Of Jade & Amber

This gallery contains 56 photos.

A trip through the northern Philippine province of Zambales with my closest friends – a 3-day trip which feels like a week! No electricity, internet, or mobile signal. This is the perfect getaway from urban life, from the stress of work, and toxic people! Set-up your tent, bask under the sun, conquer the mountains nearby, swim with the colorful fishes, start a fire, lie under the stars and talk about everything. The experience is overwhelming!


Glimpse of Realism: On What Will Be, From the Eyes of A Rustic Teen

Glimpse of Realism: On What Will Be  

From the Eyes of A Rustic Teen

               Have you watched the “The 11th hour”, if you haven’t, then find a copy now. It opened my eyes to what reality is.. the reality that men created, molded, and the reality that we’d end up to. Politician, children, colored, Scientists, the poor – all will be affected, and none at the end of the day, none can evade it.

“That’s it, I’ m Moving On”

                 – Mother Nature

               These words may echo down and be on every human consciousness there is – IF only nature can talk. Yet, reality check, nature is really moving on. The human population is doubling and developing, and the planet is etched to the idea of balancing it and reacting towards this increase of human number that may alarmingly affect all other kinds of life; the increase of population that equates to increase of produces to supply consumption, industrial booms to give opportunities to work, new reconstructed land for accommodation, and many more. It will lead to the discharge of chemicals, destruction of life, change of climate, and technical terraforming of the planet which, to a certain extent, make this world inhabitable.

               Extinction is inevitable as stated by David Suzuki – scientist and environmentalist – it is a natural law of nature, the extinguishing of the unfit. However, humans are a special case. We do not have unique senses or the cravings to battle for a mate with claws, paws, and horns but we do have a highly advanced thinking machine – the brain. Through our instincts to survive and foresee what we’ll face in order to live on, we tend to manipulate our environment to better accommodate and provide what we need. We jumpstarted, we slid, and now, we must pay the entire price. Natural balance is a law of nature not stated in any constitution, not in papers or what have you. But it is a concept and a “necessity”, not following it would entirely associate to death, in a harsher way we can possibly think.

An Open Query

               Then, what is to be left for us? What is our only choice? Were should we pick ourselves up? Where is the standing ground for all of these?  These are all questions that wake us up in the middle of the night, with answers that eludes us to the far edges of learning and doing nothing towards it.

               “We know the outcome, we know the end-product, but we tend to ignore it. In the first place, we’re not the ones who’d be suffering right? We are out of the basket. The future generation will be affected, it’s ok, and I won’t die anyway.” – These are words of a selfish, money-talker, who greedily yearn for power and power alone. It is an irony; a cocktail of contradictions, these people should be the ones who’d be preserving the globe. Why? Because they’ve seen what is beautiful and NATURAL, they’ve felt it through their nerves and smelled it through the thick unblemished winds of a once-rural setting. They get pleasure from it, yet the future compensates for it. Is it not but unfair?

               Reader, though we share the same sentiments, WE do NOT make the rules. WE do NOT write the “do’s and don’ts” of our government. WE do NOT pass the bills. HOWEVER, WE SUFFER from it though not at its full impact, but what about THEM – the upcoming populace? Do they need to go through it? YES, THEY WILL READER, THEY WILL EVENTUALLY.

               Then you must be asking me right now what should I be doing? At the back of your mind, you might be asking what concrete plans do I have?

               The answer is simple and reflecting. Stand in front of a mirror and evaluate everything. Think of what that person in front of you did, what he is doing, and what will he do next. Start with the simplest ways of how you can help mother earth.. do not think first of the government and passing bills, they’ll just pay no heed towards it, because it’s a public opinion. They THINK they are superior. But show them reader, that though you’re either a minimalist or an altruist, you DID something good and natural.

               Start with the MOST practicable and realistic ways – learning what humans are capable of and where their limits end, study and be knowledgeable so that you’d know what is right and wrong, proper disposal of garbage, conservation of what you have (remember, everything comes from your environment), sharing of wisdom and let other people know what you knew, and lastly, persuade other people to do the same as you did.



6:32 am. The sunrays now shine tenderly behind the sleeping eyes. After three days of satisfying fun in the historical island of Camiguin, Philippines.. here we are, in a barge positioning itself ready to unload its contented passengers. Well, the adventure is not over yet, 30 minutes away is another breath-taking site to remember, sands to meddle, and waters to play with – DUKA BAY!  As we were inclined to do, we headed immediately to our designated cars to deliver us. An “egg”licious and “beef loaf”ful breakfast awaited us. We were instructed that we could do what we want to do, as long as the money is laid down at the table – snorkeling, banana boat, scuba diving, and everything nice (anything beach related). But what does this stop-over trip have in store for us? Three words – BREAKFAST, REST, and CORAL-WATCHING. Yup, coral-watching baby! We were divided to groups, 10 people each one. Since the resort can only accommodate two boats at a time, then only two groups can go at once, so yup, we have to wait until the other group’s done.

While waiting for the other group, I couldn’t contain myself; I started contemplating what the deep bay can offer. Yes, we were expecting corals and all.. but what else? A shark ready to devour us fully? A giant serpent ready to coil our throats? A mermaid whose voice can knock you out of your feet? Or something else? *Thrill. WAIT! Strike of reality.. the boat is here! It’s now our turn! We excitedly hopped into the boat which will be our “friend” for the rest of the sight-seeing. It’s simple, but it has a glass in the middle to allow us to see clearly what the deep can showcase, we ought to see through the looking glass. Then, there it goes, a journey to surrealism; different hues of eye-warming flashes, shades of all colors – red to blue to green. A fish swimming gracefully along the kaleidoscope of exotic corals, a starfish skulking timidly in the coral depressions. The beauty, the natural marvels.. all result of a thousand-year making. And oh, sweet corals! I remembered something about them! THEY ARE ANIMALS, NOT PLANTS. And talk about their classification, I recollected my Systematics class.. holophyly, clade, homoplasy, cline, ontogeny, and taxon. Taxon, taxon, taxon – such a complex term to comeby with. Believe me, they are foreign to my brain cells too. Let me exemplify the complex definition of the word “taxon” by describing its meaning through giving of examples, the taxon that dominates Duka bay are corals, starfishes, some snakes, and lots of fishes – that’s taxon! Simple as that, I defined it. By now you should have pictured it right? Fishes of all colors, things of different forms, and ancient corals in the pristine sea backdrop.

These unique array of fauna found in Duka bay must be conserved, these types of marine environment is hard to come by with nowadays. It’s disheartening to imagine how they are destroyed; these kinds of life are worth saving. But why? How ecologically important are they? In the ‘circle of life’, humans along with every other organism plays a significant role, coral reefs aren’t an exception and so does the other organisms that rely on it, they maintain the balance of life! I’m so much in awe and love with the beauty of the coral reefs, that I’m afraid to include tourism as an importance of coral reefs. For the hearts of men are corrupt and it has depleted nature innumerable times in the name of tourism. Nonetheless, coral reef destinations are recognized as the biggest tourist attractions, especially on islands like Maldives and Jamaica who totally depend on coral reefs for their economy. Add Philippines in the list, this enlightenment wouldn’t be possible if I haven’t seen this magnificence which cannot be denied. Nature never failed in attracting us. I just hope everything can be conserved.. which is impossible, but still, I had to believe. We have to. Life relies on another life. Through this escapade from reality, I can now see clearly THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, but by believing, I can now shatter it and held out my hand for the aid they need. ALL LIFE IS PRECIOUS.