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Hooray for beach summer getaway! We went to Camaya beach resort in Mariveles, Bataan just yesterday. Although I am from Bataan, I’ve never been to Mariveles. So it was my first time to experience the steep zigzag roads along the mountains of Mariveles. But we were also welcomed by a beautiful view of rocky mountain formations and terrains. And I could tell that the mountains of Mariveles are teeming with rich flora and fauna. No wonder that researchers conduct regular biodiversity surveys in these areas. During the travel, I saw collared kingfishers, bee eater, some swallows, egret and soaring falcon-liked birds which looked like Brahminy kites.

And here comes the resort experience. Although the beach facilities were generally good, the food was disappointing. The entrance to the resort included an eat-all-you-can lunch buffet, and so since we’re in a beach, I was expecting seafood, dessert, and cold refreshments. However, each guest was only offered rice, pansit and two viands. I was expecting a more lavish menu. And I was not able to pick my own serving (since I eat less than average). The beach wasn’t so great as well. The water was not very crystal clear. There weren’t many intertidal and marine organisms, but of course it was expected since it is a beach resort. But I was still hoping I’d see some sea stars. There were a few jellyfishes though.

I spent all morning and early afternoon under the sun swimming and mostly by collecting sea shells. Collecting sea shells has always been my hobby, however, I’ve been in the beach only a few times. I will make a post soon about the shells I’ve collected.

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As I became a biology major student, I have become more immersed in noticing the every detail in my surroundings every time I go outside. Especially when I took vertebrate and ecology subjects, I learned how to identify the birds little by little through sight and hearing. To my surprise, there were also other species of birds in our village besides from the ubiquitous maya! So I took the chance during the Christmas vacation to take photos of these birds.

Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus)

Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier)

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)

Long-tailed shrike (Lanius shach)