n wilderness of our swamps everyday lies a secret nook where me and my friends then use to perch when hunting. A setback of an old fish pond. My All Saints Day itineraries swayed from different scheduled time. Visiting that again after 25 years, a place to behold and still takes my breath away . Nonetheless I manage to throw in 2 hours and immerse my feet in that swampy pit, I was mesmerized by the place, indeed looks like a tiny Everglades.
I watched Leonilo for a couple of rack from a billiard pool nearby . Leonilo was one of the buddies that frolic in that murky water and we used to play jumping to and pro on a dilapidated sluice gate of that old fish pen. When his done with his game I told him, ” ‘ Want to reminisce the days when we’re setting trap on that rail bird and that pesky monitor lizard?”. I went back to my house to get my things.
I sling my DLSR again and took a telephoto and wide lens and put it on both side of my cargo pants’ knee pockets. . Oops I forgot to bring in my tripod, Forgetful now a days, I left it in the city. Never mind, I will rely on clipping elbows and try to be still.We passed by an easement shared by shanties and Arieta’s pigpens and a small wood paths with thick spattered of rice husks(to hardened the soft soil) thru the swamp. This area belongs to continuous wayside area of Calimpac and extended to Brgy Manlayo only cut off by the public road. It’s just one of the narrow paths among the many. We were hoping that’s the easiest way to get to that meandering small labyrinth thru the swamp where we used to hang out every weekend.
Pack 4 bottles of light beer and snacks Leonilo and I set to a vantage point where we use to rest after setting the trap for tikling heron. This time no traps, because. I don’t know how to set it anymore. The one who was expert with these was my friend Romano, he is now living and working in Japan. We missed him this time, readying my lens and setting my starting f-stop the sunny 16 to be ready. Open 2 bottles of light beer for him and mine. We were thirsty for a long walk, I started taking shots from our vantage point while my friend Leonilo keep on my instructions, “If you see egrets, monitor lizard , rail bird(tikling) and my favorite to bird-watch the kingfisher, once you locate it and I will take a shot”Komprende?.
Another egret is coming gliding to land at the crown of a small bush like mangrove. Change my lens to telephoto, light metering… ready to shoot..(ring ring ring) what? A phone call in the middle of the swamp? That was memorable I took the call and was happy to talk to her. A different perspective of my life was realized there, the last time I seated there, the most famous electronics gadget was VHS video player. Amazing speed of time that I didn’t mind that, though of course that thing is understandably possible, its just the settings that pause me for a while. Then I smile when I saw tower of Mobile telecommunication are visible from that distance. Peek again to eyepiece, where is the egret, its gone. We sit down again and continue chatting with my friend. Reminiscing the days I still recall this damped place, the water stream flowing against the fallen branches of mangroves, nipa and coconut husk that grounded by backwater. I took still photos I hope I can infuse some reminiscing, I’ve seen my shots and it did.
I gave up ambushing a shot for a rail bird(tikling), that is an awesome fast threading bird. And I got a cheap slow telephoto lens… that’s the fuzz. Ever watched the cartoon character “Road runner” (beep beep) yes that fast. Romano, Leonilo and I used to set traps in between stalks of bushes and swamp grasses where that bird always pass hunting small crustaceans and tiny stream dwelling fish. I was contented to take a shot of distant springing stalagmite looking growing mangroves. That shots bring sullen moments to my eyes and return seated, slumped.Leonilo started to tell his story of failure marriage, while I keep answering SMS messages to an overseas love that seems to grow everyday. I almost cant heed what Leonilo was saying but all I know, a happy marriage is hard to find now adays after all what is not to dislikes. I associate it with the wilderness of egrets and that frigging fast rail bird. All is but a methaphor of impossible to catch and to reckon. I am sweating and remove my rubber ionic necklace. Half the bottle of beer finally a kingfisher came, very far I try to manage and again to take a shot,before I metered it it flew like it knows me I am there. That elusive crustacean hunter will make me visit this place again this December.