Into the wild.
These kids. 💓
These are foreign mahogany trees (or Swietenia species, which are totally different from what is termed as Philippines mahogany) in a section of a trail in Mt. Malasimbu. There are around 20 or so in that area, which were planted by locals themselves. Our guide said it was spearheaded by the Manila-based owner of that parcel of land (from that section going down to the mountain; the other parts going up are owned by a Korean national), who graduated from Forestry. Decades ago, in an effort to solve reforestation, the DENR ordered that millions of mahogany seedlings from the Americas be planted in the country. It's saddening that this is still the thinking today, because the truth is, mahogany creates more problems than good. It is lethal to biodiversity. It's not native to the Philippines, and it proves to be pestilent, quickly replacing other native timbers when planted. Mahogany does not bear fruits, so you won't see birds seeking food or shade under it. Insects and beneficial fungi do not thrive where mahogany does, making that zone useless. I'm sure everyone who plants trees have the best intentions, but not everyone is aware of the repercussions of planting foreign trees in the Philippines. Native trees are the best way to go. Let's spread awareness! My good friend @celineism has a great list of native plants that are beneficial for our soil and wildlife. You can find it here: http://www.celineism.com/2016/06/9-philippine-native-trees-better-than-cherry-blossoms.html
What's amazing about mountains is that they are never what they seem to be. And at the top, you get to see the world in a way that not many do.
Dark is beautiful.
Senescent leaves = drama.
Instead of telling people who say, You shouldn't be hiking without a man or Your kid won't make it that they will eat their words, I thought I'd just make a one-minute video of Lia's hikes since she was three. As proof, just in case. Blog post and full video also in my blog (or click link in bio to be directed):http://www.filipinaexplorer.com/2018/03/video-lias-hikes-from-2015-onward.html
'Yong tita mo na hinakot lahat ng libreng merchandise sa bundok, pati NLEX bag at payong na bigay ng bangko. 😂 #CertifiedTita
Summer's just around the corner and for many, there's no better way to spend it than with family. Check out my list of 7 family-friendly vacations in the Philippines - @hotelkimberlytagaytay included - this summer. Now up on DG Traveler: https://dealgrocer.com/dgtraveler/articles/7-family-friendly-vacations-to-take-this-summer-5a8d3e6d2a481852cc0001fa