I grew up in an island that “hosts one of the largest and last remaining stands of tropical rainforests in our country, estimated at 27%. It is the habitat of the globally endangered Philippine Eagle, our national bird. It is also home to 406 endemic species of flowering plants, 197 species of birds, 39 species of mammals, 25 species of reptiles and 12 species of amphibians.”

This is now. A long time ago, the whole island (the third largest island in the Philippines) was a rainforest. Mining and logging has resulted in the loss of more than a quarter of a million hectares of forest in the province. The government’s lack of concern does not help the situation.


I hardly miss my hometown because life there was boring. But Samar is the only place I know where bamboos and rice fields give you enough courage to dream of being a painter, or an adventurer, or a mistress of crocodiles.



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