Leyte, Philippines - Mahanagdong, PI - 1998
Mahanagdong is a geothermal power plant located on Leyte Philippines. I worked there providing night time
supervision during startup performance and reliability testing. This plant was around 160 MW and was well worth the experience.
Lots of geothermal activity on these islands with temperatures we can only dream of state side.
A view from the hills.
Housing was provided courtesy of Cal Energy. Nice units, lots of Philippine Mahogany.
Security was very good. No Islamic terrorists at the time.
There were some active communist insurgents though. I will have to write a short story about that one day.
Looking away from the housing complex.
One of the secretaries at the plant. She handled the local payrolls. People were very nice to her.
This lady was one of the senior secretaries, I think. Her English was pretty much impeccable and
to stay on her good side, it was advisable to bring some Hershey's chocolate around every other
She also liked American murder mystery novels. I just happened to have half a dozen or so in my suitcase so we got along fine. I remember she didn't realize I was taking here picture with a digital camera and was a wee bit embarrassed when she realized it.
The control room of the plant was impeccably maintained. Pictured in the forefront is Rudy, the Startup Manager.
We have known each other for more than a few years.
This is Dr. Bob, the brains behind control logic.
One thing being around Dr. Bob, he always had the latest and greatest computer stuff.
One of the highlights of my computer life was when he sold me a real DX computer with two (yes, I said 2!) 40 mb hard drives.
It t was a DX-40. I was in hog heaven. This computer allowed me to do some real work on databases, which I found I had a knack for.
I understand Dr. Bob is in partial retirement now and hosts some local parades. Good for him.
This is a Jack Fruit. They get enormous. The taste is kind of mild, sweet, a little like honey and you would imagine
would go quite well with vanilla ice cream.
The taste to me, was slightly addictive. So I bought one.
I am trying not to strain too much, holding the thing out away from my body.
You know it 's ripe when it starts oozing and ants are crawling all over it.
I actually started a cottage industry on the island
The seeds of a Jack Fruit are quite large and soft and have a very thin skin.
They kind of reminded me of filberts.
One day I was giving a cooking demonstration to the staff, who were having a hard time with the concept of
pancakes, omelets, and trench fries.
Towards the end of 'Cooking, American Style', I started talking a bit about creativity in cooking, which was a
totally foreign concept.
I looked around for something to use as an example and saw a pile of Jack Fruit seeds slated for the trash bin.
I cleaned them off, fired up the stove and deep fat fried the seeds for a couple minutes and then rolled them in
salt. After I had a platter full of these seeds I tried one and to my and everyone else's amazement they were
(In retrospect, I should have tried a seed first to ensure no one died from some kind of exotic poison).
I can kind of liken them to a deep fat fried chestnut where you could peel the skin off or leave it on and eat it.
The following night dinner was served as usual and a huge plate of fried seeds was served as a dessert.
At any rate, when I returned, there were a number road side stands selling fried Jack Fruit seeds.
I managed to help out the local economy through Creative Cooking.
Another career I dreamed of having was that of an Entomologist (Bugs and Insects).
I found the subject still interesting and took full advantage bug picture-taking taking opportunities.