Sunday, October 26, 2008

Amorsolo and the Birds

It is late at night and I am exhausted. I really should get some sleep as I am facing another hell of a week in a series of hell weeks. Today, for the first time in a really, really long time, I have decided to fail an NGO I am working with by not submitting an article I promised to contribute.

I am in dangerous territory here. My over-developed superego is screaming: "there will be dire consequences for you and the entire international feminist movement!!!!!"

But this triumph over guilt and compulsion comes from something I did this afternoon. Something I promised I would write about instead of the TRULY IMPORTANT AND EARTHSHAKING 25 year anniversary of a global network on reproductive rights.

I went to the University of the Philippines Vargas Museum and enjoyed the exhibit of Amorsolo paintings. (See it, it's lovely and historical and has much more even for those who for some reason cannot enjoy Amorsolo's stupendous evocations of light.)

Then I went birdwatching. The lovely people at the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines(www.birdwatch.ph) gave us a free guided tour right on the UP Campus. According to their brochures, the Philippines has a 600 species and UP Campus has at least 100 of them.

It's funny that having grown up on the campus, and now ending up teaching there, I am only beginning to appreciate a whole other universe that has surrounded me for most of life.

I am afraid I cannot recall the names of the kites, the shrikes, the swallows, the woodpeckers and the doves that were pointed out. I can't recall which one was white-necked or yellow-bellied or long-tailed. I recall the white necked one was really beautifully colored and wondered why they would name it after the little swath of white on its neck. I recall seeing what is called in Tagalog a "batobato" which is the name of the street one corner down from where I live.

I made one of the guides laugh by calling a piece of birdwatching equipment, "that fancy thing".

But it was glorious. Having grown up on the campus I know how beautiful it is. Despite the encroachments of the city it remains a haven for nature and thereby, the birds.

UP campus at dusk is also my absolutely most wonderful place to be. As far back as I can remember I would take walks in the Campus at twilight.

All the birds I saw where sweet and seemingly non-aggressive creatures. Except that someone said that the bulbuls flew away because a kingfisher came. But it did not seem as if there was any harm done.

Anyway, I prefer to keep my fantasy of those sweet harmless birds. I have to deal with an an unethical woman in my work life these days, and I have much to do before I can stop working with her. So it was a treat to be away from the mud-slinging, innuendos and hypocrisy of pot-bellied, yellow-spined, chattering humans to watch those sweet, yellow-bellied, white-throated and long-tailed birds and hear their odes to nature.

I think I will buy me one of those fancy things and set it up in my UP office. My only real goal: to spot a yellow-bellied something or other for myself.

1 comment:

Pat said...

Hi tita! This is Patrick Dizon. I saw you on ANC. :)

I hope you guys are well.

And, yes...Amorsolo rocks!