'Supermoon' stuns some, dismays others


Posted at Mar 20 2011 01:39 PM | Updated as of Mar 20 2011 11:32 PM

Super moon late Saturday night (Photo by Trini Velasco)

MANILA, Philippines – The phenomenal "supermoon" that adorned the sky on Sunday stopped time for Filipinos across the country—rendering some mesmerized and others disappointed.

At 12 midnight, a group of onlookers had already huddled at the UP observatory in Diliman, Quezon City to catch the "brighter and larger" moon, which was seen at its best 2 to 3 hours later.

The onlookers expressed their excitement over the so-called supermoon, which is a phenomenon that only happens every 18.6 years. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration earlier said the moon is seen to be relatively 14% bigger and 30% brighter, as the distance between the moon and the earth becomes nearer.

"Malayo pa po pinanggalingan namin pero talagang nagpunta po kami dito kasi gusto po namin makita yung supermoon. 'Yung paglapit ng buwan," high school student Kiana Leonoras said.

Other onlookers also considered the super moon as the highlight of their romantic dates, like Alex Lagula who tagged along wife Judith to catch the sight of it.

"Simula bata pa ako, I've always been amazed with the moon. At tsaka romantic din kasi. So magandang bonding time din ito para sa amin," Lagula said.

Davaoeños were also apparently struck with the supermoon's beauty, with couples and friends taking photos with their digital cameras and cellphones.

They said they found the supermoon to be rather relaxing.

Supermoon mission 'failed'

Some Filipinos, on the other hand, went home disappointed after failing to witness the supermoon.

Residents in Cebu, Batangas, Albay, Tacloban and Cagayan de Oro expressed dissatisfaction when clouds covered the sky.

Meanwhile, the local weather authorities demystified superstitious beliefs that the supermoon was a sign of a coming disaster, such as an earthquake.

"Wala itong koneksyon sa pagkakaroon ng mga kalamidad. Dapat nga i-enjoy pa natin na tignan ang buwan," Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration's (PAG-ASA) chief of the astronomy section of environmental monitoring bureau Dario dela Cruz said. – With reports from Jerome Lantin, ABS-CBN News; Vina Araneta, ABS-CBN News Davao; and ABS-CBN News Cagayan de Oro