Friday, March 29, 2013

My Playground

The outdoors, It is where I find peace and solitude. I call it my playground.

As a kid who grew up in a logging town, I was exposed at a very early age to the wonders of nature. I've seen ginormous trees, butterflies, lizards, big and small mammals, mountains, different shapes and sizes of insects, the sea, waterfalls, snakes, rivers, birds and what-have-you even before I learned about them in the four corners of a classroom. My dad was into road construction so during weekends, he would bring me to his workplace or his project sites. We would be driving, windows down, for many kilometers under the forest canopy. Canopies so thick that sunlight penetrates only when the wind picks up and the trees sway gently. These bonding trips with my dad is what made me enjoy, love and be curious with nature. Surprisingly, it's also the time I discovered I have itchy feet.

Me and my mom in my dad's company-issued Ford F-150 pick-up truck
during one of our road trips.

Moving to the metropolis for higher education, the things I love to see and places I want to go to can no longer be experienced on a frequent basis. Longing for these, I joined outdoor clubs and got involved in outdoor sports so I could go to places where I want to be. I shied away from indoor activities where you are confined in gymnasiums and arenas. I joined a mountaineering club in one of the universities in Manila to satiate my desire for the outdoors. With my interest in photography and the outdoors, my itchy feet were back on its track.

(clockwise from top left) Scuba diving in Anilao, Batangas; Kayaking in Calatagan, Batangas;
Mt. Biking in Benguet; On top of Mt. Apo, Kidapawan, North Cotabato. (Center) Akiki Trail of Mt. Pulag, Kabayan, Benguet.

Through the years, I have engaged in different outdoor activities and traveled to far and distant places. Lately though, I think in the past 10 years, my interest leaned towards our feathered friends. Birdwatching or birding is the observation of wild birds as a recreational activity or as I fondly define it as "a lifetime ticket to the theater of nature". It is the only activity that I know of, where you can do it anywhere in the world, anyplace, any time of the day (and night), and with a group or on your own. Couple that with photography, voila!, an instant love affair.

"A lifetime ticket to the theater of nature"

This blog is about birdwatching or anything related to birds.  Follow me as I immortalize into electronic memory my adventures in my playground.