Thursday, April 28, 2005

Dr. Raymundo Punongbayan died in the Huey helicopter crash

We were saddened to hear the news that Dr. Raymundo Punongbayan died in the Huey helicopter crash in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija this 28 April 2005.

The mountaineering community remembers him for presenting the geographical formation of mountains in a language understandable to non-academicians like us. He shared his paper in the Philippine Mountains Summit, a national policy forum on Philippine mountains environment last 16 November 2000 at UPLB. Various stakeholders of the mountain, Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines, Inc (MFPI) included through the then president, Butch Sebastian, attended the summit organized by Dr. Edwino Fernando of Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME).

At the 25th MFPI Congress hosted by Philippines Airlines Mountaineering Club (PALMC) in Subic, Zambales last 27 February 2004, he willingly shared his technical know-how in a lecture at the covered court to mountaineers from all over the Philippines. He spiced up the module with side stories on the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo which affected adversely the venue of the assembly in 1991.

I recall his final slide, "Mountains are not permanent. Enjoy them while they're around." His sudden death is a fitting reminder to us all that man and mountain are not there forever. That sadly was dramatized with his tragic death.

Thank you sir, for your gifts of knowledge, simplicity and kindness. While we all are not here forever, for as long as we still climb, you are here, with us.

-Chito 28 April 2005

(Gabaldon in Nueva Ecija is an adopted town of the Loyola Mountaineers.)

Punongbayan, 4 PHIVOLCS workers among dead in chopper crash

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) confirmed that Raymundo Punongbayan, now Philippine National Red Cross governor, is one of those killed when a Huey helicopter crashed into Mount Naval, Barangay Ligaya in Gabaldon town, Nueva Ecija Thursday morning.

A PHIVOLCS official also confirmed to DZMM that four of their employees were also with Punongbayan when the helicopter crashed. Punongbayan once served as PHIVOLCS head.

The employees were identified as Norma Dungol, of the geology department, a Dr. Gency, Dindo Javier and Rolando Abengoza.

Chief Supt. Rowland Albano, Central Luzon police director, said the Huey helicopter crashed at 9:45 a.m. It was bound for a survey mission in Dingalan, Aurora.

The cause of the crash is still unknown as police and military personnel proceeded to the crash site for rescue operation.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, quite a prominent figure there. Didn't actually know that he's contributed that much to the Mountaineering community if you haven't mentioned it.

    Great loss...