My astronomy photos at 500px.com

•August 10, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I am not sure why some of my images in my previous posts disappeared. I’ve already told this problem to WordPress, but they don’t know the reason either. Most of these images were linked from Facebook so maybe it has to do with Facebook.

Anyway, I’ve decided to put some of my favorite astronomy photos I took in 500px.com. Maybe I’ll upload my future photos here and connect it with WordPress…

http://500px.com/stellasgaze

My Astronomy Facebook Page

•August 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I just created a Facebook page for my astronomy activities and updates on Philippine astronomy. Please like my page at https://www.facebook.com/stellasgaze2328

To the stars!

Sunset Rainbow over Metro Manila

•February 1, 2017 • Leave a Comment

So far the largest rainbow I’ve seen in the Philippines! This is my view from my place in Taguig.

Sunset Rainbow by erika valdueza on 500px.com

New Year 2017 Venus-Moon Conjunction

•January 1, 2017 • Leave a Comment

We were on our way to a place overlooking the Hudson River and Manhattan in NYC when I saw this beautiful celestial view in the sky:

New Year Venus-Moon Conjunction by erika valdueza on 500px.com

Afterwards, I looked at the opposite direction and saw the Manhattan skyline. I also took a picture of it since it was my first time to see the skyline at night and it was really beautiful:

My view of the Manhattan Skyline from New Jersey by erika valdueza on 500px.com

If only the planetary conjunction was above the Manhattan skyline, the view will be a lot better haha!

To the stars!

Mind Museum Astrocamp at Soloviento, Caliraya, Laguna

•November 19, 2016 • Leave a Comment

The astrocamp experience was great, although we were clouded out and it rained all afternoon until the following day.

I especially enjoyed the part where we built our own water rocket. My team named our rocket “PhilSA” in short for Philippine Space Agency. Somehow it flew a bit high, but not as high compared to other teams, hahaha!

In the evening, Pecier Decierdo, Mind Musuem astronomer, gave a lecture about the night sky using Stellarium. I missed hearing such lecture because I haven’t observed for a long time. Sadly, the weather was not cooperating so we couldn’t see all the stars and planets that were visible that night.

As soon as we had a glimpse of the stars despite the clouds, many participants immediately prepared their cameras and tripods. I was one of them and below were my images:

Under the Stars by erika valdueza on 500px.com

Clouds and Orion by erika valdueza on 500px.com

It rained again after an hour or so. Because we are already tired (or maybe because we are not as young as we used to be hahaha!), my boyfriend and I decided to call it a night.

Attending this event is already an achievement for me because of my health condition. I think it shows that I’m getting better and stronger and I can do overnight observations again. 🙂

To the stars!

 

Life over Lupus

•September 8, 2016 • 2 Comments

I’ve shared my story to a Facebook page that helps raise awareness of Lupus. I’m reposting the essay here, but I edit it a bit to reach out to everyone (not only those who have Lupus) who are struggling to fulfill their dreams. This is my testimony of God’s goodness in my life.

**************************************************************************

I would like to share my story especially to those who have already lost hope in reaching their dreams because of rejections, discouragements, and illness.

Six years ago, I dreamed of becoming a planetary scientist. I know that such dream is unusual in the Philippines. Because I was young and idealistic then, I still entered graduate school in UP Diliman, hoping that I can receive support and encouragement from my professors. Unfortunately for the next 2 years, I only received rejections and discouragements. One of them even told me that I was born in the wrong country for this dream. Disheartened, I quitted graduate school and decided to work in the industry. Two years after, I received a scholarship to study in Europe and communicated with a professor who will help me pursue a research thesis related to planetary science. When I was about to reach this dream, I got sick. I never expected that I’ll acquire a chronic illness. No one in my family has or had Lupus.

I was diagnosed with SLE with Stage 4 Nephritis in September 2015 when I was about to start my thesis. It was a shock to me and to my family. That was also the first time I heard about Lupus. Despite this very sad situation, I am very grateful to God that He was able to bring my dad and my boyfriend to take care of me while I underwent blood transfusion and chemotherapy for 3 months in Europe. It’s very hard to get sick in a foreign country, but I’m thankful that God provided everything – from people to finances – to help me fight and survive. After my chemotherapy, I returned to the Philippines to recover, but still tried to do my thesis whenever I have the strength. I was advised to rest and recover for one year (which means I need to stop my studies for a year!), but by faith I said I don’t need to rest for a year. I won’t let an illness stop me for reaching my dream. And so after only 2 months of rest in the Philippines, I went back to Europe on my own to finish my thesis while I took care of my health. By March, I learned that my Lupus was already in remission and my kidney function has greatly improved. Early last month, I defended my dream research thesis and finally earned my MSc degree. I am now back in the Philippines for full recovery.

Life will definitely bombard you with problems and even illnesses to stop you from reaching your dreams. However, as long as you keep a positive outlook in life despite the adversity and you strongly believe in Him, nothing is impossible. I survived and recovered quickly because of the love and support of my loved ones, strong faith, and prayers. So to people who have chronic illness and to those who are discouraged and rejected, don’t ever lose that hope. Keep fighting and no matter what the circumstances are, believe that there is someone up there who will take care of everything for you.

To God be the glory!

To the stars!

May 9, 2016 Mercury Transit

•May 9, 2016 • Leave a Comment

My first time to witness a Mercury Transit. The sun was almost at my zenith and therefore it was difficult to image using only a video tripod, C90 Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope (with solar filter), and DSLR. To minimize the weight, I used my iPhone to take this shot. I wish I could observe longer, but I’m not allowed to stay too long under the sun because of Lupus.

May 9, 2016 Mercury Transit by erika valdueza on 500px.com

 

March 9, 2016 Partial Solar Eclipse

•March 9, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Because of my decision to go home for further recovery after my chemotheraphy sessions, I was able to witness a solar eclipse this year. Sometimes, unexpected situations happen for a reason. In my case, it was a blessing in disguise.

To the stars!

March 9, 2016 Partial Solar Eclipse by erika valdueza on 500px.com

 

March 9, 2016 Partial Solar Eclipse by erika valdueza on 500px.com

 

Merry Christmas! 

•December 23, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Merry Christmas, everyone! To the stars! 🙂