5 lifers and counting

thousands of birds, beautiful sunrise and new friends. glad to be back in the Candaba Wetlands.

joined fellow volunteers from the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines last Sunday to conduct the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) in this ecologically important bird sanctuary. an annual endeavour since 1987, the AWC aims to identify and monitor wetlands of international and national importance.

data collected every census are use to determine and monitor important wetland areas under the Convention of Wetlands. the more number of wetland birds and priority species documented also indicates the status of the said ecosystem.

this year, the AWC will run from January 14-29 and here in the Philippines, one of the primary sites of the census is the Candaba Wetlands.

this natural rain catch basin of Central Luzon is comprise of freshwater ponds, swamps, marshes, agricultural farms and grasslands. during the rainy season most of the area are submerged in water but dries out during the month of September until May, which coincidentally is also the peak of bird migration in the country.

after five hours of counting and birding, official WBCP tally: more than 10,454 birds belonging to 42 species – 3,000+ of egrets and herons, 3,000+ ducks, etc.

on my personal list, got 5 lifers yey! wonderful Eurasian Widgeon, Green-winged Teal and op course our very own Philippine Duck. (mental note: count your life list Rei!)

special thanks to Charlie, Paula and Ruth for the wonderful roadtrip.




mystic island

dude traveling with my family in the "mystical" island of Siquijor
mom’s 51st birthday so as my treat, a compensation for being a prodigal son hahaha, we went to Dumaguete City to relax and visit some relatives
sadly, I was forced to change our trip itinerary since most of the roads up the mountains were totally destroyed by the typhoon Sendong. bro and sis missed the Negros Oriental’s fascinating falls, too bad. still a blessing, an hour away from the city, is the mystical provincial-island of Siquijor!
the island which became famous, and infamous, for the supposed unique skills and power of most of its residents to perform witchcraft, healing rituals and black magic. such stories add up to the mystic and beauty of Siquijor’s natural wonders
the province is so small that you can tour the whole island in one day. we hired a multicab at the Siquijor port and off we go!
topload, more fun in the Philippines!!! :-)
some of the island’s famous tourist site (travel blogs always attached the word "enchanted" or "mystical" to describe the sites. heck, just for the fun of it hahaha):
enchanted century-old balete
enchanting white sand beaches
mystical cascading Cambugahay waterfalls
enchanted Lazi convent, one of the oldest Catholic convent in SE Asia
mystical Lazi Church
enchanted Capilay Spring of San Juan
and the town's bell tower
too bad, even a day as wonderful as this must end…
back in Dumaguete City, delicious san rival, silvanas and strong brewed coffee yey!
next visit in Siquijor means staying longer, bringing Ani and some spelunking activities


blurry pretty day

lazy afternoon. a wonderful experience

first stop, visit in Metropolitan Museum of Manila to view its rare exhibit – Pablo Picasso’s The Vollard Suite

The Vollard Suite, commissioned by Ambroise Vollard, a famous art dealer, is composed of 100 pieces of copper etchings made by Picasso between 1930 to 1937

the displayed 100 pieces, original print copies and signed by the master artist, is owned by Fundacion MAPFRE and Instituto de Cultura

turning dusk, proceed to Balara to spot the Philippine Eagle Owl!!!!

not one, but a family of eagle owls - mom, pop and an owlet!!!

thanks to Karen for the wonderful owling trip

first 2012 travel post

chaotic photos, soweee. still, a pretty sight. beauty in turmoil- sign of things to come:-)



year of the dragon

welcome new dawn!

2012 will be a transition, an exciting year. old baggage will be dropped, unknown paths will be pursued, decisions will be made. this year will be a constant influx, a whirpool of experiences and new discoveries.

here are my listwish of places/itinerary (hint) for 2012:

  • ipukao
  • g2
  • ivatan
  • sama
  • t’nalak
  • lake agco
  • tamaraw
  • rafflesia
  • northern leviathans
  • masked bobby
  • butaan
  • visayan wart pig
  • maliputo
  • cloud rat
  • hampangan alphabet
  • haribon

will grab opportunity when it comes. no fate but what we make.