Raising Chickens? Yup.

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I’ll be posting soon about my experience in raising broilers. It’s quite easy being someone who lives in a tropical country–no snow etc. =) BUT. There’s a but. Maintaining a clean setup is a tiresome work. But it was all worth the sweat.

Thanks for reading!

The Nature As I See It Today

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The previous day, we planned to go swimming. The beach had more sands again unlike its rocky appearance in the previous months. The coconut trees became the natural seawall protecting erosion. The rounded bottoms of the coconuts are now visible with its roots pruned naturally. You need to go a one-meter drop from the seawall to have a better view of the sea. The swampy palm area separates the residential area from the beach. The beach became a “No build zone” about two years ago but there are a lot of houses along the beach. A private resort still stands strong even if the sea-level has raised pass to it.

Here are some flashback photos because I don’t have any photographs taken at this moment:

Erosion went meters nearer to the houses.

20140705 – This day, erosion went a few meters nearer to the houses.

No Build Zone

20140817 – This is now painted with yellow and black.

Children swimming in front of the private beach house/ function hall/ resort.

20140907 – Children swimming in front of the private beach house/ function hall/ resort.

The wall that separates the beach.

20140817 – The wall that separates the beach.

The sunset during summer.

20150508 – The sunset during summer.

A long wall separates the beach into two. It can be seen that the two beaches has different looks. The southern part is sandier and gradually become rocky towards the brook. Starting from the wall, the northern part is rockier and gradually becomes sand towards north. Near the resort is a fallen tree [or a stranded trunk] that has grown enough to root down and mature again.

The southern part is quiet with many coconut trees lined far from the shore bearing coconuts ranging from slightly orangey to brownish green. A private residence can be peeked along it’s the backdrop of the coconuts. A pack of dogs—and puppies—guards the area. Sibog-sibog or insects [or arachnids] living on dry and sandy soils creates a depression on the ground that serves as traps to its prey. Farther south are large mangroves. Although the trees are lesser than the finger of the hands, it recalls that the Gabas Beach is a mangrove forest previously.

During low-tide, the locals scratch the shore for seashells and clams. Few molluscs that can be found is kaykay [a clam slightly oblong with zigzag markings on its brownish shell and it needs to be dug on the sand], paypay [an elongated triangular fan-shaped clam that can be found heavily rooted on sands between rocks], and few sea snails. Umang or hermit crab—I think it plagued the young edible molluscs along the shore—is far more plentiful on the shore.

The southern beach continues southwards but are mostly privately owned with vacation houses and resorts. The accessible beach on the northern part previously extends to Barangay Patag but the elongated beach was cut—I don’t know if it was natural or not—and the river now flows directly towards the sea instead of flowing northward parallel to the sea before reaching the sea.

The locals near the sea are fishermen. The northern part is laces with single-color paddle boats. Most fishermen has installed motors on their boats—they fished farther to the sea. Floating Styrofoam in even distance lined the sea from north to south. I don’t know if that is a sanctuary or a large fishing net below. The sunset is beautiful on early summer and becomes less as December comes.

The dark orange sun—sometimes red—peeks as it sets unto the horizon but the clouds are too thick that time. Although the slightly cloudy skies above and southward started to darken with cloud reflecting orange hues.

Today is July, the northern horizon is covered with thick clouds while the south are clearer. The Ormoc Bay can be seen afar. The Leyte Island curves to the west. The Camotes Islands is located on the west side. Few small islands can also be seen on the southern part. The waves are angled depending on the season.

While we were swimming, the sea slowly receded and giving a rockier look to the shore. There are sandy paths underwater between rocks. It is called Monbon or Bonbon—it depends on the speaker though. Different fishes ranging from schools of tiny ones to solitary fishes with length not longer than six inches swims near the shore. The tiny ones are usually translucent to silver while the bigger ones are black or dark in shade with blue or yellow linings.

While going deeper—about 20 to 10 meters away from the seawall—we found two sea urchins. My cousin observed me while I pulled the rock and raise it above water. The sea urchin clings to the rock beautifully.

“If fireflies signifies a thriving environment on land, the SEA URCHINS tells that the sea is blossoming again.”

We later used a piece of translucent plastic to pick them for a better view. The sea urchins resembles the form of mandarin oranges. They are oblong in shape that has shallow depressions on top and below. They have needle-like extensions which becomes lesser towards their bottom that are about a centimetre in length. Tiny flexible hands—like the squids—can be found at its side and becomes numerous towards the bottom. It looks like a flexible straw that has sucking lips on its tips. Below them are dark coloured rings—maybe a mouth or something.

As the water receded more, few more sea urchins can be found by twos or threes. Their shell [the hard covering] colours varies from monochrome to stripes. There are creamy whites, dark brown or violet, green ones, orangey, etc. The colour of their needles also varies from monochrome, stripes or tainted. The colours ranges from white, violet, green, yellow, orange, and red—rainbow, eh? The variants of the colours are numerous.

Another striking—and more potentially dangerous—sea urchins has longer and thicker sets of needles. Although they also have tiny needles like the previous sea urchins, their thicker needles looks like the base of a chicken’s feather—with a length of about two inches. They are more rounded and solitary unlike the other ones. They are also fewer than the other.

