the Earth’s shadow. But since this is near the horizon, expect a slightly dark red Moon as it is passing through the smog and clouds near the horizon. The Moon will gradually exits the Earth’s umbral shadow till totally exits at around 18:47 PST when it is about 18 Deg high only in the NE horizon. The Moon will totally exits the penumbral shadow at around 20:04 PST signalling the end of the eclipse.

Below are the circumstances of the eclipse

Moon enters Penumbra 14:02:08 below horizon

Moon enters Umbra 15:18:42 below horizon

Maximum Eclipse 97% 17:02:55 below horizon

Moonrise 17:25:51  00 Deg Alt , 70 Deg E Az

Moon exits Umbra 18:47:07  18 Deg Alt , 74 Deg E Az

Moon exits Penumbra 20:03:43  36 Deg Alt , 76 Deg E Az

Below is how the Moon will look like at Moonrise. North is up. Illustration courtesy of Eclipse 2.0 . Times courtesy of Fred Espenak.


To observe this eclipse, look for an unobstructed east horizon since this is a Moonrise event. No need to use an optical aid to view this Eclipse but one can get a better view of course through a pair of binoculars or telescope. Happy Eclipse viewing! This will be the last Eclipse event for 2021 and the next Lunar eclipse will be visible next year on May 22, 2022 but this event won’t be visible in the Philippines and Asia. The next visible one in the Philippines will be on early morning of November 9, 2022 which is a total lunar eclipse.

May 26, 2021 Total Lunar Eclipse

On the early evening of  May 26, 2021, there will be a total lunar eclipse that will be visible in the Philippines as well as Asia. The Moon will rise at around  with more or less 50% umbral partial phase  started midway already  at 06:18pm PST (Philippine Standard Time) so it is best to find an observing site with a clear eastern horizon.  This eclipse will pass near the Northern path of the Earth’s shadow thus  totality for this eclipse will be quite short at around 15 minutes only ! Moon will enter Totality at around 07:11pm PST with maximum totality phase occurring at 7:19pm PST with the Moon at around 11 deg high in the SE horizon near the constellation of Scorpius so the bright star Antares will be around 5 degrees below the eclipsed Moon.  Totality will end at around 07:26pm PST. Afterwards, the Moon will gradually start to exit the umbral shadow until it exits umbral phase at around 08:53pm PST. The Moon will totally exits the penumbral phase at 09:50pm PST signifying the end of the eclipse event.

Full Eclipse circumstances are as follows:

Moon enters Penumbra :

Moon enters Umbra :

Moonrise :  06:18:12pm  // 00 deg Alt  // 112 deg Az

Moon enters Totality : 07:11:28pm  // 11deg Alt  // 116 deg Az

Maximum Eclipse : 07:18:42pm // 13 deg Alt  // 116 deg Az

Moon exits Totality : 07:25:56pm // 14 deg Alt // 117 deg Az

Moon exits Umbra:  08:52:25pm  // 31 deg Alt // 127 deg Az

Moon exits Penumbra: 09:49:47pm // 41 deg Alt // 138 deg Az

The Moon is expected to still be bright during totality so this is also favorable for imagers who doesn’t have a motorized tracking mount. Good luck to all and clear skies!

ALP Suspends Monthly Meeting and Stargazing Session Amid Covid-19 Spread

In light of the Enhanced Community Quarantine being implemented by the Philippine Government in the entire Luzon region including Metro Manila to curb the fast spreading of the Covid-19 virus infection, Astronomical League of the Philippines Inc (ALP) will tentatively suspend all upcoming monthly meetings and stargazing sessions until this crisis and quarantine implementation is lifted by the government.  Stay Safe and please help support by staying indoors as much as possible. Thank you.