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Thursday, April 18, 2024
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HomeiWriteiWrite: Seeing the forest come alive

iWrite: Seeing the forest come alive

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By Charina Delgado Puentevella

Editors Note: Charina Delgado Puentevella calls herself an educator, a runner, biker, Rotarian, Zontian, translator, Nature lover, and mountain climber.

She posted over the weekend photos of her in Igbaras town, Iloilo province posing with blooming Rafflesia speciosa flowers inside the forest of Igcabugao village on the trail leading to the Butuan Falls.

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Rafflesia speciosa is a parasitic plant endemic to countries in Asia, among them the Philippines. Three species so far, R. manillana, R speciosa, and R lobata, have been identified to be endemic only in the Visayas and Panay islands.

Vera Files reported the Rafflesia species have no leaves, chlorophyll, stems, and roots.

It is known for its flowers that emit the odor of rotten flesh that attracts carrion flies, the plant’s agent of pollination.

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She writes this essay on why she climbs mountains.

When climbing mountains, I don’t aim to reach the summit but to have an actual experience of the different flora and fauna along the trails in the forest. What makes a hike meaningful is seeing the mini coconut trees, ferns, huge trees, entangled vines, mossy trees, mossy forest floors, bonsais, forest bathing, earthing and grounding and be able to experience how the trees breathe and become alive after a heavy downpour and as you share these same experiences with other climbers, forging friendship in nature.

flower
Photo by Charina Delgado Puentevella used with permission

Sighting very rare plants and flowers are for me, the climb’s precious gems! So precious that I have to savor the very limited moment that I am graced by its presence in the forest. Out of my 5 day hikes to Igcabugao, Igbaras, Iloilo, I was only able to see two blooming rafflesia. The first one was red and it was during my first hike. The second one was yesterday, my 5th hike, and it was orange! I feel so lucky and blessed to be able to see rafflesia in different color in each sighting.

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Photo by Jean Delasan Failla from personal collection of Charina Delgado Puentevella used with permission
Photo by Charina Delgado Puentevella used with permission

It was an awkward pose since the orange rafflesia was on a ridge. I had to make sure that I won’t fall while risking to take a photo with it.

When climbing mountains, I don’t aim for the summit but to have an actual experience of the different flora and fauna along the trails in the forest. What makes a hike meaningful is seeing the mini coconut trees, forest bathing, earthing and grounding and be able to experience how the trees breathe and become alive after a heavy downpour and as you share these same experiences with other climbers, forging friendship in nature.

Photo by Jean Delasan Failla from personal collection of Charina Delgado Puentevella used with permission
Photo by Charina Delgado Puentevella used with permission

Sighting very rare plants and flowers are for me, the climb’s precious gems! So precious that I have to savor the very limited moment that I am graced by its presence in the forest. Out of my 5 day hikes to Igcabugao, Igbaras, Iloilo, I was only able to see two blooming rafflesia. The first one was red and it was during my first hike. The second one was yesterday, my 5th hike, and it was orange! I feel so lucky and blessed to be able to see rafflesia in different color in each sighting.

It was an awkward pose since the orange rafflesia was on a ridge. I had to make sure that I won’t fall while risking to take a photo with it.

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DNX News Desk
DNX News Desk
Pioneer digital-first news and information source based in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental province. We are committed to providing high-quality journalism to our audience.
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