What To Do? How Can One Stay Busy in the Philippines?

Enjoy Living But Stay Busy!

If there is one thing I really enjoy about living in the tropics is the abundance of tropical flora. I don’t care much about the abundance of fauna, but I do enjoy observing some of the more strange creatures I come across.

The infamous “Tokay” gecko living under our roof.

Today though, I was browsing through some of our garden photos and have become curious as to some of the names of some of the flowering plants we have been growing. I know some of them and identifying them is usually pretty easy.

But we have this one Caladium looking plant that puts on a flowering long-stem bluish flower, and I can’t seem to locate the proper name. In my search for flower names, I came across a site that I’ve seen before, but have never really dug in to see what it is all about. The site is titled Project Noah and is an award-winning software platform designed to help people reconnect with the natural world. The project is backed by National Geographic and was begun as an experiment to mobilize citizen scientists and build a digital butterfly net. The goal – “To mobilize a new generation of nature explorers and helping people from around the world appreciate their local wildlife… harnessing the power and popularity of new mobile technologies to collect important ecological data and help preserve global biodiversity.”

Unknown Caladium

I have used this site to identify flowers in the past. The “Caladium” above has proven difficult to find but I’m hoping the Project Noah community will help me identify it. This site has also helped me to identify the different egrets that frequent a local fish pond. But it is more than that. Project Noah is a powerful force for crowdsourcing ecological data collection and an important educational tool for wildlife awareness and preservation. Need to identify a bug? A tree or flower? Any organism? Anywhere in the world.

Locally hanging water-fowl Identified as a “Chinese Egret.”

Many expats arrive in the Philippines with nothing to do. How about taking up a hobby? One that you can do at your leisure… where you can get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors (I can’t help you here if you choose to live in a condo in Manila! lol). Take some pictures of wildlife, flowers, plants, or any organism. sign-up with Project Noah and share your findings. You can be the local expert!

Jean Henri Fabre is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Entomologists
Jean-Henri Casimir Fabre

Who knows, you might just find your calling as the next Jean-Henri Casimir Fabre (You know… the famous French entomologist). The locals… they can just call you “Spider-Man!”

Then again… Jacques-Yves Cousteau had a good gig!