The Windmills of Pililla, Rizal, Have Been Spotted All the Way From Pasay City

A photographer's lens managed to jump over Laguna Lake to capture this view.

( Metro Manila is seeing one postive side effect of the quarantine: the air is clearing up, as in we're-seeing-things-we-didn't-know-we-could-see-from-here levels. One photographer even managed to capture a few windmills of the Pililla Wind Farm in Rizal from a rooftop along F.B. Harrison Street in Pasay City. Don't believe it? Check out the pictures below.

How many windmills can you spot?
PHOTO Courtesy of Donald Pancho
Here's the original shot taken by Donald Pancho before cropping.
PHOTO Courtesy of Donald Pancho
The set up from the Pasay City rooftop.
PHOTO Courtesy of Donald Pancho
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Donald Pancho captured the view on April 1. He noted in his Facebook caption that on that day, Metro Manila had practically "no smog, no air pollution." The avid photographer used to come up to the same rooftop a lot and had actually noticed the windmills before. "Di ko pinapansin kasi malayo at malabo. Pero weeks after ng lockdown, napansin ko agad na kitang-kita siya," Pancho told in an online conversation. So he set up his equipment and got to work zooming in on the windmills using a Nikon D7500 camera and, for the magic shot, a 70-300mm NIKKOR lens.

Google Maps Screenshot

We can definitely understand why it's hard to believe. The Pililla Wind Farm is at least a two-hour drive away (that's on a good day) but, based on Google Maps data, a straight line from F.B. Harrison to the windmills measures just around 40 kilometers. From Pancho's probable vantage point in Pasay City, it seems a clear sight is possible—even over Laguna Lake. 

A clean and clear view of the Metro Manila sky taken on March 26.
PHOTO BY Jamie Sanchez

Metro Manila has recorded lower levels of pollutants in the air since the quarantine period started mid-March. Views of the Sierra Madre mountains have been popping up on social media, as well as blue skies and clear city skylines. Air quality in other places of the world has also improved. The Himalayas also popped back into view in India. It's one unexpectedly nice side effect of a pandemic that has thrown many into uncertainty.


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