Donsol Getaway Day 1 – A Date with the Fireflies

As a child, I had been fascinated with fireflies. There was this place along the road in our town where these little creatures would glow in the darkness of night. I loved spotting them amidst the bushes and plants.

When Ate Che was arranging our itinerary to Donsol, I saw that there was Firefly Watching in the list. I was ecstatic! I felt this was going to be one of my most memorable trips ever.

(I’m sorry it took me so long to continue this series as I was forced to concentrate on my acads. I know, school sucks during exams!)

So, let’s go back to Day 1.

After arrival and settling down in our resort, we paid the Donsol Tourist Center a visit to register.

Our first activity: Firefly Watching at Ogod River

At 6pm, we hailed a tricycle and headed to the Ogod River Tourist Center handled by the River Cruise and Firefly Watching Association.. And with much excitement, we climbed the boat assigned to us, together with our tour guide and captain. Alas, once on the boat, the tour guide told us not to expect that much because it was a full moon. The moon was actually so huge that night that it took my breath away. (Aside from sunsets, I also love clouds, stars and the full moons!)

Tip # 1: Make sure not to schedule the Firefly Watching on a full moon.

Look at how bright the moon was that night!

We didn’t have to use a flashlight. The moonlight literally lit up the night sky.

So, I was kind of disappointed… but I was still hopeful we could get a glimpse of those tiny little glowing creatures of the night. And surely, we got what we went there to see – hundreds and hundreds of fireflies crowding the branches of mangroves lining the river. I had but one word to say to the sight before me – AMAZING! The captain took us near the mangroves so we could take a closer look. All I wanted to do at that moment was to catch some and bring them home with me. But, I couldn’t. Because they’d die. So I just feasted my eyes on their bright little lights, savoring that moment with nature and God’s wonderful creations. We cruised the river some more and saw more fireflies along the way. And I was just so happy  I forgot I was tired, hungry and sleepy. I left Ogod River and its fireflies with a smile on my face, praying that both won’t get affected by the continuous development in that area. I hope that when I go back, if I’d have another chance to, the river and its fireflies will still be there, thriving.

Tip #2: If you want to capture your moment with the fireflies on camera, bring a DSLR.

Now, this reminds me of another place teeming with fireflies – San Rafael Farm in Tacloban City, Leyte. They have a tree that turns fairytale-like at night because of the fireflies lighting it up. Make sure to visit this picturesque garden restaurant when you’re in Tacloban and enjoy their great food!

Check out Day 2 of Donsol Getaway here!

P.S. Check out these really cool facts about fireflies:

Fireflies, also called lightning bugs, are neither flies nor bugs – they are actually beetles!

Fireflies can be seen in all continents, except in Antarctica

Fireflies are the world’s most efficient light producers.  All 100% of the energy goes into making light, without generating heat. Now, that’s something we could use to combat global warming!

A firefly spends most of its lifespan as a larva. In the adult form, it survives for a very short span. The main aim of an adult firefly is to find a mate and lay eggs before dying. 

Fireflies produce light for three reasons – attracting mates, warning predators and telling other fireflies of danger.

Head to these sites for more fun facts:

http://www.firefly.org/

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/

But hey, did you know that the population of fireflies is slowly dropping? I, for one, have not seen fireflies in areas where I usually spotted them when I was a child. This is because fireflies are sensitive to disturbances in their habitat. They are usually found in moist environments such as swampy areas, fields, lawns and at the edges of woods or streams, so if we don’t stop cutting down trees everywhere and turning fields and woods into subdivisions, we might not be able to see fireflies in the near future.

So, check out this website for a list of what you can do to help fireflies and prevent them from disappearing.

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Posted on March 29, 2012, in Papanam?: A Traveler's Journal, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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