"Love relationships" start with the getting to know process. Seeing and in many ways "sensing" are musts for one to capture another one's mind or heart. It is also true with nature. One will be clueless about nature-loving if all they've known all their life are the man-made spaces. "Love at first sight" is not rare for man-and-nature trysts.
I encourage you to consider going on nature excursions, treks, hikes, camp-outs. Consider those exercises as "dating. Consider these, thus, as my dating tips:
1. Start with a bit of research. Google about your intended destination or simply ask around. "Full of surprises" doesn't always refer to good things.
2. Wear the proper outdoor gear. How's the weather? How's the terrain? Do you need sunblock (earth-friendly variety only)? Do you need protections against bugs? Will you water-drenched along the way? Do you need extra clothing?
3. Know what else to bring. This depends on the destination, the duration of the expedition and a host of other considerations.
4. I discourage going alone. Bring a buddy. Bring a party.
5. If you're hiking, stay on marked trails. Ensure you're close and visible to your party.
6. Dispose of your litter responsibly.
7. If possible, travel using mass transport
8. Support local products, but avoid products that make use of endangered species.
9. Avoid using plastic utensils. Use reusables.
10. Avoid using the airconditioning, if possible. Enjoy some cool fresh air, for a change.
Observe. Learn. Enjoy.
I will recommend a near-to-Manila destination. I should disclose, I used to work for the company who operates the resort in the area, and am glad that I still have a chance to help them promote their outdoor-nature activities. I previously blogged about Las Haciendas, Amansinaya and the Pugad Lawin Adventure Camp. The Ambon-ambon falls, the subject of the photoblog below is in the same area.
The trek is easy enough. It's about 30 minutes going to the waterfalls and another 30 minutes going back. One needs to traverse across 3 ankle-deep streams, walk up and down a few inclines, and clamber over some boulders. There are local guides who'll be helping you out: literally, lending their hands and making sure you won't get lost. Pliant, rubber slippers, locally called, sipit, are the best footwear for the hike. Trousers should be high enough, not to get wet.
Don't be surprised: some local residents still do their laundry in the nearest streams. This means the water here is still not polluted from upstream; but how about the washing soaps they're using, are they earth-friendly? One becomes witness to the "buhay probinsiya" as much as to the "buhay klikasan" during the hike.
Plastic bags found new use here as scarecrows for this ricefield. For the earth: Plastic bags -- real scary!
A little help here from the resort owners--sponsoring the signages that indicate the tree names and the scientific counterparts. Some schools have discovered this site already for their educational trips and overnight camp-outs.
One will marvel at the gigantic century-old tree -- a Bigwang -- along the way. According to a team of "bird watchers," that single tree is home to scores of bird species. One needs patience and telescopic lenses to see the birds, though. The birds are pretty elusive, which should be a good thing.
I saw, one time, some colorful fresh water crabs, quickly disappearing in the sand. Some local legend tells of an "enchanted fish," which has appeared to a fortunate few. Hear about it from the local tour guides.
Ambon-ambon falls is not as popular as the other falls in the Philippines, as it is not the highest or the widest; but even so, it has its own charms. I learned it's not even the only waterfall with the name Ambon-ambon, but it is special to many -- to those many who've walked the trek here. It's an adventure accessible to many: it's not too far from Manila; it's a short, manageable hike; and it's scenic.
Love for nature is natural. It is inherent; it is in us; so says the hypothesis on BIOPHILIA. Whether you subscribe to it or not, it will be hard to argue against loving nature once you've witnessed its splendor and wonder.
How about a date with nature?
WORD FROM THE SPONSOR
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away
1 Corinthians 13:4-8