I’ve never personally seen the allure of bird watching (and bird photography). To a certain degree, I can appreciate those who take pictures of wild animals and the patience it requires. But having the patience to sit around waiting for a creature like a bird to face you in the right way, or to catch one in mid-flight is something I am not sure I can handle.

Such is the photography discussion I have been having with friends Glenn Gamboa and Edu Lorenzo who have been posting pictures of Philippine Birds on their Facebook pages for quite some time. As Edu says it, convincing me to join them has been a challenge.

After reading a blog post on the Candaba Wetlands, I messaged them to take me along on the experience. The date is set. February 6, 2011, Sunday, 4:00am.

After some breakfast and driving in the dark, we make it to Candaba around 7:00am as Sunrise is upon us.


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For sure the place was awesome (click on the panorama below to see it full size)

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We parked the cars next to the DENR shed

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Glenn and Edu went out and got to work…

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I spent most of my time appreciating the landscape and the local game. I observed creatures in their native habitat.

Some were hiding in the bushes. (Mike Corpuz)

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Some would lurch around the cars… (John Delizo)

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While some where out in the open

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From a photographic angle, I made a personal conclusion. Follow me here…

It would have been nice if my bird pictures were like this (below). But that this is some cropping…

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…because most of my bird pictures are like this (below). The photo below is the original one, the above photo is cropped with Photoshop.

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As I consider myself a Travel Blogger and a Travel Photographer, most of my shots have been wide-angle as O take pictures of landscapes, buildings, mountains, festivals, etc. Close ups aren’t usually what one does during travels.

That said, my lenses are usually not one with high zoom. While my friends had zooms up to 500mm, mine went as far as 200. As such… my bird photos resulted in specs. You can guess how I felt so photographically emasculated. In some instances… size does matter.

As such… many of my bird shots were just specs like the above photo. I decided not to let that spoil the moment. So while I did attempt to take photos of birds, I did my thing with landscapes and other non-zoom stuff:Candaba20110206 055

The area had its share of bikers. I was told I could bring my bike, but not knowing what to expect, I didn’t bring it.

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Bikers of all sorts and ages

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I caught up with herds of goats…

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… and ducks… though I later found out that these are not the ducks worth looking out for. These are the types that produce the eggs for ballut.

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… and so I continued to take landscapes instead.

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More goats!

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Ah… my arch enemies… non-flying fowl (you have to follow my Facebook statuses to understand what this means)

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This is my favorite shot of the day. This family of ducks went everything and did everything together. It was really cute.

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Lunchtime came around and we were looking forward to our barbeque. We encountered a few problems though. We didn’t have a grill, and Glenn insisted we had defective charcoal.


This video explains our predicament.

The quest for fire!

We had pork barbeque, prawns, and a big chunk of beef


The food was delicious, the company was great, the conversation… hilarious.

While we tried to keep the day non-technical, we would sometimes stray into discussions of Cloud, Azure, Shredding, Events, and other matters… geeks!

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After some time, we casually made our way back to manila by around 3pm.


This guy wished us on our way


I had a great day. This was definitely a different kind of lakwatsa for me. While I did not get into the full spirit of bird watching, and my bird pics aren’t what the trip was about, it was nonetheless less an awesome day enjoying nature and the great outdoors!