Opinion > Guiangster
BIRD-WATCHING MANIA AT PAOAY LAKE

Written by Ilocos Sentinel posted on Sunday, December 9th, 2012

5.00 avg. rating (97% score) - 1 vote

BIRDS WATCHING club members and non-members flock nowadays to the famous legendary Paoay Lake in Paoay, Ilocos Norte. Here, they document with their cameras the arrival and movement of assorted migratory birds coming from nearby foreign lands. It’s an annual phenomenon. Of all the water places, Paoay Lake is one of their favorite destinations. To escape the pang of chilling winter in their foreign land, these birds in legion fly miles after miles across the ocean and find temporary refuge in Philippine waters. Paoay Lake is one of their asylums because of its abundant foodstuffs such as fresh water fish and other marine resources. Our government prohibits the catching of these birds for human consumption or for pet purposes……….I remember my old days as a small boy when my family had an adventure to Paoay Lake which the old folks called it “Dakkel a Danum”. My uncle Hilario Pobre Guiang, a US-educated home comer from Cincinnati, Ohio who just arrived in Paoay in the l950s, spearheaded the family adventure to visit our farmlands. Due to lack of motor vehicle, we rode in a cart and carabao driven by our tenant. From our ancestral home at Brgy. 12 San Blas, Poblacion of Paoay to the Lake, it took us several hours due to muddy roads after a night rainfall. It was a picnic inside the hut of our tenant nearby the water of Dakkel a Danum. We ate our “baon” (food) with bare hands. My sister Norma (now resides in Las Vegas, USA) refused to drink water in “boyuboy” (coconut shell cup) as we failed to bring water drinking glass. From a short distance, we saw many big birds flying and diving into the water. Migratory birds in the l950s? Our tenants claimed they did not catch and hurt the birds because they were sacred birds of the lake that brought graces to the fisher folks and farmers as retold by their ancestors………..In the l980s as a full grown married man, we had a second family generation adventure to the eastern section of the lake where one of our farmlands was located. We rode in our own car. Travel was fast compared to the antiquated cart travel in the 1950s. When we arrived there, local birds dominated the scene at the lake. We saw no white big birds. It was not November or December period so the migratory birds probably dwelled and lingered in their own foreign lands………. Be that as it may, our aging tenant Tata Hipolito and his wife prepared a lunch for us. I have not seen the outmoded “boyuboy” anymore. Instead, plastic and glass cups were served in the dining table. Before home bound, we climbed a tree and picked a lot of “longboy” (duhat in Tagalog and Java plum in English) at our lot near the lake. Since then, I missed the place. My dad had sold out the lot to Tata Hipolito, who pleaded many times to buy the land at very low price. My late dad was so generous who always told us to share our extra blessings to others, especially the poor. (JUN R. GUIANG)

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