Archive for up los banos

into the woods of raptors and raptures

Posted in architecture, artifacts, events, locales, nature, people with tags , , , , , on August 28, 2008 by mijodo

It was a hurried sidetrip to the University of the Philippines, Los Banos with some balikbayan guests. It was a rainy afternoon, and we just had a few hours to spare to explore what could be interesting points in Mount Makiling, aside from the university itself as the campus is at the foot of the mystic mountain.

It was not my first time to trek to this mountain. I was in second year highschool then, when my class teacher had decided to bring his whole class supposedly to the top of Mt. Makiling. After hours of torturous foot ascent the whole class found out that we needed to still climb a tree to enjoy a panoramic view. We weren’t sure if it was worth the energy.

This time, I chose to bring my guests to the popular (among students of UP Los Banos) Forestry area. There we found out that there was an exhibit of live raptors up in the mountain. For a while I thought of creatures during the dinosaur era, but it turned out raptors were birds of prey which included eagles and hawks. After more than a hundred step hike, we were able to see different types of about fifty eagles, falcons and hawks in their supposed natural habitat into the mountains. There was only one hitch – all were caged. Since the rain pelted on us, and it was difficult to make good photos, we decided to go down again. The climb could have been worth it, if only there were no rains, and had plenty of time.

Next, I decided to bring my niece and her family to where artistry and talent abound – the Philippines High School for the Arts (PHSA). It was a steep and tortuous (not yet torturous though) drive for our AUV packed with adults. During our climb, I would wonder why in heavens Imelda Marcos whose brainchild was the PHSA had chosen such an isolated place for young students to stay in for a lengthy time. But if only to give the students the most ideal venue to teach the highest forms of arts whether in dance, drama, music and visual art then it is worth the vision and its actualization. The place can give energy to create rapturous artistic expressions indeed. Too bad some us needed to decompress and had to do some errands before retreating back at the rented villa at nearby Pansol thus we were not able to explore the campus grounds. And we were afraid that our vehicle’s break system was suspect hence our very careful descent.

Our sidetrip could have been better if conditions allowed us to get immersed in the places or maybe if only there was a “tree” for us to climb and see the total beauty of the the raptors and the raptures.