As the sun sets and the tide becomes lower, more and more sea urchins can be found. I found about 26 of them in the area but we went back ashore because it’s getting darker and it’s dangerous to step on one. Many people started swimming that night. The silhouette clouds along the northern horizon intensifies remaining light of the skies. The lights of houses along the sea lit up. The lighthouses on the far cities and islands lit up too. Then we went home.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Many people rarely talk about the environment because they haven’t seen nature enough—what they chat about are numbers rising or plummeting that’s why they can’t comprehend. Things has dramatically changed in the past decades—as supported by my parents and grandparents—the scenery of the yester years is far more beautiful than of today. But nature is still beautiful even if only a fraction of what has been left. I don’t know if our great grandchildren will still see these things. But sometimes I think that the efforts of many organizations and people who promote a better environment—or saving the environment—will preserve what we have today if not bringing the beauty of the past again.

Although it’s been a tough month for me, I always give myself a retreat. I wake up early to see the sunrise and visit beaches to see sunsets. I enjoy every day of this crazy fun adventure in a world of treasure hunts called Life. This was my first comeback post so I made it sure that it would be interesting to read—I hope so.

Back Again

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Department of Animal Science Tour

It’s been few years since I last posted here at Paper Drafts. The ST Haiyan had destroyed the communication and power lines for about a year. So much has changed but everything is well now.

I became a fish hobbyists together with my friends before I became busy with school-works. I am currently doing my thesis. It is very tiring but I’m good in time management. Even though I have several tasks to do every weekdays, I always give some time for leisure and recreation during weekends and holidays. I began running together with some of my exercise buddies. We usually wake up early and starts at about 4AM. The quiet road and the twilight is so amazing–that motivates me to be active.

I also started raising few chicken for meat. That would be all for now. ^_^

Opportunities in Disguise

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Our research was about chicken fat bio-diesel which aims to discover the potentials of a commercial fried chicken industry byproduct–mainly the chicken fat residue. Though sleepless nights and busy days may lose your creative skills, there are always something around that might be great subjects that you would miss if you don’t open your eyes.

Finding the Saponification values of the samples.

Finding the Saponification numbers of the samples.

Preparation of samples to be placed inside an oven.

Preparation of samples to be placed inside an oven.

The Best Story

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On the Baccalaureate Mass before our graduation, The priest told us interesting stories that will give us insights about the life after our high school years. One tells about the story about the illiterate janitor working in a company that was downsizing. The management said that all illiterates will be laid of from their jobs. But he used it as an opportunity, he used the money the company had given to start up his own business. He was the manager of his own company now when he was invited in a symposium. He got his speech and afterwards someone said “You’re successful now, who are you going to be if you just had entered schooling?” The people clapped and later he answered ” I would still be a janitor.”

Still, having a degree create a difference but learning is not just in formal schools but is free to those who are willing.

A Year Ago

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Just before enrolling in college, I was into gardening. Together with my family, my father molded us into having Green Thumbs. He played a great role in making us aware of how important planting is to the nature and to us humans–it can not only help give oxygen to air but also create income. But to him it is not a work but rather a leisure. Here is my video which I had uploaded just a year ago when I was planting in our orchard.

What I really meant was “I’m here in our orchard” instead of “…here in the plain.” Bukid which means a plain in vernacular is different from the Filipino, specifically Tagalog, word bukid which means a mountain.

Paper Drafts: Paper Draft video is coming!

Not Just A Pet

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Like any hen his mother left the nest after the majority of the eggs had hatched. Left inside was a chick with curled feet and three other eggs. He was very weak that time and with its eyes unaware of what just had happened it just listened to the sounds we create.

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We brought it to our house; then placed him in his new home made from a large canister and cloths to contain his warmth. Thanks that our cats had colds that they couldn’t smell our visitor; but we still don’t trust the cats’ innocence. On the night, we were awakened by the chick’s cry, I looked at the canister but it was empty. He was hiding near my head while the cat was silently preying. Without thinking, I slap the cat with my pillow and fell on the floor.

Mighty Miming, the cat, meowed as if he regretted it. I did not want to do it but it was the only thing that came into in my mind that time.

On the other day, the chick was able to peck on rice grains. The little toes start to straighten and the previously silent chick became active. My sister gave it some grains and water. It would cry “Pyak-pyak-pyak” and silences when someone comes nearby. And would sound off again if it sees nobody nearby, still, it doesn’t want to be touched. And later, we named him ‘Pyak-pyak‘.

I would shout his name many times as I mimic a hen’s beak with my finger pecking on the rice grains. Pyak-pyak runs swift with its little wings raised as if he would fly. It would jump right off the table and on to the floor coping distance from us. On that day, we sent him off to his mother but he didn’t join the group. He was even got pecked on his head when he came near. And he  ran to us crying again.

In my mind I said “It’s alright Pyak, just grow up fast and you’ll be with the others.”

The next morning, we brought Pyak outside and it really enjoyed pecking on the ‘food-rich’ ground unlike on the tiled floor in our house. He was running to and fro pecking on the soil. The cats won’t bother as they would just pass on Pyak. And by that we were at ease. It was the same on the latter days.

Pyak had its wings grown with tiny feathers. That day, everyone was busy. I was with my cousin outside when I heard my mother shouted. The other cat, Hunter, got him on its mouth. I ran and had him on my hand, he was grasping for air with its neck broken. He was a vegetable. I had mixed emotions that time; my sister ran to her room and sobbed. I saw him die and the memories flashed in my mind. He was like a baby to us–noisy nights and playful days, but that ended suddenly. I thought for a while, he was just a chick for others–a mere pet taken care of.

But for that moment I realized that at least Pyak made us happy even just for that very short time. He became a part of our family.