Till Taal do us part: Filipino couple weds under volcanic cloud

People attend a wedding ceremony as Taal Volcano sends out a column of ash on January 12, 2020 in this image obtained from social media. (Courtesy of Randolf Evan Photography via Reuters)
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Updated 14 January 2020

Till Taal do us part: Filipino couple weds under volcanic cloud

  • Chino and Kat Palomar exchanged vows under a gigantic cloud of smoke and ash from Taal
  • Despite the alarming backdrop, bridal couple little affected

A couple getting married in the Philippines over the weekend witnessed a surprise guest at their wedding.

In what has made for dramatic shots that have since gone viral on social media, Chino and Kat Palomar exchanged vows in Cavite province on Sunday under a gigantic cloud of smoke and ash from Taal, one of the world’s smallest active volcanoes.

“The mood was surprisingly calm despite the large billows of smoke that were already prominently visible in the ceremony area,” said Randolf Evan, the wedding photographer.

Evan related how the volcano began spewing smoke an hour or two before the wedding started, and said ash began to fall on the party toward the end of the ceremony.

More than 24,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes from the volcanic island on which Taal is located south of central Manila, and in the area immediately around it — normally a popular tourist spot.

Social media users responded with amazement to the shots of the bride and groom and their party in a white canvas tent lit with fairy lights under billowing clouds streaked by lightning.

“Kudos to the wedding planner,” read one jokey comment. “This is going to be tough to top.”

Despite the alarming backdrop, Evan said the bridal couple were little affected.

“They were actually relaxed and collected throughout the whole wedding,” Evan said.

“We later found out their wedding was 8 years and 2 kids in the making, so this day they planned for was going to be special no matter what, with or without the Taal volcano’s intervention!”


Un-baaaaa-lievable: Goats invade locked-down Welsh town

Updated 31 March 2020

Un-baaaaa-lievable: Goats invade locked-down Welsh town

  • With humans sheltering indoors to escape the new coronavirus, mountain goats are taking advantage of the peace and space to roam in frisky clumps through the streets of Llandudno
  • Now emboldened by the lack of people and cars, the long-horned animals are venturing deeper into the seaside town

LONDON: Un-baaaaa-lievable: This wild bunch is completely ignoring rules on social distancing.
With humans sheltering indoors to escape the new coronavirus, mountain goats are taking advantage of the peace and space to roam in frisky clumps through the streets of Llandudno, a town in North Wales.
Andrew Stuart, a video producer for the Manchester Evening News, has been posting videos of the furry adventurers on his Twitter feed and they are racking up hundreds of thousands of views.
He said the goats normally keep largely to themselves, in a country park that butts up against Llandudno. But now emboldened by the lack of people and cars, the long-horned animals are venturing deeper into the seaside town. The UK has been in lockdown for the past week to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
“There’s no one around at the moment, because of the lockdown, so they take their chances and go as far as they can. And they are going further and further into the town,” Stuart told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday from his parents’ pub in Llandudno, where he is waiting out the pandemic.
His videos show the goats munching on people’s neatly trimmed hedges and trees in front yards and loitering casually on empty streets as if they own the place.
“One of the videos on my Twitter shows that they were on a narrow side street and I was on the other side and they were scared of me. They were edging away from me. So they are still scared of people,” Stuart said. “But when there’s hardly anyone around on the big streets, they are taking their chances, they are absolutely going for it. And I think because it’s so quiet, and there’s hardly anyone around to scare them or anything, that they just don’t really care and are eating whatever they can.”
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.