Year 2010, I joined an environmental organization called Haribon (combined Filipino words – “Hari” which means king and “Ibon” which mean bird). They hold some awareness workshops, clean-up and tree-planting events, but the key activity when I joined are the bird-watching trips.
We started with visiting the foresty areas within the city, then explored to farther mountains and villages outside the Metro. It was extremely amazing to witness that such beautiful species live among us and we are not even aware of.
There is a term called “lifer” which could mean as a species that a birder has not seen ever before, or a type of bird that is so rare to spot and has become in the “life wish list”.
The people in the group were also an amazing experience to have known and learn from. They are living their successful careers and still giving back into these volunteering activities, while at the same time balancing their love for nature, family, friends and career. They are my “lifers” in human form.
And of course, those weekends of going around the thick forests, looking up on canopies, hoping that a movement is actually made by a perching bird that we could identify (or discuss afterwards to identify), focusing our binoculars and cameras, hearing and triggerring the shutters, attempting to get a good photo. These amazing creatures in the end brought me to the idea of discipline and patience to find what could be our very own defined “lifer”.