“This Magnificent Eagle is Disappearing”.

philippine-eagle-hdrPhotography by Joel Forte, Antipolo City, Philippines – Photographed at Davao City, Philippines
If the irrevocable transition of one species from rarity to extinction causes a rent in the fabric of our planet, exactly how big a hole would be left by the loss of the Philippine eagle?
No disrespect is meant to the basking malachite damselfly or the fine-lined pocketbook mussel, because all creatures—and plants too—help turn the infinitely complex cogs of the biosphere.
But the loss of this glorious bird would steal some of the world’s wonder. It glides through its sole habitat, the rain forests of the Philippines, powerful wings spread to seven feet, navigating the tangled canopy with unexpected precision.
It is possible that no one has ever described this rare raptor, one of the world’s largest, without using the word “magnificent.” If there are those who did, then heaven heal their souls.
In the kind of irony all too familiar to conservationists, however, the very evolutionary adaptations that made it magnificent have also made it one of the planet’s most endangered birds of prey.
There is no competition for prey from tigers, leopards, bears, or wolves in the Philippine archipelago, the eagle’s only home, so it became, by default, the king of the rain forest.
Expanding into an empty ecological niche, it grew to a length of three feet and a weight of up to 14 pounds.
A nesting pair requires 25 to 50 square miles of forest to find enough prey—mammals such as flying lemurs and monkeys; snakes; and other birds—to feed themselves and the single young they produce every other year.
“The birds had the islands all to themselves, and they grew big,” says Filipino biologist Hector Miranda, who has studied the eagles extensively.
“But it was a trade-off, because the forest that created them is almost gone. And when the forest disappears—well, they’re at an evolutionary dead end.”
Read more at National Geographic.

“The Perfect Cone”.

mayon-volcano-5[6]Photo by Dennis Tanay.
Mount Mayon, also known as the Mayon Volcano, is an active stratovolcano on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, renowned for its almost symmetric conical shape.
Mayon is considered to have the world’s most perfectly formed cone due to its symmetry, which was formed through layers of pyroclastic and lava flows from past eruptions and erosion.
mayon-volcano-1[2]Photo: MARK ALVIC ESPLANA/INQUIRER SOUTHERN LUZON
The volcano is located on the convergent boundary where the Philippine Sea Plate is driven under the Philippine Mobile Belt.
The lighter continental plate floats over top of the oceanic plate, forcing it down into the Earth’s mantle, and allowing magma to well up from the Earth’s interior. The magma exits through weaknesses in the continental crust, one of which is Mount Mayon.
In fact, Mayon is the most active volcano in the Philippines having erupted over 49 times in the past 400 years.
Despite this, the volcano has managed to retain its perfect cone shape without suffering any major slides or collapse.
Read on via Mayon Volcano: The Volcano With The Perfect Cone | Amusing Planet.

“3D Trick Street Art”.

art-in-island-2[5]While museums around the world strictly disallow photography, this one in particular not only allow touching of exhibits and photography, they encourage it.
In fact, a trip to “Art in Island”, an interactive art museum located in suburban Quezon city north of Manila, in Philippines, would be useless without a camera.
The museum features over 50 trick art murals that were painted by a team of 18 Korean master painters who were specially flown in for the project.
art-in-island-1[5]These murals give the illusion of depth when viewed from a certain angle, and is designed to serve as a backdrop for photo opportunities.
Museum attendees are encouraged to climb into paintings and take photos of their interactions.
“Here, art paintings are not complete if you are not with them… if you don’t take pictures with them,” Blyth Cambaya, a museum employee explained to Mashable.
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See more Images via Art in Island: An Interactive 3D Art Museum In Philippines | Amusing Planet.

“Supermoon”.

b5ed64fe-86b3-4c90-9efb-f6dc27ab130aA supermoon rises over the eastern coast of the Philippines.
Photography by Brian Yen in the Philippines.
via Photo of the Day: Philippines Supermoon | Smithsonian.

Igorot Women.

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Baguio City, Philippines Igorot women, in the Cordillera Central, where storytelling is central to the culture. It is an opportunity to share history and maintain their unique way of life.
Despite laws that are supposed to protect their rights, mining seriously threatens the survival of many tribes across the Philippines.
Photograph: Arman E. Barbuco/Survival International

via Indigenous peoples – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian.

Magic of the Philippines.

Bracelet (alternate view), 6th-11th centQuai Branly Museum

If you’re lucky enough to have spent a few months bouncing among the 7000 islands that make up the vast oceanic territory we call the Philippines, you’ll have doubtless noticed something extraordinary about this civilization whose artifacts date back some 60 thousand years: there is virtually no ancient architecture.

But if you drop into the meandering ethnographic art museum here called the Quai Branly, you will find a stunning array of exquisite and intimate pre-colonial objects from the daily lives of the islands’ kings, queens and warriors.

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See more via Frank Browning: Betel Nut Boxes, Golden Bracelets and Petrified Heads: Magic of the Ancient Philippines.