Making up for the lost opportunities of the previous day, we decided to wake up early the next day; we were up at exactly four in the morning. With only four hours sleep, we groggily went about collecting our things and were soon walking into the cold dawn looking for a tricycle willing to transport us to Candaba’s Bird Sanctuary.
We eventually got two tricycles and after much haggling, we agreed at a price of Php130.00 each.
I rode at the back, and the air was freezing cold. Passing through the still dark fields and into the dirt path towards Doña Simang, our driver commented that he didn’t know it would be so far. Barking dogs greeted us as we sped past the familiar bamboo fence that is being used for bird watching.
The ride took quite a while and we felt the drivers were a bit shortchanged with our agreed price, so we gave them an additional tip.
We arrived at the Pelayo Resthouse, which was where we were supposed to stay overnight in but there seemed to be no one around; it was just us, some dogs, and a lot of goats.
We waited a while and there still seemed to be no one coming. As the sun rose, we walked a bit, looking for the flock of birds that were supposed to be in the area. There were no such flocks to be seen.
We walked a bit more, towards the farmfields, still nothing. A few egrets and ducks can be seen on ponds and the lush fields but that’s about it. We were getting disappointed by the minute and we decided to just get back to the area we spotted bird activities the day before.
As we turned a bend, the most glorious sunrise formed in front of our eyes. Golden hues enveloped the emerald fields as god rays upon god rays shone down the heavens to the sprawling paddies of Candaba.
It was the epitome of every photographer’s sunrise and I was totally unprepared for it. I would be the first to admit that my photos did not do justice to this magnificent show of light.
This made the hardships of the previous day very much worth it. Birds or no birds, I would have gone to Candaba just to witness this sunrise.