Rio Alban and its Scrubland

Arnaldo
Arnaldo
June 1, 2010
An oasis for the wildlife that still survives in the area, a piece of wilderness in the heart of a thriving urban community – Arvin Diesmos, Haribon Biologist. Picture taken June 1, 2010 by blogger.

I decided to go out and bike around Filinvest Alabang this morning. It rained heavy last night and it is said that the flow naturally cleans up the river. True enough, the water was so amazingly clear; the sun was intense as usual, revealing the fishes that freely swims with the calm stream.

Ever since the area was privatized, bought by the Filinvest group, I knew things will change a lot. In less than a decade, the fertile farm land used for agricultural research was transformed into a dynamic business district.

Rio Alban is now under threat of extinction. Many Festival Mall shoppers are awed to see fishes, tortoises and exotic birds in the section where Filinvest created a foot bridge that cross the small river. Many are not aware that these beautiful creatures come from upstream, where there still exist a natural sanctuary for wild life.

Haribon biologist, Arvin Diesmos, once spent days in Rio Alban and its environ and listed his finds: ground frogs, burrowing frogs, tree frogs, geckoes, turtles, skinks and snakes. Both venomous and harmless…a barn owl, a grass owl, two species of falcons, sand pipers, plovers, shrikes, flowerpeckers, sunbirds, munias, ubiquitous sparrows, fruit bats, civet cats, rodents and shrews.

And this was just five years ago.

It’s unavoidable that this “scrubland” will be extinct as “development” catches up. After all, these once nature place was bought precisely to be converted into a financial and residential zone.

So, enjoy it, while it last.

Manila

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Traveler on Foot
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This reminds me of the stories I’ve heard from our old folks in San Mateo. They say that before WWII and a few decades after, one can still spot a wild deer or a wild boar in the mountains of San Mateo. Different types of birds of prey can be seen hovering ancient tree. Today, if you travel to San Mateo via Batasan Road you will see that the mountain is punctuated with houses.

Feel free to visit us again in San Mateo nold.

Caryl Carmou
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Caryl Carmou

Progress vs the environment? who wins?

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