My Journey in Northwestern University Botanical Gardens

By Erin Salvador

ErinIts amazing how an indoor lover like me who loves to stay at home locked up in her room watching TV, using the computer and wasting his or her summer indoors can turn into an outfielder; someone who loves to go outside and explore.

It all started when we (My Mom and I) thought of a special event for kids like me that would kick away their gadgets that were wasting their summer, and make the kids outside for a change.

My Mom said that she had met her old friend, Aunt Tina, and she knew someone who was the manager of the botanical gardens. The gardens allowed camping, which was the event we were planning. I didn’t like leaving behind the computer, but I had no choice. On our way, we picked up Aunt Tina and we talked for the whole trip. She informed me that she was a blogger, and I was very pleased to meet someone else who enjoyed the art of writing. Before we got to the garden, we got kinda lost. It was a long journey (well, at least for me), but the destination was worth it.

The first thing I saw was a pond. It would have been extremely deep if two feet of it had been filled with water. Beside it was a wooden tree house. I wanted to go up, but we had limited time, so I never got to see it from the inside. The next thing I saw was a wide white house, surrounded with plants. Finally, I saw a man in casual clothing and walking towards us. Aunt Tina introduced me to Uncle Michael, the manager of the botanical gardens. He knew a lot about plants, and I was both surprised and amazed at the same time about his knowledge of it. After talking about the camping event we were going to hold, he showed few but special parts of the garden. The first was the orchidarium and asclepiadarium.

Asclepiadarium and Orchidarium

The place was full of plants, and we were all amazed by their looks. But the very special one on my part is the Butterfly Sanctuary. The structure was spectacular. Uncle Michael explained that it was based on insects being invertebrates and having a skeleton outside instead of inside. He showed us the pupas that were still incubated in their chrysalis, which looked like a leaf.

Butterfly EffectMichael and ErinStarry Hoya MultufloraHoya cinnamomifoliaA Walk in the GardenEyesAt the NUEBGPomegranates and LemonadeMeeting Erin

The Northwestern University Botanical Gardens is amazing, spectacular and… special. And I’ll never forget it.

“Look deep into NATURE, And you’ll understand everything BETTER.” – Albert Einstien

Earthsaver Erin

Erin Salvador, 10 years old, is a Grade V student of the Saint Louis University, Baguio City. This is her first published article.

Photos by Erin, Michael and Blauearth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

If youth say so | John Michael Mugas

Inspired by sound bites from Philippine National Hero, Jose Rizal, the blog will be featuring young emerging leaders and tender perspective in hopes of inspiring others to make a difference in this world. Insights from undepraved minds for us to chew on.

John Michael Mugas

For this initial feature, let’s hear the mind of John Michael Mugas aka Mikyong, 18-year old self-supporting son/marketing management student (of the Mariano Marcos State University)/weekend piano teacher/music composer/budding writer/assisting artist of the internationally-acclaimed Samiweng Singers of the Ilocos Norte National High School.

John Michael Mugas (2)

Fresh from a penetrating cultural experience in Japan via the Kizuna (Bond) Project, John Michael expresses his candid thoughts.

Tell me your best Ilocano moment.
When I utter Ilocano words while conversing in a non-Ilocano language and they don’t understand what I just said and then I just laugh at myself.

Describe the Ilocanos.
Shy, kuripot…  so true.

Are you pro-Reproductive Health Bill?
Yes, I don’t see anything wrong about contraception that would help alleviate poverty.

The best president the Philippines has ever had?
I’m not really into politics. I don’t care about politics.

What is your view on social justice in the country?
There are many opportunities, but only a few have access. The lack of financial resources is a common issue.

How do you see the Philippines 10 years from now?
The country’s economy is rapidly growing, so 10 years from now, I see the Philippines as an improved nation. As a citizen, I can’t feel the changes yet.

Who are the three people that inspire you and why?
People my age like Raine Mateo Calucag. She has this something in her… innate… she’s a go-getter. Next, Sir Sherberk Cabrales, my former MAPE teacher at the INNHS-Special Program in the Arts (SPA), and Sir Sherween Cabrales. What I am now I owe it to them. Thirdly, Sir Robert Caluya and Ms. Egdonna Legaspi. I consider them my life force.

What was the most important thing you learned at the INNHS-SPA?
Time management. I am able to apply it in college.

Do you have formal training as a pianist?
I was six years old when I started my formal training at the Nicolas Piano Studio under Ms. Emy Labuguen.

What is your favorite piano piece?
Liszt’s Liebesträume.

What are the things you do as a student leader?
I spearhead activities. Though I always stay behind the scenes.

John Michael Mugas (3)

What did you learn from the exchange program visit in Japan?
When I went to Japan, I didn’t know how to use the chopsticks, the basic Japanese language. It was difficult to communicate. However, I learned that we must be open-minded, accept other cultures as much as we appreciate ours. The devastating stories of the tsunami victims made everyone emotional. Uncertainties happen. It lurks everywhere. No matter how strong or rich a nation is, no one is spared of natural disasters.

What are your thoughts on environmental protection.
The problem lies in people’s attitudes.

Your social network?
I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Vimeo, G Plus… I live on the internet.

Do you like your course (marketing management)?
I have to.

Are you planning on a second course?
I plan to take up law.

Are your parents strict?
They gave me my independence. There’s responsibility with the independence

Do you feel people like you (a self-confessed bisexual) are given the same respect as people of straight gender?
I haven’t had any problems whatsoever.

Tell me the three things you are grateful for.
Friends who are always there for me. God for giving me the talent, the resources. My family, of course.

John Michael Mugas (4)
Photos from Blauearth and John Michael Mugas
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